Looking to get out of Colombo during your short stay in Sri Lanka? Here’s is 6 killer ideas to organize your one day trip from Colombo, Featuring wildlife reserves, seaside towns, and adventures in the beautiful countryside of Sri Lanka.
Are you tired of Colombo? This is the perfect moment to leave behind the hustle and bustle of Colombo and head to a perfect spot, where you can enjoy the peace and serenity, of course with few activities. From time to time everyone needs a change of scene-but definitely without too much faffing. So, it is immaterial whether you are in the mood for a forest frolic or embracing sea breeze, here are 6 sweet spots for an unforgettable one day trip from Colombo, complete with plenty of activities, restaurants, pubs, that are close to Colombo to get there and back in a day.
1.One day trip from Colombo to Kitulgala
Kitulgala lies at the foothills of the central mountain range, towards the western slope of the hill country. It lies on the Colombo-Nuwara Eliya main road and you come across Kitulgala as you travel to Nuwara Eliya from Colombo via Hatton or vice versa. Kitulgala is laid back city with a calm and quiet neighbourhood, Kitulgala is rank among the best places for a peaceful holiday with a touch of adventure.
The most striking natural attraction of Kitulgala is undoubtedly the Kelaniya River, which is the main reason for its popularity in the travel world, the river keeps the adjoining forest alive and maintains the healthy green cover by supplying plenty of water. And the river makes a popular playground for adventure lovers too and allows them to engage in whitewater rafting, kayaking, swimming, boating, waterfall abseiling etc. Same time rainforests in Kitulgala is a place for a trekking and bird watching, while many other places such as mountains provide you option to engage in mountain climbing, caving, mountain biking and rock climbing.
Transportation: The travel time between Colombo and Kitulgala would be around 2 hours if you have your own transport. If you travel to Kitulgala from the west coast, southern, coast or Kandy it might take around 3 hours. You can reach Kitulgala only by road, and the road that leads to Kitulgala is in very good condition and there is not much traffic on the road as well.
Things to do in Kitulgala: most things that you can do in Kitulgala are adventure activities such as whitewater rafting, Kayaking, mountain climbing, trekking, rainforest exploration etc. therefore if you a traveller fond of beaches, city life, cultural sites etc there is no point of going there. On the other hand, if you like to experience some adrenaline-pumping activities and live in a place, where you are fondled in the lap of mother nature, there is no better place like Kitulgala.
How much does it cost this trip: Approx. USD 250 per couple
Interesting Tips: The cost of this largely varied depending on the activities you do. Usually, the accommodation in Kitulgala is not that much costly but the activities are costly. Usually, most activities cost between 10-40 USD per person.
2. One day trip from Colombo and look into blue whales at their doorstep
Watching blue whales is the talk of the town, watching whales has become a novel experience for travellers who spend holidays in Sri Lanka. And whale watching day tour is a very easy short trip for travellers, who stay on the west coast and southern coast. Therefore this one day trip from Colombo is mostly booked by beach holiday lovers, who stay in beach areas such as Colomb, Negombo, Kalutara, Bentota, Hikkaduwa and Galle.
Sri Lanka is the best whale watching spot in the region and allows you to see blue whales off the southern coast at any time of the year. Unlike most other whale-watching destinations, where you can see whales only during a few months of the year (during the season), in Sri Lanka, you can spot whales throughout the year. It is due to the resident whales, which lives permanently in the Sri Lankan water. So, you have the opportunity to have a close into the largest sea creature in the Ocean, which can be as big as a multi-day fishing craft.
Transportation: The beaches of Mirissa can be easily reached from most cities on the island as it is located close to the city of Matara. You can use public buses, trains or a private transport mode such as taxi to reach Mirissa. Mirissa is one of the most popular beach resorts on the island and here you get plenty of accommodation facilities. However, Matara is popular as a destination for budget travellers, where you get a large number of guest houses, rest houses, dormitories as well as few middle-class star hotels.
Things to do in Mirissa: Most importantly Mirissa is a beach holiday destination, therefore most travellers glued to the beaches of Mirissa. Whale watching, visiting natural fountain known as the blowhole, Matara star fort (built by Dutch in 18’s), Weherahena Buddhist temple is the noteworthy activities for tourist here.
How much does it cost this trip: Approx. USD 200 per couple
Interesting Tips: The period from October to May considered being the best time to travel to Matara and Mirissa. During this period you get very good weather for outdoor activities with only casual rain, the sea is also calm and safe for a sea bath.
So pack your self and join the ride and take in some of the most incredible sights from adventurous white water rafting to religious rituals. Don’t hesitate to contact us for more information on any of the above-mentioned tours and activities.
3. One day trip from Colombo to Enticing Kandy
Kandy is one of the best cities for travellers in Sri Lanka, surrounded by lofty peaks, tea plantations and patches of forests; Kandy offers some of the most scenic landscapes on the island. Kandy is a beautiful city with many leading tourist attractions such as tooth relic temple, Royal botanical garden, Elephant orphanage Pinnawala.
Transportation: Land transportation, Air travel and Land travel are viable options for every traveller, who wishes to travel to Kandy. The city lies 115km from Colombo and it takes around 5 hours to reach Kandy by public bus or trail. Travelling can be reduced by around 1 hour by having private transport such as Taxi.
Places to visit: Kandy is in the bucket list of every traveller in Sri Lanka, due to a large concentration of tourist attractions in the city. A trip to Kandy allows you to explore many must-visit places for tourists on the island. Important places include are tooth relic temple, Royal botanical garden, Pinnawala elephant orphanage, Kandyan cultural show, Tea plantations, Embekke, Gadaladeniya, and Udawattakele sanctuary.
Travel Calculation: Approx. USD 230 per couple
Interesting Tips: Stroll across the Kandy market to experience the typical Sri Lanka shopping culture and buy some of the exquisite Sri Lankan handicrafts, Gems and Jewelry, Batik, spices and textiles.
4. One day trip from Colombo to Blissful Galle Fort
By far Galle city is the most popular destination for tourist on the island, who are heading to the southern coast. If you wish to experience a bit of colonial heritage of Sri Lanka there is no better place than Galle Fort. Galle Fort is a colonial city built by Dutch in 16’s, today it is a UNESCO world heritage site and heaven for tourists. The setting within the Galle Fort is very suitable for holiday lovers, which featuring Restaurants, bars, pubs, shops, galleries, museums, hotels, dormitories and great beaches. Venturing on a Galle city tour is the best way to start your exploration of Galle.
Transportation: Galle fort lies 100 km south of Colombo near the Galle harbour. The travelling time from Colombo to Galle would be between 2-4 hours depending on the transport mode. If you travel by private transport it will take around 2 hours to reach Galle, with the train it will be around 3 hours and if you travel by public bus it will take around 4 hours.
Things to do: visiting Martin Vikramsinghe museum, Visiting the maritime museum, boat tour in the Koggala lagoon and watching stilt fisherman can be recommended to visitors of the Galle Fort. All these places are in the immediate surrounding area of the fort and do not take much time to reach any of the places.
Travel Calculation: Approx. USD 300 per couple
5. One day trip from Colombo to Fascinating Beaches of Hikkaduwa
Hikkaduwa beach is topping the chart due to its pristine beaches, water sports centres, luxurious hotels, pubs, bars, seafood restaurants and many many more. There is no other beach in the island so popular among the beach holiday lovers. Most importantly Hikkaduwa is a beach resort for any type of budget, with a wide range of accommodation facilities; here you find accommodation facilities from cheap dormitories to luxurious boutique hotels. Therefore Hikkaduwa is not only a popular beach resort but it is one of the most affordable beach resorts in Sri Lanka and fits within the budget of all.
Transport: the cost of the up and down journey differs based on the way you travel. Even though it is a bit expensive, a taxi might be the best option to travel to Hikkaduwa. Train and Public buses are the next viable option for you to reach Hikkaduwa. The journey from Colombo to Hikkaduwa takes around 2-3 hours and it would cost around USD 1 on Public transport and the up and down journey will cost around USD 80 on Taxi.
Hikkaduwa: Hikkaduwa is very popular as a destination for seafood. So, there is a large number of restaurants selling seafood dishes at an affordable rate. A good budget seafood meal would cost here around USD 5.
Activities: There are many things to do and see in Hikkaduwa, but most activates are closely involved with the ocean. Out of all activities, exploring the Hikkaduwa marine sanctuary would be the most favourite of all visitors. And you simply can’t miss this ecological habitat, because it is one of the 2 marine sanctuaries in the island and give you the opportunity to look into a wide range of exotic fish species, endangered sea turtle, coral reefs etc. Boating, fishing, visiting Buddhist temples, beach hopping and sample fresh seafood are some of the other things to do here.
Travel Calculation: Approx. USD 250per couple
Interesting Tips: Explore the “Marine Sanctuary”, make a boat tour, visit Hikkaduwa fishing harbour during the early hours, and sample fresh seafood.
6. One day trip from Colombo to Rathnapura
This will be one of the cheapest Sri Lanka Budget tour packages. Ratnapura is a beautiful hill station located at the foothills of the central mountain range. Ratnapura is the most popular locality in the island for gem industry with hundreds of gem mines to be seen in paddy fields and valleys. Ratnapura is the starting place of the popular Admas peak trek, which is a well-known pilgrimage among the Sri Lankan Buddhists.
A large number of foreign travellers are also making the pilgrimage, not because of the religious significance but due to the magical views that they can have from the pinnacle of Adam’s peak on the surrounding hills, valleys and jungle. One of the most visited temples in the island known as Samana Devala is also located here. Museums, gem galleries, temples, waterfalls, rainforests are among other popular places to visit in Ratnapura. Trekking, mountain climbing are the activities that can be performed in Ratnapura. There is a distance of 31 km to cover from Ratnapura in order to reach the starting point of Adam’s peak trek. Usually, the upward journey starts at around midnight due to 2 reasons.
- In order to avoid the heat of the sun.
- In order to take the glimpse on the rising sun
Four to five hours trek is on the card for any person who undertakes this long trek. You will finish your trek at the elevation of 2300 meters above sea level. The temperature is low on top of the mountain and prepares your journey with the necessary thing that you needs when it is cold.
Transportation: Hikkaduwa lies about 70 km south of Colombo. The travelling time from Colombo to Hikkaduwa will be around 2-3 hours depending on the transport mode. If you travel by private taxi it will take around 2 hours and with the train, it will be around 3 hours and if you travel by public bus it will take around 4 hours.
Things to do: Exploring the fascinating underwater world of Hikkaduwa marine sanctuary, Visiting the mask museum, surfing and snorkelling, fishing, strolling on the pristine beaches and basking in the sun while sipping an arrack cocktail. All these places can easily be reached from Hikkaduwa and do not take much time to reach any of the places.
Travel Calculation: Approx. USD 200 per couple