Sri Lanka is a country which everyone needs to visit at least once in their lives. The beauty of this South Asian nation is recognized across the globe, with thousands of tourists flocking to its shores every year to discover what the region has to offer.
Whether it’s mouthwatering cuisine, a friendly local culture, or tropical conditions (the average temperature never drops below 29℃ year-round), Sri Lanka has something to appeal to every kind of traveler. It’s also a great choice for families, as there’s plenty to keep the little ones entertained, but without meaning the adults miss out.
For those looking to hone in their search a little more, you’ve come to the right place. In this short guide, we’re going to discuss four of the best (and most unforgettable) activities you can indulge in while visiting this idyllic paradise. From climbing a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to coming face-to-face with some of the rarest animals on Earth, here are four amazing ways to spend your time in Sri Lanka with kids.
Visit a tea plantation
Sri Lanka is a country famed for its tea cultivation. The Ceylon Tea Industry produces as much as 340 million kilograms of tea on an annual basis, providing employment for as many as 1 million people across the nation.
“Ceylon” stems from the former the name of Sri Lanka itself. The name changed in 1972 when the country became an official republic. Tea has been at the heart of Sri Lanka forming its new identity since then (as much as 4% of land is covered in plantations), so it’s worth checking out this all-important aspect of the nation’s culture.
Even if children or other members of your party aren’t huge tea fans, they’ll love the scenic views the rolling hills of the tea plantations offer, so it’s still worth making the trip.
The utterly unique Sigiriya Rock offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into both natural geology, and the long-forgotten history of Sri Lanka. Built by King Kashyapa during his reign from 473-495, and said to be 660m above ground level, the ancient site offers visitors the chance to explore monasteries, as well as an ancient fortress which looks out over the surrounding valley.
Explorers will also be charmed by the intricate artwork which can be found on many of the walls of Sigiriya. Perhaps most notable are the works which depict famous scenes from the religion of Buddhism. It’s possible to climb Sigiriya with children, but it is physically demanding, so make sure that you take plenty of breaks and stick to the shade where you can. Going early in the morning can help you stay out of the peak heat.
Discover leopards and elephants
A trip to Sri Lanka wouldn’t be complete without coming as close as is safely possible to some local wildlife. Elephants and leopards are the primary draw for nature lovers in this corner of Asia – but make sure to only visit animals in certified conservation areas.
For example, if somewhere offers for you to ride elephants, it’s best to look elsewhere. National parks are a good place to turn as they have more respect for animal rights.
Visiting a national park in Sri Lanka with kids is a great activity, as children will enjoy trying to spot the animals, but it’s also a good chance for some eco education. Especially for older children, learning about the world around them is the best way to encourage sustainable habits as they grow.
Explore the city of Kandy
While there are loads of locations which are worth checking out, it’s hard to look past the city of Kandy for a true taste of what Sri Lanka with kids has to offer. Found in the central highlands, Kandy was the final capital of the ancient kings of Ceylon. The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic (which allegedly belonged to Buddha) is a must-see. And the bustling street markets offer a glimpse into modern day Sri Lankan life.
Inspired for your next trip? Make sure to keep these exciting activities in mind when planning your adventure to this hub of life and culture.