Sri Lanka has lately become very popular with the backpackers and it’s absolutely no surprise with everything that Sri Lanka has to offer. From heartwarming nature trails, mountain temples and rock fortresses to idyllic beaches and gloriously red sunrises and sunsets; Sri Lanka has got something for everyone!
Sri Lanka backpacking is made easier with the easily accessible and comfortable public transportation system, and also not forgetting our world renowned hospitality. What else? Sri Lanka backpacking budget is one of the most affordable with long bus rides under USD 5 and luxury resorts and hotels which are quite affordable.
1. Idyllic beach sights in Hikkaduwa and Unawatuna
Not just the sandy beaches and azure waters, Hikkaduwa is the party capital of Sri Lanka, by that we mean, all day trance music by the beach. Unawatuna and Hikkaduwa are a backpackers’ paradise with stretches of sandy beaches to play on, plenty of places to chill at and huts to sleep in. You can always stopover at Hikka Tranz by Cinnamon for a truly Sri Lankan experience on your backpacking tour. These destinations are only about 115-125km away from Colombo. Don’t forget your sunscreen as it’s going to be a lot of fun under the sun!
Photo Credits: Alexandra Saper
2. The temples and wildlife in and around Dambulla
Dambulla is situated only 160km away from Colombo and is a must visit on your backpacking tour. Dambulla is entrenched with nature and wildlife and is a great place to use as a base when discovering the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka. You can book your stay at Habarana Village by Cinnamon or Cinnamon Lodge Habarana and travel to many destinations including the famous rock fortress in Sigiriya, National Parks in Minneriya and Kaudulla, Mountain Temple with intricate paintings in Dambulla and much more with ease! Don’t forget your sun gear to protect you from the hot sun that shines over Sri Lanka.
Photo Credits: Monicca Arwen
3. Luscious and green Ella
Ella is the latest backpackers’ hotspot in Sri Lanka, and is undoubtedly a backpackers’ paradise as it’s pretty relaxed, inexpensive, has lots of hikes and trekking sites and the weather is mostly nice and cool. The journey to Ella begins with one of the world’s most beautiful train rides with a mind blowing view of luscious greenery and rolling mountains. You must chill and enjoy the beauty of Ella before you make your way back home. Don’t forget to chill at the ‘Chill Café’ while you explore Ella.
Photo Credits: Travel aroma
4. The central highlands, Kandy
The hill capital of Sri Lanka is situated 150km away from Colombo and easily reachable via public bus or train. The train ride is specifically exhilarating; the stretches of green mountains and endless views of greenery are a backpackers dream come true! The weather is a little cooler in Kandy and there’s so much to do in and around the city to keep you busy all day long. Stretches of tea plantations, historic temples to visit, royal forests to explore and beautiful botanical gardens for your Instagram-worthy photographs. Wind down and relax at Cinnamon Citadel Kandy after a long day of exploring and treat yourself to well-deserved comfort and delicious meals.
Photo Credits: Duha Elawamleh
5. The chilly and hilly Nuwara Eliya
Located 155km away from Colombo, Nuwara Eliya is Sri Lanka’s very own ‘Little England’. The chilly climate, surrounded by mountains, stretches of tea plantations and endless cups of tea makes Nuwara Eliya a backpacker hotspot of Sri Lanka. While you set out on the hike of all hikes in Sri Lanka at Adam’s Peak, stopover at Nuwara Eliya and enjoy the climate and the surroundings which is a polar opposite to that of the bustling city of Colombo. It is definitely the most perfect place to relax and unwind before you head back to Colombo’s heat.
Photo Credits: ilgizar Gabitov
Get the best of what Sri Lanka has to offer by travelling long distances by bus or train; the views are breathtaking and will make you keep wanting more! Book your train tickets in advance to make sure you don’t miss out! We at Cinnamon Hotels and Resorts are always at your service to make your trip to Sri Lanka a more memorable one. So make sure you stop-over at our Resorts and Hotels and we will do our best to make sure you enjoy your backpacking experience in Sri Lanka to the maximum!
Author: Shenella Fonseka