Kalutara is one of the most popular beaches in the west coast of Sri Lanka and a large number leading Sri Lankan beach resorts sits on the pristine beaches of Kalutara. There is a big demand for Sri Lanka excursions from Kalutara, especially from the gusts, who spend their holidays in the beach resorts. We receive many emails from guests with questions like “What are the best Sri Lanka excursions available from Kalutara?”, “Can we book excursions to Kandy and Galle?” “What are the possibilities for day trips from Kalutara?”, “Can we book day trips from Kalutara to Kandy?” Therefore I thought of crafting this blog post in order to give a few day trip ideas for our readers, who wish to explore this fascinating island on day trips from Kalutara.
10 – Popular Sri Lanka excursions From Kalutara
- White water rafting tour
- Sinharaja Rain Forest – the bio-diversity hotspot
- Whale watching tour
- Colombo City Tour
- Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
- Kandy City Tour
- Galle City Tour
- Tea country / Nuwara Eliya tour
- Madu River estuary tour
- Sigiriya/Dambulla tour
Few other useful links
History of Kalutara in a nutshell
Kalutara is one of the historically important cities on the island, and one of the biggest cities on the west coast of Sri Lanka. The history of Kalutara dates back to the pre-Christian era, and its name is mentioned in ancient chronicle like Mahawamsa. Kalutara is full of interesting places that coming under historical, natural and modern to entice travellers on their tour to Sri Lanka. The bustling roads of Kalutara have many temples, colourful and bustling markets, and interesting insights into the modern and fast-growing 21st-century city.
There are many interesting places to visit from Kalutara and most of them are reachable within a few hours of drive. Some of them are popular iconic tourist attractions, while some others are small, local villages; however, there is something for every traveller with a short tour from Kalutara.
Kitulgala famous for its primaeval rain forests and natural beauty is one of the best places for adventure holidays in the country. It is only 2 hours drive to Kitulgala from Colombo, therefore, Kitulagla one day trip from Colombo is very popular among the travellers. Kitulagala was the place where the award-winning film Bridge on the River Kwai was filmed.
White water rafting, kayaking, mountain climbing, mountain walking, mountain biking are some of the adventures can be performed in the area. This one-day excursion from Kalutara includes 2 activities white water rafting and rainforest trek.
Sri Lanka excursions to Kitulgala from Kalutara
- At 6.00 am start the journey from Kalutara
- At 9.00 am reach Kitulgala
- At 9.30 am Whitewater rafting
- At 12.00 pm lunch
- At 1.00 pm rain forest trek
- At 2.30 pm start the return journey
- At 5.30 pm reach the hotel in Kalutara
Madu River estuary is one of the Ramsar wetlands on the island and regarded as one of the most valuable ecological assets on the island. Madu River is a popular destination for a day trip from west coast beach resorts and southern coast hotels. The tour from Kaluata to Madu River estuary is a half-day program and it includes not only boat tour at River Madu But also visiting sea turtle conservation project, a visit to the Bentota beach as well as a visit to Kande Vihara temple.
One day tour to Madu River in a nutshell
- At 8.00 am start the tour from the hotel after breakfast
- At 9.00 start the boat trip
- At 11.00 leave the boathouse
- At 11.30 visit sea turtle project
- At 12.00 visit Kande vihara
- At 1.30 reach the hotel in Kalutara
Now the whale watching can be booked on a day trips from Kalutara Sri Lanka, thanks to the southern expressway. It had been a two days tour with an overnight stay in Mirissa in the past, however, with the opening of the southern expressway, the travelling time from Kalutara to Mirissa and vice-versa is reduced by about 3 hours, making it just a 2 hours drive, on one way.
The excursion starts very early morning (around 4.00 AM), this is mainly due to the fact that all participants should report to the Mirissa harbour between 6.00 AM-6.30 AM. The boat leaves the harbour at around 6.30 AM and after 1-2 hours journey in a comfortable vessel, you come to the whaling protected area in the Indian Ocean. Apart from whales, one can see the dolphin and a large amount of coral while passing the great reef.
Sri Lanka excursions to the south coast with whale watching in a nutshell
- At 4.00 am start the journey from the hotel in Kalutara
- At 6.30 am board the boat and start the whale watching boat trip
- The whale watching trip last between 3-5 hours
- At 01.00 pm make a self-guided walking tour at Gale fort (including lunch break)
- At 3.00 pm visit moonstone mines
- At 4.30 pm visit mask museum
- At 5.30 pm reach the hotel in Kalutara
4. Day Trips From Kalutara to Colombo
Colombo is the largest city in the country with fifteen administrative regions; Colombo 1 to Colombo 15. Colombo provides many attractive places within its borders. There are many Buddhist and Hindu temples that are dating back to many 100s of years. There are many monuments built during the Colonial era too. Today Colombo is most famous for its large number of small shops that sells various products at an affordable price.
Program for one day trip to Colombo from Kalutara
- Leave for Colombo after the breakfast
- Visit Galle face green
- Visit Pettah market
- Photo stop at Parliament
- Visit Independent square
- Visit Viharamahadevi park
- Explore Beira lake and Gangrama temple
- Visit Wolvendaal church
- Some shopping in Odel, Laksala, gem museum
- Return journey from Colombo (approximately at 05.00 pm)
5. Sri Lanka one day excursion to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
One of the most popular days trips from Kalutara Sri Lanka and it is a very enjoyable family trip. Pinnawala Elephant orphanage is one of the most popular tourist attractions and it was started in 1975 with five elephants, today it is the home for the largest elephant herd in the world. The elephant herd is comprised of more than 85 elephants including two orphans and few sick. Best time to visit the orphanage is the feeding time from 09.15 and from 13.15.
Usually, the tour to Elephant orphanage Pinnawala can be easily combined with few other important tourist places such as the Royal botanical garden and tooth relic temple. The package that includes all these places namely Pinnawala elephant orphanage, Tooth relic temple, Royal botanical garden can already be booked with Seerendipity tours. They offer this package as a ready-made Sri Lanka trip.
Sri Lanka excursion to Pinnawala in brief
- Leave the hotel at 7.00 am
- Visit Pinnawal elephant orphanage at 11.00 am
- See the Elephant bath at 12.00 pm
- Optional elephant ride at 01.00 pm
- Visit a spice garden at 2.00 pm
- Reach the hotel in Kalutara at 6.00 pm
6. Sri Lanka excursions to Kandy from Kalutara
Kandy being the cultural centre of the country is a must visited place for travellers, especially for foreign travellers. Kandy is a beautiful city surrounded by mountains and tea gardens and it proudly posses the most sacred Buddhist temple on the Island, the tooth relic temple. Kandy was the last kingdom of Sri Lankan kings, which was ceded to the British crown in 1815. Since 1815 Colombo was the capital of Sri Lanka and it was in the hand of British governors, who control the country on behalf of British Queen.
Temple of the tooth considered to be the most sacred temple for the Buddhist in Sri Lanka and visited by thousands of devotees as well as travellers every day. Elephant orphanage, tea factory, spice garden, botanical garden, Gadaladeniya, Embekke being considered as other important places around the city. Kandy is part of most Sri Lanka trips and it belongs to the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka.
Kalutara excursion to Kandy in a nutshell
- Leave the hotel at 5.00 am
- Visit Pinnawal elephant orphanage at 8.00 am
- Visit the spice garden at 10 am
- Lunch break at 12.00 pm
- Visit Peradeniya garden at 1.00 pm
- Visit tooth relic temple at 3.00 pm
- The return journey to Kalutara at 4.00 pm
- Reach the hotel in Kalutara at 7.00 pm
7. Galle sightseeing tour 1 day from Kalutara
Galle is the largest city in southern Sri Lanka with nearly one million populations. Galle is one of the world heritage sites in the island owing to the Galle fort. Galle Fort is the best-preserved fortified city built by Europeans in Asia. Some of the other attractions in southern Sri Lanka are Turtle hatchery, Gemstone mining in Meetiyagoda, mask factory, Hikkaduwa coral reefs and stilt fishermen.
Kalutara tours to Galle in a nutshell
- Leave for Galle after the breakfast, En-route visits,
- Mask museum Ambalangoda
- Sea turtle conservation centre
- Moonstone mines
- Madu River estuary
- Galle Fort
8. Sri Lanka hill country tour from Kalutara
This two-day tour with an overnight stay in Nuwara Eliya covers the breathtaking mountains of Sri Lanka. One will come to the tea country in Sri Lanka here you find the endless tea garden and green-capped mountains and cascading waterfalls. One can sip a fresh cup of best Ceylon tea in a tea factory. Small England which located 1800 m above the sea level is also in the itinerary. Kandy being the most famous city for Buddhist in the country contains many historical Buddhist monuments in and around the city.
The historical city of Nuwara Eliya has a close relationship with Ramayana, an epic story dates back to 7000 years, and many Ramayana monuments are to be found near the nearby places. Sita temple and Ashok Vatika or Haggala botanical garden is the most important Ramayana reminiscence here.
Two day Sri Lanka tour to visit hill country of Sri Lanka Itinerary
- Day 1: At 7.00 am start the journey from your hotel, En-route visits,
- Ramboda waterfalls
- St.clairs waterfalls
- Tea factory
- Horton plains national park
- Day 2: At 7.00 am start the Nuwara Eliya sightseeing, En-route visits,
- Gregory Lake
- Seetha temple
- Haggala botanical garden
- Victoria park
- Nuwar Elya city tour
9. Kalutara tour to Sigiriya, Dambulla
Sigiriya and Dambulla are the most popular tourist attractions in the cultural triangle of Sri Lanka and it is believed that a visit to Sri Lanka is incomplete if a tourist miss those UNESCO designated world heritage sites. The tour can be accomplished within a day; however, these one-day trips start very early morning from Kalutara, due to the distance and duration of the drive that lasts at least 3 hours in one way.
One day excursion to Sigiriya from Kalutara
- At 4.00 am Start the journey from hotel in Kalutara
- At 8.00 am reach Sigiriya and make a rest
- At 8.30 am start the Sigiriya climb
- At 11.30 am visit Dambulla golden cave temple
- At 1.00 pm lunch break
- At 2.00 pm start the return journey
- At 6.30 pm reach the hotel
10. Kalutara tours to Sinharaja rain forest
Sinharaja rain forest, the natural world heritage in Sri Lanka is a place not to be missed by the people who love nature. This primaeval forest harbours a large array of Fauna and Flora with high bio-diversity. The forest reserve harbours a large number of animal, vertebrate, bird, amphibian and fish species. This one-day excursion is offered you as an alternative to the Sinharaja adventure tour. The track leads you through the picturesque natural vegetation, waterfalls, streams and mountains.
The program to visit Sinharaja from Kalutara
- At 6.00 am Start the journey after breakfast
- At 10.00 am reach the Rain forest and start the rain forest trek
- The rainforests trek lasts about 5 hours
- At 4.00 pm start the return journey after a brief rest
- At 7.00 pm reach the hotel