East Coast Sri Lanka Hotels & Resorts

Our handpicked east coast Sri Lanka hotels include fabulous family-friendly resorts with huge pools, rustic retreats with ocean views, private pool jungle villas on the edge of white sands and luxurious hotels with watersports, spas and decadent rooms.

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Polonnaruwa Kingdom Ruins

Brush off your explorer hat as you traverse the ancient second capital of the island and discover the monumental ruins of this glorious garden-city. Dating back to 1070 A.D, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is brimming with history and the on-site museum will soon have you up to speed. The ancient compact city is easy to navigate and filled with impressive architectural structures from the enormous Royal Palace that stands seven stories tall to more personal relics such as the King’s private swimming pool. During this five-hour tour you’ll have the opportunity to explore many of the city’s highlights including the beautiful white Kiri Vihara Dagoba which archaeologists found when clearing the area from jungle in perfect condition after 700 years. From evocative temples and shrines to the serene Sea Of Parakrama, this is one of the best -preserved sites in Sri Lanka and sure to create lasting memories for years to come.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Sigiriya, Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Habarana, Kandalama, Passikudah and Trincomalee hotels

Good to know
Legs and shoulders must be covered, and shoes will need to be removed when exploring the temples.

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Sigiriya Rock Fortress (car & driver and stay-put excursion)

One of Sri Lanka’s most iconic landmarks, Sigiriya Rock is a sight to behold, towering 200 metres above the surrounding jungle. Formed from magma of an extinct volcano, the fortress was created over 1500 years ago by King Kashyapa and is considered one of the best-preserved examples of ancient urban planning. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982, discover the vast history of the plateau at the onsite museum before making the climb up the vertiginous staircases to the summit passing impressive frescoes and the famed Mirror Wall and colossal Lions Platform as you go. From the top, explore the ruins of the ancient civilisation through the remnants of the palace and vast gardens and soak up the panoramic vistas of the jungle covered central plains.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Habarana, Sigiriya, Kandalama, Kandy and Trincomalee hotels
• Available as a day trip for guests staying at hotels in Negombo

Good to know
For the most pleasurable experience we recommend organising this excursion first thing in the morning or after 4pm to avoid the heat of the day. While suitable for all, the climb to the summit requires a good degree of physical fitness.

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Dambulla Cave Temple

A fantastic stopping off point when travelling between Habarana or Kandalama and Kandy, the famous cave complexes of Dambulla are a haven for those interested in Sri Lanka’s rich history. Dating back to the first Century BC, this ancient cave temple has been a pilgrimage for Buddhists and Hindus for 22 centuries and is still a place of holy importance to this day. There are over 80 documented caves at the site, but with around an hour to explore, this excursion will guide you through the major highlights which are spread over just five of them. Adorned with statues of Gautama Buddha and ornate ceiling paintings, the iconic temple is brimming with artefacts depicting the island’s glorious past and is not to be missed.

• Daily departures
• Operates year round
• Private experience
• Available for guests on a car and driver itinerary staying in Sigiriya, Anuradhapura, Dambulla, Habarana, Kandalama, Kandy and Passikudah hotels
• Available as a day trip for guests staying at hotels in Negombo

Good to know
Legs and shoulders must be covered, and shoes will need to be removed when exploring the temples.

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Crab Curry Cooking Class

The shallow lagoons off the east coast of Sri Lanka are rich with edible crab species and a Sri Lankan crab curry is a regional speciality. During this half-day experience, you’ll visit a local guesthouse and discover how to make this flavourful dish – a skill that will allow you to bring the taste of Sri Lanka home with you.

• Daily departures from Passikudah
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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Kumana National Park by Jeep

Join a half-day or full-day game drive to experience the spirit of Kumana National Park. Kumana National Park is a well-known eco-tourism attraction and bird sanctuary where many birds breed and roost. One of the most significant features of the park is the Kumana Villu, a 200-hectare natural swamp lake fed by the Kumbukkan Oya through a half-mile-long narrow channel.

• Daily departures from Passikudah or Trincomalee
• Operates year-round
• Private experience

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