Travelling to Sri Lanka

Language

Sinhala and Tamil are the official languages, but English is widely spoken and understood, especially among younger generations.

Climate

You can get the best weather between January and April when there’s less rain and is the so called beach season. The monsoon happens somewhere between November until the end of February on the northeast coast and between May till July on the west coast.

Cuisine

Sri Lankan cuisine is very influenced by Indian and Asian cuisines hence you’ll always have the presence of boiled or steamed rice. Being an island you'll get plenty of fresh fish which is served with sauces being curry the most popular one. If you’re a meat lover then chicken, beef, mutton or goat are the most appreciated, again usually goes with curries, vegetables, lentils, or fruits.

You can have a full meal at very reasonable prices. If you have any food restrictions please check with our team in advance but in most cases the surf camps in Sri Lanka will be able to prepare vegan, gluten free and other special meal plans for you.

Time

Local time is GMT + 5.30 (same as in India).

Electricity

The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. The plugs are usually 3 round pins and 3 square pins (same as in the UK).

Health

Most travellers experience nothing serious while travelling to Sri Lanka. Typically you’ll get some food issues with diarrhoea and upset stomach. Travellers tend to worry about dengue and other infectious diseases, but these rarely cause serious illness or death. Note that hygiene standards are sometimes disregarded so avoiding low quality restaurants is a great step already towards staying healthy. Don’t drink water from the tap.

Vaccines you should have taken before travelling to Sri Lanka: Hepatitis A, Rabies and Typhoid. Take anti-mosquito repellent (DEET) and take the usual prevention measures to avoid being bitten. If you get a cold or flu then visit a doctor.

Most decent medical facilities are in Colombo only.

Safety

Safety is not a problem while in Sri Lanka and violent crime is very uncommon. The same as you’d expect in most western world, be careful with theft and pick pocketing in crowded tourist areas. Also, be careful with schemes or people inviting you for tea tastings. Always be reasonable and ask how much in advance before committing to a service or product. Women travelling alone should avoid dark alleys at night and since this is a Muslim country you should avoid drinking and dancing in the street and be respectful at all times.

Roads are dangerous so renting a car is not that easy and the amount of tuk tuks flying everywhere is a bit of a panic sometimes, but you’ll soon get used to this chaos and since you’ll be going to the beach area it should be better over there.

Entry requirements - Visas

To enter in Sri Lanka is not an issue for most nationalities. There is a website you should visit to apply online for a VISA. Check this page www.eta.gov.lk

It is a legal requirement for foreigners to show some form of identification on request by police so we advise to carry your passport with you.

You need a valid passport or identity document for entry to and exit from Sri Lanka.

How to get there

The usual way to get to Sri Lanka is by plane. Sri Lanka's main airport is Bandaranaike International Airport, 35km north of Colombo. It takes around 1 hour to reach Colombo city Centre.

Many flight companies operate more than one daily flight to Sri Lanka, sometimes via a hub in either India, Dubai or other Asian main platforms. There are plenty of direct flights from Asia and the main European capitals also have regular flights to Sri Lanka.

These are some of the carriers flying to Sri Lanka: Sri Lankan Airlines, Qatar Airways; Emirates; Virgin Atlantic, Jet Airways; Etihad, and British Airways. You can check here all the flight companies flying to Sri Lanka.

From the airport to the surf camps in Sri Lanka and surf houses in Sri Lanka you can travel by bus, taxi or transfer (recommended). We always send to costumers all customized info about "how to get there" between the arrival point and the selected surf camp. Surfinn transfers must be booked in advance.

Tourists are always subject to inflated prices, so make some negotiation prior to agree on a trip.

Communications and useful contacts

The international access code for Sri Lanka is + 94.

Police Emergency 118 / 119

Ambulance 110

General Hospital Colombo 011-2691111

Tourist Police 011-2421052

Report Crimes 011-2691500