Best of Wilpattu

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Wilpattu
Natural lakes or ‘willus’ are the namesake feature of this national park in Sri Lanka’s northeast. The massive reserve is one of the nation’s largest, stretching across some 508 square miles (1317 sq km) and encompassing both monsoon forests (which shed their leaves in the dry season) and wetlands. Wildlife spotting can be slightly more challenging here, but the reward is visiting a region that attracts fewer crowds. Prime viewing is from February to October. 

Rising early is the best time to observe wildlife, and on a sunrise safari, you’ll maximize your chances of sighting elephants, spotted deer, sloth bears, leopards and two dozen other mammal species. Wilpattu’s lakes also harbor diverse species including crocodiles and aquatic birds like purple herons, egrets, ibis, and spoonbills. Spend the night in the area in order to hear animals of the night. Tented safari camps and wooded lodges lie within easy reach of the park entrance.
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Visit a tea plantation in Sri Lanka
Best of Sri Lanka - 10 Days

This 10-day itinerary around Sri Lanka features outdoor activities and cultural attractions for all ages, including a dolphin-watching boat tour, a Sri Lankan cooking class, and multiple Jeep safaris around national parks. Marvel at massive Buddha statues, spot elephants and leopards in the wild, and go snorkeling in the clear waters of Pigeon Island National Park — you'll have plenty to do and see on this lively trip!

The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy
Map of Highlights of Sri Lanka - 7 days
Highlights of Sri Lanka - 7 days

See the best that Sri Lanka has to offer on this week-long itinerary around the country's cultural monuments and natural wonders. You'll visit historic temples in Kandy and Sigiriya, see the colorful fish market of Negombo, and learn about tea production in Hill Country. The trip features not one but two Jeep safaris in national parks, providing ample opportunities to see elephants, monkeys, and rare birds in their natural habitats.

Enjoy a safari adventure in Wilpattu National Park
Map of Sri Lanka Family Adventure - 14 Days
Sri Lanka Family Adventure - 14 Days

With a colorful cultural history and rugged landscapes ideal for outdoor adventures, Sri Lanka is a beautiful destination for a family vacation. This two-week tour around the island features a dolphin-watching tour, multiple safari adventures, a Sri Lankan cooking class, and visits to ancient fortresses. Thanks to the mix of hands-on activities and cultural education, it's an excellent option for travelers of all ages.

See Asian elephants at Wilpattu Wildlife Safari in Sri Lanka
Map of Sri Lanka's Ancient Cities & Wildlife Encounters - 13 Days
Sri Lanka's Ancient Cities & Wildlife Encounters - 13 Days

Get ready for an unforgettable journey to Sri Lanka that combines visits to ancient landmarks with safari adventures throughout the country. Immediately on arrival, you'll search for leopards at Wilpattu National Park before touring the ancient city of Anuradhapura and the mythic Sigiriya rock fortress. The rest of the itinerary is packed with nature hikes, visits to tea plantations, and even more wildlife encounters.

Sri Lanka's Sigiriya rock fortress
Map of Nature & Serenity in Sri Lanka - 13 Days
Nature & Serenity in Sri Lanka - 13 Days

Crisscross Sri Lanka on this 13-day adventure, hitting historic landmarks, highland wonders, and golden beaches. First up is a tour of a historic tea plantation followed by a hike in a national park and then a trip to the cultural hub of Kandy. Relax on east coast beaches for a few days, then tour some ancient cities before ending the trip with wildlife safaris in search of the elusive Sri Lankan leopard.

Sunset over a beach in Tangalle
Map of Ancient History & Pristine Beaches in Sri Lanka - 14 Days
Ancient History & Pristine Beaches in Sri Lanka - 14 Days

This two-week itinerary around Sri Lanka offers an ideal mix of activity and relaxation. You'll begin in Negombo and work your way around the island, stopping to visit ancient temple complexes, Buddhist shrines, and palaces carved into mountainsides. Along the journey, you'll spend two nights observing wildlife in Wilpattu National Park, enjoy the calm coastline in Pasikudah, explore charming colonial villages, and relax on breathtaking beaches with snorkeling and diving opportunities easily accessible offshore.

Elephants grazing at Yala National Park
Map of Honeymoon in Sri Lanka - 12 Days
Honeymoon in Sri Lanka - 12 Days

This 12-day honeymoon is perfect for couples who love exotic wildlife and natural scenery. Starting from the capital, you'll circle the island-nation exploring a boggling array of national parks, rainforests, ancient villages, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and Buddhist relics. After each day of sightseeing with your private guide, you'll have quality time (alone) at your accommodations—a fun mix of resorts, beach hotels, and safari camps—for the ultimate romantic adventure.

Explore Sri Lanka on a 14-day cycling adventure
Map of Hidden Treasures of Sri Lanka Cycling Tour - 14 Days
Hidden Treasures of Sri Lanka Cycling Tour - 14 Days

This cycling tour takes you to Sri Lanka's top cultural sites and also off the beaten path. Cycle along rice fields, tea plantations, and tranquil villages to reach ancient kingdoms rich in history and culture. You also have the chance to explore Sri Lanka's wildlife parks to see herds of elephants roam the wild country.

A tea plantation in Nuwara Eliya
Map of Highlights of Sri Lanka - 14 Days
Highlights of Sri Lanka - 14 Days

National parks, ancient fortresses, gorgeous beaches, and one of the oldest cities in the world: this varied itinerary takes you far and wide to Sri Lanka's most fascinating sights. You'll explore a quiet island and spot dolphins on boat tours, hike to viewpoints for sweeping views over tea plantations, look for leopards during a Jeep safari, and learn about Buddhist principles during guided tours. Whether you're interested in cultural history, colorful wildlife, or the process behind the production of Ceylon tea, this two-week highlights tour has plenty to offer.

Other popular travel destinations in Sri Lanka
Kandy · Sigiriya · Colombo · Negombo · Ella · Nuwara Eliya · Yala National Park · Galle · Udawalawe · Tangalle · Anuradhapura · Dambulla · Bentota · Pasikudah · Mirissa · Habarana