Sri Lanka located in the southern tip of India has become increasingly popular as a travel destination. About twenty million people reside on this relatively small island that used to be called as Ceylon. People who come over to Sri Lanka can expect a great beach holiday where Hikkaduwa is well known for its beach-resorts and for its brooding turtles. The country is proud of its warm sandy beaches with calm clear water which give way to majestic mountains and lush tea plantations rising out of the hill country. Some of the worlds engineering marvels like Sigiriya and the Anuradhapura ancient cities are all part of Sri Lanka. Marco Polo himself called it “the finest island of its size in the world.”
Ethnic groups : Sinhalese 74%, Tamil 18%, Moor 7%, Burgher, Malay, and Vedda 1%
Location : Sri Lanka is located off the southern tip of India.
Currency: Sri Lanka Rupee (LKR)
Capital City: Colombo
Languages: Sinhala, Tamil, with English widely-spoken
Religion: Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam & Christianity
Area : 25,322 square miles
Famous for: Lush jungles, abundant wildlife, cool mountains and glorious beaches
Major cities: Colombo, Kandy, Galle
Clothing: Light cottons, lightweight suits and loose clothing, hats, sunglasses, high-factor sunscreen lotion, insect repellent, etc. The hill towns require warmer evening wear.
Major events : Kandy Esala Perahera (July/August), the Duruthu Perahera (January), held in Colombo, which celebrates a visit by Buddha to Sri Lanka, National Day (February), New Year (March/April, Vesak (May), the Hindu Vel festival (July/August) in Colombo, the predominantly Hindu Kataragama festival (July/August) in Kataragama.
Visa is not required for stay of up to 30 days for tourist purposes only. 30 days visa is issued at the border free of charge. Long stay (3 months) visas are available only in advance.
When to go
Climatically the driest and best seasons are from December to March on the west and south coasts and in the hill country, and from May to September on the east coast It does not rain all the time. Reefs may protect a beach area and make swimming quite feasible at places like Hikkaduwa, which during the monsoon can be quite pleasant.
Average temperatures are: January/March 22° – 28°C; April/June 27° – 30°C; July/September 25° – 28°C; October/December 20° – 25°C. Temperatures in the highlands are normally some 7° – 9° cooler. The main High Season is November/April, when the weather is normally settled and sea conditions permit watersports. May/August is the usual monsoon period on the west coast