16 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

16 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

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Route & dates

16 days in Sri Lanka Itinerary

Start: Los Angeles
Fly + taxi:  28​h
Anuradhapura
— 2 nights
train:  3​h
Jaffna
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h
Trincomalee
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 30​min
Habarana
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h
Hikkaduwa
— 3 nights
Drive:  2​h 30​min
Rekawa
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 30​min
Kandy
— 2 nights
+3
train + bus + foot + Fly:  27​h
End: Los Angeles

2
nights
Anuradhapura

Anuradhapura ©
Explore the well-preserved ruins of an ancient Sri Lankan civilization and its former capital at Anuradhapura, a World Heritage Site and erstwhile center of Theravada Buddhism set amidst peaceful green parks.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Fri): explore the activities along Twin Baths (Kuttam Pokuna), make a trip to Jethawanaramaya Dagoba, make a trip to Isurumuniya Temple, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Sri Maha Boodhi Temple. On the 2nd (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: delve into the distant past at Short Handed Statue, head outdoors with Eth Pokuna, then pause for some photo ops at Abhayagiri Dagoba, then pause for some photo ops at Samadhi Statue, and finally contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Dagoba of Thuparama.

Plan trip to Anuradhapura with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

Los Angeles, USA to Anuradhapura is an approximately 28-hour flight. The time zone changes from Pacific Standard Time (PST) to India Standard Time (IST), which is usually a 13 hour difference. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Sun) so you can take a train to Jaffna.

Things to do in Anuradhapura

#Historic Sites, #Outdoors, #Parks
Accommodations
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Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi ©
Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi
Sri Maha Boodhi Temple ©
Sri Maha Boodhi Temple
Isurumuniya Temple ©
Isurumuniya Temple

1
night
Jaffna

Jaffna ©
A center of Tamil culture, the city of Jaffna remains in the process of rebuilding after suffering greatly during the civil war.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Sun): contemplate the long history of Jaffna Fort, browse the collection at Jaffna Public Library, and then browse the different shops at Cargills Square.

For where to stay, other places to visit, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Jaffna trip planner .

Traveling by train from Anuradhapura to Jaffna takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 4th (Mon) to allow time for travel to Trincomalee.

Things to do in Jaffna

#Shopping, #Historic Sites, #Museums
Accommodations
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Cargills Square ©
Cargills Square
Jaffna Fort ©
Jaffna Fort
Jaffna Public Library ©
Jaffna Public Library

1
night
Trincomalee

A center of Tamil culture and language, Trincomalee suffered greatly during the 30-year civil war, but the troubles haven't dimmed the natural and cultural charms of the place.
Start off your visit on the 5th (Tue): kick back and relax at Nilaveli Beach, then see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour, and then explore the different monuments and memorials at Trincomalee War Cemetery.

For other places to visit, photos, traveler tips, and other tourist information, you can read our Trincomalee trip itinerary planner .

You can do a combination of train and taxi from Jaffna to Trincomalee in 4 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a train. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Tue) so you can go by car to Habarana.

Things to do in Trincomalee

#Outdoors, #Adventure, #Wildlife

Side Trip

Nilaveli
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Scuba & Snorkeling
Nilaveli Beach ©
Nilaveli Beach
Trincomalee War Cemetery ©
Trincomalee War Cemetery

2
nights
Habarana

Habarana ©
Although lacking in sights of its own, tourism in Habarana flourishes due to its proximity to cultural and natural attractions.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Wed): identify plant and animal life at Hurulu Eco Park, then identify plant and animal life at Fernando Adventure Safaries, and then steep yourself in history at Ritigala Forest Monastery. On the next day, delve into the distant past at Polonnaruwa Vatadage, then contemplate the long history of Lankathilaka Image House, and then appreciate the history behind Gal Vihara.

For reviews, maps, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Habarana trip planner .

Getting from Trincomalee to Habarana by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: take a train. On the 7th (Thu), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Hikkaduwa.

Things to do in Habarana

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Historic Sites

Side Trips

Polonnaruwa, Ritigala Forest Monastery
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Hurulu Eco Park ©
Hurulu Eco Park
Polonnaruwa Vatadage ©
Polonnaruwa Vatadage
Ritigala Forest Monastery ©
Ritigala Forest Monastery

3
nights
Hikkaduwa

Hikkaduwa ©
One of the most scenic beach resorts in Sri Lanka, Hikkaduwa features a number of long white sand beaches with palm trees and gentle waves.
On the 8th (Fri), take in the architecture and atmosphere at Dutch Reformed Church, then relax in the rural setting at Handunugoda Tea Estate, and then look for all kinds of wild species at Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project. Keep things going the next day: take in the exciting artwork at Tsunami Photo Museum, see the interesting displays at Community Tsunami Museum, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Naga Viharaya, and finally see majestic marine mammals with a dolphin and whale watching tour.

To see traveler tips, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Hikkaduwa trip itinerary maker site .

Traveling by car from Habarana to Hikkaduwa takes 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, flight, and train; or do a combination of taxi, flight, and train. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sun) so you can travel to Rekawa.

Things to do in Hikkaduwa

#Wildlife, #Outdoors, #Tours

Side Trips

Handunugoda Tea Estate, Dolphin & Whale Watching, Dutch Reformed Church, Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project, Tsunami Photo Museum
Accommodations
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Dolphin & Whale Watching
Community Tsunami Museum ©
Community Tsunami Museum

1
night
Rekawa

Rekawa ©
On the 10th (Sun), explore the ancient world of Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara and then identify plant and animal life at Kalamatiya Bird Sanctuary.

To see maps, traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Rekawa day trip planner.

Getting from Hikkaduwa to Rekawa by car takes about 2.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 93°F in June, and nighttime lows around 78°F. On the 11th (Mon), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Kandy.

Things to do in Rekawa

#Parks, #Beaches, #Wildlife

Side Trips

Tangalle, Kalamatiya Bird Sanctuary
Accommodations
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Goyambokka Beach (Sriyanga Sanjeewa) ©
Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara ©
Mulgirigala Raja Maha Vihara
Tangalle Lagoon & Kayak ©
Tangalle Lagoon & Kayak

2
nights
Kandy

Kandy ©
Nestled between mountains in inland Sri Lanka, Kandy proudly bears its World Heritage Site designation while remaining culturally independent and colorfully picturesque.
Start off your visit on the 12th (Tue): see the interesting displays at World Buddhist Museum, look for all kinds of wild species at Udawattekele Sanctuary, then pause for some photo ops at Bahiravokanda Vihara Buddha Statue, then explore the different monuments and memorials at Kandy Garrison Cemetery, and finally make a trip to Kandy view point. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: see the interesting displays at Ceylon Tea Museum, look for gifts at Jayamali Batiks Studio, admire the natural beauty at New Ranweli Spice Garden, then make a trip to Lankatilaka Temple, then pause for some serene contemplation at Hindagala Temple, and finally stroll the grounds of Commonwealth War Cemetery.

To see photos, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Kandy travel planner .

Traveling by car from Rekawa to Kandy takes 6.5 hours. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Kandy

#Parks, #Wildlife, #Historic Sites

Side Trip

Hindagala Temple
Accommodations
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Udawattekele Sanctuary ©
Udawattekele Sanctuary
Kandy Garrison Cemetery ©
Kandy Garrison Cemetery
Commonwealth War Cemetery ©
Commonwealth War Cemetery

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