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Things to do in

Sri Lanka

Our most recommended things to do in Sri Lanka

Yala National Park: Private Safari at Golden Hours

1. Yala National Park: Private Safari at Golden Hours

After being picked up from your hotel in the local area or Park Entrance you will enter Yala National Park to explore the light forests, scrubs, grasslands, lagoons, and magnificent range of animals. With your private 4WD Jeep and expert guide, the ‘Golden Hours’ of the day will be used to focus on leopard spotting, either the first 2 hours or the last 2 hours of the day. Throughout this safari, you will search for the world’s most concentrated number of leopards, sloth bears, and elephants, as your knowledgable guide and driver expertly navigates the vast area and roads. The morning tour will begin at 5am from your hotel, to take in sunrise as the park opens at 6am. Whilst the afternoon option allows you to explore from 2pm until sunset when the park closes at 6pm. Situated on Sri Lanka’s south-east, hugging the panoramic Indian Ocean, Yala is a wildlife sanctuary and home to 44 varieties of mammals and 215 bird species. Leopards, elephants, water buffalo, sloth bears, sambars, jackals, spotted deer, peacocks, and crocodiles can all be found in this rich environment.

Udawalawa National Park: Private Safari

2. Udawalawa National Park: Private Safari

Explore Udawalawe National Park, one of the most undisturbed and pristine natural ecosystems on the planet enriched with a wealth of Sri Lankan elephants. See huge herds of elephants, and enjoy glances of water buffalo, wild boar, spotted deer, jackal, and more. Discover an area of 30,821 hectares, which embodies the true essence of a tropical paradise. See a rich variety of exotic flora and fauna and enjoy the perfect getaway for bird-watchers. Enjoy ample opportunities for spotting endemic and migrated birds. This Udawalawe safari might even present you with the sighting of the Sri Lankan Jungle Fowl, Spur Fowl, and Green Pigeon.

Yala National Park All-Inclusive 2-Day Safari

3. Yala National Park All-Inclusive 2-Day Safari

Spend the night in a treehouse at the 2nd largest national park in Sri Lanka and look for wildlife on an evening and early morning nature trek. Benefit from the expertise of a game ranger as your personal guide. Day 1: Following pick-up at your hotel, journey towards Yala National Park in southeast Sri Lanka. Upon arrival at Tissamarama, head to the luxurious Leopard Nest campsite and check in to one of the treehouses. Enjoy lunch at the campsite's main restaurant or at one of the many outdoor locations before some time to relax. Get back to nature with an evening game drive and look for wildlife, such as leopards in their natural environment. Return to the campsite to freshen up before drinks and appetizers around the campfire. Dinner will be served at one of many locations throughout the camp. Day 2: Enjoy breakfast at a private location by a lake whilst listening to the singing of birds and feeling the fresh breeze. Start to trek through thick bushes with a pathway access to a wonderful lake which offers breath-taking views and bird watching opportunities.

Ella Rock & 9 Arch Bridge, Little Adams Peak with Transfer

4. Ella Rock & 9 Arch Bridge, Little Adams Peak with Transfer

Enjoy the convenience of being picked from your accommodations in either Ella, Bandarawella, Haputale, or Wellawaya via tuk-tuk. Begin your tour with an early morning hike to the famous cliff, Ella Rock. Along the way, you’ll journey through tranquil woodlands and tea plantations. Walk alongside the iconic Sri Lankan railroad. Once you’ve reached Ella Rock, you’ll be able to enjoy amazing panoramic views. Hike down from Ella Rock to Nine Arches Bridge, a picturesque bridge which connects the Ella and Demodara railway stations. The bridge consists of 9 arches, which offer a harmonious sense of geometry against the lush green growth of the countryside. The bridge is made exclusively from rock, brick, and cement, and doesn’t use any steel. Stand underneath the bridge and look out into the beautiful “9 skies” framed by the 9 arches. Walk across the bridge and learn about its history from your knowledgable guide as you take in the surroundings. Sit down for lunch at a local restaurant before going for an afternoon hike to Little Adam’s Peak, Ella’s most well-known attraction. Enjoy an easy and gradual climb to the peak. Once there, take in a spectacular view of the Ella Gap. Walk through lush green tea plantations and paddy fields. See local people plucking and collecting tea leaves. Gaze over the valley into the island’s central highlands. Take a refreshing swig of complimentary bottled water. Your tour ends as you are returned to your hotel via tuk-tuk.

Sigiriya and Dambulla Day Trip from Colombo

5. Sigiriya and Dambulla Day Trip from Colombo

Depart Colombo and travel by a shared vehicle, in a small group, to the city of Sigiriya, and head directly to Sigiriya Rock on arrival. Gaze in awe at the massive column of rock that, according to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle The Culavamsa, was selected by King Kasyapa as the site of his new capital. Admire numerous paintings of historic queens, princesses, and maids inside the rock fortress before getting a break for lunch at your own expense. Then, explore some of the traditional crafts of the region, such as wood carving and batik textiles, with time to purchase souvenirs before departing. Start the journey back towards Colombo via Dambulla to explore the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. Discover the magnificent Buddha images and rock paintings of vivid colors and different shapes, painted from around the 2nd century B.C. up to the 18th-century Kandyan era.

Ella: Private Ella Rock Sunrise Hike

6. Ella: Private Ella Rock Sunrise Hike

Begin your day with a hike up Ella Rock. Reach the viewpoint and be rewarded by stunning scenes of the rolling mountain landscape and mesmerizing clouds or sun rays. Meet your guide at your hotel or pre-arranged meeting point in the early morning. Hop in the tuk tuk and head towards the starting point of the hike. Climb up Ella Rock and by the time the first light appears in the sky, you will be at its top. Make your way to various points to see the surrounding landscape of the city, mountains, and valleys from different angles, each providing a memorable view on its own. Admire the lush greenery amongst the light of the rising sun or feel at peace with the blanketing clouds depending on the weather conditions for that day. After embracing and capturing your time spent at the top of Ella Rock, hike back down and return to your drop-off location.

Galle and Bentota Day-Tour From Colombo

7. Galle and Bentota Day-Tour From Colombo

After being picked up at your hotel, hop onboard your Madu Ganga Magrove boat safari and explore the Madu River. See the mangrove forests and marshlands that surround the river. Stop at a cinnamon garden, and try some of the area’s famous cinnamon. The Madu Ganga River region is home to some of the best quality cinnamon in the world as well as a flourishing cinnamon industry. Afterward, marvel at the fishermen who stoically sit atop large branches planted in the middle of the water waiting for their catch. Continue to a local Turtle Hatchery, where your guide will introduce you to the many local varieties of turtles. End your tour with a visit to the Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This fort illustrates the unique interaction of European architecture and South Asian traditions from the 16th to the 19th centuries. After discovering the fort, you will be returned to your hotel in Colombo.

From Ella: Shuttle to Mirissa/Galle with Udawalawe Safari

8. From Ella: Shuttle to Mirissa/Galle with Udawalawe Safari

After pick-up from your hotel in Ella, Haputale or Bandarawela, head for Udawalawe National Park, where you'll switch to an open concept safari jeep in order to have the best views. An early morning start ensures you'll see the animals during one of their most active times of day. See herds of elephants for sure and have fun watching for crocodiles, monkeys, water buffaloes, various endemic birds species and much more. Along the way, you'll learn about and observe the natural habitats of the local wildlife while you snap some amazing photos. Then, at the end of your 3-hour safari adventure, switch back to the comfortable, air-conditioned car for the ride on to Mirissa/Weligama/Unawatuna or Galle where you'll be dropped off at your hotel.

Negombo: Fishing Village Highlights Tour in a Tuk-Tuk

9. Negombo: Fishing Village Highlights Tour in a Tuk-Tuk

Experience riding in a tuk-tuk, a typical vehicle used in Asia, on this guided trip around Negombo’s characteristic fishing village. Step into local life as you visit a local fish market and important historical sites, including the Sri Singama Kali Amman Kovil and Angurukaramulla Temple. Get picked up directly from your hotel by tuk-tuk, then move on to explore the countryside. Upon arrival in the town of Negombo, head to the buzzing Negombo Fish Market. Continue to the Negombo Dutch Fort, where you can wander through the fort while listening to the stories behind this fort from your guide. Afterward, stop at the Dutch Canal, which was an important link in the transportation route that supplied the Dutch colonial administration. The ride continues to Sri Singama Kali Amman Kovil, a major Hindu religious site. Here, you’ll be able to witness and capture the stunning murals and sculptures of the site. Later, visit Angurukaramulla Temple to uncover some of its 300 years of history. Your final visit before drop-off is at St. Mary’s Church, one of the largest cathedrals in Sri Lanka and a prominent religious site. Enjoy a sweet king coconut drink during the ride back to your accommodation.

Kandy: Sigiriya Fortress & Cave Temple All-Inclusive Tour

10. Kandy: Sigiriya Fortress & Cave Temple All-Inclusive Tour

Following early morning pick-up from your hotel in Kandy, travel by chauffeur-driven vehicle to Sigiriya. Upon arrival, climb the rock fortress of golden-hued granite, chosen by King Kasyapa at the site for his new capital. Get stunning views of the surrounding plains, which in the rainy season can turn into a delightful water garden. Continue to the Dambulla cave temple complex, built by the 1st-century King Walagambahu as a site of worship after his exile from Anuradhapura. Enjoy lunch before the drive back to Kandy, and stop at the spice garden in Matale en route. 

Other Sightseeing Options in Sri Lanka

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What people are saying about Sri Lanka

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 511 reviews

We enjoyed our tour with Muditah a lot! He is an incredibly knowledgable guy, speaks flawless English due to his studies in the US, brought us to some fantastic places and shared some valuable tips with us. Now we feel even better prepared for our 4-week-trip through Sri Lanka! Thanks a lot, Muditah, and hopefully we see each other again at the end of our trip for your street food tour! :)

We liked it very much. Our guide showed us other activities before we went stilt fishing, although they weren't included, it was really great and made us very happy. Now to the guide he was very friendly and nice and it was a great atmosphere fulfilled every wish of ours. Really to recommend. Keep it up

The tour was really great. They really took their time with us and tried to show everyone. What unfortunately didn't cooperate was the weather. But they can't do anything about it. They were all very friendly.

Great tour, guides and service. Everything was on time and smooth. The national park was beautiful. The only complaint we have is that it's more expensive than if we'd have just arranged with local tour operators.

That was a great tour but because our guide was top notch. We have seen and learned a lot from him - always a pleasure