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How to Spend 1 Day in Sigiriya

How to Spend 1 Day in Sigiriya

The Sri Lankan town of Sigiriya centers on Sigiriya Rock—a tall outcrop graced with wall paintings and summit ruins. One day is enough time to scale the rock, visit the Dambulla Cave Temples, and enjoy national parks and wildlife-rich forests. Here’s how to make the most of 24 hours in Sigiriya.

Morning: The highlights

Your priorities for the day should be Sigiriya Rock and the Dambulla Cave Temples, two of Sri Lanka’s UNESCO World Heritage sites. As public transit is limited, both are best reached on guided private tours with round-trip transport. Many itineraries start with a hike to Sigiriya’s rocktop ruins before hitting Dambulla’s Buddha-filled caverns. Day trips leave from Sigiriya, Colombo, Kandy, and Negombo, and often include lunch and admission tickets. If you prefer something more leisurely, opt for a morning Sigiriya bike tour.

Afternoon: Further explorations

If you chose a Sigiriya and Dambulla day trip, continue it this afternoon. After admiring Sigiriya’s rock paintings and ruined 5th-century citadel, check out Dambulla’s enchanting caves packed with Buddha murals and statues. If you did a morning tour only, spend the afternoon on safari at a nearby wildlife reserve. A late-afternoon game drive in Kaudulla or Minneriya national park gives you the chance to see herds of wild elephants gathering at water holes.

Night: Lake cruise or loris-spotting

Time to slow the pace and savor Sigiriya’s rain forests and lakes. Set out on a sunset cruise, soaking in panoramic views of the outcrop. Wildlife enthusiasts, meanwhile, shouldn’t miss the opportunity to see one of the world’s rarest mammals—the gray slender loris—in its natural habitat during a nighttime jungle walk.

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6 Tours and Activities | All Sigiriya Tours

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Full-Day Private Sigiriya and Dambulla from Kandy

Full-Day Private Sigiriya and Dambulla from Kandy

star-4.5
The Golden Temple of Dambulla and the Ancient City of Sigiriya are two of Sri Lanka’s most impressive UNESCO World Heritage sites and this private tour from Kandy visits both in one day. Climb the dramatic rock fortress of Sigiriya, tuck into a delicious curry lunch (own expense), then explore the Buddhist cave complex of Dambulla with its gigantic rock-carved Buddha.
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  • 5 to 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$49.00
Price varies by group size
From
$49.00
Price varies by group size

Sigiriya & Dambulla Day Tour from Negombo

Sigiriya & Dambulla Day Tour from Negombo

star-4.5
Visiting the Sigiriya Rock Fortress and Dambulla Cave Temples from Negombo can’t be done by public transport. Designed for travelers who want to view both sites in a day minus the bustle of a tour group, this private trip covers both by private air-conditioned vehicle. See Sigiriya’s 5th-century ruins and frescoes, and explore Dambulla’s icon-filled caves with a guide to uncover their history. Admissions and lunch at your own expense.
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  • 8 to 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$59.00
Price varies by group size
From
$59.00
Price varies by group size

Kaudulla Park Private Jeep Safari from Sigiriya

Kaudulla Park Private Jeep Safari from Sigiriya

Watch one of the World largest wild Asian Elephant Gathering at Kaudulla National Park on this private jeep safari tour. Accompanied by an experience safari game driver, view the elephants eating, bathing, and playing in their natural environment on banks of the Kaudulla Tank. If you are lucky at inside the park, it’s possible to see deer, wild buffalo, iguana, Ash/purple-faced monkeys. Also assorted birds like eagle, Hawk, parrot, Green bee eater & peacocks.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
From
$44.00
per group
From
$44.00
per group

Full Day Tour to Sigiriya Rock Fortress And Dambulla Cave Temple

Full Day Tour to Sigiriya Rock Fortress And Dambulla Cave Temple

star-5
Sigiriya Rock and Dambulla Cave Temple are two of Sri Lanka’s top sights, but impossible to visit in one day by public transport. This private tour from Colombo or Sigiriya takes you to both in a day by private air-conditioned vehicle. Explore Sigiriya’s fifth-century rock top ruins and visit Buddha-filled caves in Dambulla, Inclusions  • Private Air Conditioned Vehicle • Driver / Guide ( Speaking English ) • All Handling Charges  • Tripadvisor Brokerage Fees • Water Bottles • Fuel Surcharges
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  • 7 hours
From
$32.90
From
$32.90

Cycling in Sigiriya Countryside

Cycling in Sigiriya Countryside

Discover the fascinating ruins of Sigiriya on a 3-hour private bicycle tour that explores forest trails, the Citadel of Sigariya, and the Sri Lankan countryside. With an expert cycling guide to lead the way, you’ll enjoy the flexibility of a private excursion as you cover just over 11 miles (18 km.) of terrain, riding a mountain bike that’s perfect for the area’s dirt tracks and footpaths. This 3-hour bike tour includes all necessary equipment, and departs from your hotel in Sigiriya.
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  • 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$120.00
Price varies by group size
From
$120.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Sigiriya Loris Night Trail

Sigiriya Loris Night Trail

Your chance to see one of the world's most rare mammals - the Grey Slender Loris - an endangered nocturnal primate and one of the most elusive creatures of the wild. You will be guided by an expert naturalist who will explain this fascinating creature to you, its behaviours, call and other details. You will be taken on a guided night-time walking safari where we will track the Grey Slender Loris as it moves through its natural habitat. A unique opportunity for wildlife & nature lovers.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$45.00
From
$45.00