My visit to Srilanka & Maldives
Many people think of holiday trips which are full of adventures, wildlife, luxurious buildings, awesome sightseeing and lots of fun with family. Many of us don’t know where they will find such places that gives you best for your buck. Though for all of us there are so many options to spend the holidays depending on the budget and convenience of arrangements. Some of us are still confused where to go for vacation this year. Then we bow to google and reach travel blogs like mine.
I try my best to provide you with the most authentic information on different holiday destinations and get the most value for your money. On my recommendation list this time is visiting Sri Lanka & Maldives as they are the fantastic places that ticks all the boxes for great fun and adventure.
There are lots of things to do in Sri Lanka & Maldives, where you can enjoy your holidays in a way you have always dream of. Lets begin!
Why visit Srilanka & Maldives together?
I would say go ahead for Maldives from Srilanka as you are so close now. From Colombo, it is a flight of an hour and a half to the stunning and magical beaches of the Maldives. I recommend it because I visited Srilanka & Maldives together and it was amazing and cost effective. I always wanted to go Maldives and it is not that expensive from SriLanka. And tel me who doesn’t like an extended holiday?
One can take a flight to Male – the capital of the Maldives – and take a local ferry from Male to any of the island of choice. Read more about planning a trip to Maldives and things to consider.
Now, let’s have a look at the attractions of Sri Lanka and Maldives
THINGS TO DO IN SRI LANKA
First comes first, so we started our trip from Srilanka. We landed at colombo airport and started exploring the lion city from here. The good thing is that some of the main attractions can be covered by different modes of public transportation.
Getting around by tuktuk
If you are an explorer who wants to find out things out by yourself, you can do many things in Srilanks. Try renting a tuktuk for a day at approximately $25 per day. Experience the chaotic traffic and experience the real authentic Sri Lanka. Try having lunch at a small authentic Sri Lankan restaurant. Vegetarian meals there like dosa or curry with rice are super tasty.
I recommend you not to get pushed by suggestions of local tuk tuk drivers for going around at their terms.
- Sometimes they take to you the places not worth your time and money. Do your research well in advance before hiring a tuk tuk.
- Negotiate for the money, as they always keep their margins.
- Take the help of google as and when you feel you are not on right track.
You can read more in my blog about everything you need to know about planning a trip to Srilanka.
Tea plantation tour in Kandy
There are amazing hill stations with scenic outdoors like Kandy and Nuwara illiya. One can book the stay at one of the beautiful towns and wake up to amazing views around. After having a breakfast at your hotel in Kandy, continue your journey by tuktuk – or take the train from Kandy to Haputale, which has amazing views on the way – and go for a walk to Lipton’s Seatthrough the tea estates where the Sri Lankan women are picking tea leaves. These are some of the best things to do during Srilanka trip.
Do not forget to taste some of the tasteful Sri Lankan teas either on top of Lipton’s Seat or on the way to Lipton’s Seat at a tea factory, where you can get a tour for just a small amount of money.
Pinnawala elephant orphanage
If you are in for spotting elephants after the hikes and teas in the hill country. Visit pinnawala elephant orphanage.Here you can see elephants up close in their natural habitat playing with each other. This institution is a home not only for the abandoned elephant babies but also for those injured and maimed within the jungle. There is a café located right above the lake where a group of elephants including baby elephants are seen closely taking baths.
Hiking & tree house stay in Ella
If you are not very pleased with the hot & humid weather of Colombo. Head to Kandy – a hill town with lush green tea plantations and take a train from Kandy to Ella for some great walks. Ella is a city in Srilanka has some lovely things to do, like Rockand, flying ravanas zipline, Little Adam’s Peak and nine arches bridge.
If you plan your overnight stay at Ella Ecolodge, you can book a tree house stay which is a great experience to stay in the lap of nature. There are some other accommodations available as well based on your budget but most of them offer great views of Ella.
Visit Sigiriya or Pidurangala Rock
Sigiriya being most popular tourist destination it has a quite expensive entrance fee which is around $30. Sigiriya is pretty touristy and plenty of people are climbing up every day. There is another mountain near Sigiriya called Pidurangala. If you do not like to be at a crowded tourist destination you can visit to Pidurangala Rock, where you pay more or less $3.
When you climb Pidurangala, you have a great view on Sigiriya. Being an offbeat place you can enjoy the great view without having a feeling of being a tourist in a crowded place. The climb itself takes you around 30 minutes and is quite adventurous. As the signs are not that clear and you have to climb the rocks, so wear comfortable hiking shoes. But once you are on top, the view is just astonishing.
Visit Udawalawe National park
One can visit Udawalawe National park from Ella through a taxi. The cost of this safari is 5500 Srilankan Rs for the car. All visitors need to purchase tickets for entry separately. If you like to have a safari, it is fantastic trip with a guide in the jeep that takes you around. One can see lots of elephants here. Also buffalo crocodiles, mongoose, lots of birds, herds of deers. If you are lucky, you can find some leopards too. This place is surely value for money.
One of the things you must do in Srilanka is take a tour towards down south to the desolated, beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka. Where one can try surfing or spend time watching the high tides crash. One can also visit one of the turtle hatcheries where one can see rescued turtles and also new born turtle species. The best way is to ask the Tuk Tuk to take you to one of them.
The entrance has a ticket so go there if you are really keen to see turtles, otherwise this can be skipped. Besides this you can dive across glowing coral reefs, watch whales splashing in the water or learn to surf on gentle sandbars in Weligama. You can also ask the hotel (where you are staying) staff for suggesting good places for water activities.
Stilt fishing in Galle
Stilt fishing is a unique way of fishing that is practiced in Srilanka from ages. One can go for a short trip to Koggala to spot the stilt fishermen. Be careful as Some fishermen do ask for money as you try to click them. You will be amazed at how fast they can get off those stilts and run to ask for money, when you even move your camera towards them. But he trip is still worth it to have a look at this ancient art of fishing.
Gangaramaya temple Colombo
It is one of the best things to do in Sri Lanka as here you will witness lots of art and architecture. Even all the temples at Sri Lanka has awesome architecture and every temple is special in its own way but this temple is the most famous and I can see why?
Gangaramaya Temple has an artistic nature and has Buddhists which shows the fusion of Indian, Thai, and Chinese style architecture. So when you visit this temple you will find it interesting to see the combination of mixed cultural characters and get to know the history.
Pettah Floating Market Colombo
Many People are not aware of Pettah Floating Market. This is an amazing place with lots of variety of clothes, accessories, footwear, electronics, jewelry, and much more. This market is based on a bridge over the lake and has approximately 90 stalls to shop from. The view of lake makes it more amazing.
THINGS TO DO IN MALDIVES
The Maldives is the picture of paradise. With luxury bungalows extending over turquoise waters inviting you to jump in for a swim, white sandy beaches, and pure luxury makes Maldives a dream destination for many.
I must say, when it comes to Maldives trip I expected to do nothing more than bask in the sun on an island and watch the sunset over the Indian Ocean. But besides relaxing in the water bungalows there are many things to do in the Maldives which are ideal for having an amazing adventure holiday.
Day trip to an Island resort
If you have less time or there are budget constraints for staying in one of the island resort, but you still want to experience the idyllic Maldives. A good way to do it is to stay at Male but visit any of the resort island. One can do it easily through booking.com by buying a day pass!.
You spend around $100 if you book it through a local travel agent but your transfer, food, and drinks are all included in this rate. And believe me, it is definitely worth it. Maldives Islands are full of nature and beautiful resorts in which you can go diving, snorkeling, windsurfing, or you can relax at a spa.
The Maldives has got to be one of the best places on earth to dive. The waters are crystal-clear, with good visibility, and warm all year round. The Maldives is one of the premier scuba diving destinations on earth and if there is one place you need to give it a try, it’s here.
It’s an ideal place to learn, but rewarding even for the most experienced divers. There are many affordable PADI dive centers where you can take a discovery dive if you are not certified. One can also sign up for several dive options to one of the many reefs. Hammerhead sharks, stingrays, whale shark migration and sea turtles are easy to spot while doing scuba diving.
The crystal clear blue waters offer incredible visibility. I had forgotten just how close and personal you can get to the fishes when you are under the waves.This was definitely one of our favorite things to do in the Maldives.
One of the best places to explore the country’s abundant marine diversity is one of the islands’ house reefs. Most islands have these reefs and they can usually be accessed easily from the beach. Spending a solid two hours in the water, we managed to see so much more than just sea turtles.
When masses of fishes came together in a different variety, we felt as if we were in our own giant aquarium. It’s normal to see rays, sharks, eels and even turtles on a morning swim.
If scuba diving isn’t your thing, snorkeling is a great option. The reefs are so pristine in the Maldives that you don’t have to go deep to see a lot.
For me, the ultimate prize in the Maldives was seeing the biggest fish in the sea—the whale shark. These huge and elegant animals are one of the country’s major draws as it’s the only place in the world where they can be seen all year round.
Whale shark safaris usually cost around $60 per person. There safari’s could be arranged by local tour operators or the resorts could book it for you. The best thing is you don’t need to dive—the sharks often come close to the surface so it’s perfect for those that are snorkelers only. There’s a whole lot more to the Maldives than the big fish though…..
There is a large settlement in the Maldives islands and many locals live and work on the islands to earn a living. Taking an island hopping tour is a good activity to do.
If you stay at one of the private islands in the Maldives, make sure to book an excursion to visit the nearby islands. As these places are covered with amazing beaches, flowers, greenery and this is the main reason why tourists love to visit this awesome place. The Maldives follow an Muslim/ islamic culture so make sure to dress respectably in covered clothes while you plan to visit the communities around.
Walking through the buildings, we were surprised that there was a proper town living on the islands around. They have schools, community centers and clinics. If you are wondering how the go around? – people living on the islands use boats as we use cars.
The Maldives is a world-class surfing destination.
We stayed at Cinnamon Dhonveli and it attracts top surfers from around the world to face its awesome break free from crowds. If you aren’t a pro at surfing, there are other islands in the Maldives were you can take some surfing lessons.
Maldives has everything for spending ideal couple getaways. It is a place for romance and when visiting the island paradise, you must take some time to pamper yourself.At the check-in counter we saw that most people visiting the Maldives were couples and families.
I highly recommend a couple’s massage to add on to your rejuvenation goals.Nothing like a massage on your private deck during your stay in the water villa. Spend some time in the soothing music while a skilled masseurs rub away the tiredness after a long flight or day out playing on the beach.
Romantic dinner at the beach
While most food is served in buffet style in the Maldives, I don’t think there is a more romantic destination on earth than this to have a romantic dinner. Most of the resorts arrange for either a sunset beach or sunset pier dinner on a request.
It is a bit expensive around $200 per couple, but the experience is totally worth it. The dinner includes special table arrangement on the beach, bottle of champagne, private butler and a meal prepared just the way you like it.
Scenic seaplane flight
There is something magical about seeing the different shades of water as you fly over the Maldives.
Many resorts require a flight on a sea plane to reach the resort. If you don’t have your stay booked in one of such resorts or are taking a speedboat to get there. I highly recommend booking a scenic flight to see from above just how isolated and beautiful the islands of the Maldives are.
The islands create a pattern in the sea which are beautifully combined with different shades of green and blue.The most scenic thing to do when in Maldives.
Stay in a water villa on an Island resort
When I thought of visiting Maldives the most desired experience was to stay in a water bungalow. Though many people say that there is a lot more to it than over the water bungalows, but you must take advantage. As these beauties available for a luxurious stay only in Maldives and make the most of your time while staying in them.
With an over the water bungalow, you can get right into the waters for a swim. With a private deck it’s perfect for sunbathing, swimming and pure relaxation. We loved our bungalow so much at Cinnamon Dohnveli that we never wanted to leave our room. It was just so perfect with a big bathroom equipped with Jacuzzi, a private deck, spacious room overlooking the sea. A private staircase taking you directly inside the water and beautiful marine life around the water villa.
I actually think that our resort was truly awesome in every way. It was at maximum capacity, but we rarely felt it was crowded.I think everyone was busy enjoying their own private piece of paradise. I don’t think anywhere quite compares with the sheer beauty of Maldives.
Lastly all prices quoted for meals and excursions will be subject to a 10% Government Island Tax + a 12% Local island Tax. This is something to bear in mind when you are doing the budgeting bit of your trip.
If you have any experiences about a holiday in Srilanka & Maldives that I haven’t covered, please let me know in the comments and I’ll share any extra information that i missed in my blog to help you plan your dream trip.