The Cultural Experience

Experience exotic Sri Lanka wedding holidays and begin your life long journey of love and companionship in style! Explore hand in hand, the island’s most attractive destinations and iconic sites to create unforgettable memories of bliss and romance.

dayLocation/RoutedurationOvernight
Day 01Airport to Colombo One night in ColomboThe Residence
Day 02Colombo to DambullaTwo nightsKalundewa Retreat
Day 03Last night in DambullaKalundewa Retreat
Day 04Dambulla to KandyTwo nightsStone House in Kandy
Day 05KandyLast night in KandyStone House in Kandy
Day 06Kandy to Nuwara EliyaTwo nightsTea Factory Hotel Nuwara Eliya
Day 07KotugodaLast night in KotugodaThe Wallawwa
Day 08Departure
Kandy Esala Perahera "Procession"

The Kandy Esela Perahera, which is also known as The Festival of the Tooth is a unique religious and cultural event that takes place every year in July. The procession features many dancers, drummers and elephants, who parade through the streets paying homage to the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha which is housed in the Sri Dalada Maligawa, Kandy.

The Temple of the Tooth Relic

The Temple of the Tooth Relic, which is known as the Sri Dalada Maligawa is in the sacred city of Kandy. It houses the tooth relic of Lord Buddha and is an important shrine of Buddhist worship. The annual procession known as the Kandy Esala Perahera marks an important day in the Sri Lankan calendar.

Elephant Orphanage

The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage has the largest herd of captive elephants in the world. Established in 1975, with the noble intention of providing care for orphaned elephants, today it serves as a nursery and a captive breeding ground for Asian elephants. Countless visitors from all over the island and the world visit this charming attraction throughout the year.

Royal Botanical Gardens

The stunning Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya, commonly known as Peradeniya Gardens, is one of the most popular attractions on the island, visited by two million visitors every year. The gardens nurture over 4,000 species of plants which include a famous collection of exotic orchids, making it a must visit place in Sri Lanka.

Polonnaruwa

Polonnaruwa became the capital of the island after the fall of the Anuradhapura kingdom. The kingdom prevailed from the 11th century till 1310 CE. Many famous ruins can still be found near Polonnaruwa that date back to its glory days. The Hindu influence on the island started taking prominence during this period.

Sigiriya Rock Fortress

Built by King Kasyapa (477 to 495 CE), the iconic Sigiriya Rock Fortress stands as a testament to the grandeur of Sri Lanka’s glorious past. Designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, it features stunning boulder and water gardens and world-famous frescoes. At the summit, you’ll find the ruins of the king’s palace and a breath-taking view of the surroundings.

Dambulla Cave Temple

The Dambulla Cave Temple is known to be the best-preserved and largest cave temple complex that is found in Sri Lanka. With over 80 documented caves spread across the vicinity, the Dambulla Cave Temple has rightfully earned its name as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 153 statues of Lord Buddha can be found in this temple which is also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla.

Tea Plantation and Train Journey

Hop aboard a vintage steam train in Kandy, and enjoy a picturesque ride into the heart of Sri Lanka’s charming hill country. The winding railway tracks chart a scenic course through the rolling hillsides of Kandy and Nuwara Eliya. Unwind in your air conditioned compartment, as you take in the majesty of the verdant landscape unfolding before your eyes.

Observe the shades of emerald that blanket the horizon, brimming with precious tea crops that are the nation’s pride. Envision the splendour of the island’s colonial heyday, as you tuck into a delicious four-course lunch accompanied by sparkling silverware and fine china. This journey is best begun in the late morning hours and lasts four to five hours.

Wander Through History in Kandy

Visit the Suriyakantha Centre for Art and Culture, and delve deep into the fascinating annals of European and Sri Lankan history. Housed in the Naranwala Walawwa, an 18th century Dutch-style colonial manor house, the centre represents a unique effort between a Frenchman and Sri Lankan, to showcase talent from eras past.

Explore the vast repository of local and European works over the course of two to three hours and understand the richness of Kandyan culture. Observe the various manuscripts, furniture, handicrafts, artworks and photographs on display. Located near the town of Kandy in Sri Lanka’s Central Province, Suriyakantha is open to visits between 08:00am and 04:00pm, throughout the year.

Architectural Tour of Kandy

Discover the rich architectural heritage of Kandy, the last Sri Lankan Kingdom to fall to the invading British. Today, it is one of the island’s major cities and home to an array of renowned attractions such as the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, the Royal Palace and National Museum.

Begin your tour at the lively town centre, and observe the diverse mix of neo-colonial and colonial-style buildings. Enjoy quality time with celebrated architect Ruchira Wickremasinghe, a recipient of the Geoffrey Bawa Travel Award, as she walks you through the intricacies of Kandy’s architectural landscape. The 2.5 hour tour can begin at any time; however, the late hours of the afternoon are ideal.

Kandy Four Temple Loop Tour

Spend half a day exploring four of Kandy’s famed medieval temples. Join your personal archaeologist on an informative, 3.5 hour coach tour of the Degaldoruwa, Embekka, Lankatilaka and Gadaladeniya Buddhist temples. Feast your eyes on the magnificent Kandyan murals on the ceiling of Degaldoruwa Temple. Witness the wonderful fusion of Buddhist and Hindu culture at Gadaladeniya Temple.

Take in the exquisite craftsmanship of the woodwork at Embekka Temple. Observe the traditional Sinhalese design of the Lankatilaka Temple, and discover the inscriptions carved into the rocks. Setting off in the morning is ideal, as the tour involves approximately 1.5 hours of travel to / from your hotel.

Tea Experience at Ceylon Tea Trails

Observe the century-old tea manufacturing process at Ceylon Tea Trails. Meet up with your guide at 09:00am and set off into the estate. Walk in the footsteps of the tea planters of Ceylon’s heyday, as they traversed the leafy inclines in search of ideal pastures for tea cultivation. Understand the challenges involved in the skilled art of tea plucking and learn the secret behind the aromatic black tea blend; only two tender leaves and the bud, are harvested from each plant, by hand.

Study the traditional English machinery used at the Norwood Tea Factory, which dates back to colonial times.

As your 2.5 hours draw to an end, sit back and sample fragrant brews from the factory’s many grades of tea.

Day 01
AIRPORT TO COLOMBO
Colombox
Colombo is the commercial hub of the island connecting several parts of the country, such as the north, south, east and hill country by a fine system of roads and railways. The heady mixture of Asian anarchy, colonial charm and modern progress defines its impressive character. Towering skyscrapers, retail stores, parks, restaurants and bars coupled with sacred shrines of the major faiths and religions can be found in this vibrant city.
Overnight at The Residence in Colombo

Ayubowan!!! Welcome to our Island Nation!

On arrival at the Colombo Airport you will be met by your chauffeur-guide and transferred to your hotel in Colombo for an afternoon at leisure, or if you arrive early in the day, you could explore Colombo.

Day 02
COLOMBO TO DAMBULLA
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage x
A haven for the Asian elephants that have been rescued from the wild, due to numerous causes, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is a must-visit for animal lovers. The orphanage is also said to be home to the largest number of captive wild Asian elephants. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to watch these majestic beasts bathing in the Ma Oya River twice a day.
Dambulla – The Golden Temple (UNESCO World Heritage site)x
At the heart of the cultural triangle, lies Dambulla known for its famous Golden Rock Temple, a most impressive cave monastery and one of the largest in South Asia. Of the 157 Buddha statues found in the five dimly lit grottos, 73 were gold plated at the behest of King Nissanka Malla, the 12-century monarch. Its walls decorated with some of the finest murals in the country are a showcase of sacred Buddhist art at its finest.
Evening at leisure and overnight at the Kalundewa Retreat in Dambulla.

This morning your tour begins with a visit to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, the world’s largest troupe of captive elephants. Followed by a visit to the Dambulla Rock Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Continue to your hotel in Dambulla – the stunning Kalundewa Retreat (approx. four hours’ drive)

Day 03
DAMBULLA
Sigiriya (UNESCO World Heritage Site)x
The most extraordinary of all Sri Lanka’s medieval capitals, this ancient ruin once belonged to King Kasapa. A lover of beauty, he ruled Sigiriya for 18 years, transforming the surroundings into a thing of wonder. Its extensive network of gardens, reservoirs and other structures including the unique plumbing system stand witness to the grandeur of this architecture. It’s a 200m climb to the top, offering a magnificent view at the summit.
This afternoon there is an optional sightseeing tour of Polonnaruwa, the 12th century Sinhalese Capital and UNESCO World Heritage site.
Polonnaruwa (UNESCO World Heritage site)x
Polonnaruwa a UNESCO World Heritage site, blending both culture and religion is the second recorded ancient kingdom in Sri Lanka. The city rose to prominence between the 11th and 13th Centuries AD and peaked during the reign of King Parakramabahu the Great. The iconic reservoir, the Parakrama Samudra, is the best example of the advanced irrigation engineering and construction during ancient times, which has stood the test of time and remains operational even today.
Evening at leisure with a romantic candlelit dinner. Overnight at the Kalundewa Retreat in Dambulla.

It is an early start this morning to beat the crowds and the heat with a visit to Sigiriya. Sensible shoes are a must.

Day 04
DAMBULLA TO KANDY
Kandy (UNESCO World Heritage Site)x
The Hill Capital of Sri Lanka (the last Kingdom of the Sri Lankan Kings) nestled in a valley in the Highlands and locally referred to, as "Nuwara" meaning The Great City. A picturesque town by the side of a miniature lake, the city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988. Visit one of the only natural reserves within city limits, the beautiful Udawatta Kele famous for its avifauna or the sacred Sri Dalada Maligawa.
Overnight at the Stone House in Kandy

After breakfast you will continue your tour to Kandy, stopping en route to visit the Minneriya National Park for a morning jeep safari. Its beautiful landscape of open country with its plethora of birdlife, and great herds of elephants is guaranteed to thrill.

Continue to Kandy (approx. 2.5 hour drive)! Explore the cities highlights for a couple of hours, before your check-in to The Stone House. Built in the 1940’s, this colonial mansion tastefully converted into a boutique hotel, is in a quiet and completely private location within the city of Kandy.

Day 05
KANDY
Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardensx
The Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens covering an area of 147 acres of lush flora was believed to have been used solely for Kandyan royalty. Featuring a collection of vibrant orchids, royal palms, a giant Java fig tree and many more, a stroll along the walkway is highly recommended. The Cannon Ball tree is the most iconic, as it was planted by King George V and Queen Mary in 1901.
This afternoon you will visit the famous Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, followed by a Kandyan cultural performance that will teach you more about the history and culture of Kandy and Sri Lanka as a whole.
Evening at leisure and overnight in Kandy

See more of Kandy by spending this morning at the Royal Botanical Gardens, renowned for its vast collection of Sri Lanka’s native flora, its many other exotic species and assortment of orchids - one of the finest in the world.

Day 06
KANDY TO NUWARA ELIYA
Nuwara Eliyax
Perched high up in the hills, Nuwara Eliya sits like a sentinel overlooking tea country on all sides. Piduruthalagala, Sri Lanka's tallest peak is only a short while away. A replica of English country towns with their lush greenery and a profusion of gorgeous flora, Nuwara Eliya is touted as "Little England" with its Victorian houses, a golf course, Lake Gregory, a racecourse and Hakkgala Gardens. The average temperature is around 15.9C. Overnight at the Tea Factory Hotel Nuwara Eliya

After breakfast continue your journey towards the hill country and Nuwara Eliya, set in a stunning mountain valley some 1800 meters above sea level. The landscape here is of misty mornings and rolling green hills covered in tea plantations.
Tour its town and countryside.

Day 07
NUWARA ELIYA TO NEGOMBO

Head back to the coastal town of Negombo for a relaxed day before your departure (approx. three hours drive). You may choose to explore Negombo town or indulge in a spa treatment, a fitting end to your honeymoon.

Overnight at The Wallawwa Hotel in Negombo

Day 08
DEPARTURE

Depending on your time of departure you will be transferred to the airport for your departure.

Safe journey!

Add-on

  • Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
  • Dambulla Cave Temple
  • Sigiriya Rock Fortress
  • Polonnaruwa Temple Visit
  • Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic
  • Peradeniya Botanical Gardens
  • Kandyan Cultural Performance
  • Visit a Fishing Village

Cost:  Transportation: private air-conditioned vehicle.

Cost per person starting fromValueSignature
Sharing a double room$855$1490

The above rate is nett and based on two guests.

Supplement for Entrance fees:

Entrance Fees & MiscellaneousCost per person
Gangarama Temple $3.00
Colombo Museum $5.00
Hiriwaduna Village Experience with lunch $18.00
Sigiriya Rock Fortress $30.00
Hurulu Eco Park Safari $42.00
Ancient ruins in Polonnaruwa $30.00
Cycling in Polonnaruwa $35.00
Dambulla Cave Temple $17.00
Lunch at the Batik Artist’s Factory $40.00
Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic $10.00
Kandyan Cultural Performance $8.00
Sunset Cruise - Private $375.00
Whale watching $45.00
Lunch at the Ministry of Crab Ala-carte only
High Tea at Galle Face hotel $14.00

  • Socks – as footwear must be removed when visiting places of worship. You could be walking on heated paving, gravel or cement. Also, shoulders and knees should be covered.
  • Footwear – choose comfy shoes - sneakers, sandals or similar.
  • Shawl – to cover your shoulders or dress up!
  • A sweater or light jacket if you plan to visit the Hill Country.
  • Sunscreen, sunhat, sunglasses, travel umbrella or lightweight raincoat.
  • What to pack

Cancellation & payment policy:

  • 100% cancellation
  • 50% payment upon tour confirmation
  • Balance payment prior to arrival

Notes:

  • The quote is subject to room availability and price fluctuations prior to booking.
  • The quote is based on settlement by cash. If the settlement is by credit card, a bank service fee of 2 – 2.5% applies.
  • All drive times are approximate and subject to road conditions.
  • Alcohol is not served on “poya days” (full moon) and other days prohibited by the government.
  • The standard check-in time is 02:00pm at hotels.
  • The standard check-out time is 11:00am from hotels.
  • Gratuity: tour guides & drivers are tipped at the end of the tour.
  • Online visa application link: http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/
  • Purposeful Tourism: Your support: www.hbdasia.com one USD from every booking supports a cause.
  • Holidays by Design terms and conditions. (www.hbdasia.com/terms.html)
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  • price includes
  • Accommodation at star category hotels
  • Private, air-conditioned vehicle
  • English speaking chauffeur guide
  • Local government taxes and service charges
  • Meals: Breakfast at hotels
  • price excludes
  • Visas
  • Insurance
  • Airfare
  • Airport taxes
  • Camera and video permits at the cultural sites
  • Any expenses of a personal nature
  • Tips and porterage
  • Toll fees
  • All entrance fees to attractions
  • Lunch and dinner on tour
Enjoy a tropical honeymoon in Sri Lanka!