From cultural treasures to an abundance of wildlife, Sri Lanka is a paradise for families. The diverse landscapes provide a dazzling backdrop for activities of all ages, including whale watching, mask making, white water rafting, and spiritual ceremonies at neighborhood temples. Families can also volunteer at an elementary school, visit wild elephants, and explore seaside villages.
This family program is best suited for children ages 6 - 17. All travelers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Welcome to Sri Lanka! Upon arrival, meet your guide and transfer to the hotel. Sri Lanka, the island nation home to more than 20 million people, is a strategic naval link between West and Southeast Asia. the nation famously exports tea, coffee, and coconuts and boasts a rich cultural heritage.
Colombo, the commercial capital of Sri Lanka, is a vibrant mix of modernity and colonial ruins. Because of its natural harbor and positioning along East-West sea trade routes, Colombo was known to ancient traders from 2,000 years ago. Evening at leisure and overnight.
Colombo - Kosgama
In the morning, visit the Kelaniya Temple and offer a dhana (meal) to the Buddhist monks. According to Buddhist traditions, Monks in the temple does not prepare meals in the temple and instead rely on offerings by the villages. Per Buddhist teachings, this will invoke merit to the party offering meals. The ceremony will start by observing Pan-sil (Buddhist prayers). Then, guests will serve freshly cooked meals (Alms) to the Buddhist Monks. After distributing gifts, enjoy a bana (sermon) based on teachings of Lord Buddha. To conclude, the monks will tie blessed cords on the right hand of each participant. This arm band is believed to protect all individuals from evil and carry the blessings for the next seven days.
Continue to Kosgama (1.5 hours). The urban village is a vibrant introduction to local traditions, including fishermen carrying their fresh catch on bicycles and farmers harvesting crops for markets. Your homestay at Saffron Villa is nestled among coconut trees and the hosts enjoy sharing stories about the history of the community. Day at leisure and overnight.
Kosgama - Kandy
Morning at leisure. Later, drive to Kitulgala for a whitewater rafting adventure on the Kelani River! (Note: Available for travelers aged 10 and above.)
Continue to Kandy (2.5 hours). Situated beside a lake in the hills, Kandy is considered Sri Lanka’s cultural center. The city houses the Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa), considered one of the most sacred places of worship in the Buddhist world. Evening at leisure and overnight.
Start your day with a traditional drumming lesson. The teacher is a descendent of a long line of drummers and will take you through the basics of technique, their use in Sri Lankan culture, and their place in history. Learn the various types of drums, understand their differences, and play a tune while wearing a traditional headdress.
Later, cruise in style along the Mahaweli River. The 45-minute cruise allows guests to view the local flora and fauna, including giant monitor lizards and exotic birds. Upon request, our team can also arrange a picnic on board.
In the evening, visit the temple complex and observe the puja at 18:30 which holds the sacred tooth relic of Buddha, brought to Sri Lanka during the reign of king Meghavarna (301-328). The relic is encased in seven caskets, one kept inside the other, the outmost of which has a shape of a stupa adorned with a large number of gold ornaments. We will provide you with white temple clothing, incense sticks, and oil lamps. (White clothing to wear for the temple visit will be placed in the rooms). Overnight in Kandy.
Kandy - Galle
In the morning, drive to Galle (4 hours). Stone sea walls, expanded by the Dutch, encircle car-free streets with architecture reflecting Portuguese, Dutch, and British rule. Visit the Galle Fort. Also known as theRamparts of Galle, it was built by the Portuguese in 1558, fortified by the Dutch in 1649, and came under British control in 1796. The fort layout resembles a small town and residents still live inside the walls, including Sinhalese, Dutch, Germans, Portuguese, English, and Muslim Moors.
Visit an arts and crafts shop hidden in Galle Fort and learn the history of mask making in Sri Lanka before your host guides you through creating your own. Masks are used more for performance and ritual in modern day Sri Lanka but their past is rooted in ancient beliefs with the ideology of healing and protective powers. Learn the fascinating and age-old techniques from your host where masks are usually made from a light wood called Kaduru. Then, mold your creation using traditional and sustainable resources such as recycled paper, kithul (treacle), kurundu (cinnamon), clay, broken tiles, and bees wax. Evening at leisure and overnight.
After breakfast, experience the natural beauty, local life, and wildlife of rural Galle. Explore by boat and bike with your naturalist before a break for hoppers. Pass by picturesque paddy fields, small villages, and plantations. You will also have the opportunity to visit and volunteer at an elementary school (based on availability and class schedule).
Return to Galle and overnight.
Kandy - Udawalawe
In the morning, drive to Udawalwe (2.5 hours). The national park was created to provide a sanctuary for wild animals displaced by the construction of the Udawalawe Reservoir on the Walawe River. Before the designation of the national park, the area was used for shifting cultivation. Framed by soaring highlands, Udawalawe is an important habitat for water birds and one of the world’s best places to observe wild elephants.
Your afternoon is reserved for a game drive to view the wildlife. Transfer to your hotel for an evening at leisure. Overnight.
Udawalawe - Mirissa
In the morning, visit the Elephant Transit Home. The sanctuary was established by the Department of Wildlife and Conservation with the assistance from the Born Free organization back in 1995. The orphaned elephants, due to much escalating human-elephant conflicts, are nurtured and protected by this establishment. As of today, there are between 35-40 elephants at the transit home and over 65 elephants have been released into the wild when strong enough to survive on their own.
Continue to Mirissa (2 hours), a delightful coastal town with palm-fringed beaches. Remainder of the day at leisure and overnight.
Rise and shine for your whale watching expedition! Offered from October – April, the half-day trip departs from the post of Mirissa around 6:30 am. Along the way, the chef serves a freshly prepared breakfast. When whales are sighted, guests are invited to the bow and upper decks for the best viewing of these incredible creatures. Continue towards Weligama Bay, where the Pearl anchors near the Snake and Taprobane islands — a lovely setting to enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and a delicious lunch.
Return to the pier and transfer to your hotel. Overnight.
Morning at leisure or we can reserve a private surf lesson for your family! Later, drive to Colombo (2 hours) and transfer to the airport for your onward flight. Bon Voyage!
9 nights of hotel accommodations
Daily breakfast and dinner
Private air-conditioned vehicle with driver for touring and transport
Comprehensive touring as listed in the itinerary, including a private English-speaking guide and entrance fees to the monuments
All local experiences, including mask making, village walks, and drumming lesson
Jeep safari in Udawalawe
Private airport transfers with representative
Road/Interstate taxes, fuel surcharges, and parking fees
Mineral water during touring and transport
Taxes, fees, and government surcharges
Any items of a personal nature
A visa is required to visit Sri Lanka. It can be facilitated online.