Kandalama is a small village in Sri Lanka, and proud home to two UNESCO World Heritage sites! Although the village is less known than popular villages and cities such as Colombo and Kandy, it is still a fantastic place for a holidays with plenty of great sites and activities for you to do! Some of our top choices to guarantee excitement include:
- Pidurangala Rock
- Sun Rise Ballooning
- Mathisha Jeep Safari
- Ranmudu Ella Falls
- Ederagala Wana Senasuna
- Dambulla Royal Cave Temple
- Bambarakiri Ella
Pidurangala is a large rock formation that is located a bit north of Sigiriya, known for being related to the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. However, the trek up Pidurangala is much more difficult than climbing up Sigiriya. The entire journey takes about 2 hours in total, but there isn't much to see along the way other than the spectacular view at the top. If you are an early riser, the sunrise from this location is one of the best in the world! You will surely think Pidurangala "rocks" after visiting it!
RECOMMENDED HOTEL: LAKE LODGE
If you're looking for a comfy hotel than is centrally located in Kandalama, look no further than Lake Lodge! The small hotel boasts privacy with its limited 12 rooms, so ensure you book early to guarantee a spot!
Lake Lodge Kandalama is situated around a man made body of water, with easy access to nearby villages. You will feel like you are stepping back in time when you go village hopping, as the towns have been preserved for thousands of years.
Sun Rise Ballooning
Since 2003, Sun Rise Ballooning has been providing excellent service and unparalleled panoramic views to locals and visitors! All of their pilots are UK certified commercial pilots, and their chief Pilot Justin Moore has over 5070 commercial hours of flying. Flying over the jungle, you can spot wild elephants, water buffalo, birds and more! You will also be treated with a complimentary glass of champagne and a herd of villagers welcoming you when you land.
Mathisha Jeep Safari
Mathisha Jeep Safari has been providing safari rides to visitors in the Kaudulla National Park since 2009. They provide both budget and luxury types of safaris that can suit every type of travelers needs! Enjoy excellent views of the jungle and the villages, while stopping by for pictures with the animals and hearing expert information from the guides!
HOTEL WE LOVE: LAKE LODGE KANDALAMA
The entire hotel spans over 4 acres. All rooms have views of the Mihintale hills and dambulla caves and the hotel features swimming pools, kitchens and reception areas that overlook the Kandalama reserve.
Many rooms come equipped with a garden for your pleasure, and all guests have the option to unwind at the Lake Lodge premium spa. When hungry, head down to the restaurants that serve sushi, Asian and gourmet food!
Ranmudu Ella Falls
The Ranmudu Ella Falls are an Instagrammers dream! Sitting an astonishing 15 m high, the falls are located in the middle of the Wakganga River, feeding into the Kelani River. The village of Thummodara is a village that is a mountainous forest region with plenty of local restaurant establishments nearby to stop by after your hike. However, because of the popularity of this destination, it is at risk of being ruined by overcrowding tourists.
Ederagala Wana Senasuna
Ederagala Wana Senasuna is a Buddhist temple that is located in Dambulla. It is a cave temple that features stunning views of Kandalama. This is the ideal place to hike if you want to avoid herds of tourists, as it is often quieted because of its isolation. If you want an even higher view of the city, try climbing up a flight of stairs to the Stupa at the top, where you can even see Sigiriya Lion Rock!
Dambulla Royal Cave Temple
Dambulla Royal Cave Temple is also referred to as the Golden Temple of Dambulla and is one of the World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka. It is located in the central part of Sri Lanka, 148 kilometers east of Colombo. It is the biggest and most well preserved cave temple in the country that takes around 1-2 hours to hike!
Sigiriya or Sinhagiri is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is noted for being one of the best-preserved examples of urban planning. It is an ancient rock fortress that is located near the town of Dambulla. Other than having a rich historical and archaeological significance, this column of rock is almost 200 meters high! Explore Sigiriya and you will find plenty of pleasant surprises, such as frescoes, mirror walls and other gardens!
Bambarakiri Ella is a waterfall that is near the small town of Rattota. The Falls are around 40 km away from another popular waterfall - the Amaya Hunas Falls. Bambarakiri provides stunning views of the mountain range of Knuckles, while the falls itself are 10 m long. Walking along the falls, you are bound to see plenty of species of butterflies and birds, and even suspension bridges!