The Cultural Highlights Tour gives you a fascinating look into some of the most renowned archaeological sites and historical places in Sri Lanka. On your tour, you get the chance to visit a magnificent rock fortress and a sacred cave temple both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Additionally, explore the central hill capital and gain the blessings of Buddha, Dhamma & Sangha (the triple gem).
Arrive at the Bandaranaike International Airport where you will be welcomed by a representative of Aitken Spence Travels or a tour guide. After your welcome, begin the journey to the hill capital, Kandy.
In the evening pay a visit to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy which is one of the main pilgrimage sites for Buddhists. Thereafter you can witness a cultural show at a local auditorium.
As the day draws to a close, indulge in an authentic Sri Lankan dinner at your hotel.
After a scrumptious breakfast head to Sigiriya, the fifth century rock citadel built during the time of King Kasyapa. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this magnificent fortress not only showcases the ingenuity of Sri Lankan engineering with the planning of the ancient town but is also one of the island’s finest monuments, interlinked with art and culture. Make the ascent and pass through the gigantic section of what remains of the 'Lion Paws. Feast your eyes across rolling land and lake vistas and relish the cool winds that sweep across the region.
Take in the iconic frescoes of the lovely cloud maidens, walk along the famed Mirror Wall on the west side of the fortress and take time to admire an artistic creation that showcases creative verses and poems left by ancient visitors. After which one can head to the museum located by the entrance which will offer a more comprehensive understanding about the significance of this colossal masterpiece and the rather advanced irrigation system which was incorporated into the infrastructure of the citadel.
After your visit to the rock fortress return to Kandy. En route, stop at the Dambulla Rock Cave Temple, a historic and sacred site which was also a focal point for many kings since the first century B.C.
This site is home to distinctive paintings which can be found in five magnificently constructed cave temples beside the Golden Temple of Dambulla. Observe how these exquisite cave paintings are drawn along the walls along with over 150 statues of Lord Buddha. While you explore this sanctuary make sure to take in the massive gold Buddha statue as well.
Thereafter, visit a spice garden in Matale, and learn about the therapeutic values of spices and the various cultivation process employed, after which one can enjoy a revitalising cup of herbal tea.
The more adventurous type in need of a more authentic town experience can look forwards to wandering through the bustling streets filled with exotic sights and sounds.
Head back to your hotel for a hearty dinner and reminisce about the adventures of the day.
After a delectable breakfast, proceed on a tour of the city of Kandy.
The city of Kandy lays claim to a vibrant culture, a rich heritage and a unique charm of its own. Pay a visit to its many iconic attractions and discover the sense of tradition which pervaded it and captures the hearts of visitor from around the world.
One of its foremost attractions is the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, home to what is believed to be a sacred relic of Lord Buddha. Traverse across the town’s streets where you will find shops selling intricate souvenirs and international brands, a gem museum, and lapidary as well as an arts & crafts centre. Drive towards the Victoria Golf Course, one of the finest gold links in all of South Asia and appreciate some panoramic views and the game of golf. Immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere of the Kandy Market after which you will be able to enjoy a cultural show which showcases the traditional drumming and dancing which form a major part of the Kandian identity.
Thereafter visit the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya located just four miles from Kandy town. Walk into a 147 acre haven, passing manicured lawns as well as pavilions and an octagon conservatory; immerse yourself in vast and lush gardens, perfect for a break amidst nature’s tranquillity. North of the entrance is a cafeteria along with some of the highlights here like a giant Javan fig tree and the Orchid House.
On completion of your Kandy adventures transfer to a beach hotel. En route visit the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage; amidst this large 25 acre property, you have a chance to witness baby elephants being bottle fed as well as get up close to them. It is an amazing sight to observe how these orphaned and sometimes injured gentle giants are taken care of at this orphanage that was established in 1975. Over 20 calves have been born here, and it is interesting to note that some of the elephants here have even seen their “grandchildren” being raised here over the decades! Milk feeding time is at 09:15 am and 01:15 pm, while bath time for the elephants at the nearby river takes place at 10:00 am and 02:00 pm daily; both these activities offer a truly unforgettable experience.