Since travel symbolises long drives, family time, and savoring regional cuisines to me, Sri Lanka was one place that had been on my bucket list for a long time. So, when my youngest son was planning a short visit back to India from Canada, I started researching a little to make our family trip an unforgettable affair!
While I was looking for a good holiday deal online, I landed up on TravelTriangle’s website. I looked up and compared the packages that included the things to do on a family trip to Sri Lanka with the map of Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka Tourism’s website along with popular travel agent’s packages and recommendations from friends.
Our family of four did not want to visit the typical touristy places as my kids were grown up men of age 27 and 25, and we were in our mid 50’s, so we just wanted to put our feet up. And because of this, I ultimately finalized two places – Nuwara Eliya and Hikkaduwa. To book a trip for the same, I filled up the form on the website and immediately received a call for the same. Everything from the booking process to the trip planning was super smooth, and I was assisted by the travel consultant throughout this time.
Trip Type: 5 Days 4 Nights family trip
Cost: INR Rs. 16,603 per person from Look Lanka Tours
Inclusions: All the accommodation, breakfast, lunch, dinner, transfers from and to the airport, sightseeing, city tour, free sim card on arrival with top up, GST, and transport tax.
Exclusions: Airfare and Visa, entry fees, lunch and dinner, any personal expenses, and anything not mentioned in inclusions.
Top things to do on a family trip to Sri Lanka, which we happily indulged in!
Day 1: Enroute Nuwara Eliya
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The flight was at an unearthly hour of 3:15 AM from the Kempegowda International Airport, Bangalore and soon after boarding, we realized that the Sri Lankan Airways was taxiing down the runway at Colombo in no time. After getting our passports stamped in a jiffy, we walked through the airport and stopped at the Airtel shop where my sons got themselves Sim cards with data package while I waited for the free Sim that was included in the travel package.
Soon after we were picked up by our driver who was a pleasant guy and kept smiling as he led us to the spacious black van, which was the car we had to commute in for the whole of our trip. We proceeded to Nuwara Eliya, which is situated on the hills in central Sri Lanka via Pinnawala, which is an elephant orphanage in Kandy.
We stopped for breakfast after taking a little nap, and I must say the food was amazing. On our way to the first destination, we stopped and visited Pinnawala, where witnessing the elephants bathing near the river was a majestic sight. There is no doubt that the place has a lot in store, especially for the eco-friendly travelers!
After a scrumptious lunch, we resumed the journey and reached Nuwara Eliya in another hour. A short steep climb helped us in reaching our home – the Lake View Comfort Bungalow for the next two nights. The view from the hotel was wonderful as it overlooked the lake where we could see all sorts of activities like speed boating, boating, paddle boating, and more. But soon the weather turned for the worse and it rained incessantly and was foggy for the next two days.
As we had reached late, we decided to have a couple of drinks and watch the India – Sri Lanka match that was being played in Kandy. With blankets wrapped around us, rain lashing at the windows, some chicken and rice, it became a perfect first night in this far away land.
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Day 2 – Visiting the Strawberry Farm in Nuwara Eliya
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On day two of our trip, I had fallen a little sick so I asked my family to visit the Strawberry farm without me. They got some medicines for me, and this time we requested the hotel staff if we could cook something for ourselves. We made some chicken and mildly spiced veggies for dinner, which was relished by all.
The next morning, I felt a little better and as soon as we had our breakfast, we left for our next destination, i.e. Hikkaduwa.
Day 3 – Whitewater rafting in Kitulgala and enroute Hikkaduwa
Of the many things to do on a family trip to Sri Lanka, whitewater rafting in the Kelani Ganga River in Kitulgala was one experience we were too excited for. On our way to Hikkaduwa, we stopped for this little adventure followed by a freshly cooked lunch.
We stopped at a traditional Siddha medicine shop, Susantha Spice, and Herbal Garden in Mawanella where we were greeted by a multilingual medical guide who walked along the walkways lined with trees with various fruits, berries, and had small sample bottles of oils. We were encouraged to smell, taste, and apply them as we went along. At the end, we were seated in a hut and a free massage was provided.
Post this, we proceeded to Avissawella and onto the Expressway E01 to reach our destination. One thing I really liked about the place was the calm and discipline driving in Sri Lanka. The Coral Sands Hotel was the our accommodation for the next few days, and I must say it was a lovely property located on the edge of the sea with a huge pool.
Jumping into the pool and lazing around as we soaked up the setting sun were a few things we did together after checking into the hotel. For lunch, we looked up for popular local eateries and decided to visit The Tigri Restaurant – a seafood place by the beach, which was only a short walk away from the hotel.
Day 4 – Glass bottom boat ride and witnessing moonstone mining in Hikkaduwa
In the morning, all of us savored a breakfast buffet that we had to hurriedly consume as a lot of outing was planned for the day. The first stop was the nearby beach for witnessing some coral reefs in a glass bottom boat ride. The next were scuba and snorkeling, which we sadly had to miss since the tides at that time were rough.
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On this day, we also got ourselves a new hybrid car in which we went to see some moonstone mining. The place seemed set up for the tourists as one person would show sand being drawn up the mine shaft, while another would respond to the hello on the communication chute, while in another area two men were polishing stone and joining chains. We were then ushered into an air-conditioned showroom where we were shown stones of different sizes and colours. One particular set in blue sapphire that I liked a lot was priced at $2500 and it blew my mind away.
Later, we stopped in Ambalangoda to buy a bag for the extra purchases that we had done, and then headed towards the water sports club on the lakefront as we wanted to indulge in a few more water sports before we returned back home. Here, my eldest son tried water skiing while we waited and watched him enjoy the thrill.
Day 5 – Bidding adieu to Sri Lanka
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After having a quick brunch at a nearby restaurant with a couple of beers, we proceeded towards the airport where we were given a warm send off by our driver Tiron. It was hard to bid farewell to such a good holiday, but we knew this had to end. So, we made sure we had enough memories captured to bring back home as souvenirs.
High Points Of Our Trip
- Visiting the Strawberry Farm
- Witnessing the scenic beauty
- Indulging in white water rafting and water skiing
- Peaceful long drives
Low Point Of Our Trip
The restaurants recommended online on Google were not so impressive, and we only wished later that we should have rather done a bit more research.
Tips For Future Travelers
- If possible, plan a longer trip and make multiple visits for sightseeing.
- Beware of the marketing gimmicks of the local shops or stores.
- Do check the weather once before planning your trip, and customize your itinerary accordingly.
- Make sure you eat right on the trip as bad health can really spoil the day and experience.
Overall, it was a satisfying and an overwhelming experience. By indulging in just the perfect things to do on a family trip to Sri Lanka as advised by TravelTriangle and our agent Look Lanka Tours, our holiday became a kick-ass adventure that we will cherish for lifelong!
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