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Critique our itinerary, please

los angeles
9 posts
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Critique our itinerary, please

Hi there -

We've been lurking on these boards for weeks and are ready for your thoughts. We're inclined to hire a series of drivers rather than have one for the entire time. Do you all think that it would be easier to keep one for the whole trip?

This trip runs from late May-early June

Arrive at airport at midnight

2 nights at Wallawwa in Kotugoda to unwind

Drive to Dambulla (2 hours?)

2 nights at Kandalama

Trips to Anuradharura and Dambulla Cave Temples/Sirigiya Rock

Drive to Pinnawala (1.5 hours?)

1 night at Hotel Elephant Bay

See elephants!

Drive to Ella (2.5 hours?)

2 nights at Mountain Heavens or Planters Bungalow

explore Ella & nearby

Drive to Arugam Bay (2 hours?)

2 night at Stardust Beach Hotel or ??

surf

Drive to Unawatuna (4 hours?) - pros/cons vs. Mirissa?

2 nights at Secret Garden or Thabropan Beach House

Drive to Galle (10 mins)

2 nights at The Fort Printers

Drive/Train to Columbo (time?)

2 nights at Mount Lavinia Hotel

Home

We are so excited to see Sri Lanka! Many thanks for any tips/ideas you veterans might have. Are we spreading ourselves too thin moving around this much?

-Amy & Russell

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
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53,019 posts
190 reviews
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1. Re: Critique our itinerary, please

Hi A & R,

Having one driver for the whole trip is easier yes and often cheaper but has its pros and cons. See reply #1 in this thread for the two models

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293961-i8983-k533…

Your driving times are totally wrong; probably Google maps with its nice dreamy 100 km/h again. 30-40 km/h is more accurate in Lanka...

So first the right times:

Drive to Dambulla (4-5 hours)

Drive to Pinnawala (2.5 hours)

Drive to Ella (6 hours)

Drive to Arugam Bay (4 hours)

Drive to Unawatuna (9 hours - maybe split over 2 days?)

- pros/cons vs. Mirissa?

Well it's both bigger at U'tuna and in a way more relaxed as most acco is further behind the beach. Which is not brilliant, Mirissa has the better beach.

Drive to Galle (10 mins)

2 nights at The Fort Printers

Drive/Train to Columbo (3 hours)

And the main hole in your schedule is Kandy, but if you think it's less interesting than the other places that's an opinion one is entitled too. We'd disagree..

Hope this helps a bit,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
53,019 posts
190 reviews
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2. Re: Critique our itinerary, please

Ps could not edit anymore, so as extra:

And no, this is not spreading too thinly - Lanka has quite a variety but quite spread out too. One could only argue (next to the Kandy skipping) why you would do both U'tuna and Galle, as they are so closeby.

Fredericia, Denmark
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37,532 posts
7 reviews
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3. Re: Critique our itinerary, please

Express trains from Galle do not stop at Mount Lavinia. You will have to get down at Moratuwa or go all the way to Colombo Fort.

Hans

Negombo, Sri Lanka
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69 posts
6 reviews
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4. Re: Critique our itinerary, please

Hi

Erik have given the best reply. The time you mentioned here is wrong. You have to spend more than you expect on roads.

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Destination Expert
for Sri Lanka
Level Contributor
53,019 posts
190 reviews
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5. Re: Critique our itinerary, please

Yes correct addition to trains. You can still buy a Galle-Mount ticket, and at Moratuwa (or if the train does not halt there Panadura) and then change to a local train which will halt at Mount. Very close to the hotel area even...

All the best,

<Erik> & [Sandya]

6. Re: Critique our itinerary, please

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