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Exploring Sri Lanka

Budget Beating Family Tour

Work some of Sri Lanka’s best 2 bedroom family rooms to your advantage in this budget conscious 14 night tour. Family rooms can work out significantly cheaper than booking a separate double and twin room, while still affording both parents and children some privacy (bar a shared bathroom).

Without being too obscure, this itinerary also benefits from taking families away from the well trodden tourist path to some of the most beautiful spots in Sri Lanka. Watch elephants swim in Gal Oya National Park from within your own canoe, visit a truly ‘local’ tea factory in the hill country and learn to surf on the south coast’s prettiest horseshoe bay.

Your Itinerary

Day 1 - Welcome to Sri Lanka!

Land at Colombo International Airport and meet your private driver. Your driver will transfer you to Horathapola which is just over 1 hours from the airport. Here you can spend the afternoon by the pool or exploring the extensive coconut planation by bike or on the resident bullock cart.

You will stay in the 2 bedroom Family Lodge on a half board basis.

Day 2 - Explore Kandy & The Hill Country

After breakfast your driver will collect you from the hotel and drive you up into the hill country. Stop in Kandy to visit the Temple of the Tooth, Royal Botanical Gardens and Commonwealth Cemetery, before driving the last 1hr 20mins to Rangala House.

Surrounded by tea fields with stunning views you will spend three nights here in their family studio on a bed & breakfast basis. This room is not strictly 2 bedrooms, but rather has a mezzanine level for the children.

Day 3 & 4 - Trekking through Tea Fields & the Knuckles

There is plenty to keep you busy while at Rangala House. There is a truly ‘local’ tea factory nearby where the only tourists they see are from Rangala House. There are some wonderful walking trails and harder treks through the Knuckles Mountain Range. There is golf and horse riding at The Victoria Golf course. Or simply enjoy the hotel’s swimming pool and perhaps learn to make a Sri Lankan curry with the household staff.

Day 5 - Travel to Hidden Gal Oya National Park

From Rangala House you will drive east to Gal Oya National Park. Gal Oya is one of Sri Lanka’s lesser known parks and as such a very special location. There are no crowds, you can explore the park by jeep or boat and the area is still home to members of the native Vhedda tribe.

You will stay in a 2 bedroom villa at Gal Oya Eco Lodge on a bed & breakfast basis.

Day 6 & 7 - Kayaking with Swimming Elephants

Gal Oya offer a vast list of activities. Some are free of charge such as participation in their animal monitoring programme, an early morning trek to the top of Monkey Mountain and bird watching walks. Then for a small additional charge you can do a safari with a picnic lunch in the national park, enjoy a cookery demonstration, visit a local farm house for lunch or take a discovery walk with the local Vhedda chief.

Day 8 - Enjoy Misty Peaks & Waterfalls in Ella

From Gal Oya you have a 3 hour drive to the beautiful hill station of Ella. Set amongst misty mountain peaks, with views of the Ella Gap and walks to lovely local waterfalls, this is a great place to spend a couple of nights and unwind.


Day 9 - Take a Scenic Train Ride to Nuwara Eliya

You may decide to spend this day relaxing in Ella. There are lots of lovely walks in the local area and some hippy cafes down in the village. Alternatively you may take the opportunity to travel along the scenic railway to the old colonial town of Nuwara Eliya. The train leaves Ella in the late morning and takes just under 3 hours. You arrive in time for afternoon tea, before driving 1hr 20 minutes back to Ella.

Day 10 - 14 - Turtles & Surfing on the South Coast

Enjoy your last five nights in Sri Lanka relaxing on the south coast. Dine and shop inside the 16th Century UNESCO Galle Fort, photograph the iconic stilt fishermen, learn to surf in Weligama Bay, visit a local turtle hatchery and enjoy the string of pretty bays that run from Thalpe to Dickwella.

You will stay at Tisara Villas in one of their 2 bedroom pavilions on a bed & breakfast basis. Just a few minutes inland from a handful of lovely beaches the hotel’s lush gardens are home to an abundance of bird life and other animals.

What's included?

  • 1 Nights accommodation at Horathapola in the Family Lodge on a half board basis.
  • 3 Nights accommodation at Rangala House in the Studio on a bed and breakfast basis.
  • 3 Nights accommodation at Gal Oya Lodge in a 2 Bedroom Villa on a bed and breakfast basis.
  • 2 Nights accommodation at Waterfalls Guesthouse in two standard room on a bed and breakfast basis.
  • 5 nights accommodation at Tisara Villas in a Pavilion on a bed and breakfast basis.
  • Road transfers and transport for the excursions mentioned, excluding your time on the coast.
  • All hotel taxes and service charges.
  • International Flights.
  • Visas and any other prevailing entry requirements at the time of travel
  • Entrance fees to the points of interest (other than the safari park)
  • Optional rest day activities
  • Meals and drinks not mentioned above.
  • Gratuities for drivers or guides.
  • Personal allowances.
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There is only one word to describe Colombo and that is hectic! It can be fun with a handful of good shops and restaurants to explore but we wouldn't overly recommend it as the first point of call for newcomers to Sri Lanka. It isn't a must see. More
Kandy is 3 hours from Colombo and the religious heartland of Sri Lanka. It was made a world heritage site in 1988. The city's main attraction is the Temple of the Tooth, home to Sri Lanka 's most precious Buddhist relic which becomes the focus of a fortnight long festival known as the Perahera each July. Other points of interest include the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, Royal Botanical Gardens and the Commonwealth Cemetery. More
Originally a fishing town the long beaches of Negombo are nowadays dominated by tourists who like the short transfer times from Colombo International Airport. With a few good hotels, Negombo is a popular jumping off point for visitors but it is by far the most touristy town in Sri Lanka and so may not appeal to everyone. More
Bentota is just 2 hours from the airport and as such has a good range of facilities such as watersports and local restaurants. There are a number of larger hotels along the main beach, but your likely to have the smaller beaches to yourself. The area is ideal for families with elephant rides on the beach, banana rides year round and Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery nearby. More
Hikkaduwa is traditionally a surfer town and so has a number of laid back beachfront bars and restaurants, as well as two of the only discos on the island. We have a few accommodation options in Hikkaduwa and recommend it as a day trip from both Bentota and Galle for the glass bottom boat and chance to swim with turtles in the bay. More
Galle Fort
The Galle Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site thanks to its Dutch colonial past and makes a great day trip from a coastal villa. It has a real cosmopolitan feel due to boutique gift shops and hotel restaurants, mixed with Moorish, Portuguese, Dutch and British history. It is possible to stay in the fort and definitely fun for a few nights. It is approx 3 hours from the airport.
Adam's Peak
Adam's Peak at 7500 ft high is the most famous physical feature in Sri Lanka and a place of pilgrimage. Sri Lankans come mainly in the month of April to pay their respects to the mountains deity Sumana, while foreigners come to admire the sunrise. The climb takes several hours and is done at night, therefore only suitable for the physically fit. More
Yala National Park
Yala National Park on the southeast tip of the island is the most well known of Sri Lanka 's 15 wildlife reserves. Yala is prime leopard spotting territory, especially in August when the area is at its driest, but it is also home to a healthy population of elephants, sloth bears, crocodiles, wild boar, buffalo, jackal and an abundance of bird life. More
Ella has one of the best views in Sri Lanka - through the Ella Gap to the Kirinda Lighthouse on the coast 1000m below. Ella can be reached by road or rail, 7 hours from Colombo. Home to some lovely waterfalls, working tea estates and mini Adam's Peak you can happily spend a few nights in this charming little hill town. More
Home to the Kelani River, Kitugala is a pretty riverside village dedicated to white water rafting, canyoning and kayaking. More
Arugam Bay
Arugam Bay on the east coast of Sri Lanka is a surf paradise, popular with backpackers during the months of April - September. Best avoided in the off season when most of the local businesses close down. More

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