at a glance.
Located in South East Asia, Sri Lanka is regarded as one of th
e top tourist
destinations in the Indian Ocean and boasts of a rich culture, inculcated with unique local
traditions which makes it a go-to place for any tourist looking for a tropical get away.
Whether it be climbing the rock of Sigiriya or taking a dip in the cool waters of Arugam Bay and everything in-between, the Pearl of the Indian Ocean never fails to thrill its visitors! Join in on the festivities and cultural heritage that this paradise has to offer and enjoy the calmness and bliss that its scenic surroundings provide. Sri Lanka – A land like no other.
TRANSIT AND VISITOR VISA
Transit visas good for 48 hours are free. Thirty-day visitor visas cost US$25 to US$100, depending on your nationality. Apply in advance online (www.eta.gov.lk).
OBTAINING A VISA
Before visiting Sri Lanka, do the following to get a 30-day visa:
– Visit the Sri Lanka electronic visa website (www.eta.gov.lk) several days before arriving.
– Follow the online application process and pay with a credit or debit card.
– Once approved, print out the visa confirmation.
– You can also obtain visas at Sri Lankan embassies abroad and there is a counter at Bandaranaike International Airport for people who arrive without a visa, although you’ll have to wait with the other visa-less masses (which can take several hours) and pay a higher fee: US$40
– You can renew a 30-day tourist visa twice, for 30 days each time. Contact the Department of Immigration and Emigration. Extensions are not hard to get but require jumping through some bureaucratic hoops and downloading some forms. To complete the process in one day, arrive to the office by 10am and expect it to take at least four hours.
Unless you are definitely sure that your health coverage at home will cover you in Sri Lanka, you should take out travel insurance – bring a copy of the policy as evidence that you’re covered. Although medical expenses in Sri Lanka are relatively low to that of other countries, it is always advisable to be covered when travelling abroad so you’re ready for anything such as
– Flight cancellations
– Emergency medical transportation
– Emergency medical expenses
– Lost or stolen valuables
Health and Safety
While the potential dangers of Sri Lankan travel may seem worrisome, most travellers experience nothing more serious than an upset stomach. Travellers tend to worry about contracting infectious diseases, but infections rarely cause serious illness in healthy travellers.
Click here to read what the lonely planet recommends on health and safety.
Low Season (May–Aug) The Yala monsoon season (May to August) brings rain to the south and west coasts plus the Hill Country. The weather in the North and East is best. Prices nationwide are lowest.
Shoulder (Apr & Sep–Nov) April and September offer the best odds for good weather countrywide. New Year’s celebrations in mid-April cause transport to fill beyond capacity. A good time to wander without a set schedule.
>High Season (Dec–Mar) The Hill Country plus west- and south-coast beaches are busiest – and driest. With beds in demand, prices peak. The Maha monsoon season (October to January) keeps the East, North and ancient cities wet.
Completely surrounded by ocean, Sri Lanka is an island located south of India occupying an area of 65 610 square kilometres. Its highest point is the Pidurutalagala Mountain at 8,281 ft. In terms of demographics, Sri Lanka’s population stands on the verge of 21 million with Colombo being the most populated city and Sri Jayawardenapura being the capital of Sri Lanka.
Good to know
Sri Lanka is an easy place to navigate if you remember a few key points.
Temple footwear: Remove shoes and hats at temples. Socks are OK for walking scorching pavements.
Clothing: Cover shoulders, arms and legs at temples as directed.
Buddha statues: Never pose beside or in front of a statue (i.e. with your back to it), as this is considered disrespectful.
Buddha images: Displaying body art or wearing clothing that includes an image of the Buddha can get you arrested and deported.
Photography: Ask permission before photographing people. A few business-oriented folk like the stilt fishermen at Koggala will ask for payment.
Beach attire: Nude and topless sunbathing are not allowed on beaches.
Modesty: Overt displays of affection in public places are frowned upon.
Avoid left hands: These are considered unclean. Use both hands or just your right.
What to bring
-A good pair of earplugs.
-Effective mosquito repellent – hard to find in Sri Lanka (unlike mosquitoes).
-Sunscreen – another surprisingly hard-to-find item.
-Tampons – nearly impossible to find outside Colombo.
-Extra phone-charging cables – difficult to find in remote areas.
-Pro tip: Shorts and a T-shirt will work most of the time, but bathing suits and bikinis are never proper off tourist beaches. Bring a cover-up for shoulders and arms, and a long skirt, sarong or light pants for visiting temples. Sandals are always fine and are good for slipping off quickly when visiting temples. Something slightly dressy is required only for the very best restaurants in Colombo. For the elements, a super-lightweight waterproof jacket or poncho is useful in case of sudden downpours, and a warm layer if spending time high up in the temperate mountains.
News & Events
Sinhala and Tamil New Year
Frequently Asked Questions
GGot questions that need answering? We’ve got you covered.
As mentioned before, Sri Lanka is a tropical country with almost the same season all year long except for the monsoon seasons, so a warm and sunny climate is always guaranteed.
LKR – Sri Lankan Rupees
Electricity in Sri Lanka
The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.
Power plugs and sockets in Sri Lanka
In Sri Lanka the power plugs and sockets are of type D, M and G. Go here for more information.
If the bill includes a service charge then it is not obligatory. However as a custom tipping is common to help the working class