Family Playcations Tour

Holiday Highlight: Itinerary Details / Price Inclusions & Exclusions

Negombo – A day at the Golden Beach, relaxing at one ofSri Lanka’s gorgeous coastal city, mingling with the fisher folk at the local fish market:

Dambulla – visit to theWorlds most acclaimed Cave Temple:

Sigiriya - Climb Rock Fortress which is 1600 years old:

Habarana – Magnificent Elephant back ride safari and an informative and educational Village Trek:

Polannaruwa: visit to one of the best Archeological relic sites and a Monkey Expedition called “Human Family meets Monkey Family” with the Association for the Conservation of Primate Diversity:

Kandy – Visit Temple of Tooth, take a cool walk in the Botanical Gardens, end the day with a spectacular Cultural Dance show:

NuweraEliya – Visit a Tea Centre, take a Tea Factory Tour, Drive around the Lake Gregory for photo opportunities, kids ride a pony or take a boat ride around Lake Gregory, Milk Factory visit if time permits:

Kitulgala – White water rafting and explore a cave that contains evidence of occupation by ancient human ancestors who lived there around 12,000 years ago:

Colombo: indulge in souvenir/cloths shopping, lunch at Colombo’s best kept secret Restaurant, drive through the city taking you to Colombo's most fashionable residential district - the Cinnamon Gardens, where the elite live and also a drive past Pettah, Colombo's busiest and most traditional bazaar area. You will visit a Hindu temple with elaborate stone carvings, a Dutch Church at Wolfendhal dating back to 1749, a historic Devatgahaha Muslim Mosque, and the Buddhist Gangarama Temple.

Special mention about The Association for the Conservation of Primate Diversity in Sri Lanka. The Association for the Conservative of Primate Diversity is registered as a non-profit company in Sri Lanka.  It can accept donations, or market for the support of conservation, research and education efforts and we in Life is a Trip fully honor their commitment towards the conservation programme. They are affiliated with the Institute of Fundamental Studies, Sri Lanka, where Dr. Dittus is a Visiting Senior Fellow and leader of the Primate Biology Project (IFS).   They do collaborative research with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Health at the University of Peradeniya and others. Dr. Dittus is a Research Associate of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the Conservation Ecology Center, in Washington, DC, USA.

Day 1 – Negombo –Ayubowan Sri Lanka!

Upon arrival at the Colombo International Airport – you will be greeted by a Life is a Trip representative and taken to your hotel in Negombo.

The town of Negombo is situated on the shore of a lagoon. It has been an important trading port for both the Dutch and the Portuguese in the years past. It is a beautiful sea side resort on the western part of the island of Sri Lanka.The Dutch influence is hard to miss in this little town of Negombo. While the Old Dutch Fort is still alive with a number of people living in the area, the city feels like a blast from the past. The beach road shops are a good place to hang out and you might find a good bargain.The Fish Market is an interesting place to visit to see the daily fish trade.

In Negombo, you spend a day of leisure at the beach indulging in some Water Sports, mingling with the locals at Llelama Fish Market or go scuba diving /diving/ snorkeling.

Overnight stay at a Hotel in Negombo - Meal Plan: HB

Day 2 – Dambulla/Habarana - Elephant ride safari, A Rock Cave Temple

This morning we leave Negombo and head to Habarana where we first stop to explore the Dambulla Cave Temples.  Located at an elevation of 1118 feet from the sea level rises a massive rock from the surrounding plains of Dambulla: 600 feet high and over 2000 feet in length. It is home to the Worlds most acclaimed Cave complex of magnificent Buddha Images and Rock Paintings of vivid colours and shapes constructed and painted from around 2nd Century BC (Anuradhapura era ) and continued up to the Kandyan era of the 18th Century.

After our visit to the Dambulla Rock Temple, we take you on an Elephant ride safari! Here you get an idea of what it means to have the might to cruise around in the jungle knowing that you are riding the biggest living creature around and nothing can threaten you.

3 nights stay at a hotel in Habarana - Meal Plan: HB

Day 3 –Hiriwaduna - A Village Trek

This morning, we pack some breakfast and leave very early for theHiriwaduna trek through this archetypal Sri Lankan village.

Every Visitor Makes an Impact.  We pick the most adventurous way to experience Hiriwaduna, which is with a longer 03 ½ hour trek where you will have to wade through knee high in water and later cross a river on a kind farmer’s catamaran! However, the other option is a bullock cart ride. You could trek in the evening as well and departure is at 0430hrs – it’s your choice.

The trek begins with a scenic walk along a bund of a Wewa (man-made reservoir). The amazing birdlife, butterflies and possible sightings of crocodile only add to the charm of the trek. Sight the villagers as they go about their early morning tasks of fishing or washing clothes at the periphery of the lake. Initially one wades through a shallow stream and thereafter crosses a wider tributary in a catamaran of an obliging farmer to inspect Chena cultivation (slash and burn agriculture).Enjoy the farmer's humble hospitality. With the guidance of the farmer, pick some fresh vegetables from the plot and join in the preparation of a simple meal prepared in the traditional method using earthenware pots and firewood as fuel. This is great opportunity to sample authentic local cuisine.

The journey continues through dense shrub forests, home to many forest birds and other wildlife including monkeys, bear, python and even elephant.This tour enables you to visit a village and encounter people going about their daily lives.  This is an opportunity to meet local people and interact with them in a respectful and meaningful way.  Photo opportunities abound and your guide will provide information on the village and the people’s lives.  This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about life in villages in Sri Lanka..

Overnight stay at a hotel in Habarana - Meal Plan: HB

Day 4-Polonnaruwa/Minneriya: - Seat of power for Parakrama, High King of a Majestic era and a Human family meets Monkey family expedition

Rise and Shine: this morning we are going to become culture vultures visiting a city declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site and then later on in the afternoon we move a very different experience: meeting and learning about the famous monkey family of Sri Lanka. So let’s get the historian and naturalist out of you and mingle with the Kings, Queens, Palaces, ruins, and of course meet the monkey family in their natural habitat.

Today the ancient city of Polannaruwa remains one of the best planned Archeological relic sites in the country, a standing testimony to the discipline and greatness of the kingdoms first rulers. Its beauty was also used an backdrop to filmed scenes in the Duran Duran Video “Save a Prayer” in 1982.

In Polannaruwa we visit the Quadrangle (Royal Palace Ruins) and the Archeological Museum which is designed so that you walk from one end to the other, passing through a series of rooms, each dedicated to a particular theme. In the afternoon we keep our appointment with the Association for the Conservation of Primate Diversity to do the expedition “Human Meets Monkey”.  In this awesome unique tour – you will see a variety of social behaviors of the monkey, including: maternal care, play, food competition, grooming, a rich repertoire of facial gestures, body postures and vocal signal. You may also see territorial disputes (warfare), anti-predator behavior and possibly infanticide, among others. What an exciting day indeed!

Overnight stay at a hotel in Habarana - Meal Plan: HB

Day 5–Sigiriya/Kandy: A rock Fortress climb and the last capital of the ancient kings' era of Sri Lanka

Today we leave Habarana for Kandy en-route visiting Sigiriya to climb the world acclaimed Rock Fortress with a spectacular view. The Sigiriya Rock Fortress has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. Rising out from the jungle, The Rock is like a beacon for travelers from afar. Local legend has it that King Kassapa (AD 477 – 495, making this at least almost 1600 years old) sought a place where he can fortify himself after overthrowing and murdering his own father and usurping the throne from the rightful heir. It’s such a fascinating and picturesque climb, you go through rock hewn passages and pass by small caves and the view on top is well worth the climb.

Kandy is the great Sinhalese cultural capital and a unique Asian city, perched in the hills around the stunning Kandy Lake. It enjoys a cooler climate than most cities in Sri Lanka. Set majestically at the foothills of the mountains, the town is diverse, creative and a must see for many visitors to Sri Lanka. The city's history dates back to the 5th century B.C. Kandy was temporarily occupied by the Portuguese (16th century) and the Dutch (18th century) but as a stronghold, it remained free until 1815, when the British captured it and exiled the last king to India.

In Kandy we visit the famous Dalada Maligawa, Temple of Tooth, have lunch at a restaurant in town and take a stroll in the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. In the evening we take you to watch a Spectacular Cultural Dance Show - The dance performance takes about 75 minutes with approx. 5 types of Kandyan dance. You can go on the stage to take pictures of this extraordinary performance.

Overnight stay at a hotel in Kandy - Meal Plan: HB

Day 6 - Nuwara Eliya:  Misty Hills and a city known as the Little England of Sri Lanka

After an early breakfast this morning, we proceed to the hill station NuweraEliya. NuwaraEliya was built entirely during the 19th century and its architecture mimics that of an English country town, with red-brick walls, country house like hill club and mock-Tudor half-timbering.  Blessed with salubrious climate, breathtaking views of valleys, meadows, mountains and greenery; it's hard to imagine that NuwaraEliya is only 180 Km from the hot and humid Colombo.

On our way we stop for a cup of the best Ceylon tea and delicious cake at the Mackwoods Labookellie Tea Centre and request a tour around the Tea factory if available.When we reach Nuwera Eliya, we trek around Nuwera Eliya town visiting the Bail Bazaar, briefly walk past the Nuwera Eliya Golf Club, having a look at the Racecourse which has the oldest racetrack in the country and goes as far back as the British period.  Kids can have a Pony Ride if available at the Race course or Adults and Kids can go on a boat ride at the Lake Gregory.  A drive around picturesque Lake Gregory is a photo opportunity for the nature lovers. If time permits a visit to the Ambewela Farm (Milk Factory) is on our itinerary.

Overnight stay at a hotel in NuweraEliya - Meal Plan: HB

Day 7 – Kitulgala –White Water Rafting / Cave browsing / Camping

After a sumptuous breakfast this morning, we leave for Kitulgala and white water rafting in the KELANI River covering 5 major rapids and 4 minor rapids.What was previously best known as the location for the filming of the film 'Bridge over the river Kwai' is fast gaining a reputation of a far more thrilling nature. The area around Kithulgala is stunning ('Kitul' is a type of palm tree) and one of the most fertile regions of Sri Lanka.Whilst not for the faint hearted, the rafting here is not as 'wild' here as certain other destinations and provides a good opportunity for those experimenting with the sport for the first time. It’s also excellent for families. This activity is for anyone above the age of 10 years with safety gear, modern rafts, and a comprehensive safety briefing will be given by our white water rafting instructors beforehand. The distance covered is around 5 KMs. The river and its surrounding will make you feel enchanted, with a memorable Experience.

Once back on dry land, we visit the Belilena cave. Belilena, which lies 2,000 metres above sea leavel, contains evidence of occupation by ancient human ancestors known as Balangoda man, who lived there around 12,000 years ago. When discovered in 1969 by then Director of National Museum P.E.P Deraniyagala, the cave was occupied by monks, who later vacated when excavation started and evidence of pre-historic human habitation was found.

At the end of the day we are going to Borderline River Base Camp for camping overnight: Please note: if Borderline River base camp is full, we will put you up in a hotel nearby.

Overnight at Borderland River Base Camp - Meal Plan:HB

Day 8 – Colombo –The buzzing capital of Sri Lanka

After breakfast we leave to Colombo, Sri Lanka’s buzzing Capital City. Situated in the western province of Sri Lanka, Colombo is the island's capital. Diverse and vibrant, the city is the administrative and economic center of the country.

After settling in, it is time to explore the city of Colombo.  First option is to indulge in some shopping and find bargain value for clothes/ buy souvenirs. Shops like Odel, House of Fashion offer designer wear at fraction of a cost and local designers sell beautifully designed cloths at Arena: and Romafour is worth a mention too. After lunch at our recommended restaurants: either Gallery Café or Barefoot Café – we do a little city tour of Colombo - A drive through the city will take you to Colombo's most fashionable residential district - the Cinnamon Gardens, where the elite live and we also drive past Pettah, Colombo's busiest and most traditional bazaar area. You will visit the Hindu temple with elaborate stone carvings, the Dutch Church at Wolfendhal dating back to 1749, the historic Devatgahaha Mosque, and the Gangarama Temple. Please make sure to wear t-shirts that cover your arms and long trousers are preferable to respect the different religions.

Overnight stay at a hotel in Colombo - Meal Plan:HB

Day 9 – Colombo to Airport – Bid Paradise Farewell

After Breakfast we leave to the airport, and we bid farewell to YOU - our Royal guests - we hope you carry back pleasant memories of a land filled with helpful and smiling people and a culture rich with history and diversity! Ayubowan!

Price includes

  • Accommodation on HB sharing double basis for 7 nights from Dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 8 at hotels specified or at hotels of similar standard.
  • Transportation by air-conditioned vehicle
  • Service of an English Speaking Chauffeur guide and dedicated Tour Concierge available during throughout your tour on mobile phone.
  • Fresh towel and welcome drinks at hotels
  • Farewell gift with logo from Life is a Trip

Price excludes

  • Any airfares + VISA fees.
  • Lunch Throughout the tour
  • Any entrance fees
  • Usage of vehicle beyond the given route drives after 06.00 PM, usage of guide beyond the mentioned timings or anything beyond the itinerary.
  • Early check-in & Late check-out.
  • Expenses of personal nature such as laundry, mini bar charges, beverages, liquor, telephone charges, etc.
  • Travel and Health insurances
  • Any other services not specified in above itinerary.
  • Video and Camera permits at sites.
  • Tips & Portage.