My 3 flatmates and I are planning a trip abroad next summer too celebrate our university graduation. It will be one last send off before we all go our separate ways so we'd like to go somewhere we've never been before. We have other destinations in mind also but I am in charge of pricing a holiday to Sri Lanka. I've come up with the following Itinerary for 18 days.
Day 1-3: Colombo Airport to Negombo
-days visit to Colombo
-relax and explore Negombo and beaches
Days 3-7: Dambulla
-I read that this was a good base for exploring the Cultural triangle?
-Also heard there is no longer a round trip ticket for the Cultural Triangle and there are now separate entrance fees to each site. Is it better to hire a driver/private tour to take us to Sigirya, Polonnanuwa and Anuradhapura or is it possible to visit these places without a guide?
Days 7 to 10: Kandy
-Explore Kandy city
-Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage
-Visit a Spice Garden
-See Cultural Dance Show
-Visit Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
Days 10 to 12: Ella
-Halpewatte Tea Factory
-Ella Gap Waterfall
-Ravanna' Cave and Ella Falls
-Spa at Hotel
Days 12 to 13: Day at Yala National Park
-Can anyone recommend a good place to stay that's relatively low cost?
Days 13 to 18: Galle
-We thoughts about having at least 6 nights at a hotel by the beach to just chill at the end of our holiday but I wasn't sure if Galle is the best place for this on the way back to the airport?
-Visit Turtle Hatchery
-Explore Galle town
Day 18: Fly back to UK
I would really appreciate any feedback anyone has on this itinerary - is there anything you would add in or take out?
Also travel wise I was reading the train/bus is the cheapest way to travel and I've seen many blogs which say the train journey from Kandy to Ella is especially scenic. Has anyone had much experience travelling by trains etc in Sri Lanka?
From my reading it would seem food is fairly cheap there, we are working within a budget so is £400 enough for train travel and food/souvenirs for 18 days?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!