Family Expedition

Family Holiday in Sri Lanka

Experience highlights of Sri Lankan culture, heritage, and wildlife while being engaged in some adventurous activities made for the whole family to be together.


What to Expect

12 Nights / 13 Days

This itinerary has been carefully designed to give you a taste of the exciting, endless possibilities and can be tailored to suit your exact preferences.

Day 1 : Route – Airport / Negombo

Drive Time –   Approximately 25 minutes

Accommodation –  Jetwing Lagoon (Family Room)

Meal Basis –  Bed & Breakfast basis

Arrive in Sri Lanka in the style you deserve, greeted by your chauffeur guide who is very flexible and experienced with families and transfer directly to your resort in Negombo bordering a picturesque lagoon.

Relax in the swimming pool, the longest in Sri Lanka or if time permits engage in water sports such as kayaking, canoeing or jet skiing in the lagoon as a family.

Day 2 : Route – Negombo / Sigiriya

Drive Time –  Approximately 4 ½ hour drive

Accommodation – Aliya Resort and Spa (Deluxe Attic Room)

Meal Basis – Bed & Breakfast basis

Set off from coastal Negombo to experience the inland delights of Sri Lanka. Your journey will take you along a picturesque route passing rice paddy fields to the town of Kurunegala which the kids will like to see. Look out for the towering Lord Buddha statue upon a rock, which from far is the town’s landmark!

En route you will visit the Millennium Elephant Foundation (MEF) a family run non-government organization dedicated to improving the welfare of domestic elephants. The kids especially will like to spend a few hours with an elephant expert and animal rights activist who will give you the unique opportunity to meet, walk with, and bathe the elephants!

After lunch, continue to the town of Sigiriya, within the country’s rich cultural triangle. Late afternoon, mount the mesmerizing rock fortress of Sigiriya – a 5th Century “Fortress in the Sky”. Rising dramatically from the central plains, the enigmatic rocky outcrop of Sigiriya is perhaps Sri Lanka’s single most dramatic sight. Enjoy the climb up to the fortress with the antics of the local monkeys to amuse the children and the art and architecture on every level to reward your climb.

Day 3 : Route – Sigiriya to Polonnaruwa to Hiriwadunna and back

Drive Time – Approximately 3 ½ hour drive both ways

Accommodation – Aliya Resort and Spa (Deluxe Attic Room)

Meal Basis – Bed & Breakfast basis

If you’re taking more of a cultural route on your adventures – the UNESCO World Heritage City of Polonnaruwa is the ideal introduction! A thriving commercial and religious centre some 800 years ago, Polonnaruwa was a home to the Sinhalese kings and queens of old. Without a doubt, the best way to explore the ancient city is by bicycle, which will be enjoyed by the entire family.

This way you can get out in the fresh open air, cover a lot of the site and take a tour at your own family’s pace and leisure. You’ll meander through stupas, ancient palaces, step wells, temples, Buddha statues, coconut pit stops and more. The most notable ruins and temples you will witness are the Royal Palace, vatadage Kiri vehara, Buddha figures at Gal Vihara, Lankathilaka Vihara and the Audience Hall. If your kids need to take a break, don’t fret and make sure that you stop off at many of the coconut and drink points. All these stops will have a batch of fresh coconuts on the ice to chop open for all of you to drink!

In the afternoon enjoy a scenic walk along the peaceful village of Hiriwadunna; along with a catamaran ride across the stream line to visit the Chena cultivation, followed by a visit to a humble farmer’s vegetable corner where your children will pick their own vegetables and join in preparation for a Sri Lankan meal to enjoy and taste – the farmer’s wife who makes the same will remember to use little or no spice to suit the children’s’ taste buds!!!

Day 4 : Route – Sigiriya to Kithulgala

Drive Time –   Approximately 4 ½ hour drive

Accommodation –  Palm Stone Retreat (Family Suite)

Meal Basis – Bed & Breakfast basis

Set off from the cultural triangle to Kithulgala; a small town ideal for families looking for adventure and relaxation amidst nature. Retreat to your exquisite hideaway; set in lush natural forests, overlooking a picturesque flowing stream and nestled adjoining cascading waterfalls.

For an adventurous experience, explore the prehistoric caves of Beli Lena; one of the largest prehistoric caves in the country and identified to have found several fossils that are said to be more than 32,000 years old! This will be an especially memorable experience for the children.

Day 5 : Route – Kithulgala to Kandy

Drive Time – Approximately 2 ½ hour drive

Accommodation –  Ellerton Bungalow (Family Room)

Meal Basis – Bed & Breakfast basis

After breakfast enjoy some gentle rafting along the Kelani River (Suitable for only 10+ years old). Enjoy stunning views as you glide by the calm stretches, and take in the breathtaking natural landscapes of forested hills.

Thereafter you will be taken to the Hill capital of Kandy; a countryside hamlet with cool breezes, leafy green landscapes and misty mountains gathered around the lake.

A visit to Temple of Tooth is a must as the children will delight in seeing all the color and the daily Pooja with drummers. The golden-roofed ancient royal palace complex houses Sri Lanka’s most important Buddhist relic – a tooth of the Buddha.  Do not forget to buy some nicely scented flowers and scented sticks for few rupees so that the children can offer to Lord Buddha and light a lamp with some coconut oil for good fortune and understanding.

A leisurely stroll down the streets will give you a chance to find many seasonal fruits, vegetables and spices for a small price if you make a visit to the Kandy local market. Have a great time with your children and help them pick out their favorite fruits and vegetables for the day’s dinner.

Perched on a hilltop, your accommodation for the next two nights will be a 100 year old refurbished plantation bungalow. Enjoy a hot beverage as you laze by the fireplace or play with the resident dogs!

Day 6 : Route – Kandy

Drive Time –  Approximately 45 minutes to Kandy Town

Accommodation –  Ellerton Bungalow (Family Room)

Meal Basis –  Bed & Breakfast basis

This morning, take a tour of the Orange Tea Factory: Sebastian, the owner, and 3rd generation tea producer will give you the most detailed tour of his factory and a child friendly explanation to the production of tea.

In the afternoon, engage in a visit to the complex biodiversity of Ambuluwawa; a unique combination of nature and human creation which includes an international-level conference hall, Center for Agrarian Preparation and area of Buddhist worship. The summit has more scenic qualities, with water and stone parks and deer are also seen on the top of the mountain! Spend some relaxing time with your family and get some amazing pictures from the top of the mountain together!

Day 7 : Route – Kandy to Wellawaya

Train Journey – Approx. 6 hour train ride

Drive Time – Approx. 1 hour drive

Accommodation –  Jetwing Kaduruketha (Family Dwelling)

Meal Basis – Bed & Breakfast basis

Hop on board the morning TRAIN and journey through the Tea Carpets of Ceylon to Ella – the kids will surely love the journey as you clackety-clack around the mountains. The slow descend through the tea fields and hill country side with its winding tracks and misty panoramas, offers an unmatched perspective and wonderful experience. The trick is to take a seat on the left side of the carriage and get off at the Demodara station and you would have enjoyed glamorous views including the famous Nine Arch Bridge.

As you are picked from the Train station, you will observe that Ella is a small village, huddled away in misty mountains, gushing waterfalls and offering the bliss of natural beauty, coziness, pressure hikes and adventure. Enjoy lunch at a scenic restaurant with a kid friendly menu.

In the evening, leave for Wellawaya; the dry plains that were once home to an ancient Sinhalese Kingdom! Arrive at Jetwing Kaduruketha where you will enjoy the rustic charm and stylish simplicity of a unique eco-luxury resort.

Day 8 : Route – Wellawaya

Accommodation –  Jetwing Kaduruketha (Family Dwelling)

Meal Basis –  Bed & Breakfast basis

Wake up refreshed to the cool breeze sweeping over the paddy fields and the cries of the resident peacocks outside your own private dwellings. Enjoy an authentic Sri Lankan breakfast with pol roti (traditional bread made with fresh coconut and flour), milk rice and lunu miris. The chefs will ensure that the spice levels are custom made for your kids especially.

At your leisure, you may engage in one of the following activities together as a family:

  • Village Walk; Take a stroll to a nearby village passing paddy fields, river banks, and jungle footpaths to experience rural Sri Lanka. Meet the village folk as they go about their daily chores and learn about their culture, lifestyle etc.
  • Night Walk to observe diverse nocturnal habitats!
  • Cycling around the rural villages
  • Diyaluma waterfalls; the 2nd highest waterfall in Sri Lanka. Diyaluma Waterfall has a great viewing point and platform at the bottom. Enjoy the epic view of the falls and take a swim at the base!

Day 9 : Route – Wellawaya to Yala

Drive Time – Approx. 2.5 hour drive

Accommodation –  Jetwing Yala (Family Room)

Meal Basis – Bed & Breakfast basis

Experience your wildlife adventure in jungles of Yala. Yala is Sri Lanka’s most famous national park and best explored in a jeep. Forming an area of scrub, light forest, grassy plains and brackish lagoons, it’s very rich in wildlife and you’re virtually certain to encounter elephants, crocodiles, buffaloes, deer, hares, peacocks and monkeys. There are many indigenous bird species to pique the interest of the bird watching enthusiasts. If lucky you might also see the elusive leopards and relaxed sloth bears!

With some good luck you will witness all these creatures and more over an evening jeep safari (3.00pm – 6.00pm) accompanied by a naturalist guide. This will probably be one of the most favorite activities for your children!

Day 10 : Route – Yala

Accommodation –  Jetwing Yala (Family Room)

Meal Basis – Bed & Breakfast basis

Get accustomed to a tremendously amusing experience by learning the basics of baking BREAD the traditional way! Relish in the freshly baked aroma as you step into the village bakery early in the morning. You will have the privilege of assisting the baker in the process of making your special bread or bun. Dust off while enjoying your very own freshly baked bread or bun you helped make and help your children butter the same before eating. The kids will also love the fresh curd and treacle made at organic farms around the Tissamaharama village.

Continue your wildlife voyages over an evening jeep safari (3.00pm – 6.00pm) accompanied by a naturalist guide. Or else if you wish you can prefer a change of scenery at Bundala national park instead. Bundala National Park is a fantastic maze of waterways, lagoons and dunes that glitter like gold in the dying evening sun. This wonderland provides a home to thousands of colourful birds ranging from diminutive little bee-eaters to grotesque open-billed stalks. Bundala also has civets, giant squirrels and lots of crocodiles. Between October and January, four of Sri Lanka’s five species of marine turtles (olive ridley, green, leatherback and loggerhead) lay their eggs on the coast.

Day 11 : Route – Yala to Ahangama

Drive Time – Approx. 3.5 hour drive

Accommodation – Mosvold Villa (Family Suite)

Meal Basis – Bed & Breakfast basis

One of Sri Lanka’s charms is that how in a short time you will pass from the hills to the meandering rivers, past the farms and then to the idyllic Southern coast. Continue your journey to the historical city of Galle.

En route the children will like to drop into the turtle hatchery in Koggala and see how baby turtles are helped to be conserved and released into the sea.

No visit to the island is complete without visiting the picturesque Galle city which is a perfect combination of blue ocean, history and culture. More interestingly, Galle is a living world heritage site that you can explore by a leisurely walk in the afternoon. Inside the Galle Fort, you can walk along the little streets and enjoy world old charm while visiting the line of boutique shops, cafes serving yummy food and cold beer.

Day 12 : Route – Ahangama

Accommodation – Mosvold Villa (Family Suite)

Meal Basis – Bed & Breakfast basis

At your leisure, you may engage in one of the following activities with your entire family during your beach stay:

  • If you haven’t gotten your fill of wildlife, set off on an early morning expedition to encounter the activity of Whales and Dolphin watching. As you set off on the boat cruise, listen to the cacophony of tunes created by spinner dolphins, travelling in pods. Don’t forget your camera to catch their tails flip. (Seasonal Activity from Nov – April)
  • Snorkel in the corals of Hikkaduwa beach which is mild enough for the whole family to enjoy
  • Cinnamon Experience: Fill your day with the memories of legendary Cinnamon making experience.
  • Ganga Adventures; Enjoy flat water paddling around an inland mangrove island or an ocean paddle to a beautiful beach to relax, swim and snorkel.
  • Surfing at Kabalana Beach: This beach is ideal for beginner surfers with many places to rent boards and loungers!
  • The children will like to try their hand at mask painting and cycling around Galle area

Retreat to the comforts of your hotel for a peaceful relaxation on the sand swept beaches and vast green fields for the kids to run about!

Day 13 : Route – Ahangama to Airport

Route –  Ahangama to Airport

Drive Time –  Approximately Approx. 2.5 hour

Enriched in the cultural and wildlife adventures, we bid you farewell as your Chauffeur Guide transfers your family safely to the airport to meet your departure flight home.

Where to Stay

Learn more about the luxurious properties available for your trip.

Aliya Resort and Spa

Themed on the beloved Sri Lankan elephant, or ‘Aliya’ as it is known in the Sinhala language, this property has a distinct feel of living in a village, but with all the modern facilities required for a comfortable and idyllic stay.

Exuding rustic charm, character and stylish simplicity, the unique eco-luxury resort Jetwing Kaduruketha is the latest link in Jetwing’s hospitality chain. Located in the peaceful village surroundings of Wellawaya, it is perfect for that idyllic holiday you’ve always dreamed of.

Akin to a phoenix rising from the ashes, Jetwing brings a truly one-with-nature concept to a more refined and elegant form with Jetwing Yala.

Add-on Experiences

We have many activities to keep you busy during your stay. See our destination pages for more information.

Visit the home to injured and abandoned elephants, and get your first introduction to Sri Lanka’s most celebrated inhabitants.

Known as the Dalada Maligawa, this site is a must see for culture and heritage lovers, where the sacred Tooth Relic is kept.

Wild residents, rise early and set out with a packed breakfast for a morning safari.

Sri Lanka Tailor-made