Pack up the whole family and prepare for a cultural, invigorating and relaxing adventure, all tied into one when you embark on this 13-day Sri Lanka family-friendly itinerary. Be prepared to hike, swim, raft and view ancient monuments as well as relaxing seaside on this well-rounded trip. Travel from Colombo to the Cultural Triangle to Kandy to Kitulgala and finally to Bentota. There’s something for everyone in the family!This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.
• Asian Elephants: Minneriya National Park is home to some of the largest gatherings of elephants in the region - herds of up to 150 elephants can be spotted here.
• Paddles Up: Canoe down the Kelani River or crash down her Grade Three rapids on a white water rafting adventure.
• Turtle Conservation: Seaside relaxation at Bentota offers the opportunity to visit the Kosgoda Turtle Conservation Project and learn about the importance of protecting these adorable marine creatures.
Begin your family’s adventure in the country’s beautiful capital, Colombo. Arrive in the cultural Mecca and check into a hotel. Let the kids burn some energy with an evening walk to check out the gorgeous colonial architecture lining the winding streets.
The day begins with a visit to one of the most important places of learning and spirituality - the Gangaramaya Temple. Continue onto the Seema Malakaya Temple, a tiny temple built on a lake and can only be reached by a small bridge. Head on over to the local markets, and stock up on traditional goods. Tour the National Museum and pay a visit to the Fort before wrapping up your day and returning to your hotel.
Rise early and travel to Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle, around 4 hours from Sri Lanka. Reach the Cultural Triangle and spend the night in Sigiriya.
Get things moving this morning with a hike up to Sigiriya Fortress. Take it easy and enjoy the views of the plains - and the monkeys! - as you ascend to the top. In the afternoon, relax and enjoy the resort.
Embark on a day of adventure as take an exciting jeep safari in Minneriya National Park. The park is best known for having the largest gatherings of Asian Elephants. In the dry season, herds of up to 150 can be spotted. Keep your eyes peeled for Sambar deer, toque monkeys, cormorants and painted storks.
Your next adventure will take you to the lush green city of Kandy, the island nation’s cultural capital, and a 2-hour drive from Dambulla. This was the last kingdom of Sri Lanka. Check out the Temple of the Tooth. The temple contains the relic of the tooth of Buddha.
Take a tour of the Bahirawakanda Monastery, and see how Sri Lankan monks live and worship. See the Temple of the Tooth lit up at night by thousands of tiny white lights: a magical sight to behold. For golf aficionados, there’s an 18-hole golf course, putting green and practice range. For non-golfers, there’s still plenty of activities to choose from with a floodlit tennis court, swimming pool, saddle club, riding lessons for all ages, horse safaris, bird-watching and bike trails. Spend your final evening resting up to journey to the western foothills tomorrow.
Drive for 90 minutes into the western foothills of the central highlands to spend the night in the tropical rainforests. Enjoy the winding rivers and natural beauty of the area. Discover your wild-at-heart side as you raft down the mighty Kelani. If you or the kids aren’t feeling up for the grade three rafting, feel free to canoe the river instead. Spend the night at Borderlands camping and fall asleep on stilted platforms resting over the river.
Enjoy a scenic 3-hour coastal drive as you make your way to historical Bentota. Check into Heritance Ahungalle or Saman Villas for a five-night stay. It’s time for relaxation and endless days lounging or playing on the sand.
Children and adults alike will love visiting the Kosgoda Turtle Conservation Project. This innovative project works to conserve the dwindling marine turtle species. You are welcome to observe the turtles in their natural breeding habitat without disturbing or harming them. Return to your hotel in Bentota for a restful evening.
Visit the UNESCO site of Galle’s 17th-century fort. View period Portuguese and Dutch architecture. Wander through the town’s narrow alleys, imagining life centuries ago. Enjoy lunch at the Lighthouse Hotel, designed by Geoffrey Bawa in 1994. The Lighthouse maintains a Portuguese style, reenacting the country’s landing at Galle in brass and bronze on the expansive main stairwell. The kids will love seeing where knights once strode.
If you’re feeling active or looking to wear the kids out, try the town’s many watersports. You can rent a banana boat, water ski, jetski, attempt windsurfing or wave boarding. Lessons with English-speaking instructors are available. Enjoy as much sun and surf as you can alongside the picturesque Indian Ocean.
Savor a delicious Sri Lankan meal on your final morning in the country. Depending on your departure time, fit in a final swim in the sea or walk along the hotel’s lush gardens before packing up and catching your flight back home after a full 13-days of adventure, culture and relaxation.
The dramatic and sultry Tintagel property is located in central Colombo, close to Colombo Town Hall, National Art Gallery and Sinhalese Sports Club. The hotel was previously home to three of Sri Lanka’s political leaders, making it an important structure of national heritage. This unique and intimate hotel boasts ten high-ceilinged suites with timber floors, lavishly decorated with a unique blend of color, texture and atmosphere. The spacious bathrooms feature rain showers, bathtubs and large vanities. All rooms include complimentary WiFi, LCD TV screens with DVD/CD players, a minibar, tea- and coffee-making facilities and Egyptian cotton bedding. Selected suites come with a private courtyard or a balcony. There are a range of dining facilities including an alfresco restaurant, a chic indoor restaurant offering international cuisine, a private dining room and a bar with black leather lounges and bronze tables. Other facilities and services of the hotel include a spa with optional in-room service, swimming pool, gym, steam room, library and courtyard.
In prime position next to the lake and nearby Buddhist shrine, Uga Residence screams old-world elegance in modern Colombo. Nestled on a verdant avenue, this perfectly-appointed Victorian mansion offers an escape and some peace and quiet within the bustle of the city. Guests can relax in their luxurious suites, bedecked in rich materials and textures, or on their private terraces; alternatively, they may enjoy tranquil walks in the shady gardens. Relaxation and reinvigoration are close at hand with massages available on request and the hotel pool awaiting with cooling waters in a sunny courtyard. A la carte dining is a sumptuous affair at the poolside restaurant, where guests may begin with a cocktail from the adjacent bar and continue with wine from the cellar to accompany the gourmet delights on offer.
Located just six kilometers away from the historic Sigiriya Rock, Water Garden Sigiriya resort provides visitors to Sri Lanka with world-class comfort and second to none service. With one and two bedroom options, the resort's 30 villas are chicly designed, spacious, and imbued with an air of mystique thanks to their secret gardens and private plunge pools. Havens of relaxation and excellently positioned to observe the lush outdoors and roaming wildlife, the villas are also equipped with such modern comforts as flat-screen televisions, Wi-Fi, and coffeemakers. The expansive resort property can be traversed via a traditional buggy, swimming across the outdoor pool, or aboard a helicopter from the resort’s helipad that provides aerial tours of the adjacent countryside. Master chefs cater to diverse appetites with dishes from around the world at the outdoor dining sites and traditional indoor venue. Quality is ensured with an emphasis on organic produce and imports from top quality suppliers. At the resort's spa, various treatments can be enjoyed including renowned Balinese massages. On-site, there is plenty to keep guests entertained with activities as diverse as billiards, biking, and archery while travel off the premises to explore such nearby attractions as the ancient cities of Dambulla, Anuradhapura, and Polonnaruwa is easy and convenient.
Nestled amongst reed beds and paddy fields on top of a man-made lake lies Jetwing Vil Uyana, a premier luxury eco resort in Sigiriya, Sri Lanka. Hailed by Harper's Bazaar as the "best eco luxury hotel in Sri Lanka," this one-of-a-kind resort comprises 36 dwellings that merge sophisticated modern comforts with ecological rural simplicity. Located on a property that spans 28 acres, the resort's structures have been carefully placed to best allow the surrounding nature to thrive, inducing 36 species of butterfly, 120 species of bird, and 20 species of mammal that regard the resortas home. Guests can attempt to identify all the species from the comfort of their dwellings or participate in any of the various wildlife observation tours organized by the resort’s staff. Magnificent views of Sigiriya rock are also offered from the resort's fine dining restaurant serving Eastern and Western dishes alike. There is also a café for light bites and a fully stocked bar. Strategically located, getaways to elephant gatherings at Minneriya National Park, a wildlife safari at Wilpattu National Park, and other tours of nearby natural wonders and cultural relics are easily accessible. The resort itself is equipped with a spa, yoga treatments, gymnasium, coffee makers, Wi-Fi, and more.
This family-friendly, adventurous river camp can be found on top of a hill overlooking the Kelani River. Surrounded by mountains and fast-flowing rapids, Borderlands river base camp offers a comfortable stay in a natural setting, for a more refined camping experience. Wooden cabins with thatched roofs will keep you dry as you rest on top-quality linen, double or single beds with bedside tables and lamps, as well as on your private terrace, providing spectacular views overlooking the Kelani. All tents and cabins come with mosquito nets, and are spacious enough to sleep three to five people. Nighttime entertainment can be found at the camp’s Long House, equipped with a modern sound system, informal bar and a comfortable, cushioned seating area. High speed WiFi is also available at all times. Dig into some delicious Sri Lankan curries, refresh yourself with a nice cold beer and share stories in the great company of fellow guests, as you roast marshmallows around a camp fire. Kayaks and rafts will enable action-packed days along the stunning Kelani River.
Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.
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