10 Wonders of Sri Lanka: Must-See UNESCO Sites & Natural Wonders

JJ

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Sri Lanka has a phenomenal density of UNESCO sites and natural wonders. Who would have thought that such a tiny island would have so much for us to gawp at?

Whether you are interested in wildlife or history, there will be something incredible for you to see in Sri Lanka. So, allow yourself to be transported back in time and be prepared to see nature like you’ve never seen it before. Chances are you won’t be able to see everything Sri Lanka has to offer on your holiday but you should definitely tick off a few.

If, by the end of the list, you’re feeling inspired, check out our itineraries for suggestions on how to fit as much into your trip as possible. I’ve created 3 potential schedules you could follow but you can mix and match as much as you like to create one that’s perfect for you.

The Ancient City of Polonnaruwa might be able to give you an idea how the kings of old lived.

1. Ancient City of Polonnaruwa

Have you ever wondered how the kings of old lived? Well, the Ancient City of Polonnaruwa might be able to give you an idea. These ruins might lack some of the splendour they had in their heyday but they are still seriously impressive.

Rewind 800 years or so ago and these crumbling ruins were the most important city in Sri Lanka. If the Royal Palace and gleaming Quadrangle look magnificent now, imagine how they must have been almost a millennium ago.

This UNESCO World Heritage site is located just northeast of the centre of Sri Lanka. It is perfectly positioned for those who also want to explore Sigiriya Rock, Dambulla and Minneriya National Park.

Top tip!

Hire a bike and cycle around the site for the best experience. You will be able to move at your own pace and go wherever you like.

Most hotels offer bike rental and there are independent rental shops where you can hire bikes. It should cost you around 300 RUP (€1.67, £1.48, $2) per day

How to Get There

The easiest way to get to Polonnaruwa from Colombo or Kandy is to take a taxi, which will take around 3.5 hours. Note that the roads can be a bit dangerous after heavy rains and a private car will be expensive (at least 16 241 RUP (€91, £80, $106). Alternatively, there is a train that takes around 6h30 and leaves Colombo at 6:05 and 19:00. The train costs less than 407 RUP (€2.25, £2, $2.65).

Opening Times: 7:30 – 18:00 every day

Entry: 3862 RUP (€21.45, £19, $25.20)

For more information on prices and opening times click here

Rising up from the lush green plains of central Sri Lanka is the awe-inspiring, UNESCO-listed Sigiriya Rock Fortress.

2. Sigiriya Rock

Rising up from the lush green plains of central Sri Lanka is the awe-inspiring, UNESCO-listed Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Formed from volcanic magma, this majestic rock is considered by locals to be the eighth wonder of the world. Climb to the top and it’s not hard to see why!

As you climb the steps to the top of Sigiriya take note of some of the site’s most fascinating features. The Mirror Wall and numerous frescoes are just some of the wonders you will see on your way up. There is evidence to suggest that the caves within this rock have been inhabited since the 3rd century BC. The actual fortress itself, however, wasn’t developed until around 477 AD.

The views from the summit of Sigiriya are beyond anything you will have seen before. There is nothing but a lush, green carpet of natural beauty from here to the horizon.

The ruins at the top are also fascinating and worth taking the time to explore while you’re there. Don’t waste your money hiring a tour guide here.

The hike to the top of Sigiriya takes between 30 minutes and an hour depending on how fit you are. I suggest taking your time so you get the full experience rather than just racing to the top. When you go back down again, take some time to explore the grounds or, if you have the energy, climb up neighbouring rock Pidurangala.

Top tip!

Make sure you start the hike at around 8am so you are back down again before midday as this is when it gets really, really hot.

How to Get There

There is a bus that leaves from Dambulla every 30 minutes that will take you to Sigiriya. The journey takes 40 minutes and buses run from 6am until 6:30pm. If you hire a private driver they will take you from Colombo or Kandy.

There is a very cheap train (around 407 RUP (€2.25, £2, $2.65) for reserved second class) that runs from Colombo to Habarana (15km from Sigiriya) but it takes about 6 hours and only leaves once a day, making it very slow and inconvenient.

Opening Times: 7:30 – 17:00 every day

Entry: 4674 RUP (€26, £23, $30.50)

For more information on prices and opening times click here

This ancient city ruled Sri Lanka for over 1,000 years and is now one of the most impressive and iconic sights in the country.

3. Ruins of Anuradhapura

If you consider yourself a history buff, or just like exploring ruins, then you would be crazy to miss Anuradhapura. This ancient city ruled Sri Lanka for over 1,000 years and is now one of the most impressive and iconic sights in the country. With crumbling dagobas and temples around every corner – you’re guaranteed to be amazed here.

According to legend, the city of Anuradhapura was constructed around a cutting from the tree of enlightenment. This tree is of huge significance with the religion of Buddhism. After flourishing for 1,300 years, the entire city was abandoned in 993, following an invasion. Nowadays the site is fully accessible and well worth taking the time to visit.

Quite often tuk-tuk drivers will offer to take you around the ruins and will even tell you that you don’t have to buy a ticket. Don’t be cheap. Buy a ticket and support the maintenance of this incredible archaeological wonder. Also be aware of the monkeys that live here, they have been known to rob tourists!

Top tip!

Anuradhapura is a huge site so it is a good idea to take a tuk-tuk or hire a driver to take you around. If you hire a driver, get one who can double up as a tour guide – you will learn a lot more this way.

How to Get There

From Kandy there is a bus that takes 4 hours and will take you to Anuradhapura (via Dambulla so consider stopping off here on the way). There is also a train that leaves regularly from Colombo and goes to Anuradhapura. Again, this will only cost you around 407 RUP (€2.25, £2, $2.65).

Opening Times: 7:00 – 19:00 every day

Entry: 3862 RUP (€21.45, £19, $25.20)

For more information on prices and opening times click here

Galle is one of the shining gems in Sri Lanka’s glorious crown. Situated on the west coast of the island.

4. Old Town of Galle

Galle is one of the shining gems in Sri Lanka’s glorious crown. Situated on the west coast of the island, the city is enclosed within fortifications and exudes a mixture of Dutch, Portuguese and British influences. Wandering around the walled city is the perfect way to spend a day in Sri Lanka.

Take the time to stroll through the streets of Galle, checking out the quaint boutiques as you go. Galle is a hotspot for shopping so be sure to pick up a few souvenirs while you’re here. Once you’ve exhausted all that the city has to offer, climb up onto the walls and walk the perimeter of the city.

If the weather is nice (and it usually is) head to the beach or spend an hour watching the incredible cliff divers (be sure to tip them though). At the end of the day, tuck into a delicious Sri Lankan meal at one of the numerous gourmet restaurants. Perfection.

Alternatively, you can get the train from Colombo Fort Station or Maradana Station (where the train starts). You are more likely to get a seat if you catch the train from Maradana, which is situated just a few kilometres outside of Colombo. The train will cost you less than a few pounds and is comfortable and a great adventure.

Top tip!

If you’re lucky you might be able to catch a cricket match at the nearby cricket grounds. You can see the action for free from the moon and star bastions.

How to Get There

As always hiring a driver is the easiest option, but also the most expensive – Colombo to Galle in a private car can cost up to 15 324 RUP (€85.10, £75.50, $100). The Southern Express bus leaves from Maharagama Bus Station every 20 minutes. The bus takes 90 minutes and costs about 407 RUP (€2.25, £2, $2.65).

Alternatively, you can get the train from Colombo Fort Station or Maradana Station (where the train starts). You are more likely to get a seat if you catch the train from Maradana, which is situated just a few kilometres outside of Colombo. The train will cost you less than a few pounds and is comfortable and a great adventure.

Kandy has all kinds of fantastic places to eat, tons of spas, a beautiful lake to walk around.

5. Sacred City of Kandy & Temple of the Tooth

Unlike Colombo, Kandy is a Sri Lankan city that is worth visiting. This doesn’t mean there aren’t bits of it that are noisy and dirty, but on the whole it is a pretty amazing place. Kandy has all kinds of fantastic places to eat, tons of spas, a beautiful lake to walk around and, of course, the world famous Temple of the Tooth.

The Temple of the Tooth is one of the most sacred places on earth as far as Buddhists are concerned. The temple is said to contain one of the Buddha’s teeth and while you don’t actually get to see the tooth, being in the temple is an incredible experience. Even if you don’t want to pay to enter the temple, you can still explore the temple’s beautiful grounds.

Once you’ve seen the temple, make sure you check out the nearby spice gardens, tea factories and Ayurvedic spas. You should also take a trip to the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens if you have time.

Top tip!

Make sure you cover up before you go into the Temple of the Tooth – long trousers and a top that covers your shoulders are a must.

How to Get There

Being the second biggest city in the country, Kandy is very accessible. The train from Colombo to Kandy leaves regularly from 5:55 until 20:00 and takes just under 3 hours. It will cost you less than 613 RUP (€3.40, £3, $4) for 2nd class. Alternatively, you can get a private driver to take you for around 10 153 RUP (€56.40, £50, $66.25) – 12 183 RUP (€67.65, £60, $79.50).

Opening Times: 5:30 – 20:00 every day

Entry: 1500 RUP (€8.35, £7.40, $9.80)

For more information about the Temple of the Tooth click here

The Dambulla caves are located at the top of a rather long set of stairs and are filled with images of the Buddha in all shapes and sizes.

6. Dambulla Temple

Have you ever been inside a cave full of Buddha statues? Well now is your chance – and you can do it easily on a day trip from Sigiriya or Anuradhapura. The Dambulla caves are located at the top of a rather long set of stairs and are filled with images of the Buddha in all shapes and sizes.

Dating all the way back to the 3rd century BC, the complex consists of five caves of varying sizes and a monastery that is still functional. There are over 150 statues throughout the caves, almost all of which are of Buddha himself. Walking through these magnificent rooms is a truly phenomenal experience.

As with all Buddhist religious sites, it is important to make sure you are covered up or you won’t be allowed in the temple. You also need to remove your shoes whilst in the complex. You can pay 20 RUP (€0.13, £0.11, $0.15) – 50 RUP (€0.28, £0.25, $0.33) rupees for someone to guard you shoes while you are in the temple.

It used to be free to visit the Dambulla caves but, unfortunately, they now charge an entry fee. This was implemented in February 2017. The ticket booth is about a 1km walk west of the big rock – not inside the Golden Temple like it used to be.

Top tip!

The ground at Dambulla can get pretty hot so instead of going barefoot, wear a pair of socks that you don’t mind getting dirty. This will stop you burning the soles of your feet.

How to Get There

From Colombo, the easiest way to get to Dambulla is getting the train to Habarana. From there you can get a taxi to Dambulla. To get from Kandy to Dambulla, you can catch either a local bus 102 RUP (€0.56, £0.50, $0.66) or a fancy air-conditioned bus 307 RUP (€1.70, £1.50, $2). The journey takes around 2 hours – traffic dependent of course.

Opening Times: 7:00 – 19:00 every day

Entry: 1533 RUP (€8.51, £7.55, $10)

For more information about the Dambulla Caves click here

There are few places on the planet that can rival Sri Lanka’s central highlands when it comes to beauty.

7. Central Highlands & The most beautiful train journey in the world

There are few places on the planet that can rival Sri Lanka’s central highlands when it comes to beauty. Here, you can really feel the full force of the power of Mother Nature.

For miles in every direction are tea plantations that paint the landscape a vivid green. Don’t miss the opportunity to explore this verdant section of the country.

If your reason for visiting Sri Lanka includes spotting some exotic and endemic wildlife then you need to add the Central Highlands to your itinerary. Comprising Horton Plains and the Knuckles Conservation Area, these highlands are a biodiversity masterpiece. You could see a slender loris, purple-faced leaf monkey or even a leopard – if you’re lucky.

Base yourself in Ella or Nuwara Eliya during your time in the Highlands. These towns have an excellent tourist infrastructure with loads of restaurants and guesthouses. The Central Highlands is the perfect place to unwind.

Top tip!

The Central Highlands can get a bit chilly at night time so make sure you take some warm clothes with you.

How to Get There

The train journey from Kandy to Ella, one of the main towns in the Central Highlands, is often dubbed the most beautiful journey in the world. The journey takes around 7 hours and varies in cost depending on which class you travel in. Alternatively, you can hire a driver to take you there. If you are coming from Colombo you will usually need to pass through Kandy.

Joining the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1988, the Sinharaja Forest Reserve is home to over 50% of Sri Lanka’s endemic mammals and butterflies.

8. Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Joining the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1988, the Sinharaja Forest Reserve is home to over 50% of Sri Lanka’s endemic mammals and butterflies. It also boasts an exceptional number of rare and endemic trees. If you consider yourself a nature lover, the Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a unique experience that you will utterly adore.

Unlike the bigger national parks, Sinharaja doesn’t get too many tourists. There are also no cars allowed in the reserve. This makes for a much more peaceful wildlife spotting experience. Prepare to see purple-faced langurs, Sri Lankan blue magpies and plenty of tree frogs. Despite Sinharaja translating as Lion King, you won’t see any lions here I’m afraid.

According to UNESCO, the Sinharaja Forest Reserve is the “country’s last viable area of primary tropical rainforest”. For this reason it is fiercely protected. With its abnormally high level of endemism and stunning landscapes, a visit to this park will be a trip of a lifetime.

Top tip!

The forest here is incredibly dense, which can make it harder to spot animals. Hiring a guide will infinitely increase your chances of seeing some wildlife.

How to Get There

Sinharaja is far from the most accessible place on the island but getting there isn’t impossible. Firstly you need to get to Matara bus station, which can be achieved by bus from Galle and numerous other towns along the southwest coast. Once there you will need to take a bus to Deniyaya and from there a tuk-tuk to the park entrance. Fortunately, the whole thing shouldn’t cost more than about 1015 RUP (€5.64, £5, $6.62).

Opening Times: 6:30 – 18:00 every day

Entry: 650 RUP (€3.61, £3.20, $4.24) plus an additional 1000 RUP (€5.55, £5, $6.53) for a compulsory guide

For more general information about the Sinharaja Forest Reserve click here

The park is a wildlife hotspot and one of the best places on earth to see the elusive leopard.

9. Yala National Park

When it comes to national parks, Yala reigns supreme. Covering a vast 378 square miles, the park is a wildlife hotspot and one of the best places on earth to see the elusive leopard. Aside from these big cats, Yala’s has an astonishing density of elephants, sloth bears and crocodiles.

Overall there are around 44 species of mammal and over 200 species of birds in the park. That makes for a jam-packed day of animal spotting! It is generally agreed that the best time to visit the park is between May and October. This is when water levels are lowest and the wildlife congregates around the few remaining waterholes.

Most visitors will experience the park from a 4 wheel-drive, which is an excellent way to cover large amount of the park in a relatively short space of time. You will get a chance to stroll along the beach or walk through the jungle at certain points but you’ll mainly stay in the vehicle. In the evening, there are plenty of jungle lodges where you can spend the night for a more immersive experience.

Take note that Yala is not only the biggest but also the most popular of Sri Lanka’s national parks. If you were hoping to be the only car in the park and to see the animals in complete tranquility then you should go somewhere else.

Top tip!

Be respectful to the animals. When you see them try and be as quiet as possible and keep your distance from them – remember this is their home.

How to Get There

The easiest way to get to Yala is to fly from Colombo or Kandy to Tissa (Cinnamon Air services these routes). It is possible to drive from Colombo to Yala but it will take 9 hours in a private car and around 11 in the express bus. If you can get to Matara bus station then you can easily get a bus to Tissa – it will take around 2.5 hours.

Opening Times: 6:00 – 18:00 every day

Entry: 5000 RUP (€27.76, £25, $32.63) for the jeep plus an additional 3500 RUP (€19.43, £17.24, $22.84) for the entry fee

For more general information about Yala National Park click here

Also known locally as Sri Pada, Adam’s Peak is one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Asia.

10. Adam’s Peak

Also known locally as Sri Pada, Adam’s Peak is one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Asia. Legend has it that the rock formation at the top is the footprint of Buddha and every year thousands and thousands of Buddhists ascend the mountain to pay their respects.

Rising up almost 2,250m, the hike to the top of Adam’s Peak is no easy feat. Hundreds and hundreds of steps wind from the bottom all the way to the peak so expect some serious leg ache the next day. However, every step is fully worth it for the incredible views from the top.

Not only is Adam’s Peak a natural wonder but it is also a spiritual experience for many. You might not be a Buddhist but there is something incredible about ascending amidst crowds of devotees. Peak pilgrimage time is April. The path might be a bit crowded at this point but the atmosphere will be electric.

Top tip!

Start your hike at 2am so you reach the top for sunrise. You might a bit tired but the vistas are truly out of this world.

How to Get There

From Colombo, Kandy and Ella you can get the train to Hatton. From here you will then need to hop on a bus or take a taxi from the station to Dalhousie. The bus takes 1.5 hours and will cost less than 203 RUP (€1.13, £1, $1.32). A taxi or tuk-tuk is more likely to cost between 1218 RUP (€6.76, £6, $8) – 2030 RUP (€11.27, £10, $13.25) and will take about an hour.

Suggested Itineraries

3-Day Historical Itinerary
3-Day Historical Itinerary

Sites Covered: Ancient City of Polonnaruwa/ Sigiriya/ Sacred City of Kandy & Temple of the Tooth/ Dambulla.

Day 01Colombo - Dambulla - Sigiriya

5am : Leave Colombo bright and early and head to Dambulla in a private car. You should get to Dambulla around 8:30. Spend the morning exploring the delights of the caves before heading to Sigiriya.

10am : Arrive at Sigiriya. Climb to the top of the rock fortress and take your time admiring the views. Come back down and explore the surrounding gardens.

1pm : Lunch.

2pm : Rest your weary legs and spend the rest of the evening at your leisure. Sleep in Sigiriya.

Day 02Sigiriya - Polonnaruwa - Kandy

8am : Leave Sigiriya and get ready to spend the day exploring the fascinating ruins of Polonnaruwa. Make sure you wear comfortable clothes and take plenty of water. Hop on a bike and navigate the ruins at your leisure.

1pm : Lunch.

2pm : Get in the car and head down to Kandy. Upon arrival at around 6pm, take the time to wander around the city, grab some food and get acquainted with your home for the night. Spend the night in Kandy.

Day 03Colombo - Dambulla - Sigiriya

9am : Take a leisurely stroll around the beautiful lake before heading to the Temple of the Tooth. Be sure to cover up appropriately before going in.

11am : Check out one of the many spice gardens in Kandy and learn all about their healing properties.

1pm : Lunch.

2pm : Head over to the botanical gardens and spend the afternoon basking in its natural beauty.

5-Day : Historical and Scenic Itinerary
5-Day : Historical And Scenic Itinerary

Sites Covered: Anuradhapura/ Dambulla/ Sigiriya/ Kandy & Temple of the Tooth/ Central Highlands

Day 01 Colombo - Anuradhapura

5am : Leave Colombo and make your way to Anuradhapura. You should arrive around 9am. Spend the entire day exploring the various sites. I recommend hiring a tuk tuk to take you between the temples and ruins as they are quite spread out. With a bit of luck you can hire a driver who can double up as a tour guide.

1pm : Lunch.

2pm : Continue exploring the ruins of Anuradhapura and, when you’re all worn out, head to your accommodation in the town of Anuradhapura.

Day 02Anuradhapura - Dambulla - Sigiriya - Kandy (5 hour drive)

7am : Leave Anuradhapura and head down to Dambulla. The drive should take around 1.5 hours. Spend an hour or two looking through the impressive caves filled with Buddha statues before hopping back in the car and going to Sigiriya.

10am : Get to the UNESCO-listed Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Climb to the top and admire the views but make sure you’re back down by around midday because it gets very hot. Once you’ve reached the bottom, take some time to explore the gardens.

1pm : Lunch.

2pm : Time to go to Kandy! You will have plenty of time to recuperate as you make the 3.5 hour car journey to Sri Lanka’s second biggest city. When you get there, you have all evening to explore and make yourself at home. You will be staying the night in Kandy.

Day 03Kandy

9am : No need to get up too early because today is going to be a leisurely day of exploration. First port of call is the world famous and incredibly sacred Temple of the Tooth.

11am : When the day really starts to heat up, it’s time to head inside for a bit. Spend a couple of hours being pampered with Ayurvedic treatments before grabbing a bite to eat.

1pm : Lunch.

2pm : Once peak sunshine hours are over, head over to the botanical gardens. It is still going to be hot in the afternoon though so make sure you lather up with sun cream! Wander through the stunning gardens and soak up sunshine then head back into the city.

6pm : Time to go and find some delicious local food to feast on! Spend the night in Kandy..

Day 04Kandy - Ella

8:47am : Head straight to Kandy train station to catch the 8:47 train to Ella. Take water, snacks and toilet paper with you on the train because this is going to be a very long but incredibly beautiful journey.

3:15am : Arrive in Ella and stretch your legs out. You might notice it is a bit cooler up here in the Central Highlands.

4:30pm : While there is still a bit of sunlight, do the short hike to the top of Little Adam’s Peak. It only takes 30 minutes or so and is well worth it for the impressive views.

6:30pm : Grab some food and relax before heading to your hotel or guesthouse in Ella.

Day 05Ella - Horton Plains - Nuwara Eliya

7am : Leave Ella at daybreak and hop in the car to Horton Plains. Spend the whole day exploring the natural beauty that can be found in abundance here. You will be able to see all sorts of Flora and Fauna here.

5am : When you’re done in the park drive to Nuwara Eliya and spend the night here.

7-Day: History, Nature and Wildlife Itinerary
7-Day: History, Nature And Wildlife Itinerary

Sites Covered: Sites Covered: Kandy & Temple of the Tooth/ Dambulla/ Sigiriya/ Adam’s Peak/ Central Highlands/ Yala National Park/ Galle

Day 01Colombo - Kandy

9am : Get out of Colombo and drive 3 hours to the bustling city of Kandy

1pm : Lunch.

2pm : Head over to the gorgeous Temple of the Tooth and spend an hour or two exploring the temple and its surrounding grounds.

2pm : Take a leisurely stroll around the Kandy Lake, head to one of Kandy’s spice gardens or check out the local bazaar. The evening is yours to spend as you like.

Day 02Kandy - Dambulla - Sigiriya - Kandy

5am : Get up at the crack of dawn and drive all the way (3.5 hours) to the mysterious Dambulla Cave Temple. Head up the steps and spend an hour or so checking out the wonderful Buddha images.

10am : Make the short journey from Dambulla to Sigiriya and prepare to be amazed as you ascend the hundreds of steps to the top. Don’t worry, the vistas from the top are well worth the sweating and panting as you climb to the summit.

1pm : Lunch.

2pm : Time to head back to Kandy.

6pm : a wander through the city, have some dinner and relax. Sleep in Kandy.

Day 03Kandy - Adam’s Peak

11:10am : Take the train from Kandy station to Hatton in the Central Highlands. This is the closest station to Adam’s Peak. From the station you can get a bus, taxi or tuk tuk to the base of Adam’s Peak. There’s not a whole lot to do here so just spend the evening relaxing and make sure you get an early night because you have a very early start tomorrow. Sleep in Dalhousie.

Day 04Adam’s Peak - Ella

2am : Time to get up and climb up Adam’s Peak! It usually takes around 3-4 hours to get to the top so you should be there in time for sunrise. It then takes another 1.5-2 hours to come back down.

8am : Have a huge breakfast – you will need to regain your energy! Then hop in a tuk-tuk and head back to Hatton station.

11:14pm : Catch the train to Ella.

3:15pm : Get to Ella, drop your bags off at your accommodation and stretch your legs out for a while. You are going to be exhausted after your morning climb so take this evening to chill or find a spa. Spend the night in Ella.

Day 05Ella - Yala National Park

7am : Wake up nice and early and walk to the top of Little Adam’s Peak – this will seem like a piece of cake after having climbed its big brother.

9am : Hire a driver to take you the 3 hours from Ella to Yala National Park. You should get here around midday, which will give you time to drop your bags off in a hotel and eat some lunch before your safari.

1pm : Lunch.

3pm : Start your afternoon safari tour!

6pm : Finish your tour and head back to your accommodation for the evening. Spend the night in a lodge near the park.

Day 06Yala National Park - Galle

8am : Get a driver to take you the 4.5 hours from Yala National Park to Galle.

1pm : Lunch.

2pm : Spend the afternoon exploring Galle – walk along the wall that encloses the city, check out the lovely boutiques and see if you can spot some of the impressive cliff divers.

7pm : When on the coast, the only thing to eat is seafood! Sample some of the mouth-watering cuisine that can be found in dozens of Galle’s restaurants. Spend the night in Galle.

Day 07Galle - Unawatuna - Galle

10am : After a well-deserved lie-in, hop in a taxi and head to the beach paradise of Unawatuna. Today you can lay down your towel, don your swimwear and spend as long as you like splashing in the sea and soaking up the sun’s golden rays.

9am : Hire a driver to take you the 3 hours from Ella to Yala National Park. You should get here around midday, which will give you time to drop your bags off in a hotel and eat some lunch before your safari.

1pm : Lunch.

2pm : Back to the beach!

6pm : Once the sun has gone down, head back to Galle for dinner and a cocktail.

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JJ
About the author

After catching an incurable case of wanderlust at the age of 20, JJ has spent the last 4 years travelling the world and writing about her adventures. Sri Lanka will always hold a special place in her heart because of its unbelievably good (if not sometimes ambiguous) food, friendly locals and stunning beaches.

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