Sri Lanka with Kids
Going to Sri Lanka with kids? It’s one of the best places I have travelled – it’s nature will amaze you, the people are wonderful, the beaches are splendid and you will all have memories for a lifetime.
Sri Lanka is in both – in my own and my 6-year-old daughter’s TOP list of our favourite travel destinations. It is said that Marco Polo visited Sri Lanka in the 14th century and described it as undoubtedly the finest island in the world. Here are the amazing places you should not miss when you visit Sri Lanka with kids.
If you go to Sri Lanka stay in the south coast. Between Unawatuna and Galle there is the best beach to travel with kids – Wijaya. It’s just 2 km tuk-tuk drive from famous Unawatuna beach, but not that crowded nor touristic at all. You will love the view, the bath warm water and the atmosphere there.
It’s small and kid friendly – there’s natural pool bordered with coral stone, so your little one will be safe from ocean waves. Do some sea turtle watching and go snorkeling to meet them under water. Have breakfast and lunch in small restaurants (there are only 2 choices) and just enjoy the best part of Sri Lanka.
The best accommodation in Unawatuna (near Wijaya beach):
For the best stay near Wijaya beach Happy Little Traveller highly recommends Tony’s place. It has a magnificent ocean view on Unawatuna beach but you will easily access Wijaya beach by tuk-tuk and it is really cheap ride. Be aware that there are some steps to climp as the villa is situated on the top of a mountain but it is definitely worth it. Climbed there with the baby and no regrets at all!
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
There are about 60 elephants living in Pinnawala – all rescued as they were abandoned as infants, injured or maimed. Pinnawala workers have healed and taken care of them and tourists can visit the place and see the animals eating, walking or having bath in the river.
It’s worth to travel with kids to Pinnawala and the bathing time is the most interesting as you get to see the squad of those powerful animals walking through the town and bathing in natural river.
It always remains a question in institutions like this (in zoos as well) if it is all for the sake of animals or there are some parts of the business that aim for profit, though.
Sea Turtle Farms
There are at least two sea turtle farms in south coast – one near Galle and the other in Hikkaduwa. It’s a non-profit organisation which makes it’s daily effort in order to give sea turtle babies a chance to hatch. If you pay the entrance you will give your something, too. The kids and yourself will get to know about different species of sea turtles living in Sri Lanka, see their hatcheries an even hold the baby turtles.
There’s a beach called Jungle Beach which is just a lovely small beach with turquoise waters and a touristy restaurant but the way to the beach is special – you will hike through the jungle, so leave the stroller if you travel with baby and take as few as you can. The trees are great for climbing so kids can let all the inner Tarzans out.
Japanese Peace Pagoda
Close to Jungle Beach there’s an unique temple named Japanese Peace Pagoda. It’s a good place to visit to listen some silence and still have the freedom you need when you travel with toddlers.
There’s a lovely town called Mirissa that has a famous beach which is divided in a half and in between there’s a huge rock standing in the sea that you can all climb up to. Definitely a must do if you travel with kids and there’s an adventurer living inside of you.
Did you know that most of the tea with high quality comes from Sri Lanka and the island is covered with beautiful tea plantations? It’s not an easy drive from the coast up to the mountains and it might get chilly there but you will love the view, the tea is delicious and it’s interesting to watch the process of tea harvesting and production.
To have authentic experience and to discover the method of Sri Lankan tea production you would probably want to stay there couple of nights. The Tea Cottage Resort & Spa is a place to stay for 1 or 2 night. It’s a little bit shabby but the views are to die for and you can have a spacious family room there.
They are everywhere and if you travel with kids you will probably get the chance to try all sorts of exotic fruits for free before you buy anything. Our kids loved rambutans so we bought them a lot.
The historical city of Kandy is one of the top touristic attractions, especially the Buddha Tooth Temple. Be prepared of taking the shoes off and it’s going to be crowded and durty if it’s raining as it did when we visited the huge temple with kids but you might get to see the tooth of Buddha 😉
There are several natural waterfalls worth visiting in Sri Lanka. We went to Kadijallena waterfall and the kids loved it. The slippery climbing was not that fun to watch to me but everything was fine after all.
Stay in south or west coast if you travel with kids to Sri Lanka – there are the best beaches and nice selection of accommodation.
Best time to visit Sri Lanka with kids is December to March but the weather is nice pretty much all year round. Be aware of the rain season, though.
Take time to talk to locals. If you travel with kids you will not have to – they will start the conversation anyway.
The traffic is not an easy one especially up in the mountains. We managed but if you’re worried hire a car with a driver or prefer tuk-tuk rides and take the train up to see the mountains.