The day your family adventure to Sri Lanka begins has arrived at last! Once you land at the airport, you'll be met and taken to your hotel Villa Hundira, where you'll have time to rest and recover from your journey. Re-energize with a dip in the pool, explore the beach or head out on a fishing boat with one of the locals.
The next day you'll take a boat ride across Muthurajawela marsh. The marsh, in the lagoon of Negombo, is home to an impressive array of flora and fauna including over 100 types of birds and 40 species of fish. Watch the herons and egrets feeding and enjoy the peaceful wetland surrounds. Pack hats and sunglasses for all the family to stay cool and shaded throughout the trip.
After breakfast, it's on to Sigiriya. Here you will stay at the Aliya Resort & Spa. After a day to spend together as you like, it's out to explore the ancient capital of Polonnaruwa by tuk-tuk for a history lesson the kids won't forget. Some 800 years ago, Kings ruled the central plains of Sri Lanka from this historic center, and as you explore the remains, you'll be able to imagine how it looked in its medieval prime. Swoon over masterpieces of Buddhist sculptures and remarkable feats of engineering. One particularly impressive site is The Parakrama Samudra, a huge man-made reservoir stretching out over 23km. Today it's inhabited by a troop of monkeys made famous by Disney’s film, Monkey Kingdom. Make sure you're all wearing clothes that cover your shoulders and knees. And wear socks, as you'll be asked to take off your shoes.
After lunch in the ancient capital, it's time for a jeep safari of Minneriya National Park, one of the best places in the country to see wild elephants. Throughout the afternoon, you'll explore the park's scrub, forest, and wetlands. Keep your eyes peeled for toque macaques, sambar deer, buffalo, crocodiles, leopards and an abundance of birdlife. While it's possible to see elephants year-round, during the dry season, 200 or more come to feed and bathe in a spectacle known as The Gathering.
In Sigiriya, you’ll also take a walking tour of a local village where you'll all have a chance to meet village residents and learn more about their daily lives. The rest of your time here is yours to spend as you like. If challenging hikes and excellent views are high on your family’s agenda, organize a trip to Lion Rock. It's a tough climb but the views from the top over Sigiriya and the surrounding landscape are very rewarding.
Alternatively, take a tour of the hotels' paper recycling factory – you and your mini eco-warriors can even get involved and help out.
After breakfast, it's on to the tropical city of Kandy. On your first day in this beautiful historic city, you'll enjoy a tour to get to know your new surroundings better. You'll see the major sights and learn all about the city’s intriguing past. Back at your hotel, The Golden Crown, gather up the gang and head to the swimming pool where you can splash about and enjoy the countryside views. There is also a lush roof garden perfect for lounging, but if you're feeling active rent out some bikes and head off on a two-wheeled adventure.
The next day you'll visit Peradeniya Botanical Garden, once reserved for Kandyan royalty. In 1821, the gardens were built to trial and acclimatize new plants. Today, Sri Lanka's biggest botanic gardens are open to all. Marvel at the impressive collection of orchids and look up at the staggering 40m high Burma bamboo. In the evening you'll all attend a music show performed by school children.
Bid farewell to Kandy and head down Sri Lanka’s southwest coast to Bentota where you'll discover some of the most pristine beaches in Sri Lanka. You and your family will be perfectly placed for beachside fun, staying at the Centara Ceysands in an ocean view room. Your time here is yours to spend as you please.
At the hotel, you'll find a huge pool as well as a children’s pool and indoor play area to keep little ones entertained. But with the Bentota River on one side and the Indian Ocean on the other, there is more to your location than just the hotel. Get out and make the most of the year-round water sports on offer here, including jet-skiing, windsurfing, and canoeing. After several days of beachside play and rest, it’s time to pack up and head home with memories of new family adventures you’ll all cherish forever.