Plenty keeps the little ones entertained on this two-week, family-friendly adventure through Sri Lanka. Tour the temples and shrines of the Cultural Triangle by tuk-tuk, take a scenic train journey high into the tea fields of the Hill Country, and head out on safari in the savannah-like wilds of Yala National Park. After ticking off the highlights, wind down with plenty of playtime on the tropical beaches of Weligama.


  • Step back in time with a tour of the ancient village of Puranagama
  • Visit countryside temples by tuk-tuk on the Three Temple Loop
  • Take a scenic train ride into the lush tea fields of the Hill Country
  • Set out on safari with elephants & leopards in Yara National Park
  • Sunbathe, snorkel & whale watch at the Indian Ocean resort of Weligama

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Colombo, City Tuk-Tuk Tour Colombo
Day 2 Transfer to Anuradhapura, Discover the Sacred City Anuradhapura
Day 3 Climb Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Visit the Ancient Village of Puranagama Anuradhapura
Day 4 Transfer to Kandy, Temple of the Tooth Relic & Evening Cultural Show Kandy
Day 5 Climb the Tower of Ambuluwawa, Explore the Three Temple Loop Kandy
Day 6 Scenic Train Journey to Hatton Hatton
Day 7 Tea Trails Tea Experience & Tea-Infused Dinner Hatton
Day 8 Transfer to Yala, Afternoon Safari at Yala National Park Yala
Day 9 Morning Safari at Yala National Park Yala
Day 10 Transfer to the Beaches of Weligama Weligama
Day 11 Set Sail on a Whale-Watching Tour Weligama
Days 12-13 Free Days in Weligama Weligama
Day 14 Transfer to Colombo & Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Colombo, City Tuk-Tuk Tour

See the hidden gems of Colombo by tuk-tuk
See the hidden gems of Colombo by tuk-tuk
Welcome to Sri Lanka! Upon arrival at the Colombo International Airport, your driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. After settling in, set off on a fun-filled tour of Colombo by tuk-tuk. Visit the colorful Gangaramaya Temple and head to the ancient merchant quarter of Pettah to explore bustling streets dating back to the 17th century. Adults will get a look at Colombo's most authentic corners, while kids will love the open-air views as you scoot around the city. After breaking for refreshments, end the day with a short climb to a scenic sunset view over the city.

Day 2: Transfer to Anuradhapura, Discover the Sacred City

One of Anuradhapura's ancient Buddhist stupas

Transfer northeast today to step into the past and explore Anuradhapura. Dating back to the fourth century BCE, Sri Lanka's ancient capital remains the heart of the island's Buddhist culture and heritage, with a remarkable number of important pilgrimage sites and UNESCO-listed wonders.

You'll find the island's oldest Buddhist shrines here (some dating back to the third century BCE), as well as monasteries, temples, white dagabas (relic chambers), intricately carved monuments, and an incredible ancient irrigation system of reservoirs and canals. Don't miss a visit to the oldest documented tree on earth—Sri Maha Bodhi, a sacred bo tree that was grown from a branch of the tree where Buddha gained enlightenment.

Day 3: Climb Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Visit the Ancient Village of Puranagama

Ascend the carved fortress of Sigiriya
Ascend the carved fortress of Sigiriya

Explore one of Sri Lanka's most treasured monuments today as you climb the 1,200 steps to Sigiriya Rock. Admire the intact 1,600-year-old frescoes and other relics of the carved fortress as you ascend through giant carved lion's paws to reach the top—where sweeping views across the surrounding countryside await. Countless hidden wonders along the way make the long climb relatively easy for the whole family, but younger children can also opt for a less strenuous hike to the halfway point.

In the afternoon, get a rare glimpse into traditional rural Sri Lankan life with a visit to Puranagama. This recreation of an ancient village takes you back in time as you stroll along dirt roads past wooden carts and thatched houses, watching locals demonstrate their time-honored rituals and activities. Sit down for a chat with Gunarathna as he shows you how he grinds chilies and coconut using traditional tools.

Day 4: Transfer to Kandy, Temple of the Tooth & Evening Cultural Show

Views across the serene Lake Kandy to the Royal Palace

Transfer south to Kandy today, Sri Lanka's cultural capital and gateway to the Hill Country. Start your explorations at the UNESCO-listed Royal Palace, which sits on the edge of serene Lake Kandy and houses the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha within the Dalada Maligwa (Temple of the Tooth). An important pilgrimage site for Buddhists from all over the world, an evocative soundtrack of traditional drumming sets the scene as you explore the spectacular series of shrines, temples, and gardens.

As the evening falls, you'll experience a vibrant spectacle of a Kandyan cultural performance. Kids will be delighted by the traditional dances depicting the graceful movements of birds and animals, energetic, acrobatic performances of leaping pirouettes, and stunts like plate-spinning and the dramatic "fire walk" which ends the show.

Day 5: Climb the Tower of Ambuluwawa, Discover the Three Temple Loop

Climb the Magical Tower of Ambuluwawa
Climb to dizzying views from the spire of Ambuluwawa

Climb toward the clouds today with a visit to the fairytale-like Ambuluwalwa, a mountaintop tower in the ancient town of Gampola. A 15 to 25-minute tuk-tuk ride takes you through biodiverse landscapes of dense evergreen forests, flowering creeper vines, and medicinal plants to reach this whimsical landmark. Older children can brave the dizzying heights, with a 3,567-foot (1,087 m) climb up the narrow, winding staircase, while younger ages can enjoy exploring the idyllic surroundings by tuk-tuk and on foot.

Continue exploring the Sri Lankan countryside on the Three Temple Loop. Starting at the temple of Gadaladeniya, your guide will share the fascinating history of Buddhism and Hinduism in Sri Lanka as you hop on a tuk-tuk for a ride through scenic paddy fields to reach the second temple of Lankatilaka. After a stop at a local plantation to take in the sights and smells of coffee, tea, and pepper fields, continue to Embekka, where you'll find a Hindu shrine, incredible wood carvings, and breathtaking views across the surrounding landscapes.

Plan your trip to Sri Lanka
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 6: Scenic Train Journey to Hatton

Breathe in the fresh air of the mountains as you climb towards Hatton
Breathe in the fresh air of the mountains as you climb toward Hatton

Your guide will take you to the Kandy Train Station this morning, where you'll board the train to the charming highland village of Hatton. The spectacularly scenic journey winds its way slowly through the mist-shrouded Sri Lankan highlands, passing lush tea estates and mountain waterfalls as you travel deeper into the higher altitudes and cooler temperatures of the Hill Country. Grab a backward-facing seat in the observation carriage to maximize the incredible views en route, and put your feet up as you experience one of the most spectacular rail journeys on earth.

Day 7: Tea Trails Tea Experience & Tea-Infused Dinner

Take a fascinating tour of a working tea estate
Take a fascinating tour of a working tea estate

Join an informative and entertaining guided tour of Dunkeld Tea Factory for some insight into the story of Sri Lanka's most famous export. Along the way,  your host and resident tea planter will passionately delve into all things "tea"— including the history of Ceylon tea, the lifestyle of early colonial settlers, the workings of a historic tea factory, and the secret to crafting refined and remarkable flavors.

As dusk falls, sit down to a "Tea Infused Dinner" that highlights the subtle flavors of tea in playful and delicious ways. This signature culinary experience will delight your tastebuds with tea-infused and inspired dishes that blend locally-grown produce with intense Sri Lankan flavors.

Day 8: Transfer to Yala, Afternoon Safari at Yala National Park

An elephant encounter on safari in Yala

Today takes you southeast to the wilds of Yala National Park. Covering almost 621 square miles (1,000 km), the second-largest national park in Sri Lanka was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900, and its savannah-like landscape of dry thorn scrub and forest glades makes it the perfect environment for wildlife spotting. After settling in, head out on an afternoon Jeep safari to spot a diverse array of flora and fauna, from peacocks to elephants, and if you're lucky, catch a glimpse of the island's largest cat—the Sri Lankan leopard.

Day 9: Morning Safari at Yala National Park

Morning Safari at Yala National Park
Yala is home to the rare Sri Lankan leopard
Rise early this morning to search for the elusive Sri Lankan leopard on another Jeep safari in Yala National Park. The rest of the day is free for you to relax back at your tented safari lodge nearby. Adults can unwind by the pool, while kids will have plenty of room to run and play in the surrounding bushland.

Day 10: Transfer to the Beaches of Weligama

Explore the historic walled city of Galle en route

After breakfast, your driver will transfer you west along the coast toward the lively fishing town and beach resort of Weligama. Spend the rest of the day enjoying the sheltered bay and sweeping beaches, or hop on a local bus for an authentic and adventurous afternoon trip to Galle.

This beautiful colonial town is surrounded on three sides by the Indian Ocean and houses the largest occupied fort in Asia. Built by the Portuguese and later extended by the Dutch in 1663, the UNESCO-listed site spans over 90 acres. Amid the wealth of fascinating architecture, you'll find Dutch-colonial buildings, historic mosques, grand mansions, and museums. Kids will love exploring the swashbuckling history of the old fort as they climb the ocean-front ramparts, tunnels, and towers.

Day 11: Set Sail on a Whale-Watching Tour

A blue whale off the coast of Mirissa
A blue whale off the coast of Mirissa
Whale and dolphin watching is one of Sri Lanka's most popular activities, and the waters around Weligama and neighboring Mirissa offer some of the best in the country. Your excursion will set off early in the morning, and depending on sea conditions and weather, will spend about 3-5 hours on the water. Keen-eyed observers might spot blue, Bryde's, sperm, and fin whales breaching and pods of common, bottlenose, and spinner dolphins frolicking in the waves. 

Days 12-13: Free Days in Weligama

Spend your free time exploring Weligama's beaches
The next two days are free for you to do as little or as much as you please in your beach paradise. Embark on the many available watersport excursions, explore more of the coast, or spend your days at the beach, building sand castles and paddling in the warm, shallow waters.

Day 14: Transfer to Colombo & Depart

A colorful Sri Lankan sunset

After a final morning at the beach, it's time to bid Sri Lanka farewell as your driver transfers you to the airport to catch your departing flight. Safe travels and ayubowan (the traditional Sri Lankan blessing of long life).

More Great Sri Lanka Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Sri Lanka? Check out these other Sri Lanka itineraries, explore different ways to spend two weeks in Sri Lanka, or discover the best time to visit Sri Lanka.


Map of Sri Lanka Family Vacation: Safaris, Temples & Beaches - 14 Days
Map of Sri Lanka Family Vacation: Safaris, Temples & Beaches - 14 Days