Best Day Trips from Colombo

Best Day Trips from Colombo

Best Day Trips from Colombo

Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital, is the gorgeous ocean city that is far up on every backpacker’s bucket list. Boasting some seriously rich colonial culture and history, the isle acts as a melting point of a multitude of races, religion, and culture. Soaring mansions, lush green garden, stylish eateries, galleries, and expensive boutiques, Colombo recently opened its first amusement park filled with thrilling rides for both adults and kids. Its buzzing night scene with world class clubs, chilled out bars and flashy casinos are also a reason for its booming tourism.

A land of mystery, Colombo exhibits a never-ending list of places you can discover. And surprisingly, the neighbouring regions of this isle are as explorable as the city. Sri Lanka being a small island lets you discover and explore its hidden gems in just a day’s time. So to make the most of your Lankan vacay, following are some examples of day trips you must make when planning a trip to Colombo:

1. Kandy

Located in island’s southern heartlands, this divine, verdant town is worlds away from the tropical coastal lowlands. Nothing can epitomize the picturesque diversity of Sri Lanka other than a drive from humid and hot Colombo to cool altitude of Kandy. En route, visit the Spice Garden in Mawanella where you get to know more about the famous Lankan spices. Once in Sacred city of Kandy, head to the Temple of Tooth Relic, a famous Buddhism pilgrimage site. The city is popular for its exuberant Kandy Esala Perahera festival held annually in July/august. Kandy’s vibrant cultural life, stunning landscapes, cobalt blue sky, and colonial-era landscape is more than enough to mesmerise you. The best ways to explore the city is stroll through its streets and engage with locals to know more about this UNESCO World Heritage site. You can reach Kandy by both road and rail. There are frequent trains and buses that run from Colombo to Kandy. Or, you can also rent a taxi n reach there in less than 4 hours.

2. Bentota

Bentota, a small resort town 64 km away from Columbia, is quite well known for its awe-inspiring vistas and the beautiful Bentota beach boasting golden sands. The region offers you calm and natural surroundings with zero vendors your peace of mind, or bars and clubs playing loud music to give you a headache! Frilled with palm trees, the beach hosts a bunch of water activities like snorkelling, diving, wind surfing etc, to keep you busy. The Turtle hatchery project a unique attraction here, pulls in hordes of turtle lovers, where almost 5 endangered species of turtles visit frequently on this beach and can lay eggs and thrive in this protected area before they are set free in the ocean. Head to Brief Garden, a stretch of beautifully designed parks spread over a couple of acres of land just near Bentota. The Japanese styled lawns and garden have attracted and inspired many artists since the colonial days. Travelling from Colombo is fairly easy as both buses and trains make frequent trips to Bentota. Both are quite comfortable and inexpensive with the journey taking barely 2-2.5 hours to reach.

3. Anuradhapura

One of the earliest and oldest inhabited cities in the world, Anuradhapura, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is Sri Lanka’s most celebrated ancient ruined city. With its greatest highlights being the Huge Dagobas (stupas) constructed of bricks and hemispherical in shape, crumbling temples, ancient pools all build during its 1000 year reign over Sri Lanka, the sacred city’s most notable relic is the holy bodhi tree, one that was planted 2250 years ago and is known to be one of the oldest historically authenticated trees in the world! It is also widely believed that it was grown from the branch of the tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment. Home to dozens of archaeological sites, Anuradhapura is frequented by plenteous history enthusiasts and Buddhists. The best way to reach here from Colombo is by rail or car which will take under 4 hours. However, you can also travel by bus which will take 5 hours approx.

4. Unawatuna

The most famous destination of Sri Lanka, Unawatuna is a beautiful banana shaped beach with golden sands and azure waters. Dotted with tall palm trees everywhere you turn your gaze, Unawatuna is a bit crowded during the holiday season but that’s what makes it lively and vibrant. Apart from swimming in the Indian Ocean, you can also enjoy water sports activities like scuba diving, snorkelling, and surfing. If you want to visit a less crowded place then head to Jungle beach, 4 km from Unawatuna. It’s a small stretch of beach with forest right behind it with a rich flora and fauna. You can reach there via boat ride from Unawatuna. Then there is Peace Pagoda, a Buddhists temple, 10 minute walk from the Unawatuna beach, offering a beautiful view of the ocean. From budget hotels to expensive resorts, Unawatuna serves all. You can reach there by train, taxi, or bus. Although, the least time consuming option would be taxi getting you there in an hour and a half (and also the most expensive one). Via train, you can reach in 2h 30m while buses take about 4 hours to reach.

5. Galle

A gem of a city, Galle is a seaside town, a sunny paradise that is enjoying a tourism boom right now all because of its misty mountains, picturesque tea trails, and palm lined shores. The town is a delight to explore with its grand churches, museums, Dutch colonial style buildings, and rich culture peaking through. A perfect place you are looking to get a glimpse of Sri Lanka’s exotic past, Galle features a fort built by the Dutch in 1663 right in the heart of it. A vastly educational and historic reigon, it is one of the most important archaeological, architectural, and historical monuments in all of Sri Lanka; hence, is also named as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Besides the historical sites, Galle features meditative temples, pristine beaches and a rich wildlife. Galle is well connected with Colombo and can easily be reached by bus, train, or car. It takes about 2 hours to reach by car and 3 hours by train. Bus services can take as long as 5 hours depending on the traffic.

History, sightseeing, beaches, nightlife, peace- Colombo is a Pandora’s Box for all kinds of holiday pursuits. So pack your bags for a fun filled vacation to this gorgeous city!

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