Sri Lanka is a unique island that boasts an incredible diversity rarely found elsewhere. It presents a captivating blend of elements, from ancient cities and vibrant religious festivals to colonial legacies, picturesque tea plantations, and some of the finest beaches along the Indian Ocean's shores. Visitors to Sri Lanka are treated to an intoxicating experience, as the country seamlessly weaves together various cultures, religions, races, customs, and the sheer magnificence of its natural landscapes.
Cave Temples: Immerse yourself in the spiritual realm by visiting the five distinct caves adorned with around 150 remarkable Buddha statues and intricate paintings. These caves are home to some of Sri Lanka's most significant and evocative religious artworks, with their origins dating back over 2,000 years. Over the centuries, subsequent kings have continued to enhance and embellish the cave art, creating a truly enchanting experience.
Galle: Situated along the picturesque coastline to the south of Colombo, Galle is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it's a delight to explore on foot. The city boasts an array of colonial architecture, historic churches, and captivating museums, making it a perfect destination for history and culture enthusiasts.
Hatton: Nestled in the heart of "tea country," Hatton is renowned for its enchanting tea trails. Accessible by train, the journey to Hatton is a rewarding experience in itself. Delve into the pristine tea trails, learn about the art of tea production, and soak in the unspoiled beauty of this breathtaking region.
Sigiriya: Discover the awe-inspiring rock fortress of Sigiriya, which features an array of attractions, including enchanting water gardens, mesmerizing frescoes, the famed mirror wall, and the breathtaking Lion Rock that soars 200 meters above a forested plain. The hike to the summit is a rewarding experience, offering glimpses of remarkable rock carvings and a spectacular panoramic view from the top.
Yala National Park: Located in the southeast of Sri Lanka, Yala National Park is a cherished destination for wildlife enthusiasts. It's home to a variety of animals, such as leopards, elephants, diverse bird species, and rich flora and fauna. Embark on thrilling game drives as you journey through the park's diverse landscapes, encompassing forests, grasslands, and lagoons.
When to go / useful information
When to go
Sri Lanka's climate is surprisingly diverse for a relatively small country, primarily due to the influence of two distinct monsoon seasons.
Low Season (May - August): This season is characterized by more favorable weather in the North and East regions. However, the Yala monsoon season brings rain to the south and west coasts, as well as the Hill Country.
Shoulder Season (April and September to November): These months offer a balanced mix of good weather across the country. It's an excellent time for travel, although it's worth noting that mid-April sees an increase in demand for transport due to New Year's celebrations.
High Season (December - March): This period is the busiest and driest in Sri Lanka. It's the ideal time to explore the Hill Country and the beautiful beaches along the west and south coasts. With high demand for accommodations, prices tend to peak during this season. The Maha monsoon season (October to January) brings wet conditions to the East, North, and Ancient Cities.
Currency: The Sri Lankan currency is the rupee
Language: The official languages are Sinhala and Tamil plus English which is widely spoken.
Why we love it: Sri Lanka is a place of awe-inspiring beauty, and it still remains an affordable and relatively uncrowded destination. This is the perfect time to explore its wonders. The island's compact size makes it easy to experience the world's oldest living tree in the morning (Anuradhapura) and witness hundreds of elephants gathering in the afternoon (Minneriya). Your days can be filled with beach exploration, visits to ancient temples dating back 2000 years, leisurely walks through charming villages, and enjoying the vibrant birdlife and wildflowers.
Weather: You can usually find good weather somewhere on the island year-round. The best time to explore the western and southern coasts and the hilly regions is from December to March, while the east coast typically experiences the finest weather from April/May to September. Temperatures across Sri Lanka are relatively consistent throughout the year. Coastal and lowland areas typically have daytime temperatures ranging from 26–30°C, which can often climb into the 30°Cs during the hottest part of the day. Temperatures decrease with increasing altitude, averaging 18–22°C in Kandy and a pleasantly mild 14–17°C in Nuwara Eliya and the island's highest regions. Nights in the hill areas can get quite chilly, sometimes nearing freezing temperatures.
Social customs: Sri Lankans highly value etiquette, as evident through the remarkably courteous staff in high-end hotels. They take great pride in their country, its accomplishments, and, notably, their cricket team. "Sri Lanka good?" is a common question posed to visitors. Public displays of affection are generally discouraged, and couples may discreetly hide behind large umbrellas in secluded corners of parks and botanical gardens. When eating and shaking hands, always use your right hand.
Appropriate dress is vital when visiting Buddhist and Hindu temples. In Buddhist temples, this involves removing shoes and headgear, and covering your shoulders and legs. Similar shoe and dress protocols apply in Hindu temples, but with some variations. Non-Hindus might not be allowed to enter the inner shrine of certain temples, and in others, men may be required to remove their shirts before entering, while women could be prohibited from entering altogether.
Lastly, never take photographs posing with your back to a Buddha image.