Travel Advice

BEST TIME TO TRAVEL

Sri Lanka, formerly “Ceylon” is an island nation in the Indian Ocean. Sri Lanka is blessed with two monsoonal rains that occur at two different periods on either side of the island thus making it possible to visit Sri Lanka year-round!

December to March – visit the west coast for sun kissed beaches and experience the best the Indian Ocean has to offer from Whale & Dolphin watching excursions to marvelous sunsets.

April/May to September – this is the beast time to visit the east coast beaches for surfing, snorkeling and swimming in aquamarine blue waters.

SRI LANKA - CALENDAR HIGHLIGHTS

If you are looking to travel and have a uniquely Sri Lankan experience – see what the possibilities are year-round.

January

January

 visit a rainforest that is a UNESCO World Heritage site – conserved for its plethora of fauna and flora some of which can only be seen in Sri Lanka

February

February

Visit the North of the island – the city of Jaffna, the weather is dry and warm and the landscape and vibes are very different from the rest of the country. Visit a century’s old Kovil and try typical Asian mouthwatering cuisine.

March

March

The best time of year to go on a Whale watching tour off the south coast and see magnificent blue whales –Blue Whales migrate along Sri Lanka’s coast and with a visit to one of Sri Lanka Wildlife parks will ensure that you would have seen two of the world’s largest mammals on a single trip!

April

April

Sri Lanka celebrates New year in April – visit at this time to catch a traditional Sri Lankan New year experience filled with traditional sweet meats and games.

May

May

Surfs Up in Sri Lanka – head to the east coast to Arugam bay to catch a wave, this is where the experienced surfers head to.

June

June

known as the “Elephant Gathering” this is a phenomenon that occurs annually – hundreds of wild elephants gather at the reservoirs in the Minneriya National Park. It is a breathtaking view of elephant families strolling across the plains.

July

July

the heady and not for the faint-hearted festival known as the Kataragama Esala festival is an experience for those who wish to see the devotion of the islands people to their ritualistic beliefs. Kavadi dancers, rituals involving fire & pain take over the village of Kataragama as pilgrims flock to this area.

August

August

The world-famous Kandy Perehera takes place around this time of year – a parade of elephants, dancers and acrobats create an entourage that carries a relic of Lord Buddha around the city of Kandy – the city comes alive at night with this century’s old tradition.

September

September

Visit Wilpattu National park for a chance to spot a leopard – notoriously stealthy these beautiful cats emerge from hiding to visit watering spots during this dry season.

October

October

Explore the serene nature reserve known as Horton Plains – this trek will take you through a cool mountain region, visit a waterfall and revel in the spectacular view from the edge known as “Worlds End”

November

November

Best time for an underwater adventure – snorkeling in the Indian Ocean in the west coast. For those who wish to push the boundaries further diving excursions are also possible during this time.

December

December

Simply put everything is possible in December – the weather is great for any number of activities and visits – from cool mountain treks to balmy beaches the island is at its best. A local Christmas and New years celebration is an additional bonus.

VISA APPLICATION

It is possible to get a VISA to enter Sri Lanka online. For the most up to date information on whether a VISA fees is applicable to you or whether you can get a VISA on-arrival it is best to visit the state run website – Click Here

Be careful of secondary sites claiming to provide VISA services and requesting for VISA fees – up until 2019 VISA fees were not required for anyone entering as a tourist.

If possible, apply for an receive your VISA in advance of your departure to avoid queuing at the airport for an on-arrival VISA.

SAFETY & SECURITY

Sri Lankans are very welcoming people. They are curious and smiling and greet & treat foreigners with the hospitality they are famous for. Many speak English though the main languages spoken in Sri Lanka is either Sinhala or Tamil. If you do not speak English it is better to travel with the assistance of a guide – you will have a smoother visit.

While Sri Lanka is generally safe for females and LGBTQ it is important to be vigilant and avoid touts and beach boys. We recommend having a guide or driver for solo or all female groups of travelers so they feel more safe & secure and enjoy themselves as much as possible.

Special Tourist Police hotlines are available for any assistance at all times.

If you plan on having an adventurous tour of Sri Lanka we always recommend having Travel Insurance.

TRANSPORT ADVICE

Sri Lanka is a developing nation and while we have a very good road network and train system – public transport is not always reliable. Your best option at the CMB airport is to hire a taxi – try an UBER which would be more cost effective than a hire from the airport. PICK-ME is another good local taxi service.

For a round trip of the country it is better to pre-arrange your transport – it will be more cost effective and you will spend more time visiting the country than on the road!

The train ride in the hill country is an exceptional experience that you must have – if you require a seat, standing is an option, try and purchase your tickets in advance.

FOOD ADVICE

Sri Lankan food is mainly rice based and generally served with a mix of very spicy vegetables and meat curries. Most accommodation providers will serve food that is less spicy and provide a western alternative. It is possible to have vegetarian meals – many Sri Lankans are vegetarians and enjoy a wide range of tropical vegetables, fruits and pulses.

Finding food for a vegan diet, kosher or halal meal is possible if advance notice is provided to the accommodation provider.

Our best advice however is do as the locals do – explore Sri Lanka’s wealth of food options that have been shaped by several cultures. Exploring Sri Lankan food is a journey of itself.

It is advisable to drink boiled and filtered water – drinking water straight off the tap is best avoided. To avoid carrying and disposing several plastic water bottles during your trip we would advise that you bring along a single water bottle and top it up whenever you stop for a meal.

TRAVEL ITEMS

Want to be prepared for your trip to Sri Lanka – then remember to bring the following with you.

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Water Bottle – bring your own for re-filling and keeping hydrated

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Mosquito repellant – being a monsoon country mosquitoes are unavoidable unless you have some repellant
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Sun Screen – stay protected – sun burn can make for an uncomfortable trip
Lightweight Hiking Shoes
Hiking shoes – if you plan on walking, hiking or trekking bring the right shoes – sandals will only take you so far
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Light raincoat – Tropical Sri Lanka is known for a good down pour – be prepared and carry a rain coat to continue your adventure in a tropical shower
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A cardigan – it can get cool in the cooler regions and for optimal comfort bring along a second layer
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Universal Power Adapter – charge your devices without a hassle – here is Sri Lanka we use 13AMP square pin sockets though older institutions may have the 2 & 3 pin round power points.
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Light clothes – pack light cotton clothes – Sri Lanka is very humid and staying cool with light clothes and sandals or flip flops is the way to go. Have a few long sleeves shirts & trousers on hand for visiting religious sites or a dusty wildlife safari