For all foreign guetst, it is very important to know some basic information about Sri Lanka before you plan to make a visit. Following are some of information which will help you to get an idea about Sri Lanka.

Frequently asked questions

Where is Sri Lanka ?

The island of Sri Lanka lies in the Indian Ocean, to the southwest of the Bay of Bengal. It lies between latitudes 5 and 10N, and longitudes 79 and 82E. Sri Lanka is separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait.

When is the best time to travel?

Climatically,The best time to visit the west and south coasts and hill country is from December to March, and the best weather on the East coast is from April to September.This means Sri Lanka is a year round destination, and there is always a 'suitable' season somewhere in the island.

On the coast the average temperature is about 27 C. The temperature rapidly falls with altitude. In Kandy (altitude 450m) the average temperature is 20 C and in Nuwara Eliya (altitude 1890m) it's down to around 16C.

Sri Lankas position close to the Equator means that temperatures remain fairly constant year-round. Coastal and lowland areas enjoy average daytime temperatures of around 2630C (often climbing up well into the 30Cs during the hottest part of the day). Temperatures decrease with altitude, reducing to a temperate 1822C in Kandy, and a pleasantly mild 1417C in Nuwara Eliya and the highest parts of the island nights in the hills can be quite chilly, with temperatures sometimes falling close to freezing. Humidity is high everywhere, rising to a sweltering ninety percent at times in the southwest, and averaging sixty to eighty percent across the rest of the island.

Is Sri Lanka a suitable destination for children?

Yes, Sri Lanka is a perfect child-friendly country. People generally make a special effort to fuss over and entertain children. The effort will be doubled, when it comes to children of a foreign nationality,. Children are well catered for in restaurants, and hotels and guest houses often have family rooms. Baby food and nappies are available in supermarkets across the island. Some of the highlights for children are the Dehiwala Zoo in Colombo, the numerous beaches, train journeys into the hill country, and the Elephant Orphanage in Pinnawela. If you want to allow your children to play safely while you eat or shop in Colombo, there are play areas at Odel, Urban Kitchen and Cheers Pub, Cinnamon Grand. For dedicated play in the capital there are PGMartin - Wonderworld facilities which offer all kinds of gaming.

Can we visit National Parks? What kind of animals can be seen?

Yes, you can. There are numerous National Parks in Sri Lankan

Sri Lanka's 14 National Parks offers nature lovers a unique opportunity to see some of the country's 91 mammals (16 endemic) - Elephant, Leopard, Sloth Bear, Sambhur, Spotted Deer, Hog, Mouse, Barking-Deer, Wild Boar, Porcupine, Ant-Eater, Civet Cat, Loris, Giant Squirrel, and monkeys such as the Macaque, purple-faced leaf Monkey and grey Langur.. The largest of the parks is Yala, where jeep safaris provide close encounters with Leopards and also abundant bird-life. However the most suited destination for elephant watching is the Uda Walawe National Park.

Is it possible to witness traditional festivals?

Yes it is. Every full moon day is a Buddhist public holiday which is also referred to as Poya. The most important of these is in May. This is Vesak Poya. A festival that marks the Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death. Worth seeing are the illuminated Pandals (bamboo frameworks), hung with pictures depicting events in the Buddha's life. Sri Lanka's most tourist-oriented traditional festival is the Kandy Esala Perahera, held in Kandy over 10 days between late July to early August. A Perahera is a procession of drummers, dancers, whip-crackers, acrobats and robed elephants which generally occurs during the night. A significant part of the festival is when the tusker of the Dalada Maligawa caries the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha for the people to venerate.

Is it possible to obtain Ayurvedic treatment?

Yes, Indeed, Ayurveda, the ancient traditional medicine system of Sri Lanka is practiced more widely than Western medicine. Many hotels offer Ayurvedic treatment for guests and have experienced and qualified practitioners to advise you on how to improve your health with a mix of baths and massages.

What are the sites not to be missed?

Sri Lanka's cultural depth is recognized by UNESCO, which has declared seven archaeological World Heritage Sites. The remains of the ancient cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa feature enormous dagabas (dome-shaped structures) and statues of the Buddha. Dambulla has an awesome stairway, while Sigiriya is a rock fortress with the remains of a palace on the summit and sensual frescoes. These four World Heritage Sites are situated within a compact area called the Cultural Triangle. In the hill country lies the royal capital of Kandy, home to the Dalada Maligawa, which houses the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha. In contrast, experience the colonial heritage of the country by heading south to the mid-17th century Dutch fort at Galle. The seventh World Heritage Site is an ecological example, the Sinharaja Forest Reserve. Similar sites include the Knuckles mountain range, Horton Plains and World's End, where the hill country comes to an abrupt end, dropping 2,000m to the coastal plains. Sri Pada (Adam's Peak) is a holy mountain climbed by pilgrims wanting to take in the beauty of its surroundings.

What aquatic sports are available?

The sea temperature around Sri Lanka remains at a constant 27 C, which makes the island an ideal location for Wind-Surfing, Water-Skiing, Jet-Skiing, Surfing, Sailing, Scuba-Diving (includes Wreck-Diving), Snorkeling, Speed-Boating and Banana-Boating. In addition, there are plenty of freshwater opportunities for sport in rivers and tanks (reservoirs). These are Kayaking, Canoeing and the most exciting of them all, White-Water Rafting.

What kind of food is available?

Rice which is considered the staple food in Sri Lanka is usually consumed with curries (Eggplant, Potato, Green Banana, Chicken or fish) that range from delicately-spiced to near-dynamite. There are also Hoppers (a Pancake-like snack), String Hoppers (steamed Rice Noodles) and Pittu (Flour and Coconut mixture). Lamprais Rice cooked with a variety of delectable dishes are prepared in plantain leaves - is a legacy of the Dutch. Fresh Fish, Prawns, Crab, Squid and Crayfish are readily available. Desserts include Buffalo Curd topped with the sweetest Palm-Honey while a Caramel-like Wattalapam is also considered as mouth watering. Tasty snacks which are otherwise known as short eats are excellent to take on trips etc. Delectable fruits include the popular Mango, Pineapple, Banana and Papaya, and also the lesser-known Sapodilla, Mangosteen, Rambuttan, Wood Apple, Custard Apple and Beli. Colombo has an impressive range of restaurants specializing in international cuisine.