How to Spend 2 Days in Sigiriya
With two days in Sigiriya, you can explore Sigiriya Rock’s medieval ruined citadel and still have time to experience local villages, wildlife reserves, and the ancient relics at Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. Here’s how to make the most of 48 hours in Sigiriya.
Day 1: Sigiriya and safaris
**Morning:**Most travelers go to Sigiriya for the UNESCO-protected Sigiriya Rock, so start with a tour that showcases the towering outcrop crowned by a crumpled medieval citadel. Choose a self-guided or bike tour of the rock—or a hassle-free day trip that also takes you to the UNESCO-listed Dambulla Cave Temples.
**Afternoon:**Continue exploring Sigiriya and Dambulla. Alternatively, head out on a late-afternoon game drive to see wild elephants at nearby Kaudulla, Minneriya, or Hurulu park.
**Night:**Dine to the sounds of cicadas. Or, embark on a jungle walking safari to spot one of the planet’s rarest mammals, the gray slender loris. These nocturnal primates are found in local forests, and a nighttime nature walk maximizes your chances of seeing one.
Day 2: Villages and ancient sites
**Morning:**For the most part, Sri Lankan village life hasn’t changed in centuries—yet many visitors pass it by. Learn about Sri Lankan village culture with a bullock cart ride, boat trip, or homestead lunch. Alternatively, uncover Sri Lanka’s past on a full-day tour of Anuradhapura or Polonnaruwa, two former capitals.
**Afternoon:**If you booked an Anuradhapura or Polonnaruwa day trip earlier, delve into the sites this afternoon—highlights are Polonnaruwa’s Quadrangle and Anuradhapura’s immense Ruwanwelisaya stupa. The sites are spread across wide areas, making a tour with air-conditioned transport your best option.
**Night:**Wrap up your stay in restful mode: on a sunset lake cruise. Admire views of Sigiriya Rock (and its sister rock, Pidurangala) from the water as a private catamaran glides across the lily-covered lake and a guide shares Sri Lankan folktales.