Family Sri Lanka (Beaches & Safari)

Sri Lanka Masks

The spice island of Sri Lanka, off the southern coast of India, offers some of the prettiest beaches and accessible game parks in this region. A wide array of water sports and easy to explore national parks makes visiting Sri Lanka a family “not to miss” adventure. Begin your holiday in Bentota choosing from water sports for any age. Look for blue whales off of Mirissa, explore the fishing village of Tangalle and see wild elephants in Uda Walawe. Explore the second largest game reserve in Sri Lanka, Yala National Park, and head to the hills, Elle and Kandy. Beaches and jungles make Family Sri Lanka a family vacation you will be talking about for years to come.

Day 1 – Negombo
Arrive in Colombo where you will be met and driven north to your hotel in Negombo. Attractions in the city are the old Dutch fort gate built in 1672 now a part of the prison and the Dutch Canal which was then a supply route to the Dutch administration, old churches and fishing villagers. The 100km long canal running through the town is still being used.

Day 2 – Negombo/Bentota
Drive south to the coastal city of Bentota and check into your hotel. Enjoy strolling the beach and take a midday swim.

Day 3 – Bentota
Begin your day with watersports such as swimming, body surfing, jet skiing, wind surfing or parasailing. After lunch take a river safari in the lagoon. Visit a cinnamon estate after your river trip.

Day 4 – Bentota/Mirissa
After breakfast, drive to Mirissa, known as a prime spot to spot Blue Whales and dolphins during winter months. After you check in to your hotel you will be able to enjoy time on the beach or participate in water sports such as sports fishing (the continental shelf drop off lies 8 miles off the coast where large game fish can be found), diving, snorkeling, sailing and sea kayaking.

Day 5 – Mirissa
Embark on an early morning (6:00AM) whale watching excursion. Mirissa is close to Dondra Point which is the main port of whale watching on the island. From December to April there is a 95% chance of spotting Blue Whales and Sperm whales as their migratory path is just off Dondra Point The duration of sailing is 3 – 5 Hours at sea and includes breakfast. Return for lunch, then head out to explore inland from Mirassa. Visit a tea factory, a Buddhist temple and an Ayurveda healer.

Day 6 – Mirissa/Tangalle
Enjoy a leisurely drive along the coast to Tangalle, a quiet beach town located on Sri Lanka’s southern coast. After checking in to your hotel, explore Tangalle, an important fishing port, with visits to the Dutch fort in the city’s center used today as a prison and the Buddhist rock temple, Mulkirigala.

Day 7 – Tangalle/Uda Walawe National Park/Tangalle
Early morning drive to Uda Walawe National Park, about 1.5 hours inland from Tangalle. The park has open boundaries which allows for the unrestricted movement of numerous elephant herds which are drawn here because of the large reservoir and sightings are almost 100% guaranteed. There is also an elephant transit center, which was set up by the department of wildlife in 1995 to care for abandoned and injured calves. You can also spot leopards, sloth bear, Sambar deer, wild boar, langur and water buffalo. The park is also great for bird watching and Kingfisher, Red-faced Malkoha, Sri Lanka Grey Hornbill, Brown-capped Babbler and Junglefowl breed here. Return to Tangalle

Day 8 – Tangalle/Kataragama
After breakfast,, drive southeast around the coast to the pilgrimage town of Kataragama. Check in to your hotel. Although Kataragama was a small village in medieval times, today it is a fast developing town surrounded by dense jungle. Visit the Kataragama temple and the ancient Kiri Vehera Buddhist stupa. Kataragama adjoins the popular Yala National Park.

Day 9 – Kataragama/Yalla National Park/Kataragama
Early morning drive to Yala National Park, known for its wide variety of wild mammals besides being an important bird sanctuary. Besides the Sri Lankan elephant Yala has the largest leopard density in the world. Toque Macaque, Red Slender Loris and fishing Cat are among other mammals in the park. There are over 120 species of birds and the coastline of Yala is a prime breeding ground for sea turtles. Take a dusk jeep sarari for the best wildlife viewing before heading back to Kataragama.

Day 10 – Kataragama/Elle
Begin journeying inland driving to Elle, a small village in the hills known for tea growing estates. Check In to your hotel. After lunch visit a tea plantation and learn about Sri Lanka’s finest export.

Day 11 – Elle/Kandy
Drive onward to Kandy, the center of Sri Lanka and the last capital city in the ancient king’s era. The town is around a lake and is well known for its Buddhist temple. After settling in to your hotel, explore the Temple of the Tooth Relic, a must see pilgrimage spot of Buddhist believers. Kandy is one of Sri Lanka’s most scenic cities and was declared a UNESCO Heritage site in 1988.

Day 12 – Kandy
Your day is free to explore as you wish.

Day 13 – Kandy/Depart Colombo
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight.

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