Why Sri Lanka? There isn’t just a single reason we can point out. Sri Lanka is like the billions of stars that make up the night sky. We are an island of countless moments that comes together to turn your trip into a journey. We are a land of a thousand terrains from sandy beaches to rainforests and rocky mountain tops, all in the same vicinity.
Come explore our staggering 34,000 years of history and our 21st century high-rises.
Find yourself in a loud, vibrant city street or run across a yellow-green paddy field.
Murmur silent prayers within the halls of an ancient temple
or step into a raucous pub for some of our finest coconut arrack on the rocks.
Walk hand in hand as the sun sets along the western coastline
or stay up all night to watch the sunrise in the east.
Climb a mountain top and see the end of the world
or dive into a giant wave as it grabs you and sends you racing back to shore.
Feast on a gourmet crab dish or dig into a traditional rice and curry,
followed by a cup of the finest Ceylon tea.
Get a traditional Ayurvedic massage that leaves you feeling brand new
or encounter the brightest Sri Lankan smile.
Watch a herd of elephants make traffic stop as they cross your path
or try your hand at big game fishing.
Settle down into signature tropical modernist luxury
or backpack through our every nook and cranny.
Dance the night away in one of our enigmatic nightclubs
or sway to the rhythm of the island under the stars.
Visitors to Sri Lanka bringing in more than US$10,000 should declare the amount to the Customs on arrival. All unspent rupees converted from foreign currencies can be re-converted to the original currency on departure as long as encashment receipts can be produced.
No inoculations are compulsory unless you are coming from a yellow fever or cholera area. (Cholera is very occasionally reported in Sri Lanka, so is not considered a serious risk.) However, the following vaccinations are recommended, particularly if you plan a long trip or intend visiting remote areas:
Typhoid, Polio, Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Rabies
Children should, in addition, be protected against: diphtheria, whooping cough, mumps, measles, rubella
Remember to plan well ahead with vaccinations. Allow up to six weeks to receive the full course, for some vaccinations require more than one dose, and some should not be given together.
Tap water is not safe to drink, and boiling and filtering is sometimes done too hastily in some hotels and restaurants, so the best solution is to drink bottled water. There are now many brands available, mostly using spring water from the highlands of the island. Make sure that the bottle carries an SLS certification and that the seal is broken only in your presence. Beware of ice unless you are satisfied it has not been made from tap water, and remember the tap water you may be tempted to use to rinse out your mouth after brushing your teeth is unsafe. Keep a bottle of water in your bathroom for this purpose.
Travelers with special needs, especially if they visit Sri Lanka without a companion, should note that the country has relatively few facilities for disabled people, although greater awareness and improvements are evolving. There’s no need to worry at Colombo's Airport as wheelchairs and assistance in boarding and disembarking are available. Buildings, offices, and banks are becoming better-equipped with wheelchair ramps and suchlike. If you aren’t travelling with a companion, you'll find that Sri Lankans will be only too eager to assist.
Banks are open from 0900 hrs to 1300 hours Monday to Friday. Some city banks close at 1500 hrs, while some are open on Saturday mornings. It's easy to withdraw money across the island at ATMs using international credit cards or debit cards.
Most hotels, restaurants and shopping centres accept credit cards. Some establishments may try to add a surcharge, which is illegal.
230 . 240 volts, 50 cycles AC. If you travel with a laptop computer bring a stabilizer.