An island of approx. 65,610 km2, Sri Lanka lies in the Indian Ocean off the southern tip of the coast of India.
The coastland gives way to lowland plains growing rice and coconut. In the mid country, rubber vies with gems, while green carpets of tea clothe the central mountain ranges, reaching heights of some 2,500 meters.
Warm and fine all year round. Average temperatures around 27oC in Colombo, going down as the land rises to the hill country as low as 10oC.
The island has two wet seasons between May and July in the south-west and December/January in the north-east.
Climatically, Sri Lanka has no off-season. Bright sunny warm days are the rule and are common even during the wet season.
Sea temperatures as a rule remain around 27oC
Nearly 19 million of which, 74% of the population are Sinhalese, while are 18% Tamils and 8% Moors, Malays and Burghers. Literacy rate average 80% - one of the highest in Asia.
Communication is rarely a problem because English is widely spoken in all parts of the country. Place names and sign boards are in the national language and often in English.
Sinhala, Tamil and English
Sinhala and Tamil
Predominantly Buddhists but also Hindus, Muslims and Christians.
Sri Lanka’s standard time is 6 hours ahead of Greenwich.
The island is served by a good network of scheduled airlines from most capitals of Europe and Asia apart from chartered air services, cruise ship and ferry services.
The currency of Sri Lanka is the Rupee divided into cents. Foreign currencies enjoy a favorable exchange rate.
Sri Lanka generally has a five day week. Working hours are from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm.
Cottons and light-drip fabrics, comfortable shoes or sandals and light woolens for the hill country are recommended. Swim wear is considered essential. A certain modesty of dress is appreciated on visits to temples.
Toiletries, cosmetics, personal hygiene needs
Most well-known brands available locally, but those who must have their special favorites should bring their own stock.
International telegraph, telex, telephone and telefax services available as well as e-mail facilities.
Voltage 230/240 volts 50 cycles.
Filtered water and mineral water as well as bottled drinking water are available.
Comprehensive and skilled national health services. Most hotels have resident doctors or a doctor on call. Private medical aid is also available.
Optional. 10% is considered a fair tip. Most hotels include a 10% service charge.
Entry visas are not required for a period of 30 days for nationals from as many as 35 countries visiting Sri Lanka as bona fide tourists. Nationals from other countries require visas.
Immunization against cholera not required, also against smallpox or yellow fever unless the visitors have come from or passed through infected areas.
Oral baggage declaration required but baggage can be opened for inspection. Duty free allowances including the usual tourist quotas of tobacco, spirits, perfumes.
Customs cum Immigration form must be completed giving details of currency, cameras, and valuables.
All major countries are represented.
Departure Tax is Rupees 500 (Approximately US$ 7)