Best Things to Do in Pinnawala, Sri Lanka: An Unforgettable Experience

Welcome to Pinnawala, Sri Lanka, a charming village renowned for its iconic Elephant Orphanage and a myriad of other exciting activities. Nestled amidst lush greenery and serene landscapes, Pinnawala offers a unique blend of wildlife encounters, cultural experiences, and natural beauty. Whether you’re a nature lover, history buff, or simply seeking an adventure, Pinnawala has something special to offer. Let’s explore the Best Things to Do in Pinnawala that you must not miss during your visit.

1. Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

No trip to Pinnawala is complete without a visit to the world-famous Elephant Orphanage. This sanctuary is home to a herd of rescued elephants, where visitors can witness these majestic creatures up close and learn about their rehabilitation process. Watch in awe as the elephants are fed and bathed in the nearby river, creating a truly heartwarming experience.

2. Elephant Ride at Millennium Elephant Foundation

For an unforgettable adventure, consider an elephant ride at the Millennium Elephant Foundation. This ethical elephant experience allows you to connect with these gentle giants in a responsible and sustainable manner. Feel the thrill as you ride atop an elephant through lush landscapes, gaining a unique perspective of the surrounding beauty.

3. Explore Pinnawala Village

After your elephant encounters, take some time to explore the quaint village of Pinnawala. Stroll through the local markets filled with vibrant colors and aromatic spices. Engage with friendly locals, sample traditional Sri Lankan cuisine, and immerse yourself in the rich culture of the region.

4. Visit Pinnawala Open-Air Zoo

For wildlife enthusiasts, a visit to the Pinnawala Open-Air Zoo is a must. Here, you can spot a variety of indigenous and exotic animals, from colorful birds to playful monkeys. Take a leisurely walk through the zoo’s well-maintained grounds and learn about Sri Lanka’s diverse wildlife.

5. Riverside Picnic at Ma Oya River

Escape the hustle and bustle of the village and enjoy a peaceful riverside picnic at the Ma Oya River. The tranquil waters and lush greenery create the perfect setting for a relaxing afternoon. Pack a picnic basket with local delicacies and unwind amidst nature’s beauty.

6. Pinnawala Spice Gardens

Discover the flavors of Sri Lanka at the Pinnawala Spice Gardens. Take a guided tour through the aromatic gardens and learn about the various spices grown in the region. From cinnamon and cardamom to cloves and nutmeg, you’ll gain insights into Sri Lanka’s rich spice heritage.

7. Traditional Sri Lankan Cuisine

No visit to Pinnawala is complete without indulging in the delicious flavors of Sri Lankan cuisine. Head to one of the local restaurants and savor dishes such as rice and curry, kottu roti, and hoppers. These dishes are bursting with flavors and are a true delight for your taste buds.

8. Shopping for Handicrafts and Souvenirs

Before you leave Pinnawala, be sure to pick up some souvenirs to remember your trip. Browse through the local shops offering handcrafted items such as wooden masks, batik fabrics, and colorful pottery. These unique treasures make for perfect gifts or mementos of your time in Sri Lanka.

Practical Tips for Your Pinnawala Adventure

  • Private Vehicle with Chauffeur Guide: To make the most of your time in Pinnawala, consider hiring a private vehicle with a chauffeur guide. This will allow you to navigate the village and its surrounding attractions with ease, ensuring a comfortable and stress-free experience.
  • Best Travel Company In Sri Lanka – LEO Tours and Travels
  • Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Pinnawala is during the dry season from May to September when the weather is pleasant and ideal for outdoor activities.
  • What to Wear: As Pinnawala can get quite warm, it’s recommended to wear light and comfortable clothing. Don’t forget to pack sunscreen, a hat, and a refillable water bottle for hydration.
  • Safety First: When interacting with elephants, always follow the guidelines provided by the sanctuary staff. Respect the animals and maintain a safe distance for both your safety and theirs.

Read Our Exploring Sigiriya Lion Rock: A Guide for Tourists


Pinnawala, Sri Lanka, offers a wealth of experiences for travelers seeking adventure, wildlife encounters, and cultural immersion. From the iconic Elephant Orphanage to the tranquil riverside picn

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