Wild Sri Lanka & Beach for Families - 13 days
This exciting journey through Sri Lanka’s famous cultural triangle offers something for the whole family. Discover the wildlife that waits in the Minneriya and Yala National Parks, walk along the sandy Golden Mile and bathe in the crystal waters of Beruwela beach in this amazing adventure for all ages.
Negombo - Dambulla. After breakfast we bid farewell to Negombo and set off for the town of Dambulla, home of the famous Dambulla cave temples and Sigiriya ancient rock fortress. Spend the rest of the afternoon getting better acquainted with this lovely town. Sit back, relax and try some of the local traditional foods including pittu.
Overnight: Dambulla | Breakfast
Sigiriya Rock & Village. Our first stop this morning is to the ancient Sigiriya rock fortress of the 5th Century King Kasyapa, undoubtedly one of the most iconic sights of Sri Lanka. Let the kids’ burn off some energy with the climb up to the ruins of the palace and penthouse. Once we reach the ruins we have time to wander through some of the oldest landscape multi-tiered gardens in the world, and revel in the breathtaking landscape of the surrounding jungles.
After descending from the ruins we make our way along the village path to a typical village lake, known as a “Wewa”, passing by homes surrounded by green woods and watch huts which the locals use at night to keep a lookout for wild elephants and boar. Here we cross the lake by canoe arriving at a local farm where we meet the owners and spend some time watching them share the secrets of Sri Lanakan cuisine before we sit down to enjoy the delicious meal which has been prepared using a traditional hearth. Upon our return to Dambulla we have the evening at leisure to spend however we wish.
Overnight: Dambulla | Breakfast
Polonnaruwa & Minneriya. After breakfast we make our way to the medieval capital of Sri Lanka, Polonnaruwa. Here we take time to wander along the shimmering waters of the man-made lake, the Parakrama Samudra and uncover intricately carved lotus pillars, meditative halls, ceremonial towers, as well as magnificent royal baths and palace ruins before stopping at the famous Gal Vihara Temple.
This afternoon we head to Minneriya National Park where we search for wildlife by Jeep Safari. Despite its relatively small size there is an unusually wide range of habitat types, from dry tropical forest to wetlands and grasslands found here which is home to Elephants, sambar, spotted deer, macaque and purple-faced langur monkeys, sloth bears and if we are incredibly lucky we may spot a leopard on our game drive. An adventure for all ages!
Overnight: Dambulla | Breakfast
Dambulla - Kandy. This morning we discover the Golden Cave Temple in Dambulla, the most impressive of Sri Lanka’s cave temples. Boasting over 2000 sq meters of painted walls and ceilings and a 14 meter Buddha made from rock.
Our next stop of the day is to a spice garden in Matale to get a better understanding of the process of growing the various different spices Sri Lanka is famous for before finishing our day in Kandy, the city of colonial architecture.
Overnight: Kandy | Breakfast
Today we explore the last capital of Sri Lankan kings by tuk tuk. We start our tour driving around and taking a dip in the lake built by the last Sinhala King in 1798 before going back into the town and exploring the Bazaar, the gem museum and a local lapidary.
After freshening up at our hotel we end our day with a visit to the Temple of the Tooth Relic, where it is said that whoever holds the relic holds control of the country, for an evening of traditional entertainment and dancing.
Overnight: Kandy | Breakfast
Kandy - Happutale. Today we board the scenic train passing through tea plantations and amazing waterfalls until we reach the town of Happutale. After checking in and freshening up at our hotel we have the rest of the day to go in search of the birds’ eye views we have on our doorstep. Go hiking in the Thangamale woodland or visit the Lipton’s Seat lookout where Master Lipton planted the first seeds for what is now Sri Lanka’s most popular tea – Lipton Tea. For those looking to relax, the hotel pool offers amazing views of the surrounding landscape.
Overnight: Haputale | Breakfast
Yala National Park
Happutale - Tissamaharama. This morning we venture through the clouds to the village of Ella where we meet our local guide before making our way to our first stop - Ravena Ella Falls, one of the wildest falls in the country with a 30 foot drop. It is said the king who kidnapped princess Sita from India hid her behind the falls.
After relaxing back at the hotel we embark on a jeep safari through Yala National Park where we search through the thorny scrubs and dense forests in hopes to see the resident elephants, leopards and bear. If we’re lucky we also get the chance to see the feathered King Fisher and migrant birds being protected from Predator Eagles.
Overnight: Chaarya Resort | Breakfast
Tissamaharama-Beruwela. This morning we travel just outside of Tissamaharama to a local village called Hambantota. Here we wander through the farm and taste some home grown tea in a fresh coconut shell and play some traditional Sri Lankan games with the villagers. After an afternoon of fun we return to our bus in tractors used on the farm and set off to our last point of call for the day, Beruwela where we have the evening at leisure to spend on the beach.
Overnight: Bentota and Beruwala | Breakfast
The next two days are at leisure to explore Beruwela. Take a stroll along the beach known as the "Golden Mile" or go for a walk through the lively fish market. You can meet the local fishermen and taste some of the days catch. Those looking for something different may wish to visit the water sports centre or sea turtle hatchery. Here you can learn all about the turtles that come to lay their eggs on the beaches here. You even get to meet some of the baby turtles!
Overnight: Bentota and Beruwala | Breakfast x 2
Beruwela - Colombo. After breakfast we make our way to Colombo, originally known as "the garden city of the East”. Meet our guide and enjoy a sightseeing tour of highlights including the old clock tower and the impressive Gangaramaya Temple. Our tour ends with a spot of souvenir shopping in Paradise Road and Lakmedura. We then have the rest of the evening to continue exploring Colombo’s streets or sit back, relax and watch the world go by.
Overnight: Colombo | Breakfast
Our tour comes to an end today with a transfer to the airport. We hope you enjoyed your holiday!
Prices & Dates
Prices shown are ‘per person’, based on a travelling party of at least 2 adults. The single supplement price needs to be added to the twin/double price if single rooms are required. If travelling solo, an additional ‘1-person’ supplement will apply.
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.
Arie Lagoon, Negombo
Conveniently located close to Colombo International Airport, the Aire Lagoon boasts a spectacular location on the waterfront between the Indian Ocean and a serene lagoon. Each air-conditioned room is equipped with a flat screen TV and cable channels, free slippers and toiletries. Guests can unwind in one of the two swimming pools at the hotel, with a relaxing massage in the wellness spa or dine in one of the three speciality restaurants on site with an exclusive wine bar.
The Paradise Resort & Spa, Dambulla
Enveloped by lush vegetation within the ancient city of Dambulla, the Paradise Resort and Spa offers 67 luxurious eco-villas to suit all budgets. Tastefully designed with modern amenities, the rooms feature teak furniture and free WiFi. Guests can dine at the pizzeria, home to a traditional stone oven, or the Salt & Pepper restaurant that offers an A La Carte menu. The property also offers a Thai spa as well as an Ayurveda centre alongside an outdoor pool.
Hotel Topaz, Kandy
Hotel Topaz is a charming hotel with a stunning roof top view. The elegant rooms are spacious and accentuated with splashes of vibrant colour with private balconies and good facilities. The large outdoor pool is a lovely spot to unwind with far-reaching views of the surrounding hills. Buffet meals can be enjoyed at the hotel's restaurant with theme nights that include Chinese and Mexican cuisine. Guests can also relax in the spa or the TV lounge which stocks a large collection of DVDs.
Melheim Resort , Haputale
Boasting breathtaking views of the surrounding forests, this boutique resort is set on the slopes of Blackwood Mountain in the Beregala Hills. Each guestroom features an ensuite, tea and coffee making facilities and a minibar, with a private deck opening out to the stunning mountain vistas. Other amenities include free bicycle rental, a fitness centre and an outdoor pool with a Jacuzzi. The onsite restaurant offers both Eastern and Western cuisine, which you can enjoy seated inside or out on the terrace with uninterrupted views of the surrounding scenery.
Chaarya Resort , Tissamaharama
Surrounded by lush greenery, this charming resort offers a wonderfully peaceful escape from the bustle of Sri Lanka’s cities. Its cosy and elegantly designed guestrooms have an inviting ambiance, featuring a private balcony, tea and coffee making facilities and WiFi access. The landscaped garden is often visited by migratory birds and overlooked by an outdoor pool, Jacuzzi and inviting bar. The restaurant also serves a delightful range of traditional Sri Lankan, Oriental and Western cuisine. And after your adventurous safari in Yala National Park, you can take time to rejuvenate at the Ayurveda spa.
Earl’s Reef, Bentota and Beruwala
Set on the beautiful bay of Beruwala, Earl’s Reef offers you a luxury stay just footsteps from the beach. Each guestroom is fully equipped with modern amenities and provides breathtaking views over the Indian Ocean. And with a spa, volleyball court and stunning outdoor pool, you have plenty of activities to choose from. The on-site restaurant faces the sea and serves a mix of exotic Sri Lankan cuisine and international favourites across buffet and a la carte menus.
Fairway Colombo, Colombo
Situated at the heart of Colombo, the Fairway Hotel is ideally located, close to the iconic World Trade Center and the popular Dutch Hospital complex. With 181 comfortable guest rooms, this modern hotel blends the latest technology with great design. Free high speed Wi-Fi access, motion sensor driven room temperature control, room access through your mobile phone are just a few of the technological conveniences offered. The hotel offers four restaurants, a nightclub, fitness centre and a fantastic rooftop terrace where guests can sip tasty cocktails and enjoy the superb city views.