Sri Lanka


Why should I visit Sri Lanka?

The tsunami of 2004 devastated certain coastal regions of the country. Luckily, the coastlines have been restored and this tear-drop shaped paradise off the Southern coast of India is waiting to be rediscovered by travelers worldwide. Sri Lanka offers a diverse landscape and attractions, including some of the oldest Buddhist sites in the world. The nation famously exports tea, coffee, and coconuts and boasts a rich cultural heritage.

Is a visa required to visit Sri Lanka?

U.S. citizens visiting Sri Lanka must have either an Electronic Travel Authorization or a visa to enter Sri Lanka. U.S. citizens will require an approval notice from Sri Lanka's Electronic Travel Authorization System, passport, onward/ return ticket, and proof of sufficient funds. The Electronic Travel Authorization System is for tourists, short term business travelers and transit passengers and is available online. Sri Lankan regulations define transit passengers as foreigners who expect to enter Sri Lanka and remain for a period not exceeding 10 days while waiting for onward travel. U.S. citizens are also eligible to apply for five-year multiple entry tourist or business visas. Please Visit

What should I pack?

It all depends on your destination and season of travel. In Sri Lanka, we recommend loose fitting cotton clothes (or some form of the breathable modern fabrics). Long sleeves and hats will keep you protected from the sun. Some warm clothes are recommended if you are traveling to the hill regions, where the evenings tend to get chilly. Layering is best to accommodate the varying temperatures. Dress modestly at religious sites and remember to remove your shoes and hat when entering a Buddhist or Hindu temple.

When is the best time to travel?

It depends on your destination, activities and season of travel. Our destination specialists will recommend certain travel times after learning more about your preferences. The favorable months are usually December - March for the west coast and south coast, and from April - September for the ancient cities and the east coast. The northeast monsoon is usually November – March and the southwest monsoon is June – October.

Are vaccinations required?

Immunizations are not required to visit Sri Lanka. (Exception: if you are traveling from an area infected with Yellow Fever, you must have a certificate.) Depending on the season and region of travel, certain vaccinations and/ or medications are suggested and we will recommend preventative measures. We do encourage all travelers to be current on routine immunizations. Also, we recommend the Tetanus and Hepatitis A vaccine. Malaria is present in lowland regions of Sri Lanka, and preventative treatment and tropical strength insect repellent is advised. For detailed information, please contact your physician or visit the CDC website:

I have never been to Sri Lanka and have no idea where to start. What do you recommend?

What do you hope to see and experience during your trip? Our destination specialists will make recommendations based on your travel preferences. Most travelers incorporate Colombo, Kandy, Habarana, Dambulla, and/or Polonnaruwa . However, many also include visits to the tea plantations in Nuwara Eliya and beaches of Hikkaduwa/Galle.

Is Sri Lanka a safe country?

For decades, Sri Lanka was battling political unrest. A civil-war between Tamil insurgents and the Sinhalese government almost destroyed the tourism industry. The riots have ended and a peaceful environment has been restored. As with any international travel, be aware of your surroundings. Do not leave your valuables unattended on the beach, the balconies or terraces. Be cautious in markets and in open areas with crowds to avoid pickpockets.

Do Sri Lankans speak English?

English is fluently spoken by approximately 10% of the population and widely used for official and commercial purposes. Sri Lanka accords official language status to Sinhala and Tamil. The Sinhala language is spoken by the Sinhalese people, who constitute approximately 70% of the national population. The Tamil language is spoken by Sri Lankan Tamils, about 3 million people.