All the basics about travel, weather & diving conditions
To help you plan your trip, we've prepared a list of basic information you'll want to know before you book. Once your trip has been reserved, you'll receive pre-departure information with all the details you need for your adventure.
Getting to Sri Lanka
Colombo (CMB) airport is the only international airport in Sri Lanka.
Airlines That Fly Into Colombo:
Qatar Airways via Doha
Emirates Airlines via Dubai
Cathay Pacific via Hong Kong
Singapore Airlines via Singapore
We recommend you arrive at least one day in advance of your planned island itinerary so you can be well rested for your adventure. Negombo is very close to the Colombo Airport and is a laid-back place with great seafood, decent beaches and lovely guesthouses.
Visitors must have a current passport, adequate funds to support themselves and a return airline ticket.
Citizens of most countries also must have a passport that is valid for 6 months from date of entry. It is the travelers responsibility to ensure they have the proper visa to travel into each country on his or her itinerary as well as for re-entry and return to their country. Since regulations vary by country, contact your consulate or embassy of your country for the requirement.
E-Visa ETA are required for all travelers and the E-Visa application is online. It takes approximately 10 minutes to complete and pay for online and is good for a 30 day stay in Sri Lanka. The cost is $35 (subject to change without notice) and most airlines will want to see the printed and approved ETA upon check-in when flying to Sri Lanka. This link should take you to the application: https://eta.gov.lk/etaslvisa/etaNavServ
Airport Arrival & Departure .... Health & Covid Precautions
Precautionary measures have been implemented throughout the airport to maintain the health and safety of our customers and staff. These measures include hand sanitizer stations around the airport, protective Plexiglas at check-in and immigration counters, thermal temperature screening, social distancing markers and increased levels of cleaning and sanitization in compliance with international standards set out by the relevant authorities.
All the gates and passenger movement areas will be thoroughly disinfected after each arrival. All the handling agents and other staff who are engaging in the the flight operation in that area are mandated to wear PPE.
Full information from the airport is available here: https://www.airport.lk/travel_through_BIA/flying_through_sri_lanka
What's the Weather like ?
Sri Lanka is very close to the equator which means that temperatures remain fairly constant year round. Coastal and lowland areas enjoy an average daytime temperature of 78-86°F / 26-30°C.
Sri Lanka is unusual as it has two monsoon seasons with the wettest periods being December and January in the North. Humidity is high everywhere throughout the island.
Best Time to Go
Generally speaking, the best time to visit the west and south coasts as well as the Cultural Triangle in the highlands is between December and April.
On the east coast, the climate is typically at its best from May through to October.
Just be aware that the island's weather is ruled by monsoons which can differ in timing & intensity from year to year. Prepare yourself for all weather types and do your research to avoid the times most likely to have strong monsoons in each area.
What to wear & bring
Safari: Travel light and wear neutral colors while on the safaris; Sri Lanka is hot and humid so for your safari adventure clothing it should be lightweight, comfortable sportswear with a comfortable pair of walking shoes. A light sweater or jacket is ideal for evenings. For the months of November to February, a lightweight raincoat is recommended. Dress is always casual and informal.
Additional items you may want to bring are sunscreen, sunglasses, hat and binnoculars.
World Heritage Sites: Shoulders and knees must be covered before entering World Heritage Sites. Every visitor must remove shoes and hats before entering temples.
Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR). SLR is the commonly used currency abbreviation for the Sri Lankan rupee, although the international currency code for the SLR is LKR. It is the official currency of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Do I Need Insurance?
Travel insurance : We strongly recommend comprehensive travel insurance to cover against unforeseeable events including personal & business impediments, illness, travel delays and missed flight connections. We hate seeing any of our clients fall into the category of unfortunate travelers who are without coverage for unexpected circumstances
Diving insurance: If you are doing any snorkeling or diving in Sri Lanka ... or in the Red Sea or Maldives before or after your time in Sri Lanka, you will want Diver's Insurance. It's important not to confuse regular travel medical and/or travel insurance with diving-specific insurance such as DAN (Divers Alert Network) or Dive Assure. This type of insurance will cover all of your scuba diving and snorkeling activities, including the costs for recompression chamber treatment and emergency air evacuation. These are not covered by the average travel insurance.
We recommend Dive Assure as they are one of the few companies who offer insurance which includes general travel insurance, including trip cancellation .... plus full dive coverage.
Click here or on the button in the side panel to access Dive Assure directly.
Return to Sri Lanka overview