Here you can find a detailed plan of my third week in Sri Lanka. This post includes the must see places in Sri Lanka, tips how to get around, cost breakdown and my personal insights and recommendations. Prices given in this post are up-to-date for January 2020.
Do you think that 3 weeks in Sri Lanka is too long? It’s definitely not. Just check my 3 week Sri Lanka itinerary with real travel cost and travel map.
Do you know how much does a decent room in Sri Lanka cost? Is there cold at night? What should you get vaccinated for? Is public transport really that cheap? How much is a tuk tuk ride? All answers are given in my post about what you need to know about Sri Lanka before going there.
DAY 15 | UVA HALPEWATTE TEA FACTORY | NINE ARCH BRIDGE
UVA HALPEWATTE TEA FACTORY
Sri Lanka is the world’s fourth-largest producer of tea. So why don’t you take this opportunity to learn more about tea production? There are many tea factories that organize guided tours for tourists. I decided to visit Uva Halpewatte Tea Factory mainly due to its location and good reviews on the Internet. Within an hour, I learned some basics about the tea production process, saw the manufacturing process and tried different types of tea. It’s crucial to plan your visit in the morning, when the tea factory is functioning to observe the people’s work. The guide in Uva Halpewatte Tea Factory had a very good command of English and was more than happy to answer my questions. This is definitely a huge assent of this place!
HOW MUCH IS THE TICKET TO UVA HALPEWATTE TEA FACTORY?
The ticket to Uva Halpewatte Tea Factory costs 540 LKR.
HOW TO GET TO UVA HALPEWATTE TEA FACTORY FROM ELLA?
By tuk tuk. A guide price for a tuk tuk ride (Ella – Uva Halpawele Tea Factory – Ella) is 1200 LKR.
NINE ARCH BRIDGE
Nine Arch Bridge is definitely a must see place in Sri Lanka! It’s one of the examples of British-era railway construction in this country. The bridge itself in just stunning. How can you get there? It’s an easy, 30-minute walk from Ella. It’s allowed to walk on the bridge but keep in mind that the train can approach anytime. Check the train schedule before getting on it!
DAY 16 | SAFARI IN YALA NATIONAL PARK
Yala National Park is the second largest national park in Sri Lanka. The place is best known for a very high density of leopards and variety of birds. I’m more than sure that you did some research on the Internet and came across negative reviews published by visitors of Yala National Park. My recommendation is to always check your tour operator reviews before booking. Each company offers a wide range of tours. I decided to choose the shortest one which includes a 3-hour jeep ride in Yala National Park. There are currently some daily limits of jeeps allowed to enter the national park. So it’s advisable to be at the entrance at 5:00 am and trust me, within a couple of minutes you will see the queue of jeeps waiting to get in…
Is it worth doing? I’m ambivalent on this. My driver turned out to be very experienced in tracking animals. Therefore, I was fortunate to spot a lot of them, including leopards, elephants, buffalos, crocodiles, monitor lizards, bats, pea cocks, parrots and several birds. What I particularly liked about this experience is this feeling of tracking animals, looking out for them and the jeep ride itself that makes your heart beats faster.
The truth is that the jeep drivers compete with each other to satisfy their customers and to get as close as possible to an animal. It means that some of them speed and over take close to the animals. Moreover, even if you are lucky enough to spot a leopard, the driver will probably call the other drivers to tell them where the leopard is and you will end up surrounded by other jeeps in a few minutes.
HOW MUCH IS SAFARI IN YALA NATIONAL PARK?
A private safari tour costs 11 800 LKR for two people (3-hour jeep ride in Yala National Park). It includes pick up and drop off from your guest house, entrance fee to the national park, fruits and water.
HOW TO GET TO TISSAMAHARAMA FROM ELLA?
By bus that goes to Kataragama. The ticket fare is 146 LKR.
DAY 17 | TANGALLE BEACH | GOYAMBOKKA BEACH | TURTLE WATCH REKAWA
TANGALLE BEACH | GOYAMBOKKA BEACH
After two weeks of intensive travelling time, I finally made it to the south coast! The first day on the beach felt like heaven. Tangalle is definitely my kind of place. A coastal town where beaches are almost empty with a few small beach bars and bars. Make sure you won’t miss the following spots: Tangalle Beach and Goyambokka Beach.
HOW TO GET TO TANGALLE FROM TISSAMAHARAMA?
By bus. The ticket fare is 60 LKR.
TURTLE WATCH REKAWA
Rekawa Turtle Watch is a place that gathers people who aim to protect the turtles’ nesting sites and ensure that the turtles’ eggs hatch safely. It’s a unique opportunity to observe marine turtles in their natural habitat. The turtles lay eggs almost every night on the beach in Rekawa. During the high season (April – July), it’s a sure thing that you’ll see the turtles venture to land. During the low season (October – January), it cannot be guaranteed.
The exact location of Rekawa Turtle Watch can be easily found in google maps. You should arrive here no later than at 8:00 pm and wait patiently for a guide who will take you to the beach. Observation of turtles may take 3 – 4 hours. It’s crucial to remain quiet and follow the instructions given by the guide. Are you curious why here are no photos from the turtles watch? It is strictly prohibited to use phones and cameras during this exceptional experience. This type of light is harmful for turtles. Please keep that in mind. The animals welfare should not be affected by our presence.
HOW MUCH IS TURTLE WATCH REKAWA?
The ticket to Turtle Watch Rekawa costs 1000 LKR.
HOW TO GET TO REKAWA FROM TANGALLE?
By tuk tuk. A guide price for a tuk tuk ride (Tangalle – Rekawa) is 600 LKR during the day and 1000 LKR at night.
DAY 18 | MIRISSA BEACH | MIRISSA SECRET BEACH | POLHENA BEACH
It’s time to change the location and explore the new place! Mirissa is another fabulous destination to enjoy the Sri Lankan seaside. Make sure to check the following beaches: Mirissa Beach, Mirissa Secret Beach and Polhena Beach.
HOW TO GET TO MIRISSA FROM TANGALLE?
By bus with a change in Matara. The ticket fare is 60 LKR from Tanagelle to Matara and 40 LKR from Matara to Mirissa.
DAY 19 | WHALES WATCHING | COCONUT TREE HILL
Whales watching is one of the most exciting water activities you can do in Sri Lanka. Blue whales, the world’s biggest mammals, can be spotted in the ocean near Mirissa from November to April. I booked a tour in Harbour View guest house. The place I stayed in Mirissa. I turned out it was a good decision.
The whale watching was truly amazing! I appreciated the fact that the boat kept a reasonable distance from the whales. We were close enough to watch the whales and take some pictures but not too close. Hence, I was sure that the animals well-being is protected. This cruise may take a few hours or the entire day. It depends on how close to the land the whales are. I spent 3 hours on the boat because the ship crew tracked the whales very quickly. In addition, we all agreed that we have had enough of whales watching and it’s time to get back to Mirissa.
HOW MUCH IS WHALES WATCHING?
Whales Watching costs 7000 LKR. The price includes lunch, fruits and water.
COCONUT TREE HILL
What is the most famous spot in Mirissa? The Coconut Tree Hill with no doubts. You can get here walking along the seaside or from the main road. These long palm trees are just beautiful! Definitely a must see place in Sri Lanka and an amazing setting to watch the sunset.
DAY 20 | UNAWATUNA BEACH| DALAWELLA BEACH | MIHIRIPENNA BEACH | JUNGLE BEACH
Unawatuna is another coastal town worth a visit. A lot is going on here. You will love this place if you are looking for a seaside destination with plenty of beach bars, restaurants and beach parties. Make sure to visit the following beaches: Unawatuna Beach, Dalawella Beach, Mihiripena Beach and Jungle Beach.
I don’t know about you but I love to swing! Luckily, there are some amazing swings around Unawatuna. For a small fee (unfortunately!) you can enjoy a swing on one of the beautiful beaches. I was truly in love with one particular place called Dream Cabana. It’s a beach bar where you can do the palm tree rope swing. It’s out of this world! This is a must see place in Sri Lanka if you are not scared of heights!
HOW MUCH IS PALM TREE ROPE SWING?
Palm tree rope swing costs 500 LKR (for three swings).
HOW TO GET TO MIRISSA FROM UNAWATUNA?
By bus. The ticket fare is 100 LKR.
DAY 21 | GALLE
Galle fort is located only 6 kilometres from Unawatuna. It has been inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage as the best example of a fortified city built by Europeans in South Asia. The city was extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century. It’s a must see place in Sri Lanka due to its unique architecture. In addition to this, you can find here very interesting souvenirs. I’m pretty sure that local people will offer you a tuk tuk ride to explore the Galle fort. In this particular case, it’s better to explore this area on foot. There is nothing better than a pleasurable walk between these beautiful buildings.
HOW TO GET TO UNAWATUNA FROM GALLE?
By bus. The ticket fare is 40 LKR.
DAY 22 | COLOMBO | ARRIVAL IN NEGOMBO
There is only one thing that I planned to do in Sri Lanka but I haven’t done it. It’s a visit in Colombo! I initially planned to get there on my last day in Sri Lanka. The plan was to set out very early in the morning from Unawatuna, get to Nebomgo, leave my luggage in the guest house, get back to Colombo and explore the city. Surprisingly, it took me almost half a day to travel from Unawatuna to Negombo on the bus and I didn’t have enough time to get back to Colombo to see the city. But it’s definitely doable. It depens where do you want to stay overnight and what time is your flight on the following day. If you plan to stay overnight in Colombo, it’s more than sure that you will find time to see the city on the last day in Sri Lanka.
HOW TO GET FROM UNAWATUNA TO NEGOMBO?
By bus with a change in Colombo. The ticket fare is 142 LKR from Unawatuna to Colombo and 150 LKR from Colombo to Negombo (bus with air-conditioning).
These are the must see places in Sri Lanka! I wrote a separate post about top things to do in Sri Lanka with detailed cost breakdown and useful tips for your first week in this country.
What are the must see places in Sri Lanka in your opinion? Is there anything you would add to my list? Let me know by leaving a comment below!