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Discover the amazing island of Sri Lanka with our 12 day trip. This fascinating trip perfectly suitable for a family, will introduce you and your children to the stunning sights of Sri Lanka. Enjoy its nature in all its splendour and visit Uda Walawe National Park where you will have the opportunity to see rescued infants up close at the onsite Elephant Transit Home.
Sri Lanka has a rich cultural history dating back thousands of years. Marvel at the Dambulla Cave Temples, take a stroll through the botanical gardens and admire the Temple of the Tooth.
Take in sweeping vistas of the outlying terrain from Sigiriya’s rock-top fortress, learn the steps of the traditional Kandyan dance and soak up some beach time along the pristine, palm-fringed sands of Mirissa during this unforgettable journey.
Welcome to Sri Lanka! Known as the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’, the island offers travellers palm-studded beaches, rolling plantations, and sacred sights steeped in spirituality. There are no activities planned today until your group welcome meeting at 6 pm. We'll be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have these with you. If arriving in Negombo earlier, spend some time poolside at the hotel, or head out to explore the neighbourhood.
Begin the adventure by heading out to Dambulla, located at the end of a moderate 4-hour drive from Negombo. This town plays home to some of the world’s most spectacularly decorated cave-temples and serves as a great starting point to trek into nearby natural wonders and historic sights. Upon arrival, you‘ll have the option to visit the Dambulla vegetable wholesale market. This huge labyrinth of shops and stalls sitting south of the centre of town offers a fascinating look at the vast range of produce grown in Sri Lanka. Items you see being carted about with manic energy will be sold in Colombo tomorrow.
Today’s adventure takes you from Dambulla to Sigiriya, a colossal stone monument hosting a ruined fortress at its peak. Let the kids burn off some energy with a climb to the top of enormous Sigiriya rock and its ancient fortress. If you’re lucky, you should be able to take in sweeping views of the thick forests below before descending once more. Once you return to Dambulla, take the family for a pleasant bike ride around the courtyside. The numerous temple complexes and religious monuments are well worth a visit if you get the chance.
Say farewell to Dambulla in the morning and take a 3-hour drive towards beautiful Kandy, often recognised as the cultural capital of Sri Lanka. The verdant hills surrounding the city along with the tranquil lake in the centre creates the perfect scenery for family photo opportunities, and the old shops and restaurants will keep you busy for hours. Spend the afternoon basking amongst rows of flowers and towering palm trees in the Royal Botanical Gardens. The garden plays home to more than 4000 species of plants, including orchids, spices, medicinal plants and various trees. It’s a leisurely walk, full of colour.
We will also visit the Spice Gardens to learn about Sri Lankan spice plants and herbs.
This morning you’ll visit Dalada Maligawa (the Temple of the Tooth), which houses the country's most sacred relic: a tooth said to be the Buddha's. Pilgrims have been coming to pay homage at this site since the 16th century. We visit a local family for dinner and learn the steps to traditional Kandayan dancing during some lessons from local performers.
Family tip: When visiting the Temples you have to take your hats and shoes off, do not leave your shoes at the side of the road or the monkeys will run off with them. Store them with the ‘shoe keepers’ for a small charge or put them in your rucksack.
After breakfast we hit the road by private bus past lush green hills to Nuwara Eliya (3 hrs) In Nuwara Eliya we have a quick visit of this old British hill station is the heart of the tea growing industry and full of colonial charm. Built entirely during the 19th century, its old world architecture reflects what you might normally expect to find in an English country village. Once referred to as 'Little England' by British colonialists, it’s a fascinating mix of water buffalo and brick Victorian buildings, golf courses and tea plantations
We then board the train to board the a local train to Bandarawela (2hours) and head to our accommodation and enjoy the views across the hills and tea plantations.
Note: the local train is often booked out, in the event this happens the group will continue by private transport to Bandarawela.
After a few days on the road, today runs at a bit of a slower pace. Bandarawela is an unhurried, unpretentious hill-country town that exists to supply the needs of the tea plantation workers and their families. The people of Bandarawela enjoy a simple way of life, where school children and grandparents work together harvesting their crops and tending their livestock. Another distinctive feature of Bandarawela is the colonial flavour still preserved in the many old buildings, including the Bandarawela Hotel and the old Cargill’s Supermarket. Enjoy a leisurely morning walk through the countryside, past tea pickers plucking the tips of the plants and throwing them into the baskets on their backs. The afternoon is free for your enjoyment – you could always get the family together and challenge some of the locals to a friendly game of cricket.
After a hearty breakfast and 8:30am checkout, drive to Uda Walawe National Park (approximately 3 hours). This park has an amazing array of animal and birdlife, with more herds of wild elephant than anywhere else in Sri Lanka. Following lunch, discover how this majestic creature has been part of Sri Lankan culture for centuries during a visit to the nearby Elephant Transit Home. Run by the Sri Lankan Department of Wildlife Conservation, ETH provides shelter for orphaned or abandoned baby elephants with the aim of releasing them into the wild. Arriving at a viewing platform at feeding time ensures you'll get to see the elephants only metres away! Once feeding is over, hop in a jeep for a safari inside the park. Wildlife regularly spotted here includes macaques and larger monkeys, spotted deer, crocodiles and sometimes even leopards. This is a real safari experience, nothing like a zoo or safari park – truly an adventure for all ages!
We check into our campsite around 6pm after a full day of adventure.
After starting the day with a hearty meal, we travel to the chilled-out beach town of Mirissa and settle in for the night. Mirissa, a stunning crescent beach, dotted with palm trees, ocean waves and local spots to eat authentic Sri Lankan food. You will have free time to discover one of the best spots in Sri Lanka!
Mirissa is a great place to go whale and dolphin watching during the months from November to April.
Take a change of pace this morning with a bit of free time. Relax around Mirissa’s lovely waterfront or take in some of the local sights. The waters are clear and inviting if you’d like to go for a splash in the Laccadive Sea, or you could follow the fresh fish coming in from shore and perhaps grab a bite to share with the family. Consider gathering the family and heading (by tuk-tuk or bicycle) to nearby Weligama, where colourful fishing boats bring fresh fish to sell along the shore. The local cottage industry of lace products is also well worth a look. In the evening, visit the Dutch Fort in Galle for a spot of kite flying. If the colours of the kites don’t get you excited, the kaleidoscopic hues of the sunset surely will.
Check out of the hotel and head towards Colombo. Once you arrive, take a bit of time to wander through the bazaar, taking in the sights, sounds and smells of the bustling market. Afterwards, enjoy a bit of free time. You’re in the commercial capital of Sri Lanka, so there’s more than enough things to do to while away the day. The waterfront is full of life, sights and stalls which makes for an excellent starting point. Regroup in the afternoon and head to Galle Face Green – 5 hectares of ocean-side park bliss.
Your Sri Lankan family holiday concludes this morning after breakfast. There are no activities planned for today and you are able to depart the hotel at any time. Check out time from the hotel is 12 noon. If you are departing later, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel. Additional accommodation is available through your booking agent at the time of booking your trip.
All Get About Asia trips have been designed to make sure you have an unforgettable travel experience. We have developed several trip styles to cater for our diverse range of travellers. Read what your ideal Get About Asia experience might look like here.
|Standard:||from AU $1,965|
All GetAboutAsia prices are based on twin share and depend on availability and season. All our itineraries can be customised including international flights and extra nights. For questions or further information, Enquire Now!
Hotels/Camping each night of the itinerary (excluding your departure day). All GetAboutAsia accommodation is handpicked by us. Upgrades are available for this itinerary.
|Start:||Negombo, Sri lanka|
|End:||Colombo, Sri Lanka|
"A holiday in Sri Lanka for us ticked all the boxes, small enough so you don't have to travel far each day, big enough that diversity is prevalent, the history is fascinating the hotels were to die for, the scenery is stunning the food amazing, the wildlife was an absolute surprise, I spent 2 years in Africa and never saw so many leopards as we did in 2 weeks in Sri Lanka. It was the perfect family holiday we were all, young and old, entertained from the minute we arrived to the minute we left, the only bad part about it was departure. " — Hall Family, Sydney, January 2018
"Just wanted to drop you a line to say “Thank you so much” for the beautiful tour of Sri Lanka. My husband and I and friends had a wonderful holiday and what an awesome experience. We really appreciate your hard work……….it was truly well taken care of and Sri Lanka is a beautiful holiday destination." — Mr and Mrs Kumar and party, Camberwell, February 2018
"Firstly, the flights. All went well, and Singapore Airlines provides an excellent service. Secondly, the accommodation. The hotels were excellent, and well located. Breakfasts were first class, and we had no trouble finding locations for lunch and dinner. All meals were great value for money. Our transport could not have been better --- an air-conditioned 10 seater van, so we had plenty of space, with a driver/guide who was an expert at handling the traffic we encountered most of the time. We could also suggest minor changes to our itinerary each day. We appreciated the fact that all entrance fees were paid for into museums and temples, and also the safari jeep tours in the national parks. All in all, we think the GetAboutAsia tour you organised was great value for money." — Marshalls and Witherall, Sydney, March 2018
"Sri Lanka was great. Everything went to plan. We found Sri Lanka to be varied and interesting and we felt that our itinerary was well put together. Given that we like outdoor activities with a bit of adventure our favourite places were Sigirya Lion Rock and exploring the Udawalawe National Park in the Jeep. Our guide was as usual excellent." — Mr and Mrs Barker, Sydney, March 2018
"We had a fantastic trip to Sri Lanka. Everyone enjoyed it and could not fault the holiday at all. Everything went according to plan – couldn’t have been better. All the hotels were excellent, the service faultless and the food superb. It is a very rare occasion when you can see a leopard in the wild (the guide and the driver were equally as excited as us!). I would like to commend our guide / driver (Bandu.) He went out of his way to do everything to make our time in Sri Lanka a great success and I would recommend his services to anyone in the future. All in all we had a wonderful time and are already contemplating our next holiday. Many thanks for all your help!" — Jarrit Family, Melbourne, January 2018
"Our driver was great and looked after us so much it was like having a parent to look after us. Everything was great and we were very glad to have had breakfast included too. To narrow down our top 3 favourites; well we absolutely loved the Spice Garden, Ella Rock and Horton Plains, (we got to pat a deer it was beautiful)Oh and our first two accommodation places we had upgrades! The most beautiful rooms!! Thanks again for all the organising and chopping and changing. We will recommend Getaboutasia Much appreciated." — Mrs Fiddler and Mr Bade, Melbourne , October 2017
"We felt that Sri Lanka was a great destination and a suitable destination of all types of people, although very hot and humid in coastal areas in April. We enjoyed it all, and the final days in Colombo were good as Ramada Hotel was very well located, and a special treat as New Year celebrations going on." — Mr and Mrs Clark, Bribie Island, April 2017
"Our trip was a success and we were very happy with our car and driver Manoje. He was very knowledgeable and helpful. I think we especially enjoyed the high areas and the lovely scenery amidst the tea plantations. The quality of our accommodations was appreciated and the service everywhere was great." — Alan & Angela Batt, Clovelly, March 2017