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5 amazing experiences in Sri Lanka with kids

5 amazing experiences in Sri Lanka with kids

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*Collaborative post*

If you’re planning to visit Sri Lanka with kids or want to ensure you’ve lined up the best activities during your stay, then we’ve got some Sri Lanka travel inspiration for you.

Here are five amazing experiences you must fit into your Sri Lanka family holiday:

Things to do and places to visit in Sri Lanka with kids

Chill out on Sri Lanka’s best beaches

There are some absolutely stunning beaches in Sri Lanka with golden sands and great waves for surfing. However, as this post about the best Sri Lanka beaches for families warns, keep your kids under close supervision as the tides can be fierce. You’ll also want to avoid visiting on busy weekends and make the most of quieter days during the week. 

For wonderful sunsets and access to plentiful street food try Weligama. If you like a beach with a more urban feel check out Unawatuna – Sri Lanka’s most popular beach which comes with restaurants, shops and a dive centre. For a quieter, less touristy beach try Tangalle on the South coast.

Go on a Sri Lanka Safari

The Uda Walawe and Yala National Parks are where you’ll find Sri Lanka Safari tours to see elephants, leopards and bears. You have the option to go on an organised tour or hire a 4×4 just for your family when you arrive at the parks. A guide will be assigned to you even if you decide to go it alone, so there’s no worries about getting lost.

Yala on the South East coast has 44 varieties of animal and 215 species of birds. The best time to go on safari here is between February and July when the park’s water levels are lower. 

If you are keen to see elephants then head to Uda Walawe – Sri Lanka’s newest National Park. It is set inland amongst rivers and a reservoir where herds of elephants enjoy roaming. You’ll also find this smaller, newer reserve is less busy. The best time to visit is from May to September during the dry season.

Immerse yourself in Sri Lanka’s cultural history

Sri Lanka boasts six cultural UNESCO World Heritage sites from the 2,200-year-old Golden Temple of Dambulla cave monastery to the 16th Century fortifications of the Old Town of Galle on the South coast. Explore independently, take a bike tour or hire a tuk tuk to transport you around the sights.

If hiking through exceptional landscapes is more your family’s thing Sri Lanka also has two natural UNESCO World Heritage sites: the Central Highlands, which are home to several endangered species, and the Sinharaja Forest Reserve – a rare area of rain forest.

Whale and dolphin watching from Mirissa

If you are visiting Sri Lanka between January and April you might be lucky enough to spot whales and dolphins off the South and South West coastline. You’ll find plenty of whale watching tours from Mirissa – a small fishing port turned tourist town close to Galle.

Make sure you book with a company that sticks to standards set by Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) for the most ethical experience. Whale and dolphin watching tours are popular, so don’t expect a boat to yourselves. If you can get the kids out of bed early enough a sunrise tour will give you the best chance of seeing these wonderful creatures before the water gets too busy.

Help protect the sea turtle

Five of the world’s seven species of sea turtle can be found in Sri Lanka, but they have become under threat. Several turtle hatcheries including Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery protects the eggs from poachers, animals and the footfall of tourists. The hatchery is run by volunteers and you can make a donation to help release the babies back into the sea at night.

The vast majority of baby turtles are released on the day they hatch so they have the best chance of making it to the safety of deep water. This is a magical experience that your kids will remember forever.

Where to stay in Sri Lanka with children

If like us you enjoy the freedom of self-catering accommodation over hotels then why not stay in a family villa in Sri Lanka?

The team at Villa Finder are experts in Sri Lanka travel and work hard to pick a family a villa that will be suitable for you. Whether you’re looking for a private villa with a pool or a villa that comes with services like meal planning, they are a great choice. Their travel consultants can also arrange airport pick ups, in-villa spa treatments and tours. If you need anything during your stay they are there to help.

Organising a family holiday to Sri Lanka

We have done our own trip to Sri Lanka and had an amazing time. Check out our two week Sri Lanka itinerary.

If you’re looking for other holiday options I’ve picked the brains of some blogging friends who have visited Sri Lanka with kids:

Disclosure: this post about Sri Lanka family holidays is a collaboration with Villa Finder.

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Lauraine Cheesman

Saturday 29th of December 2018

Hi Claire!

I love your blog! We want to take the children to Sri Lanka next Summer (16yrs and 13 yrs) but have no idea where to start... could you recommend a travel advisor/company who could put the trip together for us? We don't have a massive budget.... thank you! Lauraine X

Claire Hall - Tin Box Traveller

Sunday 30th of December 2018

Hi Lauriane, so glad you enjoy the blog. I've just added some links to more reading about Sri Lanka with kids in the post. A quick check around my travel blogging friends has also come up with some recommended agencies and travel counsellors who you might like to check out to help plan and book your trip: - Liz comes recommended for all kinds of travel planning - Selective Asia's travel planners know the country inside out And soooo many people have recommended Stubborn Mule to me.

Let me know how you get on!

Sam | North East Family Fun Travel Blog

Tuesday 5th of June 2018

Sri Lanka is super high on my must-visit list. So much to do! A Sri Lankan Safari sounds brill!

Claire Hall - Tin Box Traveller

Thursday 14th of June 2018

Doesn't it?! I'd love to see all those elephants!


Tuesday 5th of June 2018

I’ve only spent one day in Sri Lanka during a cruise and would love to go back. I spent it at the Pinnawela elephant orphanage which is an incredible place. There were 80 rescued elephants and you could watch them being bathed and even feed them with a bottle of milk. 100% recommend for all ages:)

Claire Hall - Tin Box Traveller

Thursday 14th of June 2018

Sounds wonderful. I hope to do it one day!

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