Extensive searches and long discussions,   weighing the options and calculating the costs- the whole process actually took us longer than expected. However, all this finally ended and the decision was sealed: Sri Lanka it was!

Why Sri Lanka?

The question has been asked multiple times, and the answer has always been the same- because it has all that we were looking for! It has the most beautiful sights: both natural and man-made, it is safe for travelling and cherry on the top- it is light on pocket. Not only the visa is easy to obtain, but the air tickets, hotels and travelling is also quite in-expensive, rendering the country perfect for a budgeted tour.

Some essential tips and tricks for budgeted travelers

  • Try travelling during off peak season- both the air fare and hotel rents would be much less as compared to the peak days. We secured our air tickets for half the usual price (or it was doubled during peak season)
  • Opt for B&B’s and hostels instead of hotels- they provide the same facilities with significant difference in pricing.
  • Book your residence before-hand, using the online options (we used booking.com), in order to avoid hassle at the last moment, and also to save time. Moreover, the reviews available on online booking sites would help you in settling for the best option.
  • Go for local food- not only is it really good in taste, but the prices are also very low, as compared to the Western brands like KFC, Burger King and Pizza Hut.
  • Use local transport. There is a huge price difference between the busses/ trains and cars, thus if you have enough time, and you tend to save, take the public transport.
  • Bargain- this goes for every single place in Sri Lanka, from tuk tuk to the stores and sometimes even the hotels/ guest houses too.
  • Always carry an umbrella if you are travelling in monsoon- rain could come at any time, unexpected. 

Visa Processing

ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) cn be obtained online, or from the Sri Lankan Embassy. ETA is valid for 3 months, and entry time is 30 days from the issuance date. We decided get ours from the Sri Lankan embassy in Bahrain (since we are travelling from Bahrain) around 2 weeks before our departure. The visa processing hardly took 3-4 days, and we had it stamped on our passports.


Day 1: Colombo and Pinnawala 

- Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and Zoo

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Bathing Elephants

View from the Zoo

Day 2: Dambulla and Sigriya 

- Golden Temple 
- Cave Temple 
- Lion Rock

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At the top! Lion Rock- Sigriya

Lion Paws- Lion Rock, Sigriya

View from the top- Lion Rock, Sigriya

Lion Rock- Sigriya

Cave Temple

Cave Temple

Wall Carvings, inside Cave Temple

On the way to Cave Temple 

Golden Temple

Day 3: Kandy

- Botanical Garden 
- Kandy Lake
- Kandy View Point

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Kandy Botanical Garden 

Kandy Lake

Kandy View Point

Day 4: Nuwara Eliya- the most amazing Train Journey

- Georgy Lake
- Lover's Leap Water Fall
- Pedro Tea Estate 

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Train Ride from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya

The Breathtaking Views

Gregory Lake

Pedro Tea Estate

Day 5: Ella

- Nine Arches Bridge 
- Little Adam's Peak
- Rawana Ralls

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Nine Arches Bridge 

View atop Little Adam's Peak

Little Adam's Peak

Ravana Falls

Day 6: Udawalawe

- Udawalawe National Park

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Day 7: Galle

- Mirissa Beach 
- Galle Fort
- Dutch Market 
- Unawatuna Beach 
- Jungle Beach

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Mirissa Beach

Jungle Beach

Dutch Market

Unawatuna Beach

On the way to Jungle Beach

Jungle Beach

Day 8: Colombo International Airport

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Being a developing country, it has certain downsides- certain streets and roads are not as clean as they should be, and traffic might not be as organized as expected, but the natural beauty of this place, combined with the courtesy of the locals, makes it worth visiting anyway. Everything, from tickets to B&B’s, food and transportation, is reasonably priced. So, if you are travelling on budget, and looking forward towards a happening tour while witnessing nature at its best, Sri Lanka is surely the place for you!