Backpackers & Tourist Questions Answered
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I have 20 days in Sri Lanka can you suggest an Itinerary?

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The following can be done via bus or train:

  • Airport to Negombo¬† (bus)
  • Auradhapura and Mihintale via Chillaw and Puttalam, (bus)
  • Jaffna ( bus )
  • Habarana area for -- Polonoruwa / Sigirya / Dambulla (bus)
  • Kandy ( bus )
  • Hatton for access to Adams Peak and Hortons Plains (Train. from Peradeniya station)
  • Ella (bus or train if times are compatible)
  • Arugam Bay (bus via Wellawaya, Monaragala, Pottuvil)
  • Yala. (bus via Pottuvil, Wellawaya, Tissamaharama) Here I'd add Kataragama temples plus Situlpahuwa, an ancient Buddhist site in the Yala jungle.
  • Udawalawe (bus)
  • Mirissa bus)
  • Galle (bus)
  • Hikkaduwa (bus or train)
  • Colombo (bus or train).

Couple more things I'd add for your consideration, you can check these with a web search. Polonoruwa,,

While in the Yala area, a short bus ride to Kataragama to visit the various temples and also arrange a tuk tuk ride to Situlpahuwa which is an ancient Budhist complex built on some huge granite outcrops in the Yala jungles.

While in Mirissa or on your way along the south coast, Mulkirigala, a Budhist temple and ancient site just inland from Tangalle.

Udawalawe and Yala are different. Udawalawe is more open Savannah like grasslands noted for elephant herds. Yala is more scrub / dry jungle and more visited for leopard sightings.

There's a lot of bus travel there which is extremely cheap but slow. Also a lot of sites so I feel you might be adding a few and missing others out as you progress. Just start heading in the right direction and go with the flow.
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