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Itinerary Advice

Nottingham, United...
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Itinerary Advice
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Hi,

I have return flights booked to the Maldives (Dec 26 - Jan 9). My plan was to stay there for 4 nights and then spend Dec 31 (arrive in to Colombo around 5pm) through Jan 8 in SL before flying back to MLE.

We've never been to either destination before and won't be able to do all we want but wondered if people can sanity check these two options. Is there enough time to do either itinerary? Would you recommend one over the other?

1). Spend Dec 31 and Jan 1 in Colombo (is it worth spending this much time here?). Jan 2 head to Yala National Park for afternoon safari (is an afternoon enough). Jan 3 - 7 South coast beaches. Jan 8 head back to Colombo stopping at Galle on route.

2).

1). Spend Dec 31 and Jan 1 in Colombo (is it worth spending this much time here?). Jan 2 head to Cultural triangle for 2 nights. Jan 4 head to Ella for 2 nights. Jan 6 Yala National Park before heading to beach. Jan 8 head back to Colombo stopping at Galle on route.

Thanks in advance.

Alan

9 replies to this topic
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
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75,866 posts
338 reviews
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1. Re: Itinerary Advice
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Hi there.

Option 1 does not do justice to the island and leads to an overkill of beaches, added to Maldives. But Triangle to Ella is a 7-8 hours drive, so option 2 as it is can feel a bit packed. Yes one half day for Yala is enough for most.

< Erik> & [Sandya]

Nottingham, United...
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Thanks Sandya and Erik. Is there a revised version you could recommend for option 2, or any further guidance?

Alan

Toronto, Canada
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Given that you are coming from the Maldives with superior beaches, I would give the beaches in Sri Lanka a miss. I would do Option 2 in reverse, go to Yala first (1 night), then Ella (2 nights), Sigiriya area (through Kandy, which is 7 hour drive), 2-3 nights there to visit Sigiriya, Dambulla, and Polonnaruwa, and a safari in Minneriya, then back to Colombo.

Nottingham, United...
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Hi,

If I skip the Maldives and arrive late in to Colombo on the 27th and wanted to incorporate beaches at the end of the trip how would best suggest i split up the time?

I'd need to fly back to Dubai to connect to the UK on the 8th at 6pm.

Alan

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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5. Re: Itinerary Advice
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Then eg. 27th Negombo (near airport)

28-29-30 Sigiriya/Habarana, aka the Cultural Triangle

31st Kandy (otherwise the transfer is too long)

1st-2nd Ella

3rd Yala

4-5-6-7 Beach, choice between Tangalle-Mirissa-Unawatuna-Hikka-Bentota

Even from Tangalle only 3.30 hours to airport so 8th you can go direct from beach to airport.

< Erik> & [Sandya]

Nottingham, United...
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Thanks so much - is Colombo worth a day (in your opinion)?

Colombo, Sri Lanka
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In ours not unless for shopping, but lots of people here disagreeing with us hence form your own opinion ;-)

< Erik>

8. Re: Itinerary Advice

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Toronto, Canada
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Colombo has many interesting places for a day or two IMO, not just shopping. Pre-covid, there were really interesting food tours, they probably are not available now. Then there are a couple of nice shops that sell local stuff, places to check out if you have an interest in architecture. Some of the big hotels (like Cinnamon Grand) have really good restaurants. For a capital city of a country, it has a strange and a pleasant relaxed feeling, that may be just how I feel! It is the only big city in the world that I know that one can do serious birdwatching in the suburbs, where crocodiles exist peacefully (for the most part) with humans.

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