Discover Sri Lanka for families
Day 1-3 Rivers and Waves
Jump straight into adventure with a river expedition. As the Kelani River flows down from Adam’s Peak on its way to the Indian Ocean, it creates several opportunities for thrills on its rapids, waterfalls and tributaries. Depending on the level of adventure you and your family are ready for, you can either raft or kayak on the white water, both of which take you downstream through breathtaking scenery. You can whizz down natural waterslides, dip into plunge pools and follow the river as it weaves through rainforests.
Or if you prefer coastal pleasures, start on the southwest coast. Sri Lanka is one of the best places in the world to learn to surf. The beach breaks which smoothly roll onto the sandy bay are ideal for beginners, and instructors are on hand to help you hone your technique. You’ll be carving waves in no time.
Day 4-7 Wild Glamping
Now you’ll head over to the lesser-visited east coast of Sri Lanka. This eco-conscious stay is immersed in the wilds of the Gal Oya Valley National Park, known for its huge reservoir surrounded by savanna forests and mist-swirled mountains. It’s the perfect setting for an all-natural family escape; although you feel very remote, you’ll also have your creature comforts – spacious, comfortable tents, air-con, delicious Sri Lankan cuisine and there’s a pool. Best of all, it’s easy to head out into the surrounding environment on safari – either by boat on the river or trekking, spotting herds of wild elephants or sloths, deer and leopard who hide in the forest. It’s also the place to learn more about eco practices including their organic farm and re-forestation program, plus enjoy enlightening conversation with guides and staff who come from the indigenous Vaddah communities, whom you might also have the privileged opportunity to visit in their homes.
Day 8-11 Adventure and Tea Drinking
Leaving the east coast behind you’ll head to central Sri Lanka. The lush green hills of Sri Lanka’s tea country are reason enough to visit with its encircling tea plantations dotted with sari-clad pickers; and working factories where you can learn the art of tea-making from leaf to cup. But now, we’ve discovered some new activities that will appeal to adventure-loving families. How does zip-lining past towering mountain ranges and scenic waterfalls sound?
Or for something more grounded, drive jungle dirt paths through tea plantations on an ATV tour, or keep your feet firmly on rocky escarpments as you abseil down cliffs. You’ll be grateful for a sit-down and a freshly brewed tea after a thrilling day in Ella’s scenic beauty.
Day 12-14 Live with a Local
Sri Lanka is one of the friendliest nations on earth and rightly proud of their cultural heritage. For a privileged encounter, stay with a Sri Lankan family in their home. A homestay gives you a completely different experience to a hotel and will allow for interaction on both sides. Even just walking around a village with your host will mean an introduction to inhabitants and their customs, including learning the secret to mouth-watering Sri Lankan curries.
One of our favourite homestay’s is located near Kandy, and here you’ll visit the revered and holy incense-swirled Temple of the Tooth for prayers with your new family. You may even be invited to join cultural activities such as mask painting, which form a significant part of folk storytelling and devil dancing. For an add-on you might want to head to the beach – after all your activity you deserve it!