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Sri Lanka Family Holiday

Sri Lanka Family Holiday

Naturally gorgeous, culturally captivating and steeped in mysticism, Sri Lanka makes for a wonderful introduction to both travel and the Indian subcontinent for children and adults alike. Embark on a 12-day family tour and discover temples carved from cliffs, fortresses built on boulders and wildlife-rich parks. Expose your family to different ways of life while cycling through peaceful villages and touring working tea plantations. Wonder at wildlife when you go safari in search of wild elephants, deer and crocodiles. Chill out by the beach in Mirissa while the kids are playing with other young travellers on the tour. Educational, active and leisurely paced, this trip is everything you could want in a family getaway.

Tour At a Glance

  • The whole family will be impressed by the ancient rock fortress Sigiriya, from the massive stone lion paws at the entrance to the 200-metre climb to the top.
  • Spotting elephants in their natural habitat during a jeep safari in Udawalawe National Park is something your kids – and you – will never forget.
  • Share dinner with a Sri Lankan family before sealing the friendship with an informal lesson in a traditional Kandyan dance.
  • Explore the Dambulla cave temples, where prehistoric Sri Lankans lived thousands of years ago and ancient murals and statues depicting the Buddha are on display.
  • Soak up some sun during a strategically scheduled beach break along the palm-fringed sands of Mirissa, where the kids can splash, and you can relax.
  • Tour code: HHFL
  • Group Adventure

12 Days fr £ 1309* pp

Itinerary details

  • Negombo
    1 Negombo

    Welcome to Sri Lanka! Known as the 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 5 pm.

    Accommodation :
    Ruvisha Beach Hotel or similar ( Night)

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  • Dambulla
    2 Dambulla

    Begin the adventure by heading to D Begin the adventure by heading to Dambulla by private vehicle, 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. Upon arrival, choose whether to join an optional excursion to the vegetable wholesale market, a labyrinth of shops and stalls that offers a fascinating look at the vast range of produce grown in Sri Lanka. Later, explore the Dambulla cave temples, where prehistoric Sri Lankans lived thousands of years ago and thousands of ancient murals and statues depicting the Buddha are on display.

    Accommodation :
    Pelvehara Village Resort or similar ( Night)

    Included Activities
    Dambulla - Cave Temples

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  • Dambulla
    3 Dambulla

    Today’s adventure takes you from Da Today’s adventure takes you from Dambulla to Sigiriya, a colossal stone monument hosting a ruined fortress. Let the kids burn off some energy with a climb to the top of enormous rock, checking out the murals and caves along the way. If the weather is playing nicely, you should be able to take in sweeping views of the thick forests from the summit before descending. Once you return to Dambulla, take the family for a pleasant bike ride around the countryside. After a day full of activity everyone should be nice and tuckered out by the time night falls.

    Accommodation :
    Pelvehara Village Resort or similar ( Night)

    Included Activities
    Sigiriya - Bike rideSigiriya - Lion Rock Fortress Visit

    Read More

  • Kandy
    4 Kandy

    Say farewell to Dambulla in the mor Say farewell to Dambulla in the morning and make a 3-hour drive to beautiful Kandy, often called 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, home to more than 4000 species of plants including orchids, spices, medicinal plants and various trees. It’s a leisurely walk full of colour. Continue to the Spice Gardens to learn about Sri Lankan spice plants and herbs.

    Accommodation :
    Hotel Senani or similar ( Night)

    Included Activities
    Kandy - Botanical GardensMatale - Spice Garden

    Optional Activities
    Kandy - Cultural Dance Performance - USD7

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  • Kandy
    5 Kandy

    This morning, visit Dalada Maligaw This morning, visit Dalada Maligawa (the Temple of the Tooth), which houses the country's most sacred relic: a tooth said to belong to the Gautama Buddha. Pilgrims have been coming to pay homage at this site since the 16th century and they still come in droves today, making it a fascinating place to teach kids about one of the world’s oldest religions still being widely practiced. This evening join a local family for dinner and learn the steps to a traditional Kandayan dance during some lessons from local performers.

    Accommodation :
    Hotel Senani or similar ( Night)

    Included Activities
    Kandy - Temple of the Tooth

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  • Bandarawela
    6 Bandarawela

    After breakfast hit the road by pri After breakfast hit the road by private bus past lush green hills to Nuwara Eliya (3 hours), a former colonial hill station built entirely during the 19th century. The old world architecture reflects what you might expect to find in an English village and the town is a fascinating mix of water buffalo and brick Victorian buildings, golf courses and tea plantations. From here board a train to Bandarawela (2 hours). Enjoy views across the hills and tea plantations from your accommodation this evening.

    Accommodation :
    Orient Hotel or similar ( Night)

    Included Activities
    Train ride from Nanu Oya to Bandarawela

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  • Bandarawela
    7 Bandarawela

    After a few busy days on the road, After a few busy days on the road, today unfolds at a slower pace. Bandarawela is an unhurried, unpretentious hill town that exists to supply the needs of the tea plantation workers and their families. Another distinctive feature of Bandarawela is the colonial flavour still preserved in the many old buildings, including the Bandarawela Hotel and the old supermarket. Enjoy a leisurely morning walk through the countryside, past tea workers plucking the tips of the plants and throwing them into the baskets on their backs before settling in for a local home cooked lunch. The afternoon is free for your enjoyment.

    Accommodation :
    Orient Hotel or similar ( Night)

    Included Activities
    Bandarawela - Country side trekBandarawela - Tea Plucking Experience

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  • Udawalawe
    8 Udawalawe

    After a hearty breakfast and 8.30 a After a hearty breakfast and 8.30 am checkout, drive to Udawalawe National Park (approximately 3 hours). This park has an amazing array of animal and birdlife, with more herds of wild elephants than anywhere else in Sri Lanka. Following lunch, hop in a jeep for a safari inside the park. Other 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! Check into the campsite at around 6 pm after a full day of adventure.

    Accommodation :
    Udewalawe Camping (with basic facilities) or similar ( Night)

    Included Activities
    Udewalawe National Park - Wildlife safari

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  • Mirissa
    9 Mirissa

    Join your leader for an early morni Join your leader for an early morning, four-kilometre walk to a nearby lake which is home to lots of local birds. Head back to camp and fill up on a hearty meal before travelling to the chilled-out beach town of Mirissa. This is one of the best spots in Sri Lanka and you and your family will have some free time to explore it your way. Check out the stunning beach and splash around in the waves or ask your leader for a delicious dinner recommendation.

    Accommodation :
    Paradise Beach Club – Mirissa or similar ( Night)

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  • Mirissa
    10 Mirissa

    Take free time today to relax aroun Take free time today to 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 grab a bite of fresh fish to share with the family. If you’re interested I the local fishing industry, consider gathering the family heading to nearby Weligama by tuk-tuk or bicycle to see colourful fishing boats bring the day’s catch 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.

    Accommodation :
    Paradise Beach Club – Mirissa or similar ( Night)

    Included Activities
    Mirissa - Kite Flying

    Optional Activities
    Mirissa - Whale Watching (Nov to Mar) - USD70

    Read More

  • Colombo
    11 Colombo

    Check out of the hotel and head tow Check out of the hotel and head towards Colombo. Once you arrive, take a bit of time to wander through the bazaar and take 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 occupy the whole family. The waterfront is full of life and makes for an excellent starting point. Regroup in the afternoon and head to Galle Face Green – five hectares of ocean-side park bliss – with your fellow families.

    Accommodation :
    Fairway Colombo or similar ( Night)

    Read More

  • Colombo
    12 Colombo

    Your Sri Lankan family holiday conc 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 after check out at 12 pm. If you are departing later in the day, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel. Additional accommodation is available through your agent at the time of booking, subject to availability.

    Read More


Dates & Prices

Sri Lanka Family Holiday

Is this trip right for you.

  • Though its equatorial position means fairly constant year-round temperatures, the summer months in Sri Lanka are very hot with short, sharp monsoons in the south-west of the country. Please consider your family’s suitability to the season you wish to travel in.
  • Part of travelling with Intrepid means respecting local cultures and sensibilities. That way you get the most out of your interactions with local people and environments. We visit a number of temples on this trip and all members of your family will need to have clothes that cover from wrist to below the knee in order to access them. A light scarf is also a good idea for covering shoulders and arms when it’s hot.


  • Hotel (10 nights)
  • Camping (1 night)

Joining point instructions

    Intrepid can assist with pre-booking an arrival transfer from the airport - enquire with your agent. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your departure.

    Bandaranaike International Airport is located in a suburb of Negombo, approx. 35km north of the capital Colombo.

    For your confirmed arrival transfer please head towards the travel counters in the arrival hall where you will see your driver with a signboard displaying the Intrepid logo and your name. Please identify yourself to the transfer rep, they will assist you to the vehicle for your onward transfer to your hotel. If you have any trouble locating your transfer representative wait near the Dialog mobile counter at the rear of the arrivals hall.

    In case of flight cancellations, changes, if you experience severe delays at immigration, baggage collection or customs, or if you are not able to find the driver, please contact the transfer operator directly:

    Taxis are easy, safe and cheap.

    A taxi from Bandaranaike International Airport takes approx. 15 minutes and costs approx. 5000 LKR (15 USD).

    If you are staying in Colombo prior to the tour, it is approximately 30km from Colombo, which will cost about LKR10000 (USD30)

Finish point description

The Fairway Colombo is a sophisticated, 'smart luxury hotel' situated in the heart of Colombo. All rooms come equipped with a TV (with local and international channels), safety box, mini fridge, hot beverage facility, writing desks, air-conditioning and hi-speed Wi-Fi internet connections. The hotel boasts a rooftop bar and restaurant, gym and 24 hour coffee shop. The hotel is located within walking distance to restaurants, shopping malls, banks, pubs and bars.

Finish point instructions

  • Intrepid can assist with pre-booking a departure transfer to the airport - enquire with your agent. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to the start of your trip.
  • If you have a confirmed departure transfer your leader will advise your pick up time the day before your trip ends.
  • Alternatively, you can book a taxi locally to Bandaranaike International Airport through the assistance of your tour leader or hotel staff.


  • Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Though obvious please don't allow your children to carry their own passports while on tour. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field: FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms. TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD: Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware! SEAT BELTS: Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts. When travelling in private mini vans or trucks all children (and adults) must wear a seat belt. No children are allowed to sit in the front seat of a vehicle. PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY: While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing. LIFE JACKETS: While life jackets are generally available on water craft, there may be occasions where they are not provided and child size life jackets are not always readily available. If travelling with children and this safety issue concerns you we will be able to advise alternative methods of transport (where available) for you to travel to the next destination. You can choose to travel independently for this leg of the journey. This would be at your own expense. WATER SAFETY: Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water with your children, where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It's expected that anyone taking part in water activities is able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water.

Medical and health information


  • All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. For the safety and wellbeing of yourself and others, if you are unwell prior to travelling, please stay at home and contact us to make alternative arrangements.
  • When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to manage and enjoy our style of travel. Please note that if in the assessment of our group leader or local representative a traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
  • You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements in their original packaging as they may not easily be obtained while travelling. If you are carrying medication, ensure you check your government's foreign travel advice for any local restrictions or requirements. 

Food and dietary requirements

  • While travelling with us you and your family experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. Please ensure you tell them of any dietary requirements you and your family may have. We know children can be fussy eaters at times so we do recommend you bring any snacks from home to have throughout the trip.
  • To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you and your family to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

Important Notes

  • Remember the lighter you travel the better! A soft-sided duffel or sausage bag is the ideal form of luggage. A small or medium-sized backpack or dufel bag (45-50 litres) is another good option.
  • It can get chilly between October and March in the hills and a warm jacket is recommended.
  • When you pack your clothing, consider the climate at the time of year you are travelling and any specific requirements for your trip as at certain times of the year some of the items suggested in the list that follow may not be necessary. Laundry facilities are available in most destinations.
  • Below is a list of equipment and documentation that we suggest you take with you. Please use this checklist as a guide when packing for your holiday.
  • Travel documents passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, air tickets or e-ticket receipts, Trip Notes
  • Photocopy of main passport pages, visa (if required), travel insurance and air tickets
  • Spare passport photos
  • Money cash/credit card/EFTPOS card
  • Money belt
  • Small padlocks
  • Metal chain and padlock to secure luggage on overnight trains – additional precaution
  • Small first-aid kit
  • Daypack for use on day or overnight excursions
  • Watch/alarm clock and torch/flashlight (and spare batteries)
  • Electrical adapter plug
  • Toiletries/roll of toilet paper/travel wipes
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen, lip balm, sunhat and sunglasses
  • Earplugs and eye mask (for light sleepers)
  • Extra pair of prescription glasses (if required)
  • 2 strong plastic garbage bags (for laundry and in case of rain)
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Phrase book
  • Warm clothes when travelling in cooler months (Oct-Mar)
  • Wind and waterproof jacket
  • Comfortable and sturdy walking shoes with good walking socks
  • Camera and spare film (or recharge for digital cameras)
  • Binoculars

Passport and visas


You’ll need a valid passport to travel internationally and most countries require your passport to have a minimum of 6 months validity, so remember to check the expiry date.

We need your passport information to get everything ready for your trip so it’s important that the information on your booking matches your passport exactly. Please take care to provide the correct details. We recommend carrying a copy of the photo page of your passport while travelling and leaving a copy at home with family or friends.


Many countries require a visa and obtaining the correct visa for your trip and any countries you may transit through is your responsibility. We recommend you check your visa requirements as soon as you have booked your trip. This will ensure you have time to prepare your documents and for your visa application to be processed. You can check the entry requirements for your nationality on your government's foreign travel advisories, consular websites or on our page here:


Train tickets in Sri Lanka must be booked with passport numbers. Please make sure you provide us with your correct passport number no later than 60 days prior to departure. If you have to renew your passport after booking please notify us as soon as you have a new passport number.

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory on all our trips for those travelling internationally. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your group leader or local representative.

If you have credit card insurance your group leader or local representative will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

For travellers who reside within the European Union, Switzerland or USA the requirement to purchase travel insurance cannot be compulsory. However the purchase of travel insurance is still highly recommended, and travellers from these regions who decline travel insurance when travelling outside of their home region must sign a Travel Insurance Waiver Form at the Group Meeting, recognizing personal responsibility for emergency medical and repatriation costs should they arise.

For assistance with travel insurance or other services, please visit the link below:

Responsible travel

Although western standards of dress are becoming more accepted, the Sinhalese in general remain very traditional in what they wear. Out of respect (even though you may see other travellers dressed otherwise) both men and women should dress conservatively - no sleeveless/halter-necked tops please. Whilst shorts are acceptable in tourist centres they should be modest and reach to just above the knee. Arms and legs (and, occasionally, heads for women) should be covered when in religious buildings.

Climate and seasonal


This annual festival, held in July or August, is a 10 day period of evening processions to honour the Sacred Tooth, which is enshrined at Kandy's Temple of the Tooth. The event features a parade of more than 50 decorated elephants. Due to our stance on elephant cruelty we do not include the festival and cannot purchase tickets on your behalf.


Weather in Sri Lanka can vary depending on the time of year and part of Sri Lanka you are travelling to. The monsoon season is December to March in the northeast and May to October in the southwest. Flooding and landslides can occur during this time, so be ready for some delays in land travel or some reroutes to avoid affected areas. The summer months in Sri Lanka are very hot with short, sharp monsoons in the southwest. Be sure to use adequate sun protection and drink plenty of water if you are visiting during this period of the year.


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