Move over Bali (sorry Bali you know I will always love you) there is a new family friendly tropical paradise on the scene. Sri Lanka you have my heart. What an amazing country this place is. Stunning nature, beautiful beaches, the friendliest locals and incredible food.
We started our epic 2 week family holiday in Negombo just 15 minutes from Colombo Airport. This was the perfect option for us traveling with 3 kids as it gave us a place to get our bearings and chill out for a day before we started our journey south.
We stayed at The Wallawwa Hotel in their family suite which was an incredible place to rejuvenate after a long flight. Nestled in lush tropical gardens it has everything you can ask for & more. The kids loved the stunning pool & the expansive lawns to play on - We actually didn't leave the hotel grounds it was that good.
We hired a driver for our Sri Lankan adventure which I highly recommend you do if you are travelling with kids. We used Ceylon Escapes who provided an amazing air conditioned van and a brand new baby seat for bub.
Our driver Tissa picked us up from Negombo & we started our journey south to Galle. We stayed in the World Heritage Galle Fort. This historic fort & its atmospheric cobble stone streets is a must. It is full of lovely shops & restaurants and walking around the fort walls and taking in the ocean views is incredible. Along the way you can check out the light house & colonial architecture as well as pythons & dancing cobras - which the kids loved!
After a day checking out the fort we took a drive to visit a Turtle Sanctuary just south of Galle. The kids loved it! They got to see & hold all different species of sea turtles & we were also able to release baby turtles from their breeding program back into the ocean, a pretty special experience. Our visit to Galle couldn't be complete with out a beach session, so we headed to Unawantuna Beach 5km south of Galle for an afternoon of sun baking, swimming & beers (for the adults...chocolate milkshakes for the kiddlets) Unawantuna is a gorgeous turquoise bay with heaps of beach bars & restaurants to choose from & friendly surf for the kids - tick! We spent a loooooong lazy afternoon here and loved it.
Our next stop was Goyambokka Beach in Tangalle. I almost don't want to write about this place and keep the details to myself..... envision the perfect palm lined beach, on a secluded bay, in tropical paradise and you have Goyambokka. Honestly this place was something special - that is if you are into quiet seclusion with not much else then beach, swimming, sun & chill on repeat. We spent 4 beautiful days here at Palm Paradise Villas which we booked like the rest of our hotels on our trip through Booking.com. There is just one word for this place - Magic!
Next we headed to Jungle Beach, Weligama. On the way Tissa took as to a snake farm about 20mins out of town. Well I wouldn't quite call it a farm, more a random house in the middle of no where owned by a beautiful family who rehabilitate snakes to be released back into the surrounding jungle. What an experience! we were shown a whole variety of snakes and were able to hold & touch nearly all of them. The kids were besides themselves with excitement! We held huge pythons & saw cobras hissing just meters away form our feet - it was amazing! If you are heading near Weligama just ask you driver or tuk tuk driver that you want to see the snake farm - they should know where to go!
When we arrived at our accommodation in Jungle Beach, Weligama we were blown away. This tiny beach with its one little beach bar is a magic place. There are two great surf breaks a paddle off shore, amazing snorkeling around the headlands, and a safe sandy beach for the kids to swim at too! Heaven Found!
The sunsets from this beach were next level, with the ocean and the cliffs as your foreground to the setting sun, it was something else.
So with Hubby happy with the surf breaks out the front, the kids and I headed to Weligama Bay for our surfing session. So much fun! This beach is a beginner surfers paradise. There are small hotels & restaurants all along the bay where you can set up camp and hire surf boards for $3.00 per hour - amazing. When we needed a break from the surf we just ordered lunch & drinks to our little camp of beach chairs, refueled & then headed back out to the surf. It doesn't get much better.
We visited neighbouring Mirrisa Beach for an afternoon, this beach again was idyllic. A palm tree lined bay with iridescent turquoise water - Sri Lanka you can do no wrong. We were in bed asleep by 9.00pm most nights (such party animals) but if you are up for a party this is the place to go we hear.
On our second last day we took a 20min Tuk Tuk ride to Polhema Beach to swim with the turtles. This experience is one not to miss. The beach itself is stunning and calm due to the reef that attracts the amazing amounts of wild turtles. Our guide Oscar from Turtle Bay Activities supplied as all with snorkels & fins and with in a few minutes and just 20 meters out from shore we saw the turtles, 5 all together in fact they were amazing & we were allowed to hand feed them seaweed - absolutely incredible experience.
We spent 5 days at Jungle Beach, there was so much to do in and around the Weligama area - especially for the kids, it should be on all family holiday itineraries.
Sadly our perfect family holiday had to come to an end after two weeks of living on this paradise island, it was very hard to leave.
We will be back beautiful Sri Lanka - Don't Change - We love you.