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Travel and hotel recommendations

Bath, United Kingdom
2 posts
1 review
Travel and hotel recommendations

Hi everyone,

My boyfriend and I are hoping to go to Sri Lanka in August for 2 weeks. I'm roughly planning the itinerary so that we go from Colombo to Sigiriya and Dambulla, then to Pollonnaruwa. From there over through Nuwara Eliya to Ella and the National Parks and then a week relaxing in Unawatuna.

Does anyone have any advice on how long to spend in each place and how to travel between them. I've heard a lot about private drivers but not sure how to find a relaible one. Plus is it better to get the train through to Ella or stay with the driver?

If anyone has any recommendations of where to stay too that would be a great help. We want to keep it relatively cheap but still stay in decent places.

Thank you.

Rome, Italy
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka, Maldives
Level Contributor
12,400 posts
81 reviews
1. Re: Travel and hotel recommendations

going to Unawatuna in august is a waste of time and money. the sea will be rough with waves, like all of south coast in August. If you want calm waters and clear snorkeling, then you need to go to the east coast: Uppuveli, Nilaveli, Pigeon Island for snorkeling etc, these are the best beaches in Sri Lanka in august.

So if you haven't booked/confirmed anything yet, then i would reccomend doing the opposite:

Airport - unawatuna just for one or max two nights to relax and rest from the flight, then to Yala - Ella/NuwaraEliya - Kandy - cultural triangle (sigiriya,dambulla, polonnaruwa) and off to the east coast for the beach and snorkeling.

--I've heard a lot about private drivers but not sure how to find a relaible one === if you send me a private msg i can forward you a couple of contacts of people we use often.

--Plus is it better to get the train through to Ella or stay with the driver? == what most people do is get the driver to drop them off at the station in ella, do the train ride, get off at nuwara eliya and the driver picks them up from there and resume.

Bath, United Kingdom
2 posts
1 review
2. Re: Travel and hotel recommendations

Thank you so much for that. I hadn't even thought about that. I haven't booked anything yet because I like to be as planned as possible first so I'll look at your itinerary.

Thanks again

Rome, Italy
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka, Maldives
Level Contributor
12,400 posts
81 reviews
3. Re: Travel and hotel recommendations

cheers

Kuala Lumpur...
Level Contributor
41 posts
38 reviews
4. Re: Travel and hotel recommendations

How about it May? I also plan to base in Unawatuna... and trip to yala, nur eliya, whale watching. and the rest two days just chill by the beach before heading back to colombo to fly back home..

Kuala Lumpur...
Level Contributor
41 posts
38 reviews
5. Re: Travel and hotel recommendations

I am planning to base in CoCobay Or Cantaloupe Aqua. Me and my sister are trying very hard to find trendy hotels in sri lanka.. most luxury hotels look like they are meant for people who are 50 and above. Too antique-ish to our taste. :)

Rome, Italy
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka, Maldives
Level Contributor
12,400 posts
81 reviews
6. Re: Travel and hotel recommendations

The best beaches and best snorkeling in Sri Lanka is on the east coast. Uppuveli, Nilaveli, Passekudah, Kalkudah etc and pigeon island for snorkeling. and for all this,, the best time is from April/May to September. The beaches and snorkeling on the south coast is not bad, but they are not as good as the east coast, but the best time for the south coast is from December to April. but aprile already it starts to get a bit wavy, so you will not find still calm waters for swimming and snorkeling. (but then again, thanks to climate change you never know. the sea on the east coast was fantastic even beginning of March this year)

So if you don't want to go all the way to the east coast, then yes, you are better off in Unawatuna o Hikkaduwa, they will be less wavy than the other beaches along the south coast. But if you want to do whalewatching, then you need to be in Mirissa, thats where they do whalewatching from, so if you sleep in unawatuna o hikkaduwa, means you will have to be up and out by 5.30am to get to Mirissa by 6.30am to get a decent seat on a boat. Whalewatching boats leave at 7am, but we are there by 6.30 to get a seat upstair on a front row.

Cantaloupe is actually better than cocobay, but cantaloupe is in galle, not unwatuna.

My fav hotel in Unawatuna is Apa Villa Thalpe. but if you are sleeping in Mirissa then check out the Number one Mirissa.

Rome, Italy
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka, Maldives
Level Contributor
12,400 posts
81 reviews
7. Re: Travel and hotel recommendations

ps. Apa Villa is in Thalpe, few minutes away from Unawatuna, but has a decent beach around the corner. not sure how it is in May though, probably too rough :(

8. Re: Travel and hotel recommendations

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