The Sri Lanka Travel Specialists
The Family Eastern Explorer is suitable for families with young children who will enjoy fun-filled activities in a safe and friendly environment. We have designed an easy-paced holiday that allows families to experience beautiful palm fringed beaches, the magnificent elephants of Sri Lanka as well as a glimpse into the island’s cultural heritage. The turquoise seas of the North East are best for snorkelling, whale and dolphin spotting from March to October. We have ensured sufficient things to do so the children remain occupied and the adults can relax.
Upon arriving in Sri Lanka, transfer to a convenient hotel close to the international airport. Relax and unwind after your flight, preparing yourself for the adventure ahead. Our Luxury Red option takes you a few miles from the coast to a highly-regarded boutique hotel with a pool, whereas our Classically Red and Simply Red options major on Negombo and its collection of little beach bars and restaurants, all of which will help your family find its feet if Sri Lanka is a novel experience.
Time for safari in surely Sri Lanka's most beautiful national park. Wilpattu National Park consists of a complex of lakes surrounded by grassy plains and scrub jungle. Many of the `big game’ found in Sri Lanka including elephant, sloth bear, water buffalo, and spotted dear can be seen here, though the biggest attraction at Wilpattu is Leopard. Wilpattu, about one hour from Anuradhapura, is situated away from the common tourist routes, so can be enjoyed in tranquil seclusion. If you are really active you could head to the equally escapist Kalpitiya coast on Day 3 for some water-sports or just rest at your hotel.
Travel east to the coastal town of Trincomalee for your five-day beach stay. This north-east coastline is Sri Lanka’s equivalent of the Maldives, with never-ending white sandy beaches, coral islands and shimmering blue seas. From March to October, the seas are at their best. Bask in the sun or go snorkelling and discover the magnificent marine life. Water-sports centres offer PADI-certified diving courses, snorkelling excursion, and underwater photography. Go on a whale and dolphin spotting excursion into the deep seas. Often, pods of spinner dolphins will swim alongside your boat, leaping into the air and showing off their acrobatics - a thrilling experience. Visit Fort Frederick, first used by the Portuguese in 1624, followed by the Dutch and later by the British. At the northern tip of Fort Frederick is a cliff known as Swami Rock which drops around 110 metres into the sea below.
Head west to the Cultural Triangle. High on your list of things to do is likely to be a jeep safari in Minneriya National Park, best known for the biggest gathering of Asian Elephants. This 900 sq kms park of dry evergreen forest, scrub jungle, grassy plains, is dominated by the Minneriya Tank. During the dry season, herds of up to 150 elephants can be seen here. The history lesson unearthed on a visit to the ruined cities can be a little demanding for some children, but we can suggest the livelier cultural triangle activities – a clamber up Sigiriya Rock or Ritilgala, or boating on the lake to keep everybody happy.
Colombo is a compact, easily-explored city that has plenty to keep a family occupied on the final day. Shop for last-minute clothes and crafts, visit the national museum or stroll the parks, or visit one of the city's family-friendly bars or restaurants.
Jetwing Beach is tastefully designed along contemporary lines with Bawa influences, taking the surrounding seaside landscape into full view. Interiors are minimalist and elegant with cement floors and walls enhanced with dramatic contemporary art. The hotel is very much a home away from home, and has something special for everyone.
Forest Rock Garden Resort is inspired by the designs of ancient Sri Lankan kings. Ornate stone pillars and statues, ancient trees and ponds and waterways traverse a 50-acre wilderness. Those who built the temples of the nearby ruined capital of Anuradhapura would have approved.
Trinco Blu, which lies midway between Trincomalee and Nilaveli, has the white sands of the beautiful east coast beach in front and thick foliage as its backdrop. This retro-chic beach hotel is among the best hotels leading the east coast’s return to popularity.
Aliya Resort and Spa is a modern, eco-friendly resort which offers a range of good accommodation, including luxury tents. It is perfectly situated for excursions in the Cultural Triangle and has a variety of facilities, including a spa and an infinity pool with stunning views.
Galle Face Hotel, originally constructed in the 19th century, incorporates traditional Victorian features with stylish contemporary design. It is an attractive alternative to Colombo’s modern business hotels: the stately wooden panelling and staunchly Victorian rooms are resonant of a bygone age.
Red Dot selects only the best accommodation in Sri Lanka, in its particular price range. Please suggest which of the three categories might most appeal to you. (You can tick more than one box).
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