If you like road trips, Sri Lanka, the beautiful island in the Indian Ocean, is the perfect place for you… There are mountains, wonderful waterfalls, beautiful beaches, ancient cultural sites, authentic villages and rain forests all nestled inside this tiny island. The diversity of Sri Lanka is what makes it an ideal place for road trips.
You can hire a car with a driver for the entire trip or if you are cost-conscious, you can reach one destination, spend a few days there if you feel like doing so and hire a vehicle from that point on to the next. It is easy to get around Sri Lanka using public buses and trains but renting a car is the most comfortable way of getting around Sri Lanka.
If you intend to rent a car with a driver in Sri Lanka, it is better to arrange it in advance. However, if you want to drive yourself, then you have to get your license validated in Colombo. If you have an International Driving Permit, the car rental company can get this validation done for you. If you don’t have an International Driving License you have to obtain a temporary driving license which takes only a day to obtain.
Colombo –Hikkaduwa – Galle – Welligama – Matara – Yala – Arugam Bay
This Beach trip is a longer trip than others. The duration depends on how much time you want to spend at each beach. For this particular road trip, it actually might be a good idea to rent a car and self-drive so that you will have free time to stay as long as you like in any place to choose. All the beaches have hotels, from small budget hotels to large resorts. You can get beach views from most of the hotels in Colombo as well.
Colombo – Nuwara Eliya – Horton Plains – Ella – Kandy
It’s all about mountains. Start in Colombo and drive to Nuwara Eliya, going from the tropical heat to cool fresh weather in four hours. On the way to Nuwara Eliya, you can visit a tea factory and explore tea plantations. Spend the night in Nuwara Eliya and go to Horton Plains next morning. Don’t miss hiking in World’s End. The next day, drive to Ella one of the most scenic places in Sri Lanka. From Ella, you can drive to Kandy or take the train, because it’s one of the most beautiful journeys in the world.
Have a look at some of our hotels in Kandy or our Nuwara Eliya bungalows for accommodation during this mountainous journey.
The Cultural Triangle
Kandy – Dambulla – Anuradhapura – Colombo
There are so many cultural things to see there, from architectural remains to ancient temples. Start at Colombo (or Kandy), and the first destination would be the ancient city of Dambulla where you can visit many places of cultural importance. After spending the night at one of the many hotels in Dambulla available, drive to Anuradhapura where you can see many stupas and beautiful tanks. Then drive back to Polonaruwa to see more ruins…then you can head back to Colombo.
Colombo – Singaraja – Horton Plains – Gal Oya
Sri Lanka’s National Parks are some of the most varied in the world… Sinharaja is a tropical rainforest full of native birds, amphibians and plants. Stay overnight to really experience the magic of the place. After plenty of jungle exploring, go uphill to Ella and visit the Horton Plains National Park to do some high mountain trekking. After a day or two in Ella, drive to Gal Oya National Park and see wild elephants.