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Sri Lanka Family Adventure

Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2013 - December 31st, 2015 Last Updated:
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Sri Lanka has been off most travellers’ radar for a while. Come explore it before the crowds catch on! Beginning in Negombo, this 13-day trip will introduce you and your kids to Sri Lanka’s diverse culture and landscape through visits to sites like the rock fortress of Sigiriya, the Temple of the Tooth, an ayurvedic health centre, a colonial Dutch fort and time in the hill towns of the positively stunning Knuckles Mountains. Warm and welcoming Sri Lanka’s doors are open. All you have to do is come on in.

  • Explore Sigiriya rock fortress
  • Admire the views from the Knuckles Mountain range
  • Savour flavours at a village meal
  • Gaining insight into the national heritage at a tea plantation
  • Relax on pristine beaches.
Duration: 13 days
Start/Finish City: Negombo to Colombo
Service Level: Upgraded
  • All the adventure you want, with a softer landing
  • Handpicked, character-rich accommodations with upgraded amenities services
  • Upgraded and private transport, including flights to maximize time
  • More included meals, activities and transfers
Physical Grading: 2
There'll be some light walking and hiking. Suitable for most fitness levels. Nothing too challenging.
Travel Style: Family
Trips built for adventurers of all ages

Just because you’ve settled down and had kids doesn't mean your adventuring days are through. Family trips explore exciting locales — Tanzania, Thailand, the Galápagos, Europe and more — with age-appropriate activities and hotels that know how to cater to families on the move.

Trip Type: Small Group
Group trips average 12 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16, but some can be smaller or bigger, depending on the trip. Check individual trips for details.


Route map for Sri Lanka Family Adventure (ASFA)

Day 1 Negombo (1D)

Arrive at any time today, keeping in mind that the welcome meeting will be at 6:00pm. Please look for a notice from your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) for the location of the meeting and any other important instructions. This will be followed by an optional group dinner which will help us get to know the other families of the group.

Day 2 Sigiriya (1B)

Negombo first flourished as the center for cinnamon export, which is native to Sri Lanka. Portugese and Dutch settlement in the area led to the construction of beautiful churches and several architecturally stunning buildings. There are plenty of fish markets in town and several canals that link estuaries and lagoons around the region together.

Fishing is the main export of Sri Lanka and nothing better than to go to the seaside and watch the fishermen bring in their boats, clean the nets, dry the fish and trade with the buyers. We then take a serene boat ride through the Dutch canal lining the marshy lands of Negombo. Getting a closer look at the lives of people living here; toddy tapping, cultivations, coconuts being collected by the locals. The area is great for bird watching as many species like to frequent the canal waters. The later half of the afternoon we will visit an orphanage which is working towards educating and providing for children affected mentally and physically by the vagaries of war.

Driving through the countryside we arrive at Sigiriya.

Day 3-4 Sigiriya (2B,1L)

Here we visit the the World Heritage Site, the Golden Cave Temple of Dambulla . The 7th century caves have Buddhist mural paintings and hundreds of statues of Lord Buddha in different poses. This is one of the most well-preserved temple and cave sites in Sri Lanka. In the evening we hope to witness a beautiful sunset over the Kandalamma Lake.

On the morning of Day 4 we will go on a walking tour of a Sri Lankan village to learn about the local way of life while getting a chance to try the local cuisine at a lunch prepared by the families of the community. After the cultural tete-a-tete with the villagers we will visit Sigriya Rock Fortress. Built by King Kasyapa in 5th century, this Rock fortress mesmirizes every visitor, lined with well-laid out gardens, caves, monasteries, and palaces with beautiful wall motifs. This was surely a heaven in yonder years. The rock itself is supposed to be old volcanic magma rock. Rising 370m above sea level with a shear drop on all sides. The climb of more than 1200 steps to the top starts in the water gardens, passing caves with frescoes and boulders, to the ruins of a palace on the flat surface at the top.

In the afternoon you have the option to go for a tour of Puwareliya, the ancient capital of Sri Lanka, where you can cycle through the ruins of Puwareliya.

Negombo - Sigiriya
Travel distance: 156 Km
Estimated travel time: 4.5 hours

Day 5-6 Trincomalee (2B)

We drive further north across Sri Lanka and over to the East Coast. For many years, this region of Sri Lanka was not open to tourists, but now this relatively unknown area is becoming more available to everyone. The secluded bays and pristine beaches have been used for major surf competitons, and the natural, deep water harbour is undeniably picturesque. We have time to relax here on the beaches. Depending on the season, we might see whales along the coastal waters here.

Day 7-8 Kandy (3B)

The diversity of Sri Lanka is such that each location we visit is very different, the climate and eco-system changing everywhere we go. This is apparent as we drive from the coast at Trincomalee up into the central province, where the landscape becomes greener and more verdant.

We arrive to Kandy in the afternoon. This evening we visit a traditional Kandyan dance show, where we can see the traditions of the former Kingdom of Kandy.

On Day 8, our CEO will take you for a stroll around Kandy Lake and you'll visit the famed Temple of Tooth relic which houses a tooth of Lord Buddha in a well-preserved golden casket. the morning can be spent exploring the town with your CEO. Opt to take a walk in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peredeniya, exploring the 300 varieties of orchids of Sri Lanka. Explore the well-laid out walkways and don't miss the famed Palm Avenues. In the evening enjoy the Kandyan cultural dance performance at the Cultural Centre.

Day 9-10 Nuwara Eliya (2B)

Nuwara Eliya is a town founded by Sir Samuel Baker, a British Officer who explored of Lake Albert and the Nile. The town produces the finest Orange Pekoe Ceylon tea and is inhabited mainly by tea planters and plantation workers. En route we will visit one of the factories to learn about the processes of tea.

The town, also known as Little England, offers a lot of options to its visitors. Plenty of nature trails, walks in the plantations, golfing, horse riding, etc. A visit the tea plantations with the workers to learn how to pick the tea. The plantation families will allow us to visit their homes as they explain the hardships of the industry. You also have the option of going on an early morning 9 kms trek into the Horton plains as you literally walk thorugh the clouds to the majestic drop overlooking the plains into the sea. If you are an avid golfer you can hire a caddy and try golfing the 18 holes golf course of Nuwara Eliya Golf Club near the Victoria Lake or just wander around the lake to take in the views.

Kandy - Nuwara Eliya
Travel distance: 87 Km
Estimated travel time: 4 hours

Day 10-11 Ella (2B)

The sleepy village of Ella is perched precariously up in the mountains. Continuing from Nuwara Eliya through the hills, we reach the valley where Ella is located. If you prefer, you might want to take the Hill train up to Ella, a great way to get to meet some of the locals.

We spend the night in Ella, before we take a hike through the hills, and reach the Ella Gap. This point between the mountains offers views all the way down to the south coast on a clear day. Keep an eye out for the Great Basses lighthouse in the distance!

Day 12 Colombo(1B)

We make our way back to Sri Lanka's capital today. Along the way we make our way through the jungle, and we have time to stop for a rafting trip. The Kelani River flows from the mountains down to Colombo. We stop at Kitulgala, where we switch to rafts and take to the river. After a full safety briefing, we float down river through small rapids, and enjoying the jungle scenery all around us.

We drive from here to Colombo where we spend the night.

Day 13 Colombo (1B)

We transfer to the airport, where our trip ends, and we say goodbye to new-found friends

What's Included

Visit to Dambulla Cave Temple, Village tour with local lunch, Tour of Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Visit to a spice plantation and herbal centre, Walking tour of Kandy town, Visit to the Temple of the Tooth, Kandyan cultural dance performance, Visit to tea factory, Walking tour of Nuwara Eliya Market


Explore Sigiriya rock fortress, admire the views from the Knuckles Mountain range, savour flavours at a village meal, gaining insight into the national heritage at a tea plantation, relax on pristine beaches.

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.

Group Leader Description

All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting - we think it's the best of both worlds.

Group Size Notes

Max 20, avg 10.

Meals Included

13 breakfasts, 1 dinner.


Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. The above information applies to G Adventures group trips. For Independent trips please check the itinerary for details of meals included. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.

Meal Budget

Allow USD280-340 per person for meals not included.


Public bus, van, train

Solo Travellers

We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.


Hotels (12 nts)

My Own Room

Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops

About Accommodation

Accommodation for family trips has been chosen to give the best location and facilities for your family. They may vary depending on the location and destination, but designed to give the most comfortable experience while travelling.

You and your family will generally be sharing rooms on a twin or triple share basis. These rooms will be either adjoining or located at close proximity to each other.

Families will be roomed together and not with other families everywhere we stay. If you have any special hotel requests at the time of booking, let us know and we will do what we can to accommodate them.

Arrival Complications

We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.


- USD/EUR cash
- Credit and/or debit card (see spending money)
- G Adventures vouchers, pre-departure information and trip details
- Passport (with photocopies)
- Travel insurance (with photocopies)
- Airline tickets (with photocopies)
- Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
- Camera and film
- hand sanitizers/ antibacterial wipes
- Reading/writing material
- Binoculars
- Cover or plastic bags for backpacks
- Thick wool socks (to wear under rubber boots)
- Fleece top
- Windproof/waterproof jacket
- Small towel and swim wear
- Rain poncho
- Sun hat
- 2 pair of shorts
- 2 pairs of long trousers
- 1 pair hiking pants/track pants
- Hiking boots/ sturdy walking shoes / Sport sandals
- Sunblock
- Sunglasses
- Toiletries (biodegradable)
- Flashlight
- 4 shirts/t-shirts
- Watch or alarm clock
- Water bottle
- Pocketknife
- First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking).


Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.

Spending Money

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.

Money Exchange

As currency exchange rates in Asia fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
As of Jan 2013 the exchange rate for Sri Lanka was 1 USD = 128 LKR (Sri Lankan Rupees). There are many ATM machines that accept both Visa and Mastercard but these are limited to major cities. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops but they may charge a 2-4% transaction fee. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of cash and cards is best. Always take more money rather than less, as you don't want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.

Emergency Fund

Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!

Optional Activities

All prices are per person, in USD amounts and are subject to change as services are provided by third party operators.

Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens 1100 Lkr (8 USD)

Horton Plains National Reserve 5000 Lkr for van (38 USD)
(6 hour activity- 9 Km hike) 2900 Lkr entrance per person (22 USD)
1000 Lkr reserve guide (8 USD)
Nuwara Eliya:
One Day Golf pass 1500 Lkr (12 USD)

High tea at the Grand Hotel 750 Lkr (6 USD)

Glass bottom Boat ride 1300 Lkr (10 USD)


Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that sometimes we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our CEO are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. In Asia pharmacies tend to stock the same western drugs as you get at home but they are usually produced locally so please bring the full drug name with you when trying to purchase a prescription drug. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our group CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.

Safety and Security

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers' cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.

Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).

Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.

Medical Form

Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that an average level of fitness and mobility is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our leaders work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.

Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.

The medical questionnaire can be found online at www.gadventures.com/medical-form.

A Couple of Rules

Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation

Planeterra is G Adventures’ non-profit foundation created to make a positive difference in the communities where G Adventures takes travellers. Planeterra supports sustainable social and environmental solutions in destinations travellers love to visit.

As travellers, it’s natural to want to give back to the places we’ve come to love. But to truly impact poverty, we work to build self-sufficiency, not dependency.

Planeterra partners with grassroots organizations with firsthand knowledge of local culture and true community needs. This ensures that solutions come from the people we support. Then G Adventures brings travellers to visit, fuelling sustainable local income in these communities. This model is helping many rural and marginalized communities on their way to self-sufficiency because they are harnessing the power of the tourism industry as a force for good. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit planeterra.org.

Fifty percent of our planet lives on less than $2/day. For the price of a coffee, you can make every day of your trip count by giving back to the communities you visit through Planeterra.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking).


After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.


Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/

Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.

Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.

Minimum Age

Minimum age of 8 years for this trip. Please see the activities for any specific minimum age requirements.

This trip is recommended for children aged 8-11 years old.