Summer Family Adventure 13 Days / 12 Nights
This Summer Family Adventure includes loads of options for different ages and energy levels, ensuring a really special experience for everyone. With hands-on activities, fuss-free relaxation, engaging cultural highlights, eye-popping wildlife experiences and chilled-out beach time, you’ve got all the ingredients for creating some unique, grin-inducing family memories.
- Get hands-on at a working coconut farm
- Drive through Wilpattu at dusk as leopards wake to hunt
- Spot for elephants on a Minneriya safari
- Feast on coconut roti with locals in the Cultural Triangle
- Explore unspoilt beaches and tantalising caves
- Watch dolphins and whales in coastal waters
- Pick tea high in the hills & learn the science behind the brew
Horathapola Coconut Estate, Wilpattu National Park, Minneriya National Park, Cultural Triangle, East Coast Beach, Hill Country
On arrival in Sri Lanka, you'll be met by your private guide, who will accompany you to the Horathapola Coconut Estate in Wadumunnegedara.
Your day is at leisure to explore the coconut estate, visit nearby rural villages or simply relax by the pool. Kids will enjoy the ox cart ride around the estate and there is plenty of space within the grounds for them to play.
Morning departure for Wilpattu - the largest of Sri Lanka’s national parks and home to a wide array of wildlife, including leopards, and a dense population of Sri Lankan sloth bears that exist only on the island. Having checked into your camp there will be time to freshen up before joining your guide and tracker for a dusk drive through the park.
Rise early to join your guide for a last dawn drive through Wilpattu, keeping your eyes peeled for wildlife as the park's inhabitants noisily greet the day. After breakfast, head for your Cultural Triangle hotel; a cosy base for exploring the region. Having arrived, the remainder of your day will be at leisure.
After an early breakfast visit the rock fortress of Sigiriya – one of Sri Lanka’s seven UNESCO World Heritage sites. This immense rock dominates the surrounding landscape, rising 650 feet above the ground, and the view from the flattened summit is spectacular. Those without a head for heights can stroll around the ramparts and pleasure gardens, or take in the famous Sigiriya frescoes found partway up the rock, as your guide tells you some of the legends surrounding the site. In the late morning you will have the chance to experience traditional, rural life, away from the ruins and try your hand at preparing Sri Lankan food. In a small village close to Sigiriya Rock you will be welcomed into the modest, mud-walled home of one of the families, where you will assist your host in the preparation of a typical Sri Lankan lunch, using authentic cooking methods and traditional clay pots. Late afternoon take a safari through the stunning Minneriya National Park, famous for its 200-strong elephant population, keeping your eyes peeled for some of the park’s 24 species of mammal, including sambar, spotted deer, those elusive leopards, sloth bears and toque monkey as well as water monitors, swamp crocodiles and over 160 species of bird.
Make a morning visit to the ancient capital of Polonnaruwa, built over a thousand years ago with carefully-engineered reservoirs that still provide the region's water. In its day, Polonnaruwa was a thriving commercial and religious centre and as you explore the ruins by bicycle, you’ll get a feel for what life was like back then. Late morning, depart the Cultural Triangle region, leaving the tourist trail far behind and heading east. Arrive at your beach resort by mid-afternoon to enjoy an afternoon at leisure settling into the area’s serene rhythms.
Spend the next few days at leisure: playing on the beach, splashing in the pool, and enjoying unhurried time together.
Journey west through the hilly landscape of inner Sri Lanka to Elkaduwa (an hour north of Kandy) and the Ashburnham Estate, set in its own 100-acre tea plantation. Having been warmly welcomed, the remainder of your day is at leisure to investigate the range of activities on offer, including trekking out to discover the secrets behind tea production. The surrounding forests offer unbeatable bird-watching, and Ashburnham’s resident naturalist will be on hand to help you identify the species fluttering overhead.
Join Ashburnham’s estate manager for a guided tour of the tea fields, where you’ll learn about the growing process, and meet some of the pickers. Continue to the tea factory at Bandarapola to see the leaves being processed and appreciate the science behind the above-average cuppa! Explore a few scenic walks from a book of suggested routes that resort has put together - we particularly love heading up toward Hunasgiriya and the Knuckles mountain range, passing small villages and local temples, to a viewpoint with panoramic views of the mountains, tea plantations and Victoria Lake Reservoir. It’s the perfect spot for a well-earned picnic lunch too. Take time to rest tired legs and soak up the views, before walking back to Ashburnham Estate where the remainder of your afternoon will be at leisure.
After a leisurely breakfast descend from the hills in the direction of the west coast. Your destination is a boutique property, conveniently located within 45 minutes drive of Colombo airport, yet set within peaceful surrounds. Not your typical airport hotel!
Your day is at leisure until your transfer to Colombo Airport for your onward flight