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Sri Lanka Trip – A Budget Backpacking Journey!

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Sri Lanka Road Trip On A Budget!

A gorgeous Southeast Asian Nation lying so close to us, the Sri Lanka trip is surely a backpacker’s hub. With its varied topography from hills to beaches, warm friendly people with smiling faces, historical and cultural attractions, numerous festivities taking place throughout the year, herds of elephants roaming around in the wild and much more – Sri Lanka has been rightly named as ‘The Pearl of the Indian Ocean’, because of its richness and uniqueness. While the beachgoers usually tend to hang out in the island’s coastal belt, which is home to thriving cafés and surfing culture, the ancient towns of central and northern Sri Lanka keep the history buffs infatuated by their charm.

The country, as a matter of fact, still holds on to the old world charm and the adversities of commercialized tourism haven’t hit it hard yet. In case you are looking to experience the difference and dive into the adventure pool, then now is the right time to head towards Sri Lanka.

Explore the places where Buddhism bloomed in the earliest of times and walk down the UNESCO Heritage Sites, hike up the lush green hills and relax by the golden beaches while savoring the grilled seafood platter, get into the mud with the elephants and play for endless hours, meet the Sinhalese communities and live your best moments while traveling across the country with Plan The Unplanned! 

Note: Just in case you are a group of 5 or more, we can offer you customized trips on your preferable dates. For more details, contact us!


  • Triple Sharing - ₹
  • Twin Sharing - ₹

Sri Lanka Trip - Short Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at Bandaranaike International Airport, Negombo

Day 2: Negombo-Dambulla-Sigiriya

Day 3: Sigiriya-Trincomalee-Sigiriya

Day 4: Sigiriya-Kandy-Nuwara Eliya

Day 5: Explore Nuwara Eliya, Nuwara Eliya- Ella (Local Train Ride)

Day 6: Adventurous Day Out at Ella

Day 7: Ella-Tangalle-Mirissa

Day 8: Mirissa (Whale Watching, Surfing ) Weligama

Day 9: Mirissa-Unawatuna-Galle-Hikkaduwa

Day 10: Explore Madu River via Boat Safari ( Optional ) 

Price Inclusions

  • Transport to and fro from Negombo
  • Accommodation and Breakfast for all days ( Stay on double/triple sharing basis )
  • Whale watching tour and Pigeon Island Boat Tour ( Snorkelling )
  • All Major Enty Fees
  • Driver Allowance, Toll, Highway Charges, Petrol
  • Tour Leader from Plan The Unplanned, Local guide at Sigiriya
  • Experience that you gain

Price Exclusions

  • Any meals not included above
  • Any kind of personal expenses
  • Any kind of insurance (health, medical, life accidental,etc )
  • Anything not included above
  • Visa Permits
  • Flight tickets, Local transport, train tickets
  • Pickup and drop off to airport other than the common mentioned time

How to Reach?

By Air

Colombo International Airport (CMB) is the main point of entry for international travelers in Sri Lanka. The availability of domestic flights in Sri Lanka is limited as most of the cities are quite near to each other. Direct flights from Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Chennai are available by Air Aisa, Jet Airways, Indigo, and SriLankan Airlines. India to Sri Lanka flight duration may vary from 90 minutes to 3 hours 30 minutes depending on the airport.

How to Obtain a Visa?

  • Sri Lanka has a visa on arrival for free. However, if you wish to avoid long queues you can obtain a visa at http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/ with a minimal amount to Rs 1500- Rs 2500. You shall receive the Visa permits on email within a day or two

If you have any queries regarding flights or visa please get in touch with us on 9482070194.

Things to Carry

We request you to kindly carry the following. It’s better to be prepared rather than not prepared.

  • Passport along with 2 xerox copy
  • 2 passport size photo
  • Rucksack (Just stuff your things in!)
  • Small Back Pack(20-30 ltr)
  • Slip-on shoes or Sandals
  • Hiking shoes
  • A water bottle
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Dry shampoo
  • Baby wipes and hand sanitizer
  • Rain gear (jacket, rainfly, dry sacs)
  • A sweater or sweatshirt
  • Warm weather clothing
  • Bathing suit
  • Sarong or quick-dry towel
  • Toiletries
  • Camera, charger, SD cards
  • First  Aid kit and Medicines as per your convenience
  • Power banks for your electronics


Sri Lanka Road Trip - A Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at Bandaranaike International Airport, Negombo

You’ll kick start your backpacking journey today, in Sri Lanka. Check-in to your hotel and we shall have our Outdoor Leader break the ice! Why not take a wander down the beach or grab a nap before we head out for dinner & drinks in the evening!

Overnight Stay at Hotel at Negombo.

Day 2: Negombo-Dambulla-Sigiriya

Time to hit the roads and make our way to Dambulla, home to the famous golden cave temple, filled with ancient Buddhist statues & rock carvings made by the monks, some thousands of years ago. On the way, you will get to enjoy the experience of climbing 1,200 steps that lead to the top of Sigiriya Rock Fortress. 

Evening 4×4 Jeep Safari at Minneriya National Park

Tip: Make sure you wear clothing that covers your legs and shoulders while visiting temples in Sri Lanka. Carry a sarong or a scarf for the same if needed. You need to dress moderately while in Sri Lanka.

Overnight Stay at Sigiriya.

Day 3: Sigiriya-Trincomalee-Sigiriya

Today you’ll travel to Trincomalee, around 90 minutes away on the east coast of Sri Lanka, where you’ll enjoy white sand beaches and clear blue seas. A popular attraction in Trincomalee is Pigeon Island, just a ten-minute boat ride offshore. This rocky islet makes for a great day trip, with snorkeling and diving, and shallow rock pools to explore. This protected area is home to nesting rock pigeons and is also the subject of various conservation efforts aimed at preserving its reefs.

For a touch of history – visit Fort Frederick, which was used by Dutch, Portuguese, and British colonial forces.  Sunset at Swami Rock: Swami Rock is full of myth and legend – near the temple is “Lover’s Leap”, where a Dutch general’s daughter once attempted suicide after her paramour returned to Europe. She survived the fall and the location is famous not just for its sheer drop but for the sunset views it offers across the waters.

Head back to Sigiriya for the night.

Day 4: Sigiriya-Kandy-Nuwara Eliya

You could begin your day with a Sunrise hike to Pidurangala Rock (optional).

Let’s head to Kandy and visit the most iconic place, Sacred Temple of Tooth Republic. We would also spend the day at leisure exploring the Kandy Market. We would have lunch at our most favorite restaurants Balaji Dosai before we head off to Mini England (Nuwara Eliya).

Take a relaxing walk at Gregory Lake. Overnight stay in the beautiful city of Nuwara Eliya.

Day 5: Explore Nuwara Eliya, Nuwara Eliya- Ella (Local Train Ride)

After a delicious breakfast, we shall head off to visit the famous Seetha Amman Temple. A short hike to the lesser-known falls around Nuwara Eliya Lover’s Leap and Bomburuella Falls. We shall arrive at sharp 3:55 PM at Nanu Oya station to experience one of the world’s most scenic train ride to Ella!

train ride Sri Lanka

Overnight stay at Ella.

Day 6: Adventurous Day Out at Ella

Today we will explore the spectacular green hill town of Ella.

Sri Lanka Road Trip

We will walk along the iconic Nine Arches Bridge, an amazing piece of British architecture which is hidden amongst the blooming forest and tea leaves, before taking a hike to the top of Little Adam’s Peak. Explore hidden waterfalls close to Ella and relax for the day by exploring the best of the gastropubs at Ella.

Overnight stay at Ella.

Day 7: Ella-Tangalle-Mirissa

Today will be a day of exploring the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Explore one of the most gorgeous waterfalls before you head to the beachside drive.  Revealed as the “perfect beach”, Tangalle is where you’ll find the picturesque, skinny coconut palms scattered along the shoreline and the scent of plumeria blowing in the wind.

Overnight Stay at Mirissa

Day 8: Mirissa (Whale Watching, Surfing ) Weligama

You’ll start your day on an adventurous note, heading off for whale watching. Then we’ll also catch the main attractions which include Parrot Rock Bridge, Coconut Tree Hill, and of course, the Secret Beach of Mirissa!

Overnight stay at Mirissa

Day 9: Mirissa-Unawatuna-Galle-Hikkaduwa

Let’s head further down the coast to the beautiful city of Galle. Often found online for its incredible beauty, Galle is a perfect place to grab that IG Snap! Spend the afternoon wandering through the Dutch fortress before we make our way to our final beach destination, Hikkaduwa. Tonight we head out for dinner, find a party and dance like nobody is watching!

Overnight Stay at Hikkaduwa

Day 10: Explore Madu River via Boat Safari ( Optional ) 

The Madu Ganga is a complex coastal wetland ecosystem consisting of rivers, lakes, mangroves, and islands. With an inlet from the ocean, the estuary is home to over 300 species of plants and 250 species of vertebrate animals. It is said to be one of the last, pristine mangrove forests in Sri Lanka! You can take a boat tour to the highlights along the Madu like Cinnamon Island where you can see how locals harvest cinnamon to make items like cinnamon oil, sticks, rope, and more.

Today is check out day and the end of your amazing trip to Sri Lanka. We’ll help you sort out your onward travel, giving you ideas on where to go next on your travels with your new mates or simply helping you get back to the airport for your flight. 

Make sure to book the returning flights after 5:00 PM.

Image Credits: Recal Media, Yves Alarie, Aakankshaa Melkot, Egle Sidaraviciute, Tomáš Malík, Darya Dyachenko


I'm a solo traveller, Can I join?

The interesting thing about traveling alone is that you get to meet new people from  diverse backgrounds, and towards the end you are no longer strangers. Hence solo travelers are always welcome to join us on our trips. Read more about solo travelling here and get inspired! https://www.plantheunplanned.com/solo-yet-accompanied/ 

Is it safe for Women/Girls?

Safety and security is our priority at all times. Hence it is absolutely safe for women/girls to join us on our treks and travels. Our trek leaders accompany the team at all times, and our campsites are secured and safe for accomodation. We also have female trek leaders who accompany on most of our treks.


What will be the group size?

Usually, we take maximum of 15-18 people in one group. We believe bigger groups have less fun and less coordination so that’s why we prefer smaller groups.

We need at least 4 people to operate our fixed departure tours/treks.

How do I avail discounts? 

Details for availing  discounts are mentioned in the following link, https://www.plantheunplanned.com/membership/

What is cancellation policy?

Here’s the cancellation policy for Himalayan Treks/Backpacking Trips/Road Trips

  • If you cancel before 30 days – 90% of amount will be refunded
  • If you cancel between 20 -30 days – 75% % of amount will be refunded
  • If you cancel between 15-19 days – 50%  will be refunded
  • If you cancel between 7-14 days – 25 % amount will be refunded
  • If you cancel between 0- 7 days before the departure date – No amount would be refunded.

Note: For All The Above Refund Cases Transaction Fees/Internet Handling Charges will be dedcuted from the overall amount and balance amount shall be refunded. You can transfer your ticket to anyone so that you could save your hard earned money

For other trips and travels with us, and detailed terms and conditions check the      following link : https://www.plantheunplanned.com/refund-cancellation-policy

For more queries please visit our Frequently Asked Questions ( FAQ's).


  • Min number of travelers required for the event to happen is 4. Plan The Unplanned would be not responsible for any flight cancellation charges/any other cost.
  • The food, accommodation, entrance fees expenditure shall be split on actuals between the number of travelers. An approx expenditure of about INR 15000 – INR 20000 is expected apart from your flights and Plan The Unplanned booking fee. Note this is only an estimate and the overall expenditure can be much lower depending upon the travelers.
  • Sri Lankan Rupees can be availed at Sri Lankan airport for an exchange rate of 1 lkr equals to INR 2.2 to INR 2.3. Kindly avoid exchange at Indian Airport. International Debit cards and Credits do work in Sri Lanka.
  • We would request to book your flights from Chennai as they are a lot cheaper.
  • Sri Lanka has a visa on arrival for free. However, if you wish to avoid long queues you can obtain visa at http://www.eta.gov.lk/ with a minimal amount to Rs 1500- Rs 2500. You shall receive the Visa permits on email within a day or two
  • You need to carry the Original Passport and 2 Passport size Photographs. Make sure your passport has a validity of min 6 months.
  • Personal expenses are to be borne by you.
  • Travel insurance is available at an additional cost. Please contact on 9035182699, 9482070194
  • Book your return flights on 15th December only after 5:00 PM
  • You can check the cancellation policy by clicking on the cancellation tab.