How to have an amazing trip to Sri Lanka
In the South of India, just like a rain drop in the ocean, Sri Lanka stands proudly. Like a phoenix, rising from its own ashes, the Nation has left behind thirty years of civil war and the painful memory of the 2008 Tsunami. Nowadays, Sri Lanka is opening up to tourism, eager to look to the future and proud of its cultural diversity. The country welcomes tourists in an exotic environment. Tea plantations, sweet scents of spices, Secular temples, or hanging gardens are just a few of the images that come to mind when we think about the old Ceylon.
Sujeevan's tips, Sri Lanka local guide
Best time to go to Sri Lanka
Check our complete climate guide to know the ideal season for your next trip. Month by month, you will find the temperatures, sunshine and rainfall history.
What to see and what to do in Sri Lanka
Sujeevan answers your most frequetly asked questions
Sri Lanka is perfect for children of all ages and families in general. The island offers many different activities. On the coast, you can enjoy the natural beauty of the beaches and observe turtles during a snorkelling session, while your teenagers learn how to surf. You could also embark on a whale and dolphin watching cruise. Inland, you will have the possibility of enjoying one of the many National parks and also go on a safari and observe elephant gatherings. Don't forget to plan a hike in the tropical forest or in the Tea growing regions where you can swim in beautiful waterfalls. Make the most of your trip and visit one of the six Cultural sites listed as UNESCO World Heritage to learn more about the Buddhist culture and their traditions. Finally, why not take a traditional cooking class, a fishing session with locals or see a Kandyan dance show?
Sri Lanka is a year-round destination as temperatures are always around 27°C / 80°F. However, there are some “preferable seasons” due to monsoons. If you wish to visit the West and South coasts, the best time to go is from December to April. Go from May to September if you want to discover the Eastern coast. For further information, check the following page: best time to go to Sri Lanka.
The carry-on essentials are flip-flops, sunglasses, swimsuit and sunscreen. Regardless of the season, we recommend bringing a raincoat in case of rain and a sweater for the mountainous regions where the temperatures can be quite low. You can wear just light clothing on the coast, but don't forget to bring more covering clothes for the rest of the trip, as a mark of respect towards the population. During your visits to the temples, you will have to cover both your knees and shoulders. Also, bring some good walking shoes and a hat if you wish to go hiking. No matter what you decide to do, a mosquito repellent spray is essential.
Specific vaccines are not necessary for Sri Lanka, nevertheless, it is highly recommended to be up-to- date on your vaccines, as for all trips in general. No treatment against Malaria is required as the disease was eradicated in 2016. Here, your worst enemies are mosquitoes (as they can carry the Dengue fever.) It is essential that you buy a good anti-mosquito spray adapted to tropical climates.
A visa is necessary to enter Sri Lanka. You can get it on the Internet before your departure or directly at the airport upon your arrival for 45$ (35$ on-line). Be careful, on the day of your arrival your passport must still be valid for a minimum period of 6 months.
Yes, of course it's possible to rent a car, however, we don't really recommend it. First of all, even if you have an International driving license, you will have to convert it in Colombo, which means wasting a lot of time because of the slow process (especially in Sri Lanka). Secondly, most drivers don't respect the traffic regulations and road signs do lack to say the least!... and finally, there isn't too much of a price difference between renting a car and getting a professional driver. Why be stressed during your holidays!
Our agency offers exclusive private tours. We create tailor-made and unique tours depending on your travel dates and time, your budget and your wishes. Each tour is unique. During a tour, you will enjoy an air-conditioned car or van, depending on the number of people, with a driver-guide.
We work with English-speaking guides and drivers. You can therefore visit Sri Lanka without any apprehension, even if you don't speak the language.
You can visit the North of Sri Lanka if you wish to discover a very preserved and authentic facet of the country. In fact, the area used to be the battlefield opposing the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lanka Army during the Civil war which lasted for 30 years. It is nowadays opening up to tourism. The population, Tamil in the majority, is always happy to see tourists and they are particularly kind and welcoming. In this region, we recommend visiting the city of Jaffna to grasp the uniqueness of its atmosphere, and also visit one of the islands in the southwest of this Northern peninsula.
In Sri Lanka, we use the Sri Lankan rupee, which is worth 230 rupees for 1 pound (179 rupees for 1 USD) in 2019. The largest banknote in the country is worth 5000 Rs, which is worth 22 pounds (27 USD). It is easy to withdraw money in all parts the country from Cash machines. Nevertheless, fixed costs are often added to your withdrawals, therefore we would advise you to withdraw larger amounts of money at a time in order to limit the charge costs. Carrying enough cash is always important as it isn't always possible to use other means of payment. Finally, tipping is a cultural thing in Sri Lanka. Guides, drivers, and doormen expect to receive a tip from you.
- War is finished in Sri Lanka, nevertheless, some regions in the North are still subject to tensions. -The slowness of public transportation can be rather tiring for some people but it can also be a nice opportunity to get to know the population and learn more about them. -The sea which can be dangerous in certain places.
Sri Lanka is blessed by nature. Its fauna and flora are extraordinary and always attract lots of travellers. This destination offers many different sites suitable for both diving and surfing. Sri Lanka is also the sanctuary of a 2500 years old cultural heritage. Some places, particularly well preserved, are listed as UNESCO World Heritage.