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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.

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SriLanka

Things to Experience in Sri Lanka Tour

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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

 

Things to Know Before Sri Lanka Tour

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.

  1. Since fraud is on the rise in Sri Lanka, be careful of using credit cards.

  2. Vaccination for Tetanus and Hepatitis A+B are recommended. Other than these, the Typhus vaccination especially in the wet season outside of tourist areas.

  3. Tourists should avoid drinking tap water. Sticking to bottled water is best both for teeth brushing as well as drinking.

  4. 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.

  1. Women in Sri Lanka are viewed as ‘sacred’ and generally out of respect, men do not touch women.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Always pay respect to monks and be polite. While on a crowded bus, always give a seat to the monks.

  5. 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.

Weather Overview

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.


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