Are you short on time? Do you have only four days to spend in the beautiful and tiny country of Sri Lanka? In this post, you will find the 4 Days Itinerary Sri Lanka that will help you plan for those few days and make the best of them.
During my brief 4-day trip to Sri Lanka, I had the chance to explore three vibrant cities. Allow me to recount the highlights of each city and the experiences that made my short stay memorable.
Note: I had hired a car with the driver to drive me around during these four days.
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Quick Information about Sri Lanka
Capital City: Colombo
Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee
Languages Spoken: Sinhala and Tamil
Basic Greetings in Sinhala: Ayubowan (Hello), Bohoma Istuti (Thank you)
Best Season to Visit: December to April
Adapter Required: Types D, M, and G
About Sri Lanka
Located in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is an island country in South Asia. Sri Lanka is undoubtedly a hidden gem known for its coconut trees and beautiful beaches. Formerly known as Ceylon, Sri Lanka has a rich culture and history, with stunning national parks. The capital city of Sri Lanka is Colombo.
Sri Lanka is a perfect example of how great things come in small packages. The country has everything, and there are many reasons as to why you should visit this wonderful country.
Best Time to Visit Sri Lanka
The best time to visit Sri Lanka is during the winter season, between December and April. The weather is cool and pleasant around that time of the year.
How to get to Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka has five international airports strategically located in cities like Colombo (the capital), Jaffna, Mattala, Batticaloa, and Bandaranaike. These airports offer excellent connectivity with flights linking to major cities globally. Notably, a flight from Chennai, India, to Colombo takes less than 2 hours, making it a convenient and accessible travel destination.
Interestingly, did you know that when flying from India to Sri Lanka, you can glimpse Ram Sethu (Adam’s Bridge) from the airplane? It’s a unique and fascinating sight to witness during the journey.
Ferry services are available between Pondicherry in India and Sri Lanka, providing an alternative mode of transportation. Additionally, recent reports suggest the existence of ferry connections between Sri Lanka and Maldives, further expanding travel options in the region.
4 Days Itinerary Sri Lanka
The 4 Days Itinerary in Sri Lanka will outline the cities and attractions I visited during my short stay. Admittedly, four days is quite limited to exploring the richness of Sri Lanka. For a more comprehensive experience, I strongly recommend allocating at least a week to fully appreciate all this beautiful country has to offer. If you have a week to spare, here’s an ideal one-week itinerary for Sri Lanka.
4 Days Itinerary Sri Lanka Summary
My travel itinerary in Sri Lanka was roughly structured as follows:
- 2 days in Bentota.
- 1 day in Kandy.
- 1 day in Colombo.
If you have the luxury of time, I strongly recommend allocating at least a week to explore all three destinations thoroughly. During my trip, I found my itinerary somewhat rushed, leaving me with limited time for exploration. Among the three places, I particularly enjoyed Bentota and Kandy, and given the chance, I would happily extend my stay in Kandy for a more immersive experience.
4 Days Itinerary Sri Lanka Details
Bentota, nestled in the Galle district of the Southern province, is a picturesque coastal town in Sri Lanka known for its stunning beaches. The beaches are conveniently within walking distance of accommodations. This resort town is a mere 110 kilometers from the Colombo airport.
The initial city on my exploration list was Bentota, situated on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka. My delightful stay in this beautiful town extended for two days.
Things to do in Bentota
- Bentota Beach: Explore the pristine shores of Bentota Beach and Ventura Beach, both boasting breathtaking beauty.
- Water Sports: Engage in thrilling water sports like jet skiing, windsurfing, or banana boat rides, available at various water sports centers.
- Bentota River Safari: Take a boat safari along the Bentota River to explore its mangroves, wildlife, and picturesque landscapes.
- Gems: Immerse yourself in the world of precious stones at Aida Gems and Jewellery. Take your time to admire the stunning gems and consider purchasing one as a unique and cherished souvenir from your Sri Lankan journey.
- Sea Turtle Conservation Project: Visit the Sea Turtle Conservation Project to learn about and contribute to the conservation of these fascinating creatures.
- Brief Garden: Explore the lush Brief Garden, an artistic and beautifully landscaped garden featuring a variety of plants and sculptures.
- Kande Viharaya Temple: Visit the Kande Viharaya Temple, known for its giant Buddha statue and panoramic views of the surrounding area.
- Ayurvedic Spa Experience: Indulge in a rejuvenating spa treatment to relax and revitalize your mind and body.
- Lunuganga Estate: Discover the enchanting Lunuganga Estate, the former home of renowned Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa, known for its unique architecture and serene surroundings.
- Bentota Bazaar: Explore the local markets in Bentota to experience the vibrant culture and shop for souvenirs and handmade crafts.
- Dining by the Beach: Enjoy fresh seafood and traditional Sri Lankan cuisine at beachside restaurants for a memorable dining experience.
- Scuba Diving: Consider diving options in Bentota, which provides the thrilling opportunity to scuba dive alongside magnificent whale sharks.
Sea Turtle Conservation Project
Embark on a heartwarming experience at Bentota’s sea turtle conservation nursery, where you can witness the delicate beauty of two-day-old baby turtles. Participate in this conservation project, which involves safely hatching turtle eggs within the nursery and releasing these tiny wonders into the sea to ensure their survival.
An entrance fee of 1000 Sri Lankan Rupees is required at the entrance, and this contribution goes towards supporting the turtles and their conservation efforts.
Note: It is advisable to conduct thorough research and read online reviews before participating in any turtle conservation project. Unfortunately, some organizations prioritize profits over the well-being of the turtles and other animals. Ensuring that you choose a reputable and genuinely committed conservation effort will contribute to a positive impact on the environment and wildlife.
The dedicated staff at the nursery is committed to the crucial mission of saving endangered sea turtles from extinction. The facility cares for the adorable hatchlings and provides a sanctuary for rescued turtles.
During your visit, the knowledgeable staff will offer detailed insights into the hatching process and the release of these precious turtles into the ocean. Additionally, you may be able to witness these beautiful creatures making their way into the sea on alternate days.
Places to Stay in Bentota
Bentota, a coastal town, has a selection of hotels and resorts along its picturesque beaches. Many of these accommodations offer private beach access. I recommend considering the following options for your stay:
- Cinnamon Bentota Beach Resort (5-Star Hotel)
- Thaala Bentota Resort (4-Star Hotel)
- Taj Bentota Resort and Spa (5-Star Hotel)
Kandy is a significant city located in the central region of Sri Lanka, renowned for being the final capital of the country’s kings and holding the status of a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Nestled amidst tea plantations and rainforests, Kandy is characterized by its sacred ambiance, featuring prominent Buddhist temples. Although I had only one day to explore this cultural hub, a complete guide to Kandy is available for those seeking more in-depth insights.
Things to do in Kandy
There are plenty of things to do in Kandy. During my brief stay in Kandy, I explored a few key attractions due to time constraints.
- Temple of the Tooth Relic: Highlights included visiting the renowned UNESCO World Heritage Site Temple of the Tooth Relic, an awe-inspiring experience that justifies dedicating several days to Kandy.
- Kandy Lake: I also strolled around Kandy Lake, immersing myself in the serene surroundings. Enjoy a leisurely walk around the picturesque Kandy Lake, surrounded by lush greenery and offering beautiful views.
- Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage (with caution): Additionally, I ventured to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, established in 1975 with seven orphaned elephants. However, it’s essential to conduct thorough research on animal orphanages before contributing, considering concerns about their care practices.
Note: I encountered a distressing sight in Kandy, witnessing captivated and drugged animals, particularly snakes, exploited for tourist photo opportunities. It is crucial to raise awareness about the unethical treatment of these creatures and discourage such activities.
Participating in or promoting these practices supports animal cruelty and is against ethical tourism principles. I strongly advocate refraining from engaging in activities that exploit animals and instead encourage responsible and compassionate tourism.
- Recycled paper from elephant dung: An intriguing and eco-friendly activity involved witnessing the process of making recycled paper from elephant dung, a unique experience near the lake where the elephants bathe.
- Royal Botanical Gardens: Spend time in the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens, known for its diverse plant species, scenic landscapes, and avenues of majestic trees.
- Bahirawakanda Vihara Buddha Statue: Embark on a short hike to the Bahirawakanda Vihara Buddha Statue, offering panoramic views of Kandy.
- Cultural Dance Performance: Witness a traditional Kandyan dance performance showcasing local culture, music, and dance forms.
- Ceylon Tea Museum: Learn about the history of tea production in Sri Lanka and enjoy a guided tour of the Ceylon Tea Museum.
- Udawatta Kele Sanctuary: Take a nature walk through this forest reserve, home to various bird species, monkeys, and diverse flora.
- Scenic Train Ride: Enjoy a picturesque journey from Kandy to Ella, offering breathtaking views of Sri Lanka’s landscapes.
Places to Stay in Kandy
I had just a day in Kandy, but if you have more time, I highly recommend extending your stay in this charming city. Consider staying at these accommodations in Kandy:
Exploring the capital city of Sri Lanka is essential to experience the country truly. Despite its modern skyscrapers, the city retains the colonial charm of the British-built structures. I dedicated my last day to discovering Colombo.
Things to do in Colombo
Colombo, Sri Lanka’s bustling capital, has various activities to enjoy. Some notable things to do include:
- Gangaramaya Temple: Explore this iconic Buddhist temple known for its eclectic architecture and extensive collection of artifacts.
- Galle Face Green: A famous promenade along the coast, perfect for an evening walk or enjoying local street food.
- Independence Square: A historical landmark with beautifully landscaped gardens reflecting Sri Lanka’s journey to independence.
- Pettah Market: Immerse yourself in this bustling market’s vibrant chaos, offering various goods, from textiles to spices.
- National Museum: Delve into Sri Lanka’s rich history and cultural heritage through the exhibits in this museum.
- Beira Lake: Enjoy a peaceful boat ride in the city’s heart, surrounded by nature and urban scenery.
- Odel: Visit one of Colombo’s premier department stores, offering a wide range of local and international brands.
- Viharamahadevi Park: Unwind in this public park, known for its serene atmosphere and beautiful flowering trees.
- House of Fashions.
- Noritake Ceramic Shop.
- Temple of Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Devasthanam Kovil. Unfortunately, I could not go inside the temple as it was closed when I got there.
- Khan Clock Tower.
Places to stay in Colombo
The capital city boasts diverse hotels and resorts, encompassing everything from historic establishments to luxurious accommodations. For an unforgettable stay in Colombo, consider the following hotels:
- The Kingsbury Colombo (5-Star Hotel)
- Grand Oriental Hotel (3-Star Hotel)
- Hilton Colombo (5-Star Hotel)
Is Sri Lanka Safe for Solo Female Travelers?
Update 2023: Sri Lanka is currently facing a crisis, and I strongly recommend conducting thorough research before planning a visit.
Stay informed about the current situation, assess the ongoing events, and make an informed decision on whether it is safe to travel to the country.
Always prioritize your safety and well-being when making travel plans.
Your safety should be your top priority, and while Sri Lanka is generally considered safe for solo female travelers, it’s crucial to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions. I didn’t encounter any issues during my time in Sri Lanka, but as with any destination, it’s advisable to be cautious, especially when traveling at night. Trust your instincts, stay aware of your surroundings, and consider standard safety practices to ensure a secure and enjoyable trip.
Even though Sri Lanka is a small country, it offers diverse experiences for all types of travelers. Four days were quite limited, and I would eagerly return to explore more of its attractions. Sigiriya is at the top of my list for the next visit. However, if you are constrained to just four days, this 4 Days Itinerary Sri Lanka should guide you through some of Sri Lanka’s highlights.
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