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Home > Travel Tips

Travel Tips

When to Visit

Climatically speaking, the driest (and best) seasons in Sri Lanka are from November to March for the west coast, the south coast and the Hill Country, and from April to September for the Cultural Triangle region (ancient Kingdoms & Heritage sites) and the east coast.

Booking in Advance

The peak tourism season of the island is mid-December to mid-March when most of European tourist visit, the majority of them escaping the European winter. There is a mini peak season again in July and August when festivals (pageants) mainly in Kandy & in Kataragama are held.

During the Christmas to New Year holiday season and Festival season in July /August in particular accommodation anywhere on the island can be tight due to the huge influx of foreign visitors and hotel rates usually double or treble up. So travelers are advised to book theiraccommodation in advance prior to the arrival during those periods.

What to Pack

Pack for heat and humidity. Cotton clothes are useful at any time of the year but you will need light woolens for the hills and waterproof clothing or an umbrella. Long-sleeve shirts might be advisable after dusk because of mosquitoes.

Daytime coastal temperatures generally range from 27-32C, slightly cooler in the hill country, especially Nuwara Eliya, where a light sweater is frequently required at night.

If you are visiting the cultural and religious sites, it is a must that you wear appropriate clothing. Gents are required to wear trousers to cover their knees or a "sarong" with a shirt or T-shirt. Ladies should ideally wear decent attire such as a trouser or a skirt to cover the knees and a blouse or t-shirt. It may not be advisable for ladies to wear deep necked or a sleeveless top.

Organizing your Trip

If you are interested in booking a Round Trip programme, the flight time is an important component when making the maximum use of your stay. Dambulle is a central point when visiting cultural sites such as Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya and is approximately 4 hrs away from the Airport.

Most travelers prefer to drive up to Dambulle directly from the airport when they arrive in the morning. Most European and Middle East carriers arrive early morning to Sri Lanka which is ideal for most travellers. Overnight stays close to the airport (Negambo) or in Colombo is considered practical for late evening arrivals.

How about Visa's?

The new electronic Travel Authorization System was introduced to grant prior approval for Visa online for foreign nationals instead of the on arrival Visa system

Visitors must apply for the Electronic Travel Authorization via www.eta.gov.lk established in the Department of Immigration and Emigration.

Insurance

A travel or health insurance policy is essential. You may require extra cover for adventure activities such scuba diving. If your normal health insurance doesn’t cover you for medical expenses abroad, get extra insurance and bring a copy of the policy as evidence that you are covered

Time difference

Sri Lanka Standard Time is five and a half hours ahead of GMT

Water

Filtered, mineral and bottled drinking water is available at most retail shops. Avoid drinking water from the tap.

Electricity

The Electric current: 230- 240 volts, 50 cycles AC. Plugs come in a bewildering range of variations. Beside the primary plug type, you may well find US.EU and British-style plugs in your room.

Adaptors: As Sri Lanka uses a range of sockets, so your full range of travel adaptors may come in useful. Specialized Sri Lankan adaptors can be bought in major hotels and many shops. US sockets tend to be used, although older hotels, especially in the hill country, may use UK sockets.

If you travel with a laptop computer bring a stabilizer.

Medical Facilities

If you need a doctor, please contact the hotel reception. The hotel will have a doctor within the hotel premises or nearby. Pharmacies can generally be found at the commercial centre of most towns.

Communication

Consider buying a Sri Lankan SIM card and top-up cards for your mobile phone -- Sri Lankan mobile phone call rates are relatively cheap, both for local and international calls, and are recommended.SIM cards are available at the arrival lobby of Bandaranayake Air Port. They are good value and simple to use. IDD facilities are available in the vast majority of tourist hotels. To contact a BT operator from Sri Lanka, for charge card or reverse-charge calls, dial 432999. Some hotels will block this number. Hotel fax lines are plentiful. Hotels increasingly offer Internet wi-fi, and cyber cafes exist in Colombo and some tourist areas, although connection speeds can be slow outside Colombo.

Tipping

It is customary to tip drivers, guides and hotel housekeeping/restaurant staff if the service is satisfactory. This is solely at your discretion. The average tip is 100 rupees for Housekeeping and 10% of your meal bill for restaurant staff.

Food & Drink

Your hotel provides safe and high quality food and we, as a policy do not recommend restaurants outside the hotel. Always wash and peel fruit before consumption. Drink plenty of water during the day to avoid dehydration.

Safety

In general the threats to personal security for travellers in Sri Lanka are remarkably small. It is more pleasant to travel with a companion as it is advised not to travel alone especially after dark. The island including the North and East is safe to visit. If you have anything stolen, report it to the tourist Police, (a special tourist police set up to look after the needs of the tourists. Contact tel: Number + 94 11 2382209

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