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Things to do in

Western Province, Sri Lanka

Our most recommended things to do in Western Province, Sri Lanka

Udawalawa National Park: Private Safari

1. Udawalawa National Park: Private Safari

Explore Udawalawe National Park, one of the most undisturbed and pristine natural ecosystems on the planet enriched with a wealth of Sri Lankan elephants. See huge herds of elephants, and enjoy glances of water buffalo, wild boar, spotted deer, jackal, and more. Discover an area of 30,821 hectares, which embodies the true essence of a tropical paradise. See a rich variety of exotic flora and fauna and enjoy the perfect getaway for bird-watchers. Enjoy ample opportunities for spotting endemic and migrated birds. This Udawalawe safari might even present you with the sighting of the Sri Lankan Jungle Fowl, Spur Fowl, and Green Pigeon.

Colombo: Half-Day City Tour

2. Colombo: Half-Day City Tour

Discover both the modern and traditional areas of Colombo and learn more about the city's colonial past on this tour, from a 100-year-old clock tower to British colonial-era buildings. During this tour, visit the Old Parliament, explore the affluent residential areas and admire the Bandaranaike memorial international conference hall, a gift to Sri Lanka from the people’s republic of China. Immerse yourself in a fascinating blend of cultures, religions, and socioeconomic classes and experience daily life for Sri Lankan residents. You will see attractions such as the Sambodhi Chaithya Buddhist Temple, the lighthouse, Red Mosque, the Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple, the Town Hall, and Independence Square. You may also choose to visit a handicrafts emporium for a spot of shopping if you wish. Get dropped off back at your hotel at the end of the tour.

Negombo: Dutch Canal, Negombo Lagoon, Muthrajawela Boat Tour

3. Negombo: Dutch Canal, Negombo Lagoon, Muthrajawela Boat Tour

Start your memorable boat ride through the Dutch canal. This was at one time an important link in the transportation route which supplied the Dutch colonial administration. You will continue your ride through the Canal to the lagoon which is fed by a number of small rivers and a canal. It is linked to the sea by a narrow channel to the north, near Negombo city. It is surrounded by a densely populated region containing rice paddies, coconut plantations and grassland. The land is used for fishing and agriculture. The lagoon has extensive mangrove swamps and attracts a wide variety of water birds including cormorants, herons, egrets, gulls, terns and other shorebirds.  Finally, you will reach Muthurajawela Wetland that provides a home for a diverse range of flora and fauna, some of which are endemic and threatened. It is also an important area for migratory birds, making it a primary recreational and educational destination in Negombo. 

From Kalutara: Lunuganga Estate, Turtles and Madu River Tour

4. From Kalutara: Lunuganga Estate, Turtles and Madu River Tour

Check out some of Sri Lanka’s most gripping scenery while experiencing firsthand the flora and fauna of this stunning region. Marshy wetlands, river islands, baby turtles and fish foot massages await you in this sultry, exotic wonderland. First stop: Bawa’s estate in Lunuganga. Sir Geoffrey Bawa, the renowned lawyer-turned-architect, made this place his country home and experimental lab from 1947 till his death in 1998. See the surrounding exotic gardens of this partial country inn, as well as Bawa’s many architectural additions. Next stop: Kosgoda for an exciting visit to a real turtle hatchery. Learn about the conservation of sea turtles and dip into touch pools, deep tubs of seawater where curious guests can actually handle the baby versions. Proceed to Balapitiya and enjoy a lovely boat safari on Madu River. This is a high biodiversity zone that relies on the lagoon created by the river as it flows into the Indian Ocean. See the dense mangrove forest that grows along the marshy banks of the river, as well as several free-standing islands. On one such island you will find an old Buddhist monastery. The locals work harvesting cinnamon, and here you can experience the famous fish massage at a ‘massage parlor’, or hut on stilts. Relax while the fish work their magic on your toes. Afterwards, stop for lunch on your way back to Kalutara.

Transfers From Bandaranayake Airport

5. Transfers From Bandaranayake Airport

Get picked up from Bandaranayake International Airport and proceed to the destination of your choice. This service includes the costs of highway tickets and drinking water. You will be looked after by an English-speaking, experienced, and friendly driver. Get transferred directly to your destination and avoid any hassle trying to arrange your transport at the airport. Once you have booked, you should send the supplier your arrival time and the number of passengers that will be travelling with you. Your chauffeur will be in the airport lobby waiting for you with a placard.

Colombo: Colombo Airport (CMB) and Kandy City Transfer

6. Colombo: Colombo Airport (CMB) and Kandy City Transfer

Enjoy a relaxing and comfortable private transfer between Sri Lanka's Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB) and your hotel in Kandy. Your chauffeur will meet and greet you at the airport arrival lobby, holding a placard displaying your name for easier identification. From there, your chauffeur will proceed with escorting you and your luggage to your vehicle (Toyota Prius/Toyota Allion/Toyota Premio/Toyota KDH Mini/Toyota KDH/Honda Vezel/Honda Fit Shuttle). If you are unable to locate your chauffeur, a support team will be on hand which you can contact 24/7. The journey will take approximately 3-4 hours depending on the traffic and weather conditions, and covers a total distance of 226 kilometers. Your driver will take the safest and most comfortable route for the journey, using their expertise to limit the travel time. You can feel free to let you chauffeur know in case you need to stop for refreshments or emergencies, and at the conclusion of your tour, you will be assisted with your luggage before being bid farewell.

Yala National Park All-Inclusive 2-Day Safari

7. Yala National Park All-Inclusive 2-Day Safari

Spend the night in a treehouse at the 2nd largest national park in Sri Lanka and look for wildlife on an evening and early morning nature trek. Benefit from the expertise of a game ranger as your personal guide. Day 1: Following pick-up at your hotel, journey towards Yala National Park in southeast Sri Lanka. Upon arrival at Tissamarama, head to the luxurious Leopard Nest campsite and check in to one of the treehouses. Enjoy lunch at the campsite's main restaurant or at one of the many outdoor locations before some time to relax. Get back to nature with an evening game drive and look for wildlife, such as leopards in their natural environment. Return to the campsite to freshen up before drinks and appetizers around the campfire. Dinner will be served at one of many locations throughout the camp. Day 2: Enjoy breakfast at a private location by a lake whilst listening to the singing of birds and feeling the fresh breeze. Start to trek through thick bushes with a pathway access to a wonderful lake which offers breath-taking views and bird watching opportunities.

Sigiriya and Dambulla Day Trip from Colombo

8. Sigiriya and Dambulla Day Trip from Colombo

Depart Colombo and travel by a shared vehicle, in a small group, to the city of Sigiriya, and head directly to Sigiriya Rock on arrival. Gaze in awe at the massive column of rock that, according to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle The Culavamsa, was selected by King Kasyapa as the site of his new capital. Admire numerous paintings of historic queens, princesses, and maids inside the rock fortress before getting a break for lunch at your own expense. Then, explore some of the traditional crafts of the region, such as wood carving and batik textiles, with time to purchase souvenirs before departing. Start the journey back towards Colombo via Dambulla to explore the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. Discover the magnificent Buddha images and rock paintings of vivid colors and different shapes, painted from around the 2nd century B.C. up to the 18th-century Kandyan era.

From Colombo: Udawalawa National Park Wildlife Safari

9. From Colombo: Udawalawa National Park Wildlife Safari

Benefit from early morning pickup at your hotel in Colombo, and then relax on the 5-hour drive to Udawalawa National Park, created in the 1970s to provide a sanctuary for wild animals displaced by the construction of the Udawalawe Reservoir on the Walawe River. Upon arrival, go for a safari drive by jeep and look for the thriving elephant population in its natural habitat. Search for other indigenous wildlife, such as buffalo, wild boar, sambhur, and hare. Now the third most visited park in Sri Lanka, Udawalawe is also an important nature reserve for 50 species of butterflies and many species of birds. Enjoy an authentic lunch at a local hotel in Udawalawe, at your own expense. Then, journey back to Colombo and get dropped off at your hotel on arrival.

Day Tour to Wilpattu National Park from Negombo

10. Day Tour to Wilpattu National Park from Negombo

Spend a day at the largest and one of the oldest National Parks in Sri Lanka - Wilpattu, which is also among the top national parks and world-renowned for its leopard population. The park is unique to others in the country with its dense country woodland and masses of birds, lying inland from the coast in the Northern Province. Meet your guide at your accommodation in Negombo and begin your journey around 6:00 AM. Reach Wilpattu National Park after approximately 4 hours. Wilpattu is 508 square miles (131.694 hectares) and was declared as a National Park in 1938. The special feature of this park is the large number of Villus (lakes), where you can watch wildlife and many species of birds. Leopards and elephant herds are the most famous animals in the park. Spotted Deer, Sambhur, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Wild Buffalo, Sloth Bear, Mongoose, Crocodile, and Peacocks are also found here. After your safari, enjoy a local lunch at the Puttalam Hotel then return to your accommodation. 

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What people are saying about Western Province, Sri Lanka

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 319 reviews

Really good experience! At one of the attractions we should have visited, there was a really long queue and too many people, so our guide was good at coming up with a lot of other options we could see if we wanted. All the experiences were quite exciting! Our guide also found some great eateries along the way with really nice views each time. He was good at assessing when he was needed as a guide and when it was better for us to be alone and she stayed close by (eg at the restaurants). On the slightly long drive, he was also good at explaining what we saw when we looked out the windows and in general what Sri Lanka was like.

I highly recommend using apple vacations agency when you visit Sri Lanka! They offer a wide range of tours and packages to fit a variety of budgets. Our guide Niraveen and driver were on time and accommodating. This full day tour was lovely and enjoyable! Loved visiting the turtle hatchery center, the boat ride through the mangrove, and the place they took us for lunch was superb! Really trustworthy company!

The driver (Kenneth) was very accommodative and managed our tight schedule very well. He even went the extra mile and helped us to see more than what we had initially agreed — with his help we were able to visit the Ranweli spice garden, which was the cherry on top.

I had a tour guide Muditha from Withlocals. A well educated and very nice young man with proper knowledge of English and international experience. Enjoyed talking to him and his company. From the downside - expected to see more for this money.

The tour was really great. They really took their time with us and tried to show everyone. What unfortunately didn't cooperate was the weather. But they can't do anything about it. They were all very friendly.