Tag: Sri Lanka travel

Sri Lanka Itinerary with young kids.

We absolutely loved our time in Sri Lanka and it was easily one of our best family trips to date. You can read here why we think Sri Lanka is fantastic for young kids. So we thought we’d share with you our Sri Lanka itinerary with young kids. Feel free to copy it exactly for your own travels, tweak it to fit your own time or interests, or just simply use it for inspiration.

TraveLynn Family in Sri Lanka

We focused on a Southern loop to take in pristine beaches, colonial architecture, a safari to meet elephants and some time in the Hill Country. It was only about 2 to 4 hours generally between destinations which is very doable with young kids. Our preferred mode of transport was train, but if the tracks didn’t go to where we wanted we would opt for a tuk-tuk and time the drive with our 12pm nap/downtime. A car would have been faster, we just prefer to travel in tuk-tuks as they’re open and offer that sense of freedom as you watch the world breeze by. We did miss out some classic tourist spots such as Sigiriya and Dumbulla, but the former particularly requires a lot of climbing for little legs (our boys are aged 2 and 3) and we figured we’d leave that for another trip.

So here is our day by day Sri Lanka itinerary with young kids.

Day 1-2 Colombo

Arrive in Colombo. Head to the train station first thing to book your train tickets (if you haven’t already done this online). Wander around the historic Fort area and old town quarter of Slave Island, visit Gangaramara Temple, let the kids enjoy all that Viharamahadevi Park has to offer – a playground, water fountains to run in, a small train, horse-riding, an aquarium – and head to to Galle Face Green around sunset for dinner from a street vendor and watch the kites and snake charmers. Getting around Colombo is very easy as all tuk-tuks use the meter. Just ensure you have Google Maps downloaded offline to direct them, if necessary. You can read more about Colombo with kids here.

We stayed at: Anugaa in the City

Sri Lanka with kids Colombo

Day 3 Galle

Catch the train to Galle, just a 2.5 hour journey along the coast. Take a walk along the fort walls and explore the Dutch Colonial buildings. Try to time this later in the day to escape the heat and package tourist day-trippers. The full circuit along the top of the wall can be done in under 2 hours. However, for little explorers that like to climb the walls, look for dragons and generally walk a little slower, we suggest splitting the walk in two and saving a section for an early morning stroll on Day 4. Read more about Galle here.

We stayed at Fort de 19 villa

Sri Lanka Itinerary with kids - Galle

Day 4-5 Mirissa

After your early morning stroll exploring more of Galle Fort, take a tuk-tuk to Mirissa (LKR1800, 1 hour), via a turtle hatchery, to enjoy some beach time. The main beach at Mirissa offers a long shady stretch of sandy beach, perfect for building sandcastles. The waves and current are strong, so join the kids in jumping over the waves. You can also visit Secret Beach and walk back to the main beach through the jungle. Ensure you receive clear directions. We got very lost. The walk should take around 40 mins with little legs.

If your visiting between September and April, you may like to go on a whale watching cruise in Mirissa (tours are also running in July and August, but the water may be a bit choppy for little ones). It’s one of the best places in the world to see the blur whale!

We stayed at Lashan Guest House. It’s tucked away in a quiet area 400m from the beach, but the owners will happily drop you at the main beach in their tuk-tuk. 

Sri Lanka Itinerary with kids - Mirissa

Day 6-7 Udawalawe National Park

It’s time to meet some elephants! Take a tuk-tuk to Udawalawe (3hrs, LKR5000, would be 2hrs in a car). We stayed in glamping tents at Kottawatta Village just outside the National Park. Book your 3 hour safari with the resort for 5:30am. Kids under 5 are free and so the total price for entrance fee, jeep hire and safari guide was LKR7500 for our family of 4. The resort provides snacks for the safari and breakfast on your return. You are pretty much guaranteed to see elephants! When not on safari, enjoy your time at the resort. It has an onsite restaurant, swimming pool with kids’ area, hammocks for napping and you’ll meet monkeys on your veranda. You can read our full post on Udawalawe National Park here.

We stayed at: Kottawatta Village

Day 8-10 Arugam Bay

Another tuk-tuk ride (4.5hrs, LRK7500, 3hrs by car) brings you to Arugam Bay, the surf mecca of Sri Lanka. But there’s more to this surfer town than barrels and boards (that’s as far as my surfing lingo goes!). Wonderful family friendly accommodation awaits at Elephant Road Resort, set back from the main party strip. Air conditioned rooms with two double beds and a comfortable outdoor space (with hammock and hanging bed) overlook a sandy courtyard where your kids can run free. The super-chilled Israeli owner (Miki) has created a community vibe, very welcoming of children. Miki also knows THE BEST spots around Arugam Bay. Our favourites were Elephant Rock Beach, Peanut Farm Beach and watching the sun set from Crocodile Rock. You can read our full post on Arugam Bay with kids here.

We stayed at: Elephant Road Resort

Day 11-12 Ella

It’s time to say farewell to the beaches and head inland to explore the tea plantations and jungle-clad hills of the Central Hill Country. A tuk-tuk will take 4 hours to get to Ella (LRK2000). Again, you can do the journey quicker by car (3hrs), but be weary that there are many hairpin bends as you approach Ella and the open sides of a tuk-tuk may help with kids who are prone to travel sickness. Whilst in Ella, visit a tea plantation (the kids will love seeing all the big machinery in operation), visit the Nine Arches Bridge and climb Little Adam’s Peak (ask a tuk-tuk to take you as far as possible to save those little legs for the steep stairs they need to navigate at the top).

We stayed at Ella Ridge View, a lovely family homestay with lots of toys and other children to play with.


Day 12-14 Living Heritage Koslanda
After all that travelling, it’s time to treat yourselves indulge and in some luxury. Take the 1hr train from to Haputale; this stretch of track is perhaps the most stunning in all of Sri Lanka. A tuk-tuk will then drive you down into the valley to the tranquility of Living Heritage Koslanda. The smiling Mr Carrim awaits to escort you to your stylish villa with plunge pool and outdoor shower. Enjoy the incredible infinity pool, take a hike to the private waterfall, or just enjoy the space, freedom and peace that the 80 acres of pristine land offers. You can read our full review here. We only stayed 2 nights, but we seriously wished we’d stayed 3.

We stayed at Living Heritage Koslanda

Day 15 Kandy

Today is your longest travel day. 5.5 hours on a train to Kandy. We found the bustle of Kandy to be quite a shock to the system after the serenity of Living Heritage Koslanda. However, there is a good playground, which the boys certainly appreciated, and a visit to the Temple of the Tooth is a must.

We stayed at River Side Homestay Appartment. This is a lovely family homestay about 5 minutes drive out of Kandy. Tuk-tuk drivers from Kandy will not know the way. Ensure you have the property marked on Google Maps on your phone and take the phone number of the owner with you. 

Sri Lanka Itinerary with kids - Kandy

Day 16 Back to Colombo

A 2 hour fast train completes the loop and returns you to Colombo. We spent our last day catching up with old friends who live in Colombo, enjoying a swim in their pool and eating pizza.


I hope this helps you work out your own Sri Lanka itinerary with young kids. Although feel free to copy ours exactly! If your kids are older, check out this great list of 12 Best Things To Do In Sri Lanka.

Disclaimer: TraveLynn Family was kindly hosted by some accommodations mentioned above.  However the opinions and words are all our own, based on our own experiences. This post also contains affiliate links. Should you click on a link to purchase, it is at no extra cost to you, but I get a small commission that goes towards the running of this blog. 

Sri Lanka Itinerary with young kids

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Where would we be without our trusted Lonely Planet guide. The Sri Lanka edition was invaluable to our travels.

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Living Heritage Koslanda, family friendly luxury in Central Highlands Sri Lanka

REVIEWED: Living Heritage Koslanda


Picture the scene: you’ve been travelling as a family for a few weeks, having the time of your lives experiencing all that Sri Lanka has to offer. You’re happy but perhaps a little weary, head full of memories but in need of some time to pause. Family travel has its challenges so, every now and then, you need to head somewhere slightly off the tourist trail for a chance to recharge and savour a little bit of luxury. You’ve all deserved it.

Living Heritage Koslanda view

Living Heritage Koslanda (LHK) is one of those picture perfect resorts you sometimes see in glossy magazines at doctor’s surgeries; you look at the pictures longingly but fold the magazine away, assuming it’s for someone else, perhaps someone with more money and less children. But therein lies the magic of LHK – it’s an affordable slice of luxury perfectly suited to families. This beautiful resort, crafted with great care and sensitivity out of eighty acres of pristine Sri Lankan jungle, may be tucked away from the country’s well-known tourist sights but has enough activities, fun and friendly staff to make it the highlight of your holiday.

Arriving to Living Heritage Koslanda

The mood is set as soon as you arrive, the unmarked entrance to the resort is down a dusty, bouncy track which immediately builds up a feeling of getting away from it all. Our tuk-tuk driver edged along the road, unsure if we were going the right way but Google Maps (and the general sense of excitement) guided us along. A slow walk down the path led us to Mr Carrim, the smiling, happy General Manager who would look after us so well over the next few days.

Living Heritage Koslanda Mr Carrim

The Accommodation

The over-riding feeling of LHK is that of tranquility and being close to nature. Cloud-covered hills frame the horizon, vast spaces of lawn invite the children to play and the only tweets come from the birds nestled in the trees.

Living Heritage Koslanda plunge pool

This is enhanced even further by the extraordinarily stylish suites (four in total) which sit on a small hill overlooking the rolling hills in the distance. Each luxury villa, sympathetically designed to fit the magical setting, comes equipped with an outdoor seating area, outdoor plunge pool and shower, en-suite bathroom, spacious open air living area centred around an ornamental light-well and an elegant double bedroom boasting high A-frame beams (with extra beds available for the children). Locally-sourced antique furniture provide a homely feel, including a small table and chairs for the kids, plus all the practicalities you will need; fridge, kettle and TV (with a choice of kids’ DVDs).

We must also give a special mention here to the magic of the bedroom. We had our very first over-sleep in four years (gasp!). It must have been the combination of soft beds, pitch dark room and complete silence that led both us parents to wake naturally at 7:25am, whilst our boys were still fast asleep (6am is the norm). For this reason alone, LHK deserves a gold star in our book, the rooms were the most comfortable we’ve slept in. Perhaps it was the fresh jungle air as well…

But once the boys finally woke, what we all absolutely appreciated was all the vast, open space on our doorstep to just be free…

Living Heritage Koslanda, open space

How to keep the kids entertained

So you’ve hopefully got the impression that it’s a place to relax, to get away from it all and generally chill out. You might be wondering how that works with children; won’t they get bored in a place so remote and relaxed? The answer to that is a resounding no. Aside from the enjoyment of running around and taking in the fresh air, we also filled our time with:

Swimming in the Waterfall

A 45 minute hike (for our 2 and 3 year old, shorter for older kids) along a path through the jungle leads you to a fantastic private waterfall. It was easily one of the highlights of our entire trip to Sri Lanka. It’s not the easiest of hikes with two small children and we probably found it at the very upper end of our capability levels but, my oh my, was it worth the effort. Scrambling over the last few boulders to be greeted by the roar of that stunning waterfall is a memory we’ll never forget. We found a couple of comfy rocks, splashed around, took turns showering under the falls, had a pebble throwing competition and generally appreciated the magic of the location. It’s all within the resort’s boundaries so you’ll have the place to yourselves. We advise wearing sturdy closed-toe shoes and long trousers for the hike (there are a few leeches, particularly in the rainy season), pack some light-weight towels, water and snacks, and some reef-sandles for the kids to wear in the water. Mr Carrim also provides you with a mobile phone to call ahead with your lunch order when you’re on your way back! This is the life.

Living Heritage Koslanda, Waterfall

Marshmallows on the campfire 

The crackling sound of burning logs greeted us as we descended from the dining area down to the lawn after dinner. Mr Carrim had a roaring campfire going, plus a dozen tasty marshmallows. Under a clear star-filled night sky we huddled together and toasted the marshmallows with the boys – such a happy memory which the boys adored.

Living Heritage Koslanda, marshmallows

Croquet on the lawn – it’s such a chilled out place that croquet seems to fit perfectly. The little ones might not know the rules but that doesn’t stop the fun.

Living Heritage Koslanda - croquet

Looking for animals

Being in the wilderness provides the opportunity to find so many animals. The boys found monkeys, frogs, geckos and even a couple of cows to meet.

Living Heritage Koslanda - cow

Swimming in the incredible infinity pool

There are so many luxurious touches at LHK, things that you would only get to experience in other parts of the world if you paid ten-times the amount, but the best of the bunch must be the infinity pool overlooking the rice paddies and rolling hills. The kids might not notice the incredible setting though as they jump, splash and dive their way around the shallow end. If there are more perfect family experiences than this in the world, we’re yet to find them. Bliss.

Living Heritage Koslanda - infinity pool

The Food

As you’d expect, the food at LHK is of an equally high standard to the rest of the resort. We had the best Sri Lankan food of our trip on the first night, followed by the best chicken and mashed potato since leaving the UK on night two. There were great choices for the boys as well; pancakes, fresh bread and fruit for breakfast, sandwiches and chips for lunch and pasta, followed by ice-cream, for dinner – all served in a magical outdoor dining area under the stars.

Living Heritage Koslanda, Restaurant

So would we recommend Living Heritage Koslanda to other families?

You can probably guess the answer. So much of family travel is about hectic fun that it pays sometimes to slow down a moment and take a breath. Many boutique resorts are often focused at romantic honeymooners, but LHK is that rare thing – a beautiful, luxurious resort which welcomes families and, more importantly, understands them and their needs. Whether it’s the marshmallows or the infinity pool, the kid-friendly food or the lovely Mr Carrim (who the kids were still asking for a week later), we were made to feel so welcome and had the best family time we can remember. Pay them a visit as well, treat yourself and we’re sure you’ll leave with the same incredible memories.

Find out more and book online at koslanda.com. We suggest staying at least three nights.

Living Heritage Koslanda, steps

Getting there

There are quite a few options for reaching the resort, depending on where you’re coming from and what your budget is. Private AC taxis can be arranged from Colombo (or indeed anywhere), you can drive straight from Ella (a popular tourist town about an hour up the road), or (as we did) take the breathtakingly scenic train journey from Ella to Haputale (one hour, Rs160) and then take a tuk-tuk (Rs2000, 50 minutes) down to the resort.

Disclaimer: Living Heritage Koslanda kindly hosted our two night stay. However the opinions and words are all our own, based on our own experiences.

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