15 best places to visit from Colombo to Sigiriya to Kandy
Colombo, Sigiriya and Kandy are important cities on the island, in terms of tourist attractions. Colombo is the starting point of every Sri Lanka holiday package for foreign travellers because they enter the island through either the airport or harbour. In this article, we are concentrating on a 2 nights 3 days package Colombo, and this Sri Lanka tour is crafted to explore the interesting tourist attractions on the travel route from Colombo to Sigiriya to Kandy. There are many dozens of tourist attractions to visit on this route. However, due to the time constraints, we cannot explore all of the, in this blog post, we are going to discuss on few selected attractions.
Sri Lanka as a holiday destination
From the wide sandy beaches to meandering waterways in the central highland of the island, Sri Lanka is a teardrop-shaped tropical island defined by the diversity of the land and the friendliness of the island’s people. I’m in the tourism industry for more than 20 years Sri Lankan, based on my experience, the foreigners should seriously consider visiting Colombo, Sigiriya and Kandy, in order to make a Sri Lanka trip a memorable one.
Colombo, Kandy, Sigiriya are major tourist places and have different contrast to each other. This route from Colombo to Sigiriya to Kandy one of the best travel routes on the island and it is full of many contrasts. One-minute travellers can enjoy the sea breeze and after about 1-hour drive they are surrounded by lush green forest. In Colombo the travellers are surrounded by high rise buildings and bustling tuk tuk laden streets, the next the travellers find they have surrounded crumbling historical monuments.
If you like to explore as much as possible of Sri Lanka in 3 short days, the tour on the travel route from Colombo to Sigiriya to Kandy is a perfect tour to touch Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle, Sri Lanka’s hill country, venture on a Sri Lanka jungle tour to explore fascinating wildlife and make a rest on the west coast beach. This is a very popular travel route and will encounter hordes of travellers during the trip. Even though the trip is not one of a kind experiences you will not feel any less authentic.
What are the 15 places to visit from Colombo to Sigiriya to Kandy?
- Gangarama temple
- Viharamahadevi park
- Wolvendaal church
- Independence memorial hall
- Galle face green
- Pinnawala elephant orphanage
- Sigiriya rock fortress
- Minneriya national park
- Pidurangala temple
- Dambulla golden cave temple
- Tooth relic temple
- Peradeniya botanical garden
- Udawattekele sanctuary
- Kandyan cultural show
- Tea factory and plantation
When it comes to tourist attraction on this route (from Colombo to Sigiriya to Kandy) I can give you the names of at least 2 dozen of places. However, I do discuss only the most important places. Therefore, the number of places to visit is reduced to 15. According to our estimation, it takes at least 3 days to visit all places mentioned in the list. We also discuss bout a 2 nights 3 days tour package from Colombo that scratch Colombo, Sigiriya and Kandy.
I wanted to write an article on 2 nights 3 days Sri Lanka package from Colombo that covers tourist attractions from Colombo to Sigiriya to Kandy for a long time. Because Colombo, Sigiriya and Kandy are tourist hotspots and visited by a large number of travellers every day. I know it for sure that only a few first-time travellers of the island fail to visit these places and the majority of travellers explore all these 3 places.
We are getting a large number of emails every day from our readers about the tours that cover Colombo, Sigiriya and Kandy. Our readers are sending emails with various questions like “What are the places to visit from Colombo to Sigiriya to Kandy?”, “Do you have a Sri Lanka tour itinerary to visit tourist places from Colombo to Sigiriya to Kandy?”, “What is the best program to visit Colombo, Sigiriya and Kandy?”
In this article, we discuss a 2 nights 3 days package from Colombo, with inclusions of major tourist attractions in Colombo, Sigiriya and Kandy. Seerendipity tours already offer this 2 nights 3 days Sri Lanka package from Colombo and the demand for the package is very high. Therefore, we discuss in detail about the 2 nights 3 days package from Colombo.
5 interesting itineraries for a 2 nights 3 days package Colombo
In this article, we discuss the tour package that goes from Colombo to Sigiriya to Kandy. However, there are many interesting 2 nights 3 days package, Colombo, below is the list of 5 such itineraries.
- 3 days package from Colombo to Cultural triangle– This tour package starts in Colombo and ends in Colombo. The main objective of the tour to visit important historical and cultural monuments of Sri Lanka. The tour package includes 5 UNESCO world heritage sites namely Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla and Kandy. The tour also includes many dozens of Buddhist temples, museums, and optional wildlife safari in Sigiriya.
- 2 night 3 days package form Colombo with adventure– As the name suggests the tour includes a large number of adrenaline-pumping activities. Rainforest trekking, whitewater rafting, safari, and visiting beaches are also included in the tour package. This 2 nights 3 days package from Colombo includes Sinharaja rainforest, Udawalawe national park, Kitulgal and Galle.
- 3 days tour package from Colombo to southern Sri Lanka-The tour goes along the western and southern coast of Sri Lanka. The tour starts from Colombo and visits Galle Fort, Madu River estuary, Hikkaduwa beach, Mirissa beach and Yala. This 2 nights 3 days package Colombo is very popular among the nature lovers. The tour package includes whale watching, Yala safari, boating in Madu estuary and visiting sea turtle conservation project and many more.
- 2 night 3 days tour package from Colombo to upcountry-The tour starts from Colombo and Pinnawala elephant orphanage is the first stop on the trip. The first overnight stop is at Kandy where the guests visit many interesting places such as tooth relic temple, royal botanical garden, downtown Kandy and museum. In this 3 days package from Colombo, the guests spend a decent amount of time on shopping in Kandy. Next day the guests drive the uphill to Nuwara Eliya, which sits 1800 meter above sea level. On the last day, the guests make the journey through the te plantations to the lower elevated area of Colombo
- 3 Days Sri Lanka hiking tour-As the name suggest the tour includes many hikes. The guest spends about 10 hours for hiking during the 3 days tour. The first hike at Sinharaja rain forest, second hike at Horton plains national park and the third hike at Kitulagla.
How to choose the best 2 nights 3 days package, Colombo?
2 nights 3 days package from Colombo is available in many flavours, therefore travellers should thoroughly consider the content of the tour package before choosing the tour. The 2 nights 3 days package from Colombo that we discuss in this article cover many cultural and natural attractions. Likewise, some other tour packages revolve around adventure sites while some other includes the beach areas. The travellers should book the best tour package according to their choice after checking the content.
What are the top 13 Activities for the trip on Colombo to Sigiriya to Kandy?
The travel route can be packed with many dozens of things; however, we discuss a 2 nights 3 days package and therefore we are obliged to limit the activities that we plan to include in the trip. Here are the top 10 activities that go into this 2-night 3 days package.
- Colombo sightseeing tour
- Shopping in Colombo
- Visiting Pinnawala elephant orphanage
- Elephant ride in Pinnawala
- Safari in Minneriya national park
- Visiting tooth relic temple
- Visiting Tea factory and plantation
- Watching the acrobatic performance of typical Sri Lankan dancers
- Kandy sightseeing tour
- Walking tour of Peradeniya botanical garden
- Walking tour of the spice garden
- Shopping tour of Kandy
- Visiting Dambulla golden cave temple
How to travel on the 2 night 3 days package Colombo?
I need to tell you that 2 nights 3 days package from Colombo is a fully packed tour package, using your time on the trip is very important. There is hardly any time to waste. Therefore, it is highly recommended to use private transport with a local driver to minimize the time wasted on travelling.
Public transport cannot be recommended for this 3-day package as it sucks your time. You will not be able to cover at least half of the sites planned for the trip if you opt for public transport. Using your own vehicle to travel around the country saves a lot of time and it is one of the most comfortable ways to travel.
Map of 2 nights 3 days package Colombo
2 nights 3 days package Colombo in a nutshell
- Day 1 Morning: Leave fro Sigiriya early morning, En-route Colombo City Tour and visiting Pinawala elephant orphanage
- Afternoon: Trek to the Sigiriya rock and visit Pidurangala temple and safari at Minneriya national park.
- Day 2 Morning: Early morning leave for Kandt, en-route visit Dambulla golden cave temple and spice garden
- Afternoon: Visiting royal botanical garden, tooth relic temple and Kandyan Cultural show.
- Day 3: Early morning leave for Kandy, En-route visit a tea factory/plantation, waterfalls
1. Visiting Gangarama Temple from Colombo to Sigiriya
This 2 nights 3 days package from Colombo includes a Colombo city tour, and Gangarama temple is one of the places included in the city tour. Colombo city tour is the first activity of the tour and it lasts around 4 hours. The tourists are visiting many interesting places in the city such as BMICH, Ganagrama, Viharamahadevi park and Independent square.
Gangarama Buddhist temple is the most visited Buddhist temple in Colombo. The temple is visited by thousands of visitors every day. Unlike most other Buddhist temple, you will encounter a large number of visitors in the temple at any time of the day, due to its popularity and a large number of visitors are from foreign countries.
Gangarama temple is located in the busiest quarter of Colombo, however, it is tremendously calm and quiet here, making it very suitable to engage in religious activities. The temple is comprised of Stupa, Bo-tree, Image house, and Museum. Tempel is conveniently located next to the Beira lake and it is easy to reach from any part of Colombo.
Gangaram temple is also among most historical places in Colombo. According to historical information, it had been a small temple in the early stage of the temple, however, today it is a big religious institution and serves a large number of the city dweller.
2. Visiting Viharamahadevi Park on the trip from Colombo to Sigiriya to Kandy
Viharamahadevi Park is another tourist hot spot in Colombo, which is also a part of most Colombo city tours. Viharamahadevi Park is the biggest of its kind in Colombo. The park is located in Colomb 7, just in front of the town hall. The beginning of Viharamahadevi park goes back to the early 18’s, during the British colonial ear. In the beginning, it was called victoria park and later in the 1950s, the park was renamed to Viharamahadevi park.
The park has a large collection of trees and plants, the park is very beautiful in the month of March, April and May, which is the main flowering season in Colombo. A large collection tree, plants and creepers with a large waterfall makes it heaven amidst the hustle and bustle of Colombo. Even though the park is located in the busiest quarter of Colombo, it is tremendously quiet here. Viharamahadevi has a unique setting that the visitors to the park do not feel that they in a very crowded and busy city.
The park attracts a large number of city dweller as well as the visitors. Hundreds of city dweller gathering here every morning for jogging while a large number of visitors of Colombo come here to take a rest. Viharamahadevi Park has well-equipped kids play area too.
3. Visiting Wolvendaal Church on the trip from Colombo to Sigiriya to Kandy
Wolvendaal Kerk or better known as Wolvendaal church is another tourist hot spot in the city. The history of this historical temple goes back to 1749, which is one of the oldest religious institutions in Colombo. The church was built under the supervision of Dutch east Indian company, for the Dutch community lived on the island during Dutch colonial rule.
There are only 2 building on the island that is built after the Doric style of the period. The building has the shape of the Greek cross (i.e. legs of equal length), with 1.5 meters (five feet) thick massive wall. The structure is built with thousands of Large Kabok stones (clay ironstone) while the outer layer of the wall is made of coral and lime plaster.
Wovendaal church does not only have religious importance but also it is one of the oldest structure in Colombo. The protestant church is still functioning as it was in the past. However, the number of believers has been reduced to a few families now. All the furniture in the church are still in very good shape, most of them are also as old as the church.
4. Independence Memorial Hall
Independence Memorial Hall is located in the Cinnamon garden near the Viharamahadevi Park. Independence Commemoration Hall or better known as Independence Memorial Hall was built in 1948, in view of the commemoration of Sri Lanka’s Independence from British administration. Sri Lanka gained full independence from the British crown in 1948 with the restoration of full governing responsibility to the locally elected legislature on February 4, 1948. Next to the Independence Memorial Hall is the Independence Memorial Museum.
Independence Memorial Hall was constructed at the site where the formal ceremony marking the start of self-rule, with the opening of the first parliament by Prince Henry, Duke of Gloucester occurred at a special podium February 4, 1948.
At the head of the monument is the statue of the first prime minister of Sri Lanka Rt. Hon. Don Stephen Senanayake “The Father of the Nation”. It had been the venue for most independent day celebrations. Apart from being an important monument it also served as the assembly hall for the senate of Sri Lanka and the House of Representatives of Sri Lanka until the present parliament moved new house in Battaramulla.
Independence Memorial Hall features typical Kandyan style architecture, which resembles the “Magul Maduwa” or Assembly Hall of tooth relic temple. Currently, the Independence Memorial Hall serves as a venue for religious events.
5. Galle Face Green
Visiting Galle face is the last activity of the Colombo city tour of 2 night 3 days package from Colombo.
Galle face is the biggest open park in Colombo, which spreads over 12 acres of land next to the Indian Ocean. The stretch of kand is 500m meters in length and 100 meters wide. The park is located at the busiest area of Colombo and surrounded by important landmarks such as twin tower, harbour, prime minsters office, Beira lake and Old parliament.
The history of Galle face goes back to the British colonial era. The wealthy British planters and civil servants constructed it for horse racing in the early 18s. Later it was converted to a Golf course and it also served as an execution place under the British administration. Today Galle face is a resting place, jogging site, open theatre and a playground.
As the city developed over the last few decades more and more highrise building came to being and most people are restricted to a small apartment and have no gardens. Every evening a large number of people are gathering here for a walk while kids are playing cricket, football and flying kites.
Galle face is a good place to sample delicious Sri Lankan street food such as wade, Kadala, Samosa, deep-fried potatoes, cooked crabs and prawns, fruits with pepper and salt. Every evening a large number of vendors gathering along the beach with their mobile restaurant to serve the hungry customers. On holidays, Sundays and Saturdays it can be really busy here due to the large gathering of picnickers, day-trippers, and vendors.
Colombo to Sigiriya
The very first activity of the 3 days tour is the Colombo city tour and the guests leave for Sigirya immediately after visiting a tourist attraction in Colombo.
This is the first leg of the trip from Colombo to Sigiriya and to Kandy. The drive from Colombo to Sigiriya takes around 4 hours and the distance to cover is 173 km. The drive from Colombo to Sigiriya is fairly straight forward and easy to drive due to the quite empty roads. However, you may encounter a large number of vehicles and busy towns until you pass the borders of Colombo. As you drive beyond the Colombo city limit and come to more rural areas, the landscape getting greener and greener while vast areas are hidden in patches of forests, coconut plantations.
6. Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is located in the district of Kegalle. Pinnawala is the first stop coming after the Colombo city tour and it takes around 2 hours to reach pinnawala elephant orphanage form, Colombo.
The elephant orphanage functions as a foster home for orphan elephant babies found in the jungle. The elephant orphanage also takes care of the old and wounded elephants found in the jungle. Other than these functionalities taking care of the orphan and sick animals, the elephant orphaned functions as a research centre and breeding ground. The scientists at the orphanage carry out many scientific researchers pertaining to the life of the Elephants.
The elephant orphan was founded in a coconut plantation with 5 orphan elephants, now the herd is grown to more than 80 elephants. The 25 acres elephant orphanage has a big waterfall, and house for jumbos to rest. The nearby river plays a big role in the routine life of elephants living in the orphanage. All animals are directed to the river for a routine bath 2 times a day and they spend 2 hours on each occasion. The visitors are allowed to visit the orphanage from 08.00 am to 06.00 PM every day.
7. Visiting Sigiriya Rock Fortress on the trip from Colombo to Sigiriya to Kandy
Sigiriya is one of the most popular iconic tourist attraction in the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka, which includes in most Sri Lanka tour packages. Visiting Sigiriya rock is an important activity of 3 days tour package. And guests visit the rock fortress on the second day of the tour.
This 5th century Rock fortress is a UNESCO world heritage site due to its historical importance. Sigiriya rock fortress considered as one of the oldest landscaped gardens in the world.
The monolithic rock of Sigiriya rises up to 500 meters above sea-level from the surrounding low land area. According to archaeologists, there had been a palace and a few other structures on top of the rock, where the king lived. The surrounding low land area of Sigirya rock had been landscaped and protected by a wall and a ditch. The Sigiriya garden was consisting of swimming pools, fountains, granite caves and geometrically landscaped garden.
The fresco pocket of Sigiriya rock fortress hides many dozens of frescoes, that dates back to 5th century AD. The paintings are still in very good shape and show the similarities to ancient paintings of Aajnthaa. According to the historians, the landscaped garden, swimming pools, King’s palace and fountains show the advanced knowledge of ancient engineers on hydraulic principles and trigonometry. While Sigiriya frescoes are a classic example for rich artistic capabilities of ancient artisans.
8. Minneriya National Park part of the road trip from Colombo to Sigiriya to Kandy
Visiting Minneriya national park is one of the main activities of this 3 days tour package. The guests will be doing the Minneriay national park safari on the first day of the trip. The guests will be able to spot a large number of a wild elephant during the trip. The guests are able to see a large number of wild elephants with many other animals such as crocodile, monkey, jackal, land monitor, buffaloes and a large number of avian fauna species.
Minneriya national park is only a few kilometres from Sigiriya rock fortress and it takes around 20 minutes to reach the park. The safari lasts around 2 hours. During the safari, you will be provided with a 4 wheel drive jeep and nature experts to educate about the Fauna and Flora that you encounter during the safari.
Minneriya national park is closed for a brief period during the north-east monsoon when the rainfall is very high. A part of Minneriya national park is submerged during the heavy rain forcing the guests to go to Eco park to see wild animals.
9. Pidurangala Temple on the rouet Colombo to Sigiriya to Kandy
Pidurangala cave temple is located near the Sigiriya rock fortress, which is one of the oldest Buddhist temples on the island. Most visitors who visit Sigiriya rock fortress do not forget to explore this magnificent ancient temple. Historical temple of Piduarangala temple consists of an Image house, Bo-tree, Dagoba and house for the monks. The temple is located at the foothills of Pidurangala mountian, which rises about 200 meters above the surrounding lush green forest. According to the stone inscription found at the foothills, which is written below the drip ledges, the ancient temple is believed to be constructed during the Anuradhapura period.
Sigiriya to Kandy
Day 2 of the 3 days Sri Lanka package kicks off with the visit to Fascinating Dambulla golden cave temple. The route from Sigiriya to Kandy is 90km which is in very good shape. You will be passing through another gorgeous landscape that hidden in tropical verdant valleys. The 90 km from Sigiriya to Kandy produces very valuable commercial agricultural products such as spices, coconut, rubber, vegetable, fruits, herbal. Dambulla golden cave temple is the first stop for the day and spice garden and Kandy city follows.
10. Exploring Dambulla golden cave temple on 2 nights 3 days package Colombo
Most visitors of Dambulla golden cave temple are taken by surprise to a large number of ancient statues concentrated to one place. More than 150 Buddha statues, god figures and a statue of a king rubbing their shoulders each other within the limited space available in this historical place. 150 Buddha statues and a large collection of magnificent ceiling and wall paintings are decorating this ancient cave temple.
Buddha statues and paintings are scattered in 5 natural granite caves. The caves are located about 200 meters above the surrounding area, overhanging the western slope of the Dambulla mountains. The history of this ancient religious site is going back to the 1st century AD. However, most Buddha statues and paintings are much ore younger than that.
The temple had been functioning as the living quarter of King Walagambahu in the 1st century BC, during which he had list hist thring due to a south Indian invasion. According to the stone inscription inscribed on to the natural cave of the temple, the was in exile for 14 years, during which he was hiding in the forested hermitage. After a decade the King was able to regain his throng by expelling the invaders. The King had developed the hermitage to a magnificent temple with state patronage.
It was a reputed religious site for many centuries and then neglected due to an undisclosed reason. It fell into oblivion; it was re-discovered by the British colonial rulers in 1800.
Dambulla golden cave temple is one of the oldest cave temple s in the world and it has been given the status of UNESCO cultural heritage site due to its cultural and historical importance.
11. Visiting Tooth relic temple on 2 nights 3 days package Colombo
The temple of the tooth relic or tooth relic temple is the Mecca for Buddist in the world, where the left eye tooth of Buddha resides. The temple of the tooth is regarded as the most sacred Buddhist temple on the island and it attracts hundreds of thousands if Buddsht devotees every year. The magnificent Buddhists temple had been the king’s palace in the past, however, it was converted to a Buddhist temple as the tooth relic brought to the Kandy.
12. Visit Peradeniya botanical garden on 2 nights 3 days package Colombo
There is no other beautiful Botanical garden on the island like Peradeniya botanical garden. The Botanical garden of Peradeniya is not only beautiful but also it has a vibrant and colourful history. The botanical garden believed to be used as the pleasure garden of Kandy King in the 13th century AD, later under the British administration, early 18s, it was converted to a Botanical garden.
13. Visit Udawattekele sanctuary on 2 nights 3 days package Colombo
The lush green forest of Udawattekele sanctuary is to be found just behind the Tooth relic temple. Udawattekele sanctuary is a very valuable asset for the people of Kandy, which is the only rain forest located within its borders. Udawattekele sanctuary had been the pleasure garden of Kandy King for many centuries.
The visitors of Udawattekele sanctuary can witness the monuments of many ancient structures in the forest, they believed to be originated during the early days of Kandy kingdom (in the 13s). A well preserved pon can still be seen in the forest, which believed to be used by the royal family. However, the history of Udawattekele forest believed to be going back to the 2nd century BC (Period of King Gajaba).
14. Kandyan cultural show
The energetic young dancers whirling in the air while drummers are beating their drums in the background. The dancers are fast, energetic and well trained. Dancers are dressed in colourful, which cover them from top to bottom. The 1 hour Kandyan cultural show is divided into 10-15 mini-programs, each program showcases a traditional dancing from of Sri Lanka. Firewalking, devil dancing, Rabna dancing are a few of them. Kandyan cultural show is a perfect opportunity to see traditional Sri Lankan dance forms and musical performances.
Kandy to Colombo
One of the most scenic drives on the route from Colombo to Sigiriya to Kandy. The road has an abundance of curves and drivers need to be very attentive on the route. Passing gorgeous landscapes, huge mountains, endless tea gardens, eucalyptus plantations, and waterfalls are few characteristics unique to this uncrowded road.
15. Tea factory and plantation-Colombo to Sigiriya to Kandy
Visiting a tea factory and Plantation is a must for you if your driver from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya. There are half a dozens of places to visit on this travel route, which has an abundance of breathtaking scenery. The natural beauty is remarkable on the mountainous route. Cascading waterfalls, streams, rivers, green-capped mountains, vegetable gardens, patches of forests are popped up regular interval, while endless tea gardens take the centre point of the view.
Your driver/guide will stop about halfway down the track from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya in order to make a visit to the Tea factory. Visiting Tea factory is a perfect opportunity to see the manufacturing process of world-renowned Ceylon. There are many thousands of Tea factories around the island, however, only a few of them open its door to visitors. Few of those factories have taken refuge on this beaten track from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya.
Visiting Tea factory is a marvellous experience because you can trek to the tea plantation and enjoy the upcountry healing climate with fresh air. In the backdrop of every scene here are green-capped mountains and tea gardens. Tea boutique of the factory allows you to sip a glass of unblended CEYLON tea, which is a valuable reward for every visitor.