Endless beaches, timeless ruins, welcoming people, oodles of elephants, rolling surf, cheap prices, fun trains, famous tea and flavourful food make Sri Lanka irresistible. Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) is an island nation south of India in the Indian Ocean. Its diverse landscapes range from rainforest and arid plains to highlands and sandy beaches. It’s famed for its ancient Buddhist ruins, including the 5th-century citadel Sigiriya, with its palace and frescoes. The city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka's ancient capital, has many ruins dating back more than 2,000 years.
Sri Lanka encompasses enormous beauty, nature, and history. From breathtaking beaches, sacred temples, flourishing tea plantation, to the unexceptionally incredible tranquility, there's something for everyone. Come and explore this exceedingly enormous beauty with the perfect Sri Lanka tour itinerary.READ MORE
Sri Lanka is a small island nation in South Asia situated in the Indian Ocean. Owing to its diverse culture, rich history and spiritual essence, Sri Lanka is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. Our Sri Lanka tour package includes visits to the famous tourist attractions as well as enchanting fun-filled activities. Savor the perfect blend of exotic beaches and Buddhist culture by visiting this gorgeous pearl-shaped island.READ MORE
Undoubtedly, Sri Lanka possesses an amazing coastline, and thus spectacular beaches. This tour package for Sri Lanka has a little bit of everything: temples, beaches, history, forests, and most importantly Sri Lanka's hill country.READ MORE
This one is an 8-Days itinerary that will take you through some of the most stunning tourist attractions of Sri Lanka. This place located in the Southernmost tip of India is actually a perfect mix of cultural experiences, traditions, and the vibrant life of the city. You will love the experience of visiting the Matale Spice garden that will give you a traditional flavor. And, it will add to your wanderlust taking you through the vibrant city of Colombo!READ MORE
This itinerary is designed to be the best of Cheap Sri Lanka Tour Packages! This small and budget Sri Lanka trip will take you through three major destinations of the country including Colombo, Galle, and Mirissa.
This 10-days planned Sri Lanka Travel Guide is going to introduce you to this land. Sri Lanka usually is not anyone's travel bucket list. However, your inner voice has taken here
In every nook and cranny of the country you will find beauty wrapped up stealthily in the lap of nature. Undoubtedly, a 5-days Sri Lanka Tour Itinerary cannot touch every aspect of its magnificence and galore of magic, but it's going to make the best of your short and precise vacation. ..
Sri Lanka is an amazingly wonderful country and should be right at the top of your bucket list. Not just tourism, but everything else is fast developing in Sri Lanka.
The country offers something for almost everyone. It has some top hiking opportunities, is great for a beach vacation, and has plenty of cultural highlights. The south and east also have some marvelous surfing areas. In case you happen to be traveling solo in Sri Lanka, probably it isn’t as easy to connect with travelers as in other typical backpacking countries such as Thailand.
Sights and Attractions in The Country
Sri Lanka is a small country with an incredible variety of attractions and sights. The Sri Lankan highlights can be divided into four major categories: Splendid landscapes, amazing beaches, cultural attractions, and wild animals.
The major cultural highlights in Sri Lanka are congregated in the cultural triangle in the center of the country. The old royal cities of Anuradhapura, Kandy, and Polonnaruwa have great temples and historic buildings to offer. There are two other attractions in the center of the triangle, the Sigiriya Rock Fortress and the Dambulla cave temples. On the whole, the cultural triangle exhibits a total of five UNESCO World Heritage Sites that one must not miss at any cost.
Sri Linka equals Serendipity
The word ‘serendipity’, which means a happy accident, originated from Serendib, an old name for Sri Lanka. It might be a South Asian cliche, but is also a suitable expression for the happy-go-lucky acceptance that governs life here. Sri Lankans make their best efforts to align stars in their favor - parents have detailed horoscopes of their children based on their time of birth. Job changes and wedding dates are planned after consultation with astrologers. In fact, former president Mahinda Rajapaksa set an early election date on the advice of his astrologer!
Be Patient while in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is having a tourism boom. Since the end of its 26-year civil war in the year 2009, the country has been actively courting investment and tourism, with some success. Hotels and their prices are going up all over, including the former civil-war sites in the east and north. Some people say that the popularity of Sri Lanka with tourists might be because it provides them with a ‘South Asia lite’ experience: diverse landscapes, cultures, exquisite cuisines, and spirituality of India, concentrated into a smaller territory where nearly everyone speaks English. There are many places here that are used to visitors (you may find stilt fishermen on the south coast not catching fish, but posing on their stilts for tourists and earning small fees). Hotels eagerly book guests while the whole wings are still under construction. Others that are ready for the hordes, stand empty. Outside of Colombo, the capital city, and the established grounds of the surf-lined coasts or the cultural triangle, it can be difficult to discover a happy medium between luxury hotels and ultra-basic guesthouses.
Finding the cleanest rooms and the freshest food can be a process of trial and error. Moreover, higher prices are definitely no guarantee of quality. Usually, restaurant service is courteous but quite slow. People you meet are friendly and curious, and old-fashioned manners are crucial. Make sure to always keep your cool - raising your voice and pointing are seen as rude and counterproductive.
Carry Socks Everywhere
Sri Lanka is a warm and amiable country. While touring in Sri Lanka, it is a wise idea to always carry a pair of socks with you, since Buddhist and Hindu temples require the removal of footwear. While the stones at some sites are pleasantly cool, such as Dambulla Cave Temples, others are quite hot and you won’t be able to walk on them. Plenty of temples are also part of a larger area and are surrounded by trees, shrubs, and sand making the ground nicer to walk with foot protection.
Sri Lanka has a huge opportunity to offer tourists in search of unique experiences, that range from incredible scenic routes, splendid wildlife, ancient sites having rich history, stunning festivals and a vast variety of outdoor activities. At the end of a frantic day exploring the country, you can relish the mouthwatering spicy cuisine, rejuvenate with a relaxing Ayurveda spa, or simply soak up a gleaming sunset.
Embark on a train ride in the hill country
The most memorable and scenic way to travel Sri Lanka is undoubtedly by railway. The train ride through the hill country, soaking in must-see destinations of Nuwara Eliya, Hatton and Kandy is one of the most wonderful experiences in the world. The rail network was initially constructed by the British for the purpose of transporting tea, and opens a window to the historic, scenic and cultural sides of the country. Passing remote villages, deep green tea plantations, and mountain pathways, the train voyage from Kandy up into the highest corners of the hills stands out as an experience to cherish forever.
Surfing at Arugam Bay
If you are someone who is into surfing, then Arugam Bay is the place to visit. The waves of bay are perfect for both experienced surfers as well as complete beginners. Make your way to the picturesque Peanut Farm beach, which is a hot-spot for surfing, and also Panama Point, lined with vibrant fishing boats.
Witness ‘The Gathering’ at Minneriya National Park
Regarded as the largest gathering of elephants at one particular time in Asia, Minneriya National Park’s nature event takes place every July - October. The dry season leads to reduced water supplies for mammals, so they come from afar to drink from the Minneriya reservoir. Witness elephants playing, drinking and munching on fresh green grass. More than 300 of these flocks to Minneriya from all over the North Central Province of Sri Lanka.
Snorkeling Experience at Pigeon Island National Park
An ideal location, Pigeon Island is located to the north of Trincomalee, and is one of the most gorgeous sandy beaches in the country. The name of the National Park originates from the rock pigeon which has colonized it, and one can climb up the rocks on the nature trail and spot them. However, the real treat for tourists is the opportunity to snorkel right off the beach and spot herds of tropical fish amidst fascinating coral.
Experience Climbing in Sigiriya Lion Rock
The UNESCO World heritage site Sigiriya is formed 1600 years ago and is an incredible example of ancient Sri Lankan art and architecture. Perhaps the most famous Sri Lankan monument, it draws visitors and locals alike, who tackle the 60-90 minute climb early each morning to the top. Reach on top of 200-meter-tall rock, the Sky Palace, stopping en-route soaking in the beautiful frescoes and gardens, then continue onto the summit and be amazed by the sweeping views.
Pamper Yourself with an Ayurvedic Treatment
So many activities combined with hot and humid weather can really take a toll on you. Fortunately enough, jaded tourists can indulge in Sri Lanka’s popular Ayurveda to help themselves revive. Herbal baths, meditation, yoga, massage and dietary advice are all crucial parts of Ayurveda - one of the oldest medicinal systems in the world, established on the ancient wisdom of good living. Shirodhara is one of the most well-known Ayurvedic treatments, which include spurting warm herbal oil in a thin, constant stream straightly onto the ‘third eye’ area of the forehead. In order to further purify your mind, body and soul, one can choose from a wide variety of massages, that include full body oil, hot poultice or powder.
There are a number of good luxury Sri Lanka tour agents that will arrange these adventures for you in their itinerary.
The main tourist beaches of Sri Lanka and the best choice of hotels are found in the south west region of the country. Our luxury Sri Lanka tour agents have an incredible wealth of knowledge as well as experience on Sri Lanka’s major attractions and destinations.
Here is a guide considering what you are looking for…
Sheer Relaxation: The splendid sands at Kalutara, south of Colombo, are an ideal place to stretch up and soak up some sun. A choice of all inclusive resorts and divine boutique hotels, coupled with the lively village atmosphere, make Kalutara all the more captivating.
The Real Culture: If you wish to experience the ‘real’ Sri Lanka, then the hill country city of Kandy, away from the coastal holiday hotspots is the place for you. Enjoy an overnight stay here and dive into the culture of Sri Lanka.
Nightlife Entertainment: Spend some time in Colombo and get the biggest dose of night time entertainment. Discover everything here from cultural performances and nightclubs to Irish pubs and cinemas.
Natural Beauty and Wildlife: If you are a nature lover, do visit one of Sri Lanka’s National Parks. Yala and Udawalawe National Park are personal favorites.
The staple food of Sri Lankans is rice and curry - a massive mound of rice surrounded by various curries and delicacies.
Kothu (Kothu) Roti (a medley of chopped roti, vegetables and your choice of meat) is a must-have for anyone - tourist or otherwise - in Sri Lanka. It is uniquely Sri Lankan and tastes best when made fresh by street vendors. However, several kottu roti restaurants have been closed down due to their use of stale and old roti, which made some patrons sick. Use caution, and even better, talk with the locals to figure out where the best kottu roti restaurants are. Use your eyes and ears, public nose picking is common in Sri Lanka and is a good indication of where not to eat.
Sri Lankan food is generally spicy. But you can always ask for less spicy options when you are ordering your food. Other food that you should try are String Hoppers , Hoppers, Pittu & Kiribath.
Note that Sri Lankans eat with their right hands - this isn't a major problem, because everywhere will be able to provide cutlery if you can't eat otherwise. But try the Sri Lankan way (tips of fingers only!), it's harder than it looks but strangely liberating.
There are many upscale restaurants to choose from in the city of Colombo. There are several fine dining restaurants at the 5 star hotels which offer both Local and International cuisine. These establishments are found largely in western Colombo (along Galle Road), though more are located around Colombo and other major cities.
Nationals of the Maldives, Seychelles and Singapore may obtain a free visa on arrival. Maldivian and Singaporean nationals may enter for 30 days (extendable up to 150), whilst Seychellois nationals may enter for 60 days (but no more than 90 days per calendar year).
Nationals of Cameroon, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Syria and Uganda must obtain a visa in advance from a Sri Lankan diplomatic mission.
All other nationals not specified above may obtain a visa on arrival, provided that they have completed the electronic travel authorization (ETA) procedure either prior to travel or on arrival in Sri Lanka. This electronic authorization is valid for 3 months, starting from the day it has been approved. It allows for two entries, which means you can enter the country twice during the 30 days entry. A visitor wishing to stay more than 30 days in Sri Lanka may apply for an extension. The short visit visa may be extended up to 90 days from the date of arrival at the first instance and further 90 days at the second instance.
ATMs are located in many places including the Colombo airport arrival lounge (especially at bank branches) in the cities and suburbs, less so in the countryside. You can withdraw from debit cards too (Cirrus, Maestro, Visa Electron etc) where their logos are displayed.
A place of friendly people, fascinating culture, exotic cuisine, endless gorgeous scenery and great fun, Sri Lanka is a wonderful country that has so much to offer to both locals as well as tourists. Like any other developing nation, Sri Lanka too has its own share of health issues. Although a safe place to travel, there are certain things you have to consider while touring the country that includes your safety.
Since fraud is on the rise in Sri Lanka, be careful of using credit cards.
Vaccination for Tetanus and Hepatitis A+B are recommended. Other than these, the Typhus vaccination especially in the wet season outside of tourist areas.
Tourists should avoid drinking tap water. Sticking to bottled water is best both for teeth brushing as well as drinking.
Use mosquito repellent during the rainy season. In case head and joint aches occur, do get a blood check done.
With such a rich history and vibrant culture, no wonder Sri Lanka has over the years developed its own unique customs and traditions. While lenity will often be granted to visitors who are not familiar with the country’s etiquette, it can be beneficial to learn what is appropriate to show your appreciation and respect for the country.
Women in Sri Lanka are viewed as ‘sacred’ and generally out of respect, men do not touch women.
While in Sri Lanka, make sure to pass objects with the right hand or with both hands together. The left hand is deemed to be reserved for cleaning.
The top of the head is regarded as the most crucial part of the human body. Touching someone on the top of their head, especially a child or a baby, is considered insensitive or rude.
Always pay respect to monks and be polite. While on a crowded bus, always give a seat to the monks.
Know that public nudity is illegal in the country. Topeless or nude sunbathing should be avoided, except if you are in a private beach resort.
Leisure.com brings a wide range of customized Sri Lanka tours to offer you with a perfect and stress-free dream vacation. The plans are customized keeping in mind your interests and requirements. Whatever might be your choice - a luxury vacation, an adventurous one, a romantic vacation or a family vacation, we are ever ready with the perfect plan for you. We respect your privacy and value your safety, and the highly skilled and well-experienced luxury tour experts plan your tour itinerary accordingly, either an independent tour or a packaged group tour. In all cases, our team always ensure a stress-free experience for you with authentic local guides, magnificent accommodations, and incredible excursions. So, whether you wish to immerse in adventure or visit sacred places, just fill out the Trip Request Form and we will bring you the perfect tour from the best tour experts. Other than Sri Lanka tours, there are various other interesting tours as well which include Bhutan tours, India tours, Myanmar tours, Japan tours, Thailand tours, China tours and many more.
Contrary to many other Asian countries, Sri Lanka can account authentic claim to being a year-round vacation destination. One just needs to be aware of which side of the island to focus on in any particular month, and this is even more crucial when planning a beach destination. When planning your Sri Lanka tour, the starting point without any doubt is understanding the two monsoon seasons. The south-western monsoon carries rain between May - September to the south-west of Sri Lanka, while the dry season happens from December - March in this region.
The weather in the north and eastern coastal regions of the country is influenced by the north-eastern monsoon, which carries wind and rain between October - January, and dry weather between May - September.
During October and the first half of November, there is also an inter-monsoonal period, when rain and even thunderstorms can occur across the island. As December nears, the weather clears up with conditions getting gentle by the day during the other half of November.
The period from December till mid-April, as with many South-East Asian countries, is considered to be the peak season for overall weather and thus overall tourist numbers. While there is good reason for this, traveling outside of this period has equal benefits, with the shoulder season providing the best of both worlds - great weather as well as a lower tourist numbers.