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Renzo from London asked

Cultural Triangle and the Hill Country

Will spend 4 days/nights inland and would like to choose the best location(s) to set base to visit the above mention regions. So I would stay 2 nights in one hotel around the cultural triangle (Sigiriya, Anuradhapura, Pollonaruwa,Dambulla), and another 2 nights in the hill country (Adams Peak, Kandy, Knuckles range, Nuwara Eliya, Ella, Haputale, horton plains etc). Can you provide any insights ?

Sri Lanka   Sigiriya (Sri Lanka)   Anuradhapura (Sri Lanka)   Dambulla (Sri Lanka)   Kandy (Sri Lanka)   Nuwara Eliya (Sri Lanka)   Ella (Sri Lanka)

1 Answer
top answer by
Supun from Carson (California)

Hi again Renzo. 

For your first area, I'll recommend 2 types of  places. I've stayed at Sigiriya Rest House and I really liked the view. You can see the Sigiriya Rock Fortress from their rooms. You are very much in nature here, and we had a frog sneak into our bathroom--some of ladies in our group went crazy. The owner is very nice and they make great tea. If you want to avoid the frogs, you can also stay at Sigiriya Village Hotel. That's more of a "high end" hotel. I've never stayed there--it's pricier than the rest houses. Another tourist friendly place closer to the main highway junction is Cinnamon Lodge Habarana.

For your second area, I'd recommend a guest house or bungalow near Adam's PeakI can't remember the name of the place I stayed at here, sorry, and I'm sure they did not have a website. Newspaper listings might be a good option to look up places and prices. If you're there during a holiday, make sure you book ahead of time and confirm the day before.

This is one of the most beautiful places on earth. If you're Christian or Muslim this is where Adam (of the Adam and Eve story) moved to when he was kicked out of Eden, not bad, huh? If you want to be like Adam, Ravanna (from the Ramayana), Buddha, Siva, Fa Hien, Marco Polo and a bunch of characters who have supposedly been up to the peak, I'd recommend finding a spot in Hatton or in Nuwara Eliya proper. The hike to the top will take half a day or the whole day depending on how fast you want to go. Around New Year's time, people hike up over night to see the sunrise.

And of course if you want to be further way from Siripada (Adam's peak) finding a tree house lodge like Ella Jungle Inn (from my last answer) is fun too.

I hope this gives you some ideas of what's possible. The smaller mom and pop rest houses can be as little as $20 a night (or cheaper) and the bigger hotels will be like $60-100/night. 

Comments (2)

Thanks Supun. Your tips are greatly appreciated. Will start my journey in Galle. Will probably stop at Adam's Peak en route to Kandy. Not sure whether to spend the night there or continue north to Sigiriya and set base there for two nights in order to visit Polonawura and Dambulla. Then, south again to the Hill Country to visit the tea plantations, Knuckles Range, Hatton, etc. Again, I need to decide where to set base for the last two nights. Either around Kandy, Nuwara Eliya or Ella. From there, I plan to head back to Galle, hopefully stopping at Yala. Do you think my plan makes sense ?

I was just now looking on google maps and saw that traveling from Galle to Adams Peak will probably take about 4 hours no matter which way you go. From Adam's Peak, Kandy is about 2 hours away by road and Knuckles is about another hour away. I'd say you can decide whether to stay near Kandy or continue to the Sigiriya/Dambula area by how tired you feel (another hour away). Just be sure that you will have a place to stay in either of those places. There will not be much to do after nightfall. If you do go all the way to Sigiriya in one day that'll be 4 more hours of driving. Personally, I would stay that first night near Nuwara Eliya if I'm assuming correctly that you will be traveling from Galle to Adam's Peak on the first day of your travels. If you think you can hike around Adam's Peak during the first half of the day by leaving Galle super early or actually starting your trip by spending the night in Hatton, then going up all the way to Sigiriya makes sense--it feels like a lot to pack in, and just thinking about it is making me tired :) . Going to Dambula and Polonawara from Sigiriya or Kandy both make sense. My guess is that you should do the first and last night near Nuwara Eliya and the middle 2 nights in Kandy or Sigiriya

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