Tailor-Made Holiday

The Pearl of Indian Ocean

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is an island in South Asia with a long-standing cultural and religious heritage, Which dates back to earlier than 500 B.C. Sri Lanka is shaped like a giant teardrop falling from the southern tip of the vast

Indian subcontinent. For a small island, Sri Lanka has acquired a lot of names - Serendib, Ceylon, Teardrop of India, Resplendent Isle, Island of Dharma, Pearl of the Orient,

This pearl of the Indian Ocean, situated just seven degrees north of the Equator has been described as a tropical paradise for centuries, but has climatic conditions of most of the countries in the world. There are arid zones, dry zones, rain forests, temperature and cold climates. It is a destination that has

everything - Sun, sea, golden beaches, cool mountains, ancient stupas and lakes, forests, wildlife, precious stones, magnificent archaeological sites and on top of all that friendly people.”


Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

Conventional short form

Sri Lanka

Time Difference

Sri Lanka's standard time is 5.5 hours ahead of Greenwich. (GMT +05:30) Colombo

Legislative Capital

Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte

Commercial Capital



4 February 1948 (from UK)


Sri Lanka is a free, independent and sovereign nation. Legislative power is exercised by the Parliament, elected by universal franchise on proportional representation basis. A President, who is also elected by the people, exercises executive power inclusive of defence. Sri Lanka enjoys a multi-party system, and the people vote to elect a new government every five years.

National Flag

National Flag of Sri Lanka is the Lion Flag. A lion bearing a sword in its right hand is depicted in gold on red background with a yellow border. Four Bo leaves pointing inwards are at the four corners. Two vertical bands of green and orange at the mast end represent the minority ethnic groups. It is an adaptation of the standard of the last king of Sri Lanka.
Flag of Sri Lanka

National Anthem

"Sri Lanka Matha" composed by late Mr. Ananda Samarakoon.


Map references


Location & Geographic Coordination

Sri Lanka lies in the Indian Ocean off the southern tip of the coast of India,

880 km north of the Equator, separated from India Palk Straits.

Sri Lanka is located between latitudes 5°55′ and 9°51′ N and longitudes 79°41′ and 81°53′ E and has a maximum length of 268 miles (432 km) and a maximum width of 139 miles (224 km).

Map of Sri Lanka

Maximum Length

432 km

Maximum Breadth

224 km

Land Area

65,525 Sq. km

Excluding Inland Waters

62,336 Sq. km

Coastal area

1,340 km

Highest Waterfall

Bambarakanda – 241 meters

Highest Peak

Pidurutalagala – 2524 meters

Longest River

Mahaweli River – 335 km


Sri Lanka’s tropical climate brings temperatures around 27°C – 30°C (80 ºF – 90 ºF) to most regions of the island. The hill country in the central province is the coolest and the mildest place, where Nuwara Eliya tops the list with a mean average of 16°C. Other upland areas also experience a temperate climate that can span between 16°C to 20°C (60 ºF – 68ºF). The coastal areas are warmer with average temperatures around 27ºC (80ºF). The March-June season experiences slightly higher temperatures of up to 33ºC (92ºF), while the temperatures in November-January are a few degrees lower at around 24ºC (75ºF) at the coast. Jaffna in the most northern part of the country, records a temperature of 28°C – 32°C (82 ºF – 92 ºF).

Monsoon rains bring the two main rainy seasons here. The Yala monsoon brings rainfall to the country’s western and southern regions from May to September and has a dry season during December through March. The Maha monsoon affects northern and eastern Sri Lanka and often lasts from December to February, with the dry season usually lasting from May to September. This region receives significantly less precipitation than the other half of the country. There is also an inter-monsoonal period in October and November during which rain and thunderstorms occur frequently across the island.

Sri Lanka is a year-round destination as while one area can have poor weather, the other region is likely to be experiencing good conditions. The most popular season for tourism is between December and March, when the country attracts a large number of Europeans looking to escape the Northern Hemisphere’s winter weather. Christmas and the New Year are particularly popular for a Sri Lankan holiday. You can find balmy weather for beach holidays on the east coast from April to November, while in the west it is ideal from December to March to hit the beach. However, be aware that Sri Lankan weather can be unpredictable during any season.

What to wear

Pure, lightweight cotton clothes are the most comfortable to wear, since Sri Lankan tropical climate is hot and humid. For cooler hill areas, you will need a light sweater at night. Dress standards are conservative on the island, and it is appropriate to wear loose, long and lightweight clothing. When visiting religious areas, you are required to wear clothes that are well-covering. Gents can wear long trousers that cover the knees, or a sarong with a shirt or t-shirt. Ladies may wear long trousers, long skirts and blouses and shirts that are not deep necked or sleeveless. Comfortable flip-flops, shoes, sandals and cotton socks, are essential too.



22 Million


Sri Lankan

Ethnic groups

Sinhalese 74.90%, Sri Lankan Tamil 11.15%, Sri Lanka Moor 9.30%, Indian Tamils 4.12% Sri Lankan Malay 0.22% Burgers 0.19% Others 0.13% (2012 EST)


Buddhist 70.10% Hindu 11.15% Muslim 9.66% Christian 7.62% Others 0.03% (2012 EST)

Population Distribution

Urban Population: 18.6% of total population (2019)

Population density

323.4 per km2 (837.6 people/mi2)

Rates of Population Growth

1.4 %

Life expectancy at birth

75.7 years (72.2 - men, 79.4 - women)


92.64% of adult population (aged 15 years and above) in Sri Lanka are able to read and write. Literacy rate for adult male population is 93.63% & 91.71% for adult female population.

Sinhala and Tamil are the official languages of Sri Lanka. Sinhala is widely spoken in the southern, western and central parts of the island, while Tamil is almost exclusively spoken in northern and eastern parts of the island.

Other than Sinhala and Tamil, many minority languages exist spoken by small communities of people. The best known of these minority languages is Veddah, spoken by the Veddah people, who are a group of tribal hunter gatherers that live in the forests of central Sri Lanka. Veddah is closely related to Sinhala and both languages have a number of words borrowed from each other. Also, the Rodiya community that lives in the Hill Country speaks a language of their own, sometimes considered a dialect of Sinhala. The Sri Lankan Moors speak a form of Tamil heavily influenced by Arabic. The Malay Muslims in Sri Lanka speak Creole Malay, a mix of Bahasa Malaysia, Tamil, Sinhala and Arabic.

Majority of Sri Lankans are conversational in English, so you are unlikely to face communication issues. Sri Lankans learn English as a second language at school starting from primary grades. Sri Lankan English is essentially British English infused with quirky local phrases and words. Sri Lankan English might not be entirely comprehensible to native English speakers due to the accent and words borrowed from local languages.

Place names and sign boards are in the national language and often in English.


Currency, Credit Cards & ATM Machines

The Sri Lankan currency is the Rupee (Rs), divided in to 100 cents. Notes come in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000 & 5000. The Sri Lankan Rupee is used only for transactions within Sri Lanka.

US$, Euro, GBP and all other major currencies accepted in most large hotels, and tourist establishments, but not in outlets catering to locals. Advice to bring in your local currency and change as and when needed.

The exchange of foreign currency is only permitted at banks, money changers and Hotels.

Credit Cards are widely used and accepted by local establishments (even in small towns). The most widely used card types are Visa and MasterCard, with Amex to a lesser extent. It would be a convenient option to use your Credit Card (valid for international use) whenever possible.

ATM’s are available in most main cities. You can take cash against Visa / Mastercard in most ATM’S. However, as different banks accept different cards, we advice you ensure that your card is valid for use in Sri Lanka by contacting your bank. Watch out for the Maestro or Cirrus logo.

Health Service

Sri Lanka has one of the most effective health systems among developing nations. Sri Lanka is proud to say that it has one of the best hygiene records in South Asia. Treatments are free at government hospitals and dispensaries, and 24-hour free treatments are also available at Colombo National Hospital. However, the service is considered better in private hospitals which have their own emergency services. There are plenty of hospitals and doctors with international standards in most cities and almost all of them speak English.

The diseases such as Dengue fever and Malaria are mostly seasonal and transmitted by a specific mosquito species. Because prevention is better than cure, it is advisable to protect yourself against mosquitoes to cut down the risks considerably. These mosquitoes commonly bite between dusk and dawn and long-sleeved clothing and long trousers are little help when going out at night.

Before you travel to Sri Lanka, check your polio, tetanus, typhoid, Hepatitus A, anti-malaria immunization and medication with your local GP. If you need to buy some Anti biotics, diarrhoea tablets, antiseptic cream or insect sting relief you can always get them form a local pharmacy over the counter without a prescription.

Traditional medicine (ayurveda) is an important part of the health system in Sri Lanka. Ayurveda is a health system that has been practiced in Sri Lanka and India for ages. It relies solely on natural medicine.

Drinking Water

Normally water in Sri Lanka is safe to drink. It is also advised to drink only bottled mineral water unless you are sure that the water is safe.

Best Time to Visit Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is genuinely a year-round holiday destination, although the best time to go to Sri Lanka is between December and mid-April, which is considered to be the peak season. Temperatures are fairly constant year round, with coastal regions enjoying average temperatures of 25-30°C and the highlands 15-18°C on average. If you’re travelling during the summer months (May to September) you’ll want to head towards the east coast and northern regions for dry, sunny weather, as the west and south west coasts experience rain at this time.

West & South Coast Beach (Kalpitiya, Chilaw, Negombo, Colombo, Mt. Lavinia, Kalutara, Beruwala, Bentota, Hikkaduwa, Galle, Unawatuna, Weligama, Mirissa, Matara, Dickwella, Tangalle, Hambantota)

With the west coast’s weather governed by the south-western monsoon, the best weather is expected between late November and April.

East Coast Beach (Passikudah, Trincomalee, Arugam Bay, Batticaloa, Nilaveli, Kuchchaveli)

Sri Lanka’s east coast comes into its own while the rest of the island is experiencing monsoonal rains. Influenced by the north-eastern monsoon, the best weather is from April to September, with the monsoon running from October until January.

Cultural Triangle

Many of Sri Lanka’s cultural highlights, including no less than five UNESCO sites, including Dambulla, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya, are located within this ‘dry zone’. Aside from a high rainfall in November and December, conditions remain fairly arid throughout the year, although visitors during June and July may experience the hot, strong winds that help keep the south-western monsoon at bay.

Kandy & Tea Country

Kandy sits at a far lower altitude than the 'Tea Country' and because of this can expect to enjoy higher temperatures and lower rainfall than in the hills to the south. The weather in the Tea Country is influenced by both monsoons, the result of which is a climate somewhat reminiscent of a Scottish autumn for much of the year. Sitting at nearly 2,000 meters above sea level, the region is much cooler than elsewhere in Sri Lanka.

December marks the beginning of the Adam's Peak pilgrimage season, which runs throughout the dry season until May.

Entry Requirements & Custom Regulation


Citizens of all countries apart from the Maldives and Singapore require a visa, or “ETA” (Electronic Travel Authorization) to visit Sri Lanka. Visas can be obtained online in advance at www.eta.gov.lk or on arrival at the airport. The visa (prices are charged in $) is valid for thirty days and for two entries and currently costs $30 if bought online ($20 for citizens of SAARC countries) or $40 if bought on arrival. It's also possible to get a 90-day tourist visa either in person or by post from your nearest embassy or consulate. You'll also need to contact your local embassy/consulate if you require a business visa. Your passport must be valid for six months after the date of your arrival. Entry requirements are always subject to change, so always check with your local embassy/consulate for the most up-to-date information before travel.


Entering Sri Lanka you are allowed to bring in 1.5 litres of spirits and two bottles of wine. You’re not allowed to bring cartons of duty-free cigarettes into Sri Lanka, although it’s unlikely you’ll be stopped at customs and searched. If you are caught “smuggling”, your cartons will be confiscated and you’ll be fined Rs.6000. There are no duty-free cigarettes on sale at the airport on arrival, either.

Leaving Sri Lanka you are permitted to export up to 10kg of tea duty-free. In theory, you’re not allowed to take out more than Rs.250 in cash, though this is rarely checked. If you want to export antiques – defined as anything more than fifty years old – you will need authorization from the Archeological Department depending on exactly what it is you want to export. The export of any coral, shells or other protected marine products is prohibited; taking out flora, fauna or animal parts is also prohibited.

Access to Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is directly accessible by all major carriers from their closest hubs. The National Carrier SriLankan operates to Europe, Far East and the Middle East. The national carrier also offers easy accesses on its services for travel originating in any point in the United States, Canada and South America on code sharing flights via transit points London in Europe, Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

The Following Carriers operate to Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan Airlines, Emirates Airlines, Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, Oman Air, Kuwait Airways, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Gulf Air, Air Arabia, Fly Dubai, LOT Polish Airlines, Edlewiss Air, Air India, Indigo Air, Vistara Airlines, Thai Airways, Cathay Pacific Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Thai Lion, Air Asia, Korean Air, Malindo Air, Rossiya Air, Salam air, Spicejet, Malaysian Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Silk Air, China Eastern


Sri Lanka has reached the status of Middle-Income country with a GDP per capita of USD 4,073 (2017) and has a service oriented economy, which is responsible for a little over 60 % of the GDP. Sri Lanka has a total population of 22 million people. Sri Lanka’s major exports are apparel, tea, information technology, rubber related products, spices, gem and jewelry, etc. Two major foreign exchange earners are Sri Lankan’s expatriate’s foreign remittances and tourism. In October 2018, the adventure experts at Lonely Planet named Sri Lanka as the No. 1 country to visit in 2019.

After the end of the Sri Lankan civil war in 2009, Sri Lanka’s economy grew at an impressive average 5.8 percent during the period of 2010-2017, reflecting a peace dividend and a determined policy thrust towards reconstruction and growth. The economy is transitioning from a predominantly rural-based economy towards a more urbanized economy oriented around services and manufacturing. The country has made significant progress in its socio-economic and human development indicators. Sri Lanka is one of the first countries in the South Asian region to fulfill its commitment to millennium development goals outperforming other South Asian countries. Sri Lanka’s social indicators are currently among the highest in South Asia and compare favorably with other middle-income countries.

Throughout the year, apart from Festivals, businesses are open at the following hours:

Offices: Mondays to Fridays: 09:00 a.m. – 01:00 p.m. and 02:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Banks: Mondays – Fridays: 09:00am – 3:00 p.m.
Stores: Mondays to Saturdays: 10:00 a.m. – 10:00pm


Most travellers prefer to get to grips with the Sri Lanka tipping etiquette before their holiday. There is a strong tipping culture in Sri Lanka; wages are low so it’s an important additional way of making money. Of course, tips should be earned for good service rather than simply expected.

A driver or chauffeur guide to be tipped Rs2000-2500 a day for good service. You can give this to them at the end of each day, which is often preferred, or if you prefer you can give it to them in total at the end of your holiday. Please do give more if you feel it is deserved, or less (even nothing) if the service has not been satisfactory. If you are unsatisfied with your driver, please let us know why.

Tipping hotel staff in Sri Lanka is expected if you stay in a small hotel or villa – you can do this either as you go along or on departure. Giving a collective tip is fine – usually to the most senior of the staff while making it clear that you would like it shared out. Most small hotels have a tip box now. Even in large or expensive hotels, wages are very low (you would be surprised), so these tips are appreciated and needed. This amount is impossible to dictate and depends entirely on how helpful/friendly they have been and how generous you are feeling. Rs. 100 - 300 per day.

A 10% service charge is usually included in restaurant bills, so it’s best to check whether or not it’s been added. In small local places, however, it’s not normally included so if you’ve had good service, do leave a small tip – anything up to Rs. 50 – and in tourist or posh city restaurants an extra tip is always gratefully received as well.

In Taxis / TUK TUKs, tips are not necessary but appreciated. Rounding up the fare is normal practice and so you should expect to pay a little more than the local fare. Nonetheless, it is important to bargain; locals would not want you paying vastly over the odds and thereby inflating prices. Drivers will not change large notes so, if necessary, ask him to stop on the way to your destination in order to get some change.

Travel Around Sri Lanka


Sri Lanka is a diversified country that has proven to be the ultimate destination for many tourists who are looking for a remarkable driving vacation. It is important to exercise caution when driving because of the presence of pedestrians as well as animals that can often cross the road without any prior signs at all. It is also advisable to avoid driving during the night far from Colombo.

Make sure that you have planned your vacation properly upfront. This will ensure that you can enjoy different activities. From ancient towns to architecture and because the beaches are close to any place that you might choose to visit, this country is a paradises that no one can afford to miss. You can hire a vehicle and enjoy the breathtaking scenery around the mountainous routes.

You’ll find that the majority of road signs in Sri Lanka will have their English translated versions.

Vehicles must remain on the left at all times, except when overtaking. Also, you need to know when you can or cannot overtake.

Make sure that you have a valid international driving license upfront. It is also important to obtain an identification permit from the AA, which is based in Colombo.

Make sure that you wear your seatbelt while driving. This applies for both the real and front of the car.

In case you need to go through a route near a military or government location, make sure that you are not in a hurry because these roads can often be closed due to security concerns

By Bus

Travel by bus in Sri Lanka offers you the cheapest way to move around the country because for every 5 kilometers, you’ll need to part with just twelve rupees. Several bus stops exist, and are often marked with white lined blocks on the road sides. In case you cannot identify them, it is always best to ask a local resident because most of them are very sociable. Note that the bus might not stop for you when you don’t stand at the designated stop points. Also, you may have to flag the bus down. It is always advisable to ask a Sri Lankan to help you. In many cases, buses can be really crowded. Make sure that you breathe properly and you are calm. Also, make sure that your wallet is near. Someone will move around asking everyone for fare whereas the amount needed for travelling by bus in Sri Lanka will be determined by the distance. Note that is you are a woman, you must not get the seat that is close to a Buddha priests.

By Train

Train travel is one of the cheapest and most convenient ways to see the country. You get to enjoy the most spectacular scenery while still having the opportunity to grab some food, talk to locals and meet fellow travelers. You can also get off at any station you like and get as adventures as possible.

First class seats can always be reserved, usually before 30 days and you will be guaranteed a seat. Your ticket will display the seat number. There are several categories of First class seats.

· 1st class sleeper- Carries sleeping-berths and are provided on a few overnight trains.

· 1st class observation saloon- Available mostly on daytime trains to hill country, Colombo – Kandy – Elle – Badulla route. The observation car has wide mirrors on either side enabling travelers to enjoy the breath taking sceneries.

· 1st class air-conditioned seats- Available mostly on inter-city express trains

The most common type of train seats are Second class and Third class. Second class seats are available in both reserved and unreserved category. For some long distance trains Second class seats can be reserved in advance. Unreserved Second class seats and third class seats are heavily crowded during office hours on weekdays. So if you are lucky and one of the first to get in, you will find a seat, otherwise you can simply stand, ideally near the doorway to enjoy the sceneries.

If unreserved, the tickets can be bought from the ticket office on the day of the journey and are usually made available few hours before departure. You may find several ticket offices at main stations like Colombo Fort and Kandy, which are designated for separate routes.

By TUK TUK (Trishaw)

The trishaw offers one of the most common means of travelling around the country. They bear a resemblance to taxis even though they are quite cheaper. They tend to overcharge foreigners; therefore it is important to make sure that you know the right fares for particular places. Make sure that you also bargain properly and plan to part with around 80 rupees for a short journey. In case they have a meter with them, make sure that they make use of it.
Travelling by trishaw in Sri Lanka can be a great adventure. Even when you need to move around the city you can travel by trishaws as they have bold drivers who manoeuvre their way out of the jam and reach your destination in a matter of moments.

By Taxi

Taxi is the most convenient, time-saving and hassle-free system for getting around Sri Lanka. Booking a taxi is quite easy in Sri Lanka and it is not expensive too. With a large number of travel companies such as Ceylon Leisure Holidays, you can book airport transfers and sightseeing tours at an affordable rate. In order to make sure your safety, it is always a recommended to book a taxi with a local driver, and travel around Sri Lanka on sightseeing tours, hire a taxi with a tourist board registered driver/guide.

The price of the taxi hires differs depending on the type of vehicle you get. A cheap small taxi such as Indian made Maruti cost around LKR 40 per km (around USD 0.30) while mid-range sedan such as Toyota Corolla cost around LKR 50 per km (around USD 0.50). A luxury vehicle such as Mercedez will cost around LKR 150 per km (around USD 0.65). Rates of other larger vehicles are higher and the rate goes up as the seating capacity increases.

Food & Drink

Typical Sri Lankan Food are rice and curry, spices, herbs, and coconut milk, usually meal is accompanied by Coconut sambal, sweet chutneys, pickles and papa dams. Sri Lankans eat with the right hand due to the fact that the left hand is considered dirty, and therefore not allowed to touch food. A traditional Sri Lankan desert includes watalappan (made with coconut milk and palm juggery), buffalo curd and honey, and a range of sweets such as Kavun, kokis, aluwa, paniwalalu which is made only for special occasions.

Of course, the typical drink of the island is tea, which originally has been introduced to the country in 1850 by the British. Even though it has been introduced by the British, Ceylon tea is known worldwide and popular for its high quality and unique scent. Not surprising, Sri Lanka is one of the largest tea exports worldwide. A guided tour around a Tea Factory is an enlightening experience, which explains the whole process of tea production before it reaches your cup and which will make your stay unforgettable.


Sri Lanka full of precious landscape and staggering scenery, is also famous for being one of the most popular shopping destinations in Asia. For many tourists it is definitely a highlight to buy well-known European and American brands at discounted prices, but not only clothes, if not antiques and furniture, home wear and Jewelry are offered in high amounts. A must-visit for every tourist though are the village fairs and bazaars, where one can find any imaginable fruit and vegetable from village home gardens; as delicious as one would never find in the super market.


Lively nights and early mornings; for some people two things that have to go together and are unimaginable no to be there. Sri Lanka is known as the one country in Asia with the most active nightlife. Galle Road in Colombo has a reputation as the little Las Vegas of the East, due to its numerous casinos, parties, and the high amount of alcohol flowing around quite freely. Even though main events and active nightlife stays in the bigger cities such as Colombo and Kandy, there are other places around the island with well-organized beach parties and many places with beautiful and welcoming bars to get a delicious cocktail. Arugam Bay and Hikkaduwa are also famous for their colorful and successful beach parties and a must-visit for everyone who wants to dance and have fun in a more casual environment than one would find in the cities. In the cities most events take place in five-star hotels, usually people are more dressed up. It is visible that there are party possibilities in Sri Lanka for every taste and at every place.


Prabath Fernando :
+94 777 825 390