Travel Guide to Sri Lanka

Sparkling like an emerald tossed into the sea, Sri Lanka is an enchanting tropical island of charm, culture, and unbroken tradition. The combination of blissfully uncrowded, picture postcard palm-fringed beaches, with miles of coastline, quaint colonial hill stations, exotic tea and spice plantations, exciting jungle wildlife, and a vibrant atmosphere makes this island off the southern coast of India a much-loved destination. Sri Lanka has an array of activities including white water rafting, scuba diving, mountain climbing, eco-adventures and trekking.

Yala National Park, the most famous reserve in Sri Lanka, is celebrated for its elephants, birdlife, bears, crocodiles and especially leopard. The island has one of the longest documented histories in the world: 3,000 years of Sri Lanka's rich culture reflecting the influences of Sinhalese Buddhist, Indian, Dutch, Portuguese and British communities on the island. Highlights include the lion rock of Mount Sigiriya and the ruined cities of Anaradhapura and Polonnuruwa, the thriving capital Colombo and the delightful hill town of Kandy, home of the spectacular golden-roofed Dalada Maligawa, where the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha is enshrined.

Know before you go

Tropical, with temperatures hovering the low 30's most of the year. Best time to visit is in the cooler period from September to March. May and June are the hottest months with the Monsoon arriving in the summer. In the hill stations it can be cool in the evenings.
Sri Lanka Rupee,/

The majority of the population is Buddhist (69%), while Hindus, Christians and Muslims form the rest. Sinhala and Tamil are official languages while English, is widely spoken countrywide.

Along with popular staples like rice and curry, Sri Lankan specialities include pittu, a mixture of fresh rice meal, roasted and mixed with fresh grated coconut, then steamed, Kiribath unsweetened rice-pudding accompanied by a sharp chili relish called lunumiris, wattalapam, a rich pudding of Malay origin made of coconut milk, jaggery, cashew nuts, eggs, and local spices such as cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, and appa, known as hoppers, deep fried tasty snacks, accompanied by eggs, milk or savouries.

Voltage: 220-240 Volts (U.S./Canada are 110-120 Volts).
Primary Socket Types: Indian, Europlug

Various mosquito borne diseases, such as Dengue fever, Chikungunya and Malaria are common to Sri Lanka. The number of cases of dengue fever in particular have risen sharply so far this year. You are also advised to avoid stray animals, as rabies is prevalent. With regard to vaccinations check with your health care professional.

Traveller's diarrhoea, can be minimised by taking precautions such as drinking only, bottled or purified water, and avoiding unwashed fruits and raw salads. Meats should be well cooked.

Using a sunscreen with a high SPF and keeping hydrated can easily prevent sunburn and dehydration. All Tappas Voyages tours supply plenty of bottled water as standard.

GMT + 5.30 hours