By Devashree Sanghvi, Thecrazyindianfoodie.
Lush greenery, delicious food, spectacular resorts, intriguing wildlife, rolling hills, pristine beaches & more make the tropical island country of Sri Lanka a must visit.
A 2-hour flight away from Mumbai, I was in Sri Lanka for TBC Asia 2018, travel bloggers conference organised by Cinnamon Hotels, Destination Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan Airlines & PTBA.
60 of the world’s most influential travel bloggers came together in this beautiful island country to explore its many facets!
I was part of the Eastern Sri Lanka tour and loved every moment of it. Here’s my list on what you can see and do in Eastern Sri Lanka in 6 days:
Day 1: Explore Colombo, the magnificent capital:
A blend of modernisation with culture, the buildings, streets & markets of Colombo are full of exciting lights & flavours. From ancient temples to busy shops, this city has a lot to explore.
Staying at Cinnamon Grand Colombo, a magnificent property, you can experience the best of this magical city. Dine at Nuga Gama, their traditional Sri Lankan cuisine restaurant or take a dip in their rooftop pool, book yourself a city tour or relax in the comfort of your room.
Day 2: Experience a lovely golf resort in Kandy :
Home to the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha, Kandy with its bustling markets, iconic train station, tuk-tuks & more is a centre of Art & Culture. A short train ride away from Colombo this is one of Sri Lanka’s most charismatic destinations.
Situated 21 kms from the Kandy train station is the spectacular Victoria Golf Course & Country Resort. With acres & acres of lush greenery, spacious rooms, activities like nature trails, horse riding & bird watching, this resort is my idea of paradise.
Day 3: Drive to Arugambay :
Pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, delicious local food, palm trees & soft sands make Arugambay the ideal island gateway.
Also a popular surfing point Arugambay was once a simple fishing village now converted into a popular tourist destination. It’s located about 5-6 hours from Kandy.
Apart from the beaches and hotels, Arugambay has something special to offer, namely the Kumana Wildlife Sanctuary which is just a short drive away.
Hop onto your jeep as you embark on an adventure of a lifetime. The dense forests of Sri Lanka are full of beautiful, exotic wildlife that will leave you spellbound as you observe them in their natural habitat. From Peacocks to Bisons, Elephants to a large variety of birds, this 3-hour safari is completely worth it.
While in Arugambay we stayed at Roccos which has its own pool & private beach where you can surf, eat, drink & have a great time.
Day 4: Off to Pasikuda :
Coral reefs, large beaches, spectacular resorts and an ancient fort characterise the eastern Sri Lankan fishing village of Pasikuda. This is around 3-4 hours by road from Arugambay.
We stayed at the Maalu Maalu Resort & Spa which felt like Sri Lanka’s very own Maldives! With quaint rooms, a luxurious spa, two restaurants, a large sea facing pool and a wide beach, sip on your coconuts as you watch the sun set over the horizon. This was one of the best properties we visited!
Day 5: Discover Trincomalee:
A popular destination for whale watching, the fishing villages & beaches of Trincomalee are full of surprises. This is 2-3 hours from Pasikuda.
Experience Sri Lanka’s culture at Koneswaram temple which reflects the Hindu influence on the islands. With intricate carvings, ancient deity statues & more, a trip to this temple is a must.
Situated on a high rock, this ancient temple is surrounded on three sides by the sea. The view from the top is scenic!
We stayed at the gorgeous Trinco Blu by Cinnamon, a beautiful resort with multiple dining options, whitewashed rooms, a large pool and of course beach access! Enjoy breakfast in bed or go whale watching, take an excursion to Pigeon island or sway to live music in this lovely resort.
Day 6: Cinnamon Air flight to Colombo :
Skip the long 6-hour drive and embark on one of the best flying experiences of your life in the special Cinnamon air flight that gets you from Trincomalee to Colombo in 45 mins!
A small flight that accommodates just 8-10 people, the views from the top are totally unmatched! Fly over Sri Lankan jungles, beaches and monuments as you experience one of the best ways to see the country!
You can explore Colombo, stay at Cinnamon Grand and then fly back home with happy memories.
Absolutely loved my experience at Sri Lanka at TBC Asia! Also WON an award by Sri Lankan Airlines in the Food, Cultural and Traditional coverage category making me one of the world’s TOP 30 most influential travel bloggers!
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Wow! I’m planning to visit Sri Lanka for New Years. How will the weather be?
Hi Rahil. Being a tropical country winters are extremely pleasant in Sri Lanka. January temperatures range between 22-31 degrees celsius so rest assured you can spend a good new years eve here.
Looks great! Going to Colombo for business and thinking of extending my trip for a bit. What places out of these can I cover in a day?
Thank you for reading. Kandy is a short 3-hour drive/train ride away from Colombo and can be explored in a day. You can also visit places like Galle, Dambulla-Sigiriya, Sinharaja Rain Forest, Mirissa, etc.
Well penned! I was there last year and loved every bit of it. Planning a girls trip! Is it safe?
Thank you for taking time out to read the article. Yes, Sri Lanka is a relatively safe country and I personally never felt unsafe. However, you must always take basic precautions while travelling to any country as women. Hope you have a great time in Sri Lanka!
One of our favourite countries to visit! Haven’t been in 10 years though. Is it budget friendly?
Yes it’s absolutely beautiful! You can find hotels and travel for all budgets and since the currency is lighter than the Indian rupee, it’s one of the most budget-friendly destinations to visit. You can find hotels for as cheap as INR 2000 per night and a meal for INR 300-400 for two people too. You can choose to travel by their local trains which are very well connected to save on travel expenses. Try booking your flights directly from the airline website for best deals/check-out sky scanner. I’d recommend Sri Lankan airlines.
Always love your articles! Planning a trip with my in laws here. But my mother in law is wheelchair bound. How accessible are the hotels you’ve mentioned for the disabled?
Thank you. Most of the hotels mentioned are 4-5 star and they do have ramps and services which are easily accessible for people with physical difficulties. However, you can reach out to the ones you plan on visiting and confirm the same before booking.