Sri Lanka alone on the car. East Coast and main attractions. Detailed report, routes, useful tips, recommendations, coordinates, prices, photos, videos.
This is not the first time we are traveling on our own, but the trip to Sri Lanka was special. We have never met such exotics before! After returning from Sri Lanka, I published a short video about our journey. And I was just bombarded with questions: how did we decide on an independent journey through Sri Lanka? How did you book a car? What are there roads? In which hotels we lived in Sri Lanka, and in which more like? How much did this trip cost us? What is the weather like in Sri Lanka in summer? Has the ocean stormed and how much rain did it? And so on. Therefore, I decided to write a detailed report, which I hope will benefit those who are just planning their trip to this beautiful, picturesque, exotic island. SRI LANKA.
Actually the video itself:
Why did we choose Sri Lanka for our journey
Our arguments for this island were:
- basic visa application
- the country is very interesting, exotic, we have never been in such countries before
- there are so many attractions here, and at the same time you can sunbathe and swim in the ocean
- a lot of fruit and seafood
- in Sri Lanka is very interesting, rich and diverse wildlife
- the lowest cost of the flight, compared with the neighboring countries in this period of the year (India, Thailand and
In general, we wanted something exotic, and Sri Lanka was just perfect in all respects.
Preparing for independent travel to Sri Lanka, drawing up a route
In fact, the preparation for independent travel consists of the following stages:
- learning from other travelers
- search and book tickets
- search and book a car
- drawing up the route
- search and book hotels
- travel insurance
- Visa registration via the Internet or upon arrival (To Sri Lanka, a visa ordered in advance via the Internet (called an electronic permit) costs $ 5 less, so I made it through the website in advance
First of all, I began to study the reports of other independent travelers, in parallel to look for flight options, find out about car rental in Sri Lanka, prices for hotels, visas, and eventually sketched our route. Initially, he had the following form:
Later, the route changed, and we changed it directly on the island, the final route looks like this (elephant ears):
Unfortunately, Google maps provide an opportunity to mark only 10 points, so the route is not quite complete. You can see it on Google maps. here
In drawing up the route, I relied on various tourist maps of Sri Lanka, such as for example this:
You can download the tourist map of Sri Lanka here
We did not have much time to prepare and study the experience of other travelers, so we understood everything on our own, on the island. At home, I booked hotels for the first 5 days, the rest of the hotels we booked directly on the island itself. It should be noted that Wi-Fi in almost all hotels was very poor, so we used the 3G mobile internet very intensively on the trip. DIALOG. SIM-cards purchased at the airport for 1300 RS ($ 10) lasted for 10 days, then we replenished 100, 200 rupees via the Internet right on their website. From our number only our distributors called about cars, they used Skype to communicate with relatives, because it is much more pleasant to call directly from the beach in the video call mode and share the surrounding beauty with loved ones. Often made video calls directly from the car, on the way to the next sights, and of course from the sights themselves too.
In the car will be useful audio guide for Sri Lanka, which you can download here and burn to disc. We listened to the iPad, it was not very convenient.
Our route and self-travel plan for Sri Lanka with coordinates, distances, description of roads and prices of attractions
Arrival at 5 am at Bandaranaike International Airport (Colombo) (coordinates
At the airport currency exchange, we buy the SIM card of the local operator DIALOG, we get a rented car near the airport, we go to the beach near Negombo (coordinates
Supermarket in Negombo:
After the beach we go to our hotel Hotel Elephant Park located near the elephant nursery in Pinavellas (coordinates
distance: 75 km (the road is good, but in some places road repairs, traffic jams)
the 14 th of July
Feeding and bathing elephants. It is better to do it at 8-30, when the first group of elephants will be brought, because at 10-00 there will be a lot of tourists, and it will be possible to look only from the side. We signed up for breakfast at 8-00 and just at 8-30 we were ready.
Then we go to Anuradhapura (ancient capital of Sri Lanka), hotel Hotel Alakamanda (coordinates
distance: 140 km (at first, the road is of poor quality, but most of the way is a great road, not heavily loaded with cars)
Supermarket in Anuradhapura Cargills Food City Anuradhapura (
Dinner at the hotel. We did not find a decent restaurant in Anuradhapura.
Visiting the old city Anuradhapura (UNESCO),
Consider that in all holy places you need to walk without shoes, shoulders and knees should be covered, hats should be removed. If the clothes do not match, then at the entrance you will be given a piece of white fabric as a skirt. Translucent pareos don’t fit either.
Ruwanwelisaya Stupa (big beautiful white temple of Buddha) (
Nearby is another stupa jethawanaramaya dagoba (
Off white Ruwanwelisaya Stupa you can walk to tree bo jaya sri maha bodhi (
or by car, parking:
Also, I recommend to see the complex Isurumuniya vihara (
Anuradhapura and its surroundings have many other attractions, for example Mihintale (
It is located on a wide beach. Uppuveli .
distance: 110 km, the road is very good quality, not loaded with transport. The area is very picturesque, very nice to ride. Judging by the signs “Caution, elephants,” you can meet the elephants, we did not come across.
Somewhere in the area:
July 16 and July 17
Trincomalee Supermarket without alcohol (Cargills Food City Trincomalee) –
Consider that in all holy places you need to walk without shoes, shoulders and knees should be covered, hats should be removed. If the clothes do not match, then at the entrance you will be given a piece of white fabric as a skirt. Translucent pareos also do not pass.
There is a rock Lovers leap and scenic views of Trincomalee
Deer have seen in fort frederick –
Another restaurant Yalsha sea food restaurant (
Stroll along the shore along the ocean in the evening with a flashlight. See something interesting
at 12-00 pm departure from the hotel, we are going to the second ancient capital of Sri Lanka – Polonnaruwa (UNESCO).
distance: 109 km, good quality road
Visit Archaeological Museum (
Here is a little advice – if the child is a little older, take the child. Our girl will soon be 16, but we took her a children’s ticket from Polonnaruwa to almost all the sights, nobody asked for documents.
And also, take something to the monkeys. There are a lot of them here. They love bananas, mangoes, other fruits, as well as lotus flowers that the locals place to the Buddha.
After the inspection went settled in our Ethno-hotel Kumbukgas Mankada Lodge (
There is a very interesting place between Polonnaruwa and Dambulla. There, if you’re lucky, you can see elephants in the wild. We were lucky the second time, the first time we just passed by. Coordinates:
Dambulla. Distance: 20 km, excellent quality road
Supermarket in Dambulla – Cargills Food City Dambulla (with alcohol, the entrance to the department is located to the right of the main one)
Entrance fees to ROCK TEMPLE -DAMBULLA – 1500 RS. (do not forget to buy them at the bottom, at the top they are not for sale)
Be careful with monkeys – they grab food and lotus flowers from their hands. All these objects in Dambulla are located on the same street.
Sigiriya Sigiria lion rock (UNESCO)
distance: 18 km, excellent quality road
Take a bottle of water with you, we’ve been taking a long time, but keep in mind that we haven’t met toilets on the way. There are places to sit and eat if you take food with you. If you take, then do not forget about monkeys
There is another parking located around here:
Ethno Hotel Kumbukgas Mankada Lodge (
Moving to Kandy.
Distance: 93 km, the road is of good quality, there may be traffic jams in front of Kandy and in Kandy itself. On the road to Kandy is the city MATALE, there is a very interesting Hindu temple Muttuariamman Kovil (
Entry into the territory costs 1000 RS
We paid very little money for parking (payment on departure), I don’t remember exactly, but about 60 RS
Next we went to our next hotel located in Kandy: Mountain View Holiday Home (
Kandy. Royal Botanical Park Peradeniya. ROYAL BOTANIK GARDENS PERADENIYA (
Located very convenient for us, very close to our Mountain View Holiday Home
We didn’t find a good parking lot, just put the car along the road, but due to the fact that everything was packed, we had to put it quite far from the entrance to the Peradeniya Park.
Entrance fees: 1100 RS – adult, 550 – children (up to 12 years)
The park is not as big as we expected, 2-3 hours is enough. We did not hurry, walked longer.
Supermarket Cargills Food City on the way to the botanical garden:
Kandy – Nuwara Eliya through Rambodu distance: 85 km, the road of excellent quality, but the mountain – serpentines, turns, descents, ascents.
Observation deck near the hotel Tea bush ramboda – view of the valley and immediately 3 waterfalls: (
Tea Factory Mackwoods Labookellie Tea Center – free tour of the factory, tea tasting (
Waterfall St. Clair observation deck Clair Viewing Gallery (
Distance from Nuwara Eliya to the St. Clair back and forth: 50 km, the road is of excellent quality, but the mountain – serpentines, turns, descents, rises.
Supermarket in Nuwara Eliya (with alcohol) Cargills Food City Nuwara Eliya (
Victoria Park –
Even in the highlands of Sri Lanka, independent travelers love to visit Adam’s Peak (
Also in those places you can see a lot of waterfalls:
Bambarakanda Falls Bambarakanda Falls – the highest in Sri Lanka (
Dunhind Falls Dunhinda Falls – one of the most beautiful in Sri Lanka (
The distance from Nuwara Eliya to Pasikuda is 200 km, at first a good road, but mountainous, but the section of the A5 highway 150 kilometers after Nuwara Eliya is just awful, the worst road we came across in Sri Lanka. In total, drove 5 hours, but with stops to feed the monkeys
Victoria Reserve, Randenigala Reservoir (
Relax in the hotel Amaya Beach Passikudah Resort & Spa Outside the hotel did not go anywhere, walked along the coast.
Transfer to Bandaranaike Airport (Colombo) (coordinates
The distance is 270 km (drove 7.5 hours). The road is excellent to Dambulla (2.5 hours), then repairs are expensive, and for quite some time. Before Polonnaruwa arrived at all for 1 hour, a very free track. It is difficult to drive when it gets dark, many cyclists without reflective elements, dogs run across the road in the dark and
There is a very interesting place between Polonnaruwa and Dambulla.
There, if you’re lucky, you can see elephants in the wild. We were lucky the second time, the first time we just passed by. Coordinates:
In Dambulla, stopped to buy tea for souvenirs and Arak in the supermarket Cargills Food City Dambulla
Passed the car near the airport. Repacked suitcases, and on the plane. At the airport in the waiting room there is a Cargills Food City supermarket with a good selection of tea for souvenirs, and not only. And after going through all the procedures, next to the duty free set of shops with souvenirs and all sorts of teas. Fruit and tea we took with us in hand luggage.
Another map card that will help you plan an independent travel route around Sri Lanka:
And of course, use THIS Google map of Sri Lanka.
TO BE CONTINUED. Further I will tell about:
Search and book flights to Sri Lanka
Hotels and guesthouses in Sri Lanka. What is better – book in advance or already in place?
Reviews of hotels in Sri Lanka where we stayed
Car rental in Sri Lanka. Is it scary? (material in development, but for now VIDEO
Travel insurance on a trip – is it necessary?
Sri lanka visa
We collect suitcases. What to take and what is not useful
Sri Lanka prices, what an independent trip cost us
Useful tips for traveling in Sri Lanka
Currency exchange, Internet, cellular communication
Souvenirs, Ceylon tea where better to buy
Detailed story about independent travel with photos and video
Sri Lanka alone or with a travel agency?
Sri Lanka in July / Sri Lanka in summer / Weather in Sri Lanka
Sri lanka attractions
East Sri Lanka / East Coast Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka rainy season
and also on this blog you will see videos about sights, car rental, gas stations, supermarkets in Sri Lanka and
If you have any questions, ask in the comments.
Travel by yourself!