Sri Lanka was on my list for years before I finally got to explore Sri Lanka. And while the weather was not the best, I could not help but fall more in love with the country. I was inspired to visit Sri Lanka by a poem I read years ago. It told of the countries beauty and as soon as I finished the poem, I felt this strong urge to go there and see Sri Lanka with my own eyes. Hopefully, these pictures will inspire you to visit Sri Lanka. They might not be poetic, but then again a picture is supposed to say a thousand words.
I admittedly had a hard time arriving in Sri Lanka as I was still enchanted by Vietnam, but by the time I had to leave I wanted nothing more than to stay there longer. Therefore it is safe to say that I will be back in Sri Lanka as soon as possible. There are so many things that I still want to see and do, and I am sure that you will feel the same way once you have been to Sri Lanka.
My Sri Lanka Trip
I explored Sri Lanka in a tuk tuk which I rented with a friend. We wanted a somewhat unique experience so it was the perfect choice for us. A tuk tuk road trip is different than a conventional one, but it is a lot of fun. And at times scary.
We started out in Negombo and drove to Unawatuna. From there we explored Galle before heading to Tangalle via Mirissa. From there we headed upwards to Ella and Kandy, took the train to Nuwara Eliya. Then we headed to Sigiriya, did an elephant safari in Kaudulla National Park, and headed to Trincomalee. We stayed there for a few days before heading back to Negombo via Anuradhapura.
If I was to do the same trip in a tuk tuk again, I would take more time to see everything. A tuk tuk is not the fastest mode of transportation, so we spend a lot of time driving.
In the end, this trip was one of the least expensive ones in my life. If you want to read all about how much it costs to travel in Sri Lanka on a budget costs, you can do so by clicking the previous link. The list includes the costs of a budget trip with and without a tuk tuk rental.
Unawatuna is one of the places you have to visit when you travel in Sri Lanka. And chances are that you have seen at least some pictures of it on social media. It is the location of the palm rope swing, ship rock and has some of the best sunsets in Sri Lanka. And in addition to that, there is a very high likelihood that you will be able to see a ginormous turtle.
Galle is the location of an old Dutch fort. Spend at least a few hours there to explore the parts of the city inside the fort. The buildings are really cute and interesting, so you will not regret your visit.
Mirissa, the location of the insta-famous coconut tree hill and the peacock mural. Additionally this city offers amazing food.
Tangalle is located in the south of Sri Lanka and on amazing place if you want beaches. If you head there during the off-season you might even end up having this beach for yourself.
Ella is a town in central Sri Lanka and a must if you visit Sri Lanka. From here you can visit the Nine Arch Bridge and hike Little Adams Peak or Ella Rock. If you only do one of these hikes, you should choose Little Adams Peak, as the view is much better.
Plan most of the activities really early in the morning, as the afternoons there can be quite rainy once the monsoon season has arrived.
And do not forget to catch the train to Kandy or Nuwara Eliya. The scenery on both sides of the track is stunning. It is no wonder, that this train ride in Sri Lanka can be found on list about the best train rides in the world.
Sigiriya is a village and the Sri Lankan name of Lions Rock. Stay the night in one of the many homestays in the village and climb one of the two nearby monoliths just before sunrise. The view will be worth it!
You can either climb Sigiriya which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the ruins on top of the monolith. However, doing so will set you back 30 USD.
Alternatively, you can climb Pidurangala. Doing so gives you a stunning view of Sigiriya, it is a lot cheaper and less crowded.
If you want to do both, I recommend climbing Pidurangala for sunrise and Sigiriya after that or for sunset.
Kaudulla National Park
Kaudulla National Park and Minneriya National Park are the best places in Sri Lanka to see elephants. These two national parks are where the yearly gathering occurs. Hundreds of elephants come to this location due to the receding water in the man-made water reserves, which allows nutritious grass to grow.
Seeing all these elephants should be more than enough to inspire you to visit Sri Lanka. At least, if you love elephants as much as I do.
I have to admit that this is only a small selection of pictures I took during the elephant safari in Kaudulla National Park. I love these stunning animals, so this experience was one of my Sri Lanka highlights. Seeing around two hundred of them in their natural habitat was incredible.
Trincomalee is amazing if you want good food and beaches. It is the perfect spot if you want to relax for a few days or go diving between April and September.
Did I convince you to visit Sri Lanka?
I hope that these pictures inspired you to visit Sri Lanka. Ultimately I love this country and want to share its beauty with you, so please do not hesitate to ask me if you have any questions about traveling in Sri Lanka. I am more than happy to share what I know.