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Sri Lanka

Family Adventure to the ‘Island of Dharma’

July 4—14, 2020


 Program Overview

When Marco Polo first visited Sri Lanka in 1271, he declared it to be “the finest island of its size in all the world.” Polo’s statement rang as true then as it does today. With its lush jungles, abundant wildlife, endless sandy beaches, and world-famous spice and tea plantations, Sri Lanka is truly the pearl of the Indian Ocean. On this family-focused journey you and your kids will delight in wildlife safaris, tuk tuk rides, enormous ancient Buddhist temples, and UNESCO World Heritage sites. Ignite curiosity, joy, and a global perspective for you and your family by spending time with local kids and families. Make your next family vacation a meaningful and exciting out-of-school learning adventure when you explore this exotic island nation with Explorer X.

After the tragic bombings in April 2019, we are relieved that travel safety restrictions have been lifted. We are grateful and eager to assist our friends in Sri Lanka by resuming our trips to Sri Lanka. Bringing transformational tourism to this beautiful country is one important way we can show our support.

“By returning to Sri Lanka and experiencing the country, it is ordinary Sri Lankans that you are helping most: your spending money goes much further, much faster than you might imagine. Just your presence in the country is taken as an endorsement of their efforts to recover,” – Sri Lanka Tourism Alliance


Itinerary Outline

July 4

Arrive Colombo and transfer to hotel
Guided exploration of Colombo with Rashan
Group orientation + Welcome Dinner with Sarah and family

Overnight: Colombo @ Zee Max Fairway Colombo

July 5

Drive to Dambulla (approx. 4 hours)
Check into hotel + Time @ swimming pool or rest
Visit the iconic Sigiriya Rock Fortress (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Overnight: Sigiriya @ Aliya Resort & Spa

July 6

Relaxed cycle ride in sleepy but historic Girithale (Optional)
Visit Minneriya National Park to see “The Gathering,” the largest meeting of Asian elephants in the world

Overnight: Sigiriya @ Aliya Resort & Spa

July 7

Drive to Kandy, the last capital of the ancient kings
Visit to Dambulla Cave Temple (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
Visit Temple of the Tooth (Relic of Buddha’s Tooth; UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Overnight: Kandy @ OZO Kandy

July 8

Visit local market and shop for your afternoon cooking class
Cooking Class: Clay Pots, Curries, and Kandyan Flavors
Optional visit to a local elementary school

Overnight: Kandy @ OZO Kandy

July 9

Train ride to the quaint hill town of Nuwara Eliya
Visit a working tea plantation and enjoy a tea tasting

Overnight: Nuwara Eliya @ Jetwing St. Andrew’s

July 10

Visit the high mountain Horton Plains National Park for a hike to waterfalls
Drive to Udawalawe
Afternoon at leisure

Overnight: Udawalawe @ Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort

July 11

Morning at Leisure
Game drive at Udawalawe National Park
Waterbirds and Elephants

Overnight: Udawalawe @ Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort

July 12

Morning Game Drive at Udawalawe National Park
Drive to Galle, a former British, Dutch, and Portuguese fortified city
Tuk Tuk ride to the Yatagala Temple and Spiritual Journey with a Buddhist Monk

Overnight: Galle @ Le Grand Galle

July 13

Morning at Leisure
Explore Galle Dutch Fort (UNESCO World Heritage Site) with a local guide

Overnight: Galle @ Le Grand Galle

July 14

Transfer to Colombo Airport
Depart from Colombo

Overnight: None

Note: Extension options available; ask us for more info!





Colombo: Fairway | July 4—5

Located at the heart of Sri Lanka's business capital, Fairway Colombo is a vibrant, trendy hotel which blends great design and the latest technology, perfectly complementing modern Colombo in its appearance and features. Our rooms are many and varied to suit the requirements and temperaments of every visitor. Be it the transiting tourist, the family on vacation, or the busy business professional, our hotel offers unique convenience and comfort at affordable rates. Come experience and indulge yourself in "smart luxury" at Fairway Colombo where location, design, comfort and technology blends in seamlessly to suit your every need.

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Aliya Resort & Spa: Jetwing Lake | July 5—7

Nestled among the lush greenery of rolling fields, decades old indigenous trees and chena growth of the dry zone of the Central Province, Aliya Resort & Spa Sigiriya invites you to relax and unwind, far from the hustle and bustle of city life. Aliya Resort & Spa offers four onsite restaurants, featuring an array of culinary delights with mouth-watering cuisine to suit every taste! Enjoy a cocktail and indulge your taste buds with an array of genuinely local Sri Lankan food as well as international cuisine. The hotel offers free meditation and yoga classes, as well as an on-site ayurvedic spa.


Kandy: Ozo Kandy | July 7—9

Smart and stylish in the land of the spiritual. Welcome to OZO Kandy Sri Lanka. Cosy rooms inspired by Sri Lankan charm. Stunning views over the mist-covered mountains. Sublime beds that'll give you sleep so deep, you’ll be waking up before the alarm goes off with ease. Start your day right with EAT2GO Breakfast Boost or unwind at BOMMU rooftop lounge with a drink, snack and a side of fresh mountain breeze. Where hill country meets heritage city, we offer easy access and easy escape. Just minutes from the renowned Sri Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic), we are your home away from home in Kandy. Sleep in, stay up, or head out – you’ll always be rested, refreshed, and ready for the day (or maybe another snooze!).


Nuwara Eliya: Jetwing St. Andrew’s | July 9—10

High above the coastal plains of Sri Lanka, mountain clouds rest upon a blanket of tea plantations. It was in these very highlands where the colonial British retreated for cooler climes, and built empires from hill stations that became their adopted home. A timeless favourite has always been the city of Nuwara Eliya – a city so nostalgic, that it has since earned the nickname of ‘Little England’. Set apart from Nuwara Eliya hotels, our hill country home of hospitality lives up to the city’s historical moniker in all forms. As a restored Georgian style country mansion, we invite you to step back in time and indulge in all the pleasures of upcountry luxury – as did the English of yore, but now, with a contemporary Sri Lankan touch.


Udawalawe: Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort | July 10—12

The Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort is an environmentally-friendly hotel situated on 7 acres of land five minutes drive from the Udawalawe National Park. Udawalawe is located on the boundary of Sri Lanka’s wet and dry zones, which provides diversity in both flora and fauna. The area, with its fascinating history and culture, offers an array of historical sites and natural wonders.


Galle: Le Grand Galle | July 12—14

Nestled in the heart of the crowning jewel of Sri Lanka’s colonial past, Le Grand Galle by Asia Leisure Hotels offers the majestic grandeur of a Galle hotel; the best example of an enchanting kingdom that exists beyond the pages of fairy tales. Le Grand Galle overlooking the Galle Fort, an iconic UNESCO World Heritage Site, welcomes you after a day of wandering the quaint streets of this historic destination.



Your Travel Mentors: The Burns-Amott Family

Sarah, Christian, Xavier (7), & Georgia (4)

Ayubowan! We are so excited for you to join our family on this adventure in Sri Lanka!

Before we had children, Christian and I traveled, hiked, and camped on all seven continents — sometimes together, sometimes individually. Travel has been a priority in our lives, careers, and in our relationship from the very beginning. After we got married and had kids, we simply brought the children along on our adventures. In doing so, we discovered that children are the best possible travel ambassadors who easily make friends and open doors everywhere they go, bringing a new kind of depth to exploring the world. Kids slow the pace of travel in a wonderful way, immediately infusing a sense of mindfulness to any activity. They often bring a fresh and sometimes surprisingly wise perspective as we experience a new place in the world. Travel has taught — and continues to teach — each member of our family to be curious and flexible, open-minded, and brave.

We’d love to share this journey with you and your family!



 Pricing & Inclusions


  • Family of 3: $7,765

  • Family of 4: $9,715

  • Family of 5: $11,680

**Early bird discount of $500 per family until October 1**

What’s Included:

  • All accommodations listed above

  • Meals Half-Board: 10 Breakfasts + 10 Dinners + 1 Lunch

  • All experiences and activities w/ English-speaking guide

  • All transfers and transportation

What’s not included:

  • Round-Trip Flights to/from Sri Lanka > We Can Help Book Flights!

  • Optional Adventures in Sri Lanka > We Can Plan These!

  • Travel Insurance > We Can Help!

  • Meals/Drinks Not Listed on the Itinerary

  • Photographic and video permits

  • Visa Fees and Electronic Travel Authorization

  • Items of a Personal Nature

  • Souvenirs



 Apply Now!

Ready for your adventure to Sri Lanka? GREAT! We ask that all prospective families submit a brief application for their desired program. This gives you a chance to connect with your Program Leader to make sure that this is a good match … and ensures that you know what to expect (and what not to expect) on your Adventures. Click the button below to learn more about the application process and to submit your application for this Adventure!