Heading south from Anuradhapura about 75km is Sigiriya. It is only a small village but famous for Sigiriya rock also known as Lions rock.
Unfortunately in recent years many tourist attractions have hiked their prices for foreign visitors in Sri Lanka. This means that to climb up Sigiriya rock the price for a tourist is now 5500 rupees (US$30). As a result of this it is popular to climb Pidurangala rock, which is less than 2km from Sigiriya. The entry fee for Pidurangala rock is currently 500 rupees (US$3).
You still get excellent views from this rock as it is neary 200m high and has a panoramic view over to Sigiriya rock. It is a short 30 minute walk up steps and short climb to the top. We timed the walk to see sunset.
We also had a very friendly homestay or guesthouse called Thathsara. When staying here they cooked us a tasty range of rice and curry dishes for our evening meal.
Dambulla is 17km southwest from Sigiriya. It is an easy day trip by local bus. The attraction to see here is the Dambulla Caves.
There are 5 caves in total set into a large outcrop of rock. These rock temples are the most impressive and best preserved in Sri Lanka. The temples date back to the first century BCE. Inside are amazing paintings all over the rock walls with many buddha figures and statues.