Travel insights from The Journal by Intrepid Travel

25 Photos That Will Inspire You to Visit Sri Lanka with Intrepid

Rainforests. Beaches. Ruins. Temples. Tea. Surf. Trains.
So many reasons to visit the idyllic island nation of Sri Lanka.

But why simply list the reasons when we could show you picture proof that this destination deserves a place at the very top of your bucket list? In this instance, ‘picture proof’ comes in the form of some lovely shots from photographer extraordinaire Ryan Bolton who embarked on Intrepid’s 8-day Simply Sri Lanka trip just a while back.

We think he did a great job capturing the fun of the trip, the beauty of the country, and the magic of an adventure with Intrepid. Give the photo essay a browse, and apologies in advance if the temptation to book gets a little too unbearable…

  1. Day 1: Negombo

    Close to the capital and hearteningly near the waterfront, Negombo is a great first stop in Sri Lanka. Enjoy one of many beach bars and restaurants, and get settled in.

    arriving into Negombo

    Arriving into Negombo

    The fish market in Negombo

    The fish market in Negombo

  2. Day 2: Dambulla

    Time for action! Drive to the town of Dambulla and visit either a wildlife reserve (hello, wild elephants!) or the nearby Dambulla Caves. Whichever option you pick is bound to be a winner.

    The Dambulla Caves

    The Dambulla Caves

    Monkeys in Dambulla

    Monkeys in Dambulla

  3. Day 3: Sigiraya, Kandy

    Because you can’t visit Sri Lanka without ogling at the ancient rock fortress of Sigiriya. Ensure you wear good shoes because the hike is steep but OH SO WORTH IT.

    Hiking to Sigiriya

    Hiking to Sigiriya

    Happy at the top

    Happy at the top

    Happy at the top

    Endless views

    When you’ve taken photos aplenty, it’s time for the next stop: Kandy. To experience the best of the city, be sure to visit the Temple of the Tooth (the country’s most important Buddhist site) and enjoy a dance and drumming performance.

    Lovely Kandy

    Lovely Kandy

    At Kandy’s Temple of the Tooth

    At Kandy’s Temple of the Tooth

    A cultural performance in Kandy

    A cultural performance in Kandy

  4. Day 4: Nuwara Eliya

    Lakes, markets, citadels and nature walks, there’s so much to do in and around Kandy. But if you’re looking for even more adventure, try a day trip to Nuwara Eliya. The only thing better than the train journey there is the colonial charm and British tea culture you’ll be immersed in upon arrival.

    The train to Nuwara Eliya

    The train to Nuwara Eliya

    Lush landscapes aplenty

    Lush landscapes aplenty

    Learning about the tea growing industry

    Learning about the tea growing industry

    Enjoying tea in Nuwara Eliya

    Enjoying tea in Nuwara Eliya

    Nuwara Eliya views

    Nuwara Eliya views

  5. Day 5: Unawatuna

    Ready to relax? Unawatuna is made for unwinding in style. Try your hand at surfing, then reward yourself with a drink (or three) in one of many local restaurants and bars.

    Coastal bliss in Unawatuna

    Coastal bliss in Unawatuna

    Group surf lesson

    Group surf lesson

    Taking it slow in Unawatuna

    Taking it slow in Unawatuna

  6. Day 6: Unawatuna

    Relax on the beach – all day, if you please. Or pop to nearby Galle for Dutch colonial architecture and a bunch of boutique shops. Back in Unawatuna, maybe it’s time for a group meal and cocktail session?

    Tuk tuk in Unawatuna

    Tuk tuk in Unawatuna

    Tropical vibes

    Tropical vibes

    Drinks with the Intrepid group in Unawatuna

    Drinks with the Intrepid group in Unawatuna

  7. Day 7: Colombo

    Take the train to Sri Lanka’s capital, hit the shops, embrace the street food, and make the most of your last night. The tour might be coming to an end, but the memories will last a lifetime.

    A market in Colombo

    A market in Colombo

    A cooking class in Colombo

    A cooking class in Colombo

  8. Day 8: Colombo

    Although it’s time to say bye to your new best buds, there’s always room in any itinerary for last-day sightseeing. Consider visiting Gangaramaya Temple or taking a day trip with Intrepid’s sister company, Urban Adventures.

    Gangaramaya Temple in Colombo

    Gangaramaya Temple in Colombo

    Farewell, Colombo

    Farewell, Colombo

Inspired to go on this epic adventure? Check out Intrepid’s Simply Sri Lanka tour and array of other tours in Sri Lanka

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