We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Best Itinery??

Which Kandy hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Level Contributor
3 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
Best Itinery??

My husband and I are off to stay at the Saman Villas in Bentota for 2 weeks on the 6th August. I've read lots of very useful posts but need a little bit more advice.

We are planning a few trips but don't want to book anything until we are there. I was hoping someone could advise us on the best way to see everything we want to.

1. We'd like to do one trip to Kandy, Dambulla, Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa. Obviousley this needs to encorporate an overnight stop but where would be the best place to stay? Or should I say what is the best order for us to do this in? Also I'm not sure whether we should try to catch the beginning of the festival or not as it's nearing the end of the holiday (we leave on the 21st Aug) and I've read that prices go up and places to stay run out. We'd probably only be able to catch the first day/night. Would it be too good to miss?

3. Finally we'd like to do a day trip to Uda Walawe NP and the elephant orphanage there. One question though. Would we really miss out if we didn't go to The Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage and did this instead?

2. We'd like to do a day trip to visit turtle hatchery and a school near Galle we have links with. Possibly Galle in the evening if we have time.

So have we missed anything that we'll really regret not seeing?


Level Contributor
90 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Best Itinery??

That's a lot of travelling in 2 weeks. My husband and I spent 2 wonderful weeks in Sri Lanka last April. We stayed in Colombo and then took public transport south, staying at Hikkadua, then a small town near Galle, and then onto Tangalle before heading north inland to Ella. We just loved Ella, the old railway station and an olde town with beautiful walks among the tea plantations. the train trip to Kandy was a great experience.

Kandy was the furthest north we got, travelling took a lot longer than we thought.(we're used to Australian freeways)

/The elephant orphanage was brilliant. Twice a day, the elephants are taken across the public road down to the river. We have never been so close to so many elephants and did not feel crowded.(by tourists!!)

The people were wonderful, the whole trip very rewarding.

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
49,753 posts
174 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Best Itinery??

Hi Betty,

Always a challenge with the slow roads. The 3rd trip (Galle) is easy, and well feasible. Continuing in reverse order, on 2nd 'finally' trip:

a) Udu Walawe orphanage seems to be nice but not really comparable to Pinawela. Smaller group of baby jumbos, no chance to come very close to them, but at least it's free for visitors to the main park.

b) It's around 4-5 hours drive from Bentota, and the challenge is that safaris are only on dusk and dawn - so starting 3:30 PM and 6 AM. So maybe for this too you'd need an overnight stay; the only good place nearby is Centauria hotel in Embilipitiya.

The first trip would really require 2 nights stay, as it's an overall travelling time of about 18-20 hours. So a possible combi:

* Day 1 Bentota-Kandy. Afternoon visit Temple of Tooth, and possibly in the evening see the Perahera. First nights of it are not too crowded and still spectacular for visitors, so why not. Overnight in Kandy or in a suburbian hotel (which is not so easily full and expensive then.)

* Day 2 to Pollonaruwa, arrive there around 11 AM. Then at 3 PM or so start the rock climb in nearby Sigiriya. Overnight Sigiriya (S. Village or S. hotel, both solid 3-star quality)

* Day 3 pass Dambulla again and visit the cave temple. After that on to Bentota, altogether 7-8 hours driving that day.

If you decide to add Pinawela, maybe do at day 3 as it's more or less on that route too.

At your service,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

3. Re: Best Itinery??

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 11:19 pm, September 12, 2009