Example Itinerary

Family Sri Lanka: Trincomalee to Colombo with Kids

Duration
12 days / 11 nights
Price Per Person
Interests
With Kids, Beaches
Destinations
Sri Lanka

This 12-day itinerary takes you on a family-friendly journey through Sri Lanka’s most beautiful terrain. With plenty of beach time and the opportunity for close contact with native wildlife, this trip gives you free days in each location to spend as you wish, whether that’s exploring the jungles on an elephant safari or snorkelling shallow reefs in protected waters. You’ll visit the coastal towns of Negombo Beach and Trincomalee, you’ll have a few days in Anuradhapura to see the ruins and explore a wildlife sanctuary, and you’ll visit the hill capital of Kandy for a cultural exchange. By spending a few days in each location, your itinerary is flexible and leaves plenty of opportunity for downtime. In each resort you stay in, you’ve got a pool, international dining, WiFi and all the creature comforts of home.

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.

Highlights

  • Natural Paper: Have your toilet humor at the ready when you pay a visit to Maximus, as this sustainable initiative recycles elephant dung into paper.
  • Whale-Watching: The Trincomalee coast is a popular passage for visiting blue whales and sperm whales, as well as spinner and bottlenose dolphins, so boat trip sightings of these marine mammals are almost guaranteed.
  • Minneriya National Park: One of Sri Lanka's best wildlife destinations, a meander through Minneriya means walking in the tracks of leopards, sloth bears, and hundreds of wild elephants.

Day-by-Day

Day 1

Map

Negombo

You'll start your fun-filled 12-day adventure in Negombo on the west coast of Sri Lanka. Upon arrival at Colombo International Airport, you'll be met by your guide and transferred to your resort on Negombo beach – we recommend Jetwing Beach resort, a luxurious, modern property positioned right on the shoreline. Here, you have two days to relax and recuperate from your flight, enjoying the sand and surf, lazing by the pool, sipping sunset cocktails or booking in for a pampering spa treatment.

Hotel Options

Day 2

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Negombo

Spend today at leisure and enjoy more beach time.Kids can stay entertained with watersports, or join activities with guests their own age at Jetwing’s Kids Club. In the evening, we recommend to enjoy a seafood barbecue on the beach, or book in for a romantic fine dining experience at Black Coral restaurant.

Negombo

Day 3

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Kandy »

Make the several hours trip inland today to the hill capital of Kandy, Sri Lanka’s largest city. Kandy is a UNESCO-protected site and a sacred Buddhist center, home to the Temple of the Tooth Relic, which has what’s believed to be one of the Buddha’s teeth. You’ll also find the serene Kandy Lake here, plus temples, palaces and grand colonial buildings. The city is also home to botanical gardens, meticulously maintained and full of orchids, spices and palm trees. 

Hotel Options

Day 4

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Kandy »

Spend the day touring Sri Lanka’s cultural capital. This picturesque and peaceful mountain city was the last ruling seat of the Kingdom of Kandy, and retains vestiges of its prestigious past, such as the Udawattakele Royal Forest Sanctuary - a tropical forest in the palace complex - and the Temple of the Tooth Relic itself, also within the palace walls. The fertile hills of the region make it a popular spot for tea plantations and there are tea factories and museums to visit, as well as spice gardens, such as the New Ranweli Spice Garden, where you can learn about the medicinal properties of various herbs and spices. Return to your hotel this evening. 

Kandy

Day 5

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Sigiriya »

Today you’ll get an early start as you make your way to Sri Lanka’s “Cultural Triangle”. Before arriving at your destination, stop for a visit at Dambulla Cave Temple. The largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in the country, Dambulla Cave Temple is a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site. The complex dates from the third and second centuries and still operates as a monastery in present day. 

Hotel Options

Day 6

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Sigiriya »

Wake early this morning to visit Sigiriya. This ancient fortress built in the 5th century, yet another UNESCO site, is perched at the very top of a remarkable monolithic rock pillar that juts dramatically over the forests. After scaling the rock pillar - and admiring the 21 colorful frescoes along the way - make your final ascent to the top through a gate carved into the rock to look like lion paws. In fact, the entire palace was carved in the shape of a lion, earning this site the colloquial name, 'Lion Rock.' Finish the day with a safari at the Minneriya National Park. The park is a wildlife refuge and if you’re lucky, you may even spot elephants feeding. Those especially keen to see elephants will want to visit during the dry months, from July to October, when hundreds of elephants make their way to the watering hole at Minneriya. This spectacular sight is called the annual elephant gathering.

Sigiriya

Day 7

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Trincomalee »

Today you’ll travel to Trincomalee, around 90 minutes away on the east coast of Sri Lanka, where you’ll spend four days enjoying white sand beaches and clear blue seas. The waters surrounding Trincomalee are home to coral-fringed islets and abundant marine life such as dolphins and whales. In the city itself, you’ll find plenty of culture and history, old colonial buildings and elaborately decorated Hindu temples among them. In Trincomalee, we recommend staying in a luxurious seaside resort such as the Nilaveli Beach Hotel or the Jungle Beach Resort, both of which feature modern rooms, international dining, a pool, watersports and direct beach access.

Hotel Options

Day 8

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Trincomalee »

A popular attraction in Trincomalee is Pigeon Island, just a ten-minute boat ride offshore. This rocky islet makes for a great day trip, with snorkeling and diving, and shallow rock pools to explore. This protected area is home to nesting rock pigeons and is also the subject of various conservation efforts aimed at preserving its reefs. As such, it’s a fantastic destination for nature lovers and for educating young explorers on sustainable travel.

Trincomalee

Day 9

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Trincomalee »

If you like, rise early and enjoy one of the world's most unforgettable travel experiences – whale-watching. The deep waters off the Trincomalee coast are frequented by blue whales and sperm whales at certain times of year, and on a whale-watching expedition, you're also likely to spot spinner and bottle-nose dolphins. The success rate of spotting whales is usually very high – seeing these beautiful giants up close is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many. Spend another night in your beach resort in Trincomalee.

Day 10

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Trincomalee »

Today, enjoy a leisurely day on the beach or – for a touch of history – visit Fort Frederick, wheich was used by Dutch, Portuguese and British colonial forces. The fort is positioned on Swami Rock, where you can also see the intricately-decorated Koneswara Hindu temple – the Temple of the Thousand Pillars – which features an intricate bas-relief in black granite. Swami Rock is full of myth and legend – near the temple is “Lover’s Leap”, where a Dutch general's daughter once attempted suicide after her paramour returned to Europe. She survived the fall and the location is famous not just for its sheer drop but for the sunset views it offers across the waters.

Trincomalee

Day 11

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Colombo »

After breakfast, make your way back to Colombo and check in. Time permitting, go on a city tour. Begin at Gangaramaya Temple, followed by Seema Malaka Temple - both of which are the most important temples in the city. Stop by a local market, a colorful and bustling scene awaits. Then, take a drive around the Fort Area downtown and see the Dutch and British architecture from colonial days as well as various ministry and governmental buildings. Alight at Galle Face Green for a stroll. This long stretch of green lawn next to the narrow beach and sea promenade in Colombo is a peaceful area where locals come in the early evening to leisure activities such as running, playing cricket or football, kite flying, and to enjoy the sunset.

Hotel Options

Day 12

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Departure

After breakfast, take a private transfer to the airport for your onward journey home.

Why Remote Lands?

Exclusively Asia

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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