Best family holiday ideas in Sri Lanka
Taking the family on the road, especially in a foreign country could be super fun and a great way for bonding. Yet, picking up the right destination is key to making an unforgettable experience for everyone. While in Sri Lanka, there’re more than enough ways to spice up your family holiday. Here’s a round up of some of the best family oriented holiday ideas in Sri Lanka.
A game drive in Yala
To ensure the boredom doesn’t set in, a guided safari to experience the wild side of the island is the ideal dose of adventure needed. Nestled in the south-east part of the island, Yala National Park is home to the greatest variety of the country’s wildlife. The park that spans over 14,100 hectares, consists of five blocks. It is home to many species of animals including sloth bear, herds of elephants, buffalo, monkeys, sambar, deer, crocodiles and the endangered leopard sub-species Panthera pardus kotiya, which is found only in Sri Lanka. With helpful locals happy to impart their knowledge and lot of interesting sightings, a gam drive in Yala is always a winner.
Insider tip: One of the biggest, most illustrious, and most frequently visited national park in Sri Lanka, Yala can have a reputation for being too crowded, too touristy and lacking in conservation regulations. However, with the right tour provider, you can avoid the crowds and still get a unique eco-friendly wildlife experience.
A hill country adventure
Head for the mist-wrapped town of Ella for an action packed family holiday. Ringed by emerald mountains, Ella has a bunch of exciting things on offer. Hike up Ella Rock with your tribe to witness a panoramic view of the area and catch a glimpse of a golden sunrise. If you have a head for heights, sail by Sri Lanka’s longest zip line above the lush canopy of Ella, taking in bird’s eye views. Also, visit the mesmeric Ravana Ella falls, which is located in the Central Highlands along the Ella-Wellawaya road.
Insider tip: If you have smaller kids, try Little Adam’s Peak instead of Ella Rock. The former is a 2-kilometer hike through tea plantations and offers scenic views. Also, it doesn’t require much endurance like the latter. However, enlist the assistance of a guide if your pick is Ella Rock.
An escape to the South Coast
The stunning beach strips of Southern Sri Lanka dotted with a range of beach properties, is perfect for family holidays. The shallow waters are great for snorkeling, and there’re boat rides as well as diving lessons on offer for water babies (usually for the over 10s). Younger ones will love visiting turtle hatcheries that allow them to hold a baby turtle. There’re also a range of water sports as well as luxury cruises to explore the marine giants of the island. You can also join a local cooking class to whip up a meal with your family members. Everything here except the lively nightlife, is laid-back, slow-mo and endearingly otherworldly.
Insider tip: Pods of whales and dolphins congregate in the ocean off Mirissa between November and April so plan your trip accordingly. Also, check with your hotel/locals about the tides before you send off the kids to take a dip as sometimes currents can be strong. You can rent out a private villa with a nanny, cook and housekeeper.
A visit to the Cultural Triangle
Rich with evocative ruins and World Heritage sites that depict the cultural heritage of the island, the Cultural Triangle is an interesting place in Sri Lanka. Borrow bicycles and take a spin to explore the places of attractions including ancient temples, caves and giant stone sculptures. Hop on a hot air balloon and glide across the sky like a dandelion fuzz on the wind. Indulge in breathtaking views of the Cultural Triangle and treat your family to a scrumptious breakfast spread at the end of your hot air balloon ride. You can also clamber up the Sigiriya rock fortress or take a walk through the ruins of Ritigala.
Insider tip: The exact route of the hot air balloon ride cannot be predicated as this is dependent on the prevailing winds. Make sure that you won’t run out of sunscreen while you explore the Cultural Triangle on two wheels.