Sigiriya
Day Trips

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Our most recommended Sigiriya Day Trips

Sigiriya and Dambulla Day Trip from Colombo

1. 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 Negombo: Sigiriya and Dambulla Day Trip

2. From Negombo: Sigiriya and Dambulla Day Trip

After being transported in private car with local English speaking tour guide from Negombo, you will reach your first destination: Sri Lanka's largest rock, Dambulla Cave Temple, which is built on a 600-foot high rock at an elevation of 1118 feet from sea level. It is home to the worlds most acclaimed cave complex of magnificent Buddha images and rock paintings of vivid colors and shapes from the 2nd-century BC to the Kandyan era of the 18th-century.  Your second visit is to Sigiriya Rock, a site of historical and archaeological significance dominated by a massive column of rock nearly 200 meters (660 feet) high. According to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle the Culavamsa, this site was selected by King Kasyapa for his new capital. Finish your day with a tour to see the crafts of the traditional artisans in Sigiriya, including wood carvers and batik makers. Learn about the process of their work and purchase some great souvenirs.  At the end of the trip, your guide will take you back to your hotel in Negombo.

From Colombo: Sigiriya and Dambulla Full-Day Private Tour

3. From Colombo: Sigiriya and Dambulla Full-Day Private Tour

Explore two of Sri Lanka’s UNESCO-listed highlights on a privately guided day trip to Dambulla and the Sigiriya Rock from Colombo. Start with an early morning pickup from your hotel in Colombo. Make your first stop at the Dambulla Cave Temple. View Sri Lanka’s countryside and villages as you journey to the atmospheric Dambulla Cave Temple, a Cliffside cave complex packed with Buddha images and frescoes. Enter the historic caves of the Golden Temple of Dambulla, dating back to the 1st century BC. View the ancient murals depicting the life story of Lord Gautama Buddha. Look at the hundreds of figurines of Buddha and other deities scattered throughout the five main caves. Visit the Cave of the Divine King, Cave of the Great King, and the Great New Monastery. See the giant golden Buddha Statue just a little distance outside the cave complex. Go to Sigiriya to visit Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Climb the 5th century AD rock fortress, Sigiriya, where King Kassapa ruled. Walk through the entrance framed by the paws of a lion that is quite appropriate for its name, the Lion Rock. View the beautiful unfading murals that brought Sigiriya its fame. Climb the steep staircase to see the terraced gardens and still-working cisterns. Go through the tunnels leading to the palace as you get a feel for times long past.

From Colombo: All Inclusive Sigiriya and Dambulla Tour

4. From Colombo: All Inclusive Sigiriya and Dambulla Tour

Begin your 14-hour tour with an early-morning drive to Sigiriya. When you arrive, climb the Sigiriya Rock fortress, considered to be the 8th Wonder of the World. In the 5th century, King Kashyapa built a palace atop the rock. Sigiriya commemorates some of the turbulence of Sri Lanka’s history. Stop to enjoy a restaurant lunch before heading to Dambulla. Visit the UNESCO-listed cave temple built by King Walagambahu in the 1st century B.C. It is the most impressive of Sri Lanka’s cave temples. The complex of 5 caves features more than 2,000 square meters of painted walls and ceilings. See 150 images of the Buddha, of which the largest is a 14-meter-high image carved out of the rock.

From Kandy: Sigiriya Rock, Village Tour and Minneriya Park

5. From Kandy: Sigiriya Rock, Village Tour and Minneriya Park

Start your tour at 6:30 AM with pickup from your hotel in Kandy. The first stop on your itinerary will be the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. which you will reach at approximately 9:00 AM. Rising from the central plains, the iconic rocky outcrop of Sigiriya is perhaps Sri Lanka's single most dramatic sight. Near-vertical walls soar to a flat-topped summit that contains the ruins of an ancient civilization, where you will discover spellbinding vistas across mist-wrapped forests in the early morning. Climb a series of vertiginous staircases attached to sheer walls to reach the top of the ruins. Pass a series of frescoes and a pair of colossal lion's paws carved into the bedrock. Marvel at the surrounding landscape of lily-pad-covered moats, water gardens, and quiet shrines that surround the site. After visiting the fortress, proceed to a local village in Sigiriya to experience a village tour. Get a chance to go on an oxen cart ride, and experience the world from the view of a local farmer. Afterwards, take a relaxing catamaran safari through a calm lake. Stroll through the golden fields ripe with their harvest of paddy. Watch a traditional cooking demonstration, that teaches you the basics of Sri Lankan cuisine. Delight your taste buds with a home-cooked lunch; made over a wood-fire and served on fragrant lotus leaves placed over woven trays.  After experiencing the village life of Sri Lanka, travel onwards to Minneriya National Park to go on safari. See the famous Sri Lankan elephants, rare bird species, saltwater crocodiles, Indian pythons, and an abundance of flora and fauna. On completion of the jeep safari at approximately 6:00 PM and return to your hotel in Kandy, stopping along the way for dinner, at your own expense.

Dambulla: Polonnaruwa & Sigiriya All-Inclusive Tour

6. Dambulla: Polonnaruwa & Sigiriya All-Inclusive Tour

First of all you'll be picked up from your hotel in Dambulla, Sigiriya or Habarana and driven to Polonnaruwa, before arriving at Polonnaruwa ancient city to discover the ruins. Polonnaruwa is the ancient heart of Sri Lanka, and an important royal capital with its well-preserved 12th century ruins and impressive stone culture. Although nearly 1,000 years old, it is much younger than Anuradhapura - Sri Lanka's first capital - and generally in better repair. The monuments are arranged in a reasonably compact garden setting and their development is easier to follow. Afterwards, you will arrive to a local restaurant for lunch, before exploring the wondrous Rock Fortress of Sigirya. This place is famous for its toadstool of golden-hued granite, protruding into the searing blue sky from a hot, flat wilderness of scrubland, which is transformed in the rainy season to a water garden. In the 5th century, King Kashyapa domesticated the Lions Rock, by building a palace atop its summit. Sigiriya commemorates some of the turbulence of Sri Lanka’s history. Thereafter, you will be dropped off at your hotel in Dambulla/Sigiriya/Habarana .

From Dambulla: Sigiriya Rock, Village, and Minneriya Tour

7. From Dambulla: Sigiriya Rock, Village, and Minneriya Tour

See Sigiriya Rock Fortress, visit a local village, and go on a two-hour safari ride: with this tour you’ll make the most of a full day in Sri Lanka.   Start your tour at 8:30 AM with pickup at your hotel in Dambulla and head to your first destination, Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Rising from the central plains, the iconic rocky outcrop of Sigiriya is perhaps Sri Lanka’s most dramatic sight. Climb a series of narrow staircases to reach its top, passing frescoes and colossal statues of lion paws carved into the bedrock. At the top, you’ll be able to take in unforgettable views of the surrounding moats, water gardens, and quiet shrines.   Follow this experience with a tour of a local village, where you can take an oxen cart ride and experience the world from the view of a village farmer. Take a relaxing catamaran ride through a calm lake and walk through golden fields ripe with their harvest. Finally, watch a cooking demonstration that teaches you the basics of Sri Lankan cuisine, and taste the results for lunch if you choose.   Finish your day with a 2-hour safari ride through Minneriya National Park, home to elephants, 160 species of birds, deer, leopards, sloth bears, and more. At the end of a long but fulfilling day, you’ll be taken back to your hotel in Dambulla at around 6:00 PM.

Colombo: Full-Day Sigiriya Rock and Village Tour

8. Colombo: Full-Day Sigiriya Rock and Village Tour

Following an early morning pickup at your accommodation in Colombo, head directly to Sigiriya Rock on arrival. Bring your own snacks or make sure to have a proper breakfast at your accommodation before the tour. You'll arrive at Sigiriya Rock Fortress after an approximately 4-hour car ride. 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. Near-vertical walls soar to a flat-topped summit that contains the ruins of an ancient civilization, thought to be once the epicenter of the short-lived kingdom of Kassapa. Enjoy the fascinating morning views across the mist-wrapped forests. Climb the Sigiriya Rock fortress and arrive at the Lion Rock. Explore numerous unfading murals and continue your hike at the steep staircase leading to the terraced gardens and cisterns. Walk through the tunnels leading to the palace and get a feeling for the history of this unique place. Proceed to Sigiriya at around 1:30 PM for a walking tour of the village. Discover a bund of a Wewa, a man-made reservoir. Get on a bullock cart ride and experience the rural village life. Then, aboard a tandem canoe and join for a catamaran safari at a scenic lake. Stop to enjoy a traditional restaurant lunch prepared by the villagers at your own expense. Savor a typical buffet-style meal served on lotus leaves. Witness the preparation methods by the local women and participate in the preparation of a curry. Following lunch, take a three-wheeler tour back to the starting point in Sigiriya. Start the journey back towards your accommodation in Colombo at around 6 PM. En-route you may stop at Restaurant at your choice and have dinner at your own expense.

Sri Lanka Heritage Sites: 6-Day Private Guided Tour

9. Sri Lanka Heritage Sites: 6-Day Private Guided Tour

Day 1: Colombo/Sigiriya You will be greeted by your personal chauffeur guide at the Bandaranaike International Colombo Airport and transferred to Sigiriya. Day 2 : Polonnaruwa/Sigiriya Visit the UNESCO world Heritage city of Polonnaruwa, the well-preserved city with ancient dagobas, moonstones, beautiful parks, massive buildings and stunningly beautiful statues. In the afternoon, explore the 5th-century rock fortress of Sigiriya. Day 3: Sigiriya/Kandy Visit the impressive cave temple of Dambulla, also a UNESCO world heritage site, a batik factory and a spice garden. In the afternoon, peruse Kandy with a visit to the temple of the sacred tooth relic, the upper lake drive, market square, gem lapidary and more. Day 4: Kandy/Nuwara Eliya Visit the Peradeniya Botanical Garden and then drive to Nuwara Eliya. En route, visit a tea plantation and factory where the best tea in the world is produced. Day 5: Nuwara Eliya/Colombo Enjoy a city tour of Nuwara Eliya in the morning. A favorite retreat of the British during colonial times, the town is dotted with English country-style houses and half-timbered bungalows. After the city tour, you will be driven to Colombo and on the way you can visit Devon and St. Claire's waterfalls. Day 6: Colombo/Airport Arruve at  the airport.

From Bentota: Day Trip to Sigiriya and Dambulla Temple

10. From Bentota: Day Trip to Sigiriya and Dambulla Temple

After getting picked up from your hotel in Bentota or Kalutara, begin the 3-hour journey to the Sigirya rock fortress. Here you will discover the historical and cultural values of ancient Sri Lanka and get to witness the engineering skills and artistic capabilities of Sri Lankan artisans and engineers. Wander through this vast complex and admire the various palaces, pools, gardens, and paintings. Later, head to the Dambulla Royal Cave Temple, which is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in the world. Marvel at the beautiful Buddhist paintings and statues housed in this cave and see for yourself why it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Finally, visit a spice garden where you can soak up the aromas of the various traditional spices grown here such as cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg. Head back to your hotel in the evening, just in time for dinner.

Other Sightseeing Options in Sigiriya

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What people are saying about Sigiriya

I booked the tour very last minute but they still showed up on time. I enjoyed the visit to all the locations, they were great places to visit. I was offered the Elephant safari cause there was still some time left before having to go back to Colombo but declined. Driver was very polite and spoke good English - even helped me getting money exchanged. I definitely enjoyed my day.

We had a very good experience. Everything went smooth - driver arrived on time and our tour to Dambulla Temple, Sigiriya Rock and a Spice Garden was successful and fun. We were also taken to breakfast and lunch and our special requests regarding places to eat were welcomed and accepted. Definitely recommended.

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.

Great day spent with Buddika, on time with a very comfortable vehicle! Always very caring, good explanations of what he shows us. With adaptation of the day according to our desires, it was brilliant! Thanks again !

Roads are safe, easy to reach from Colombo. Must seen place. Dont miss out spice gardens and wear long sleeves for the temples. Strongly recommend it.