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General Information

Holidays in Sri Lanka - The Democratic Socialists Republic of Sri Lanka
   
Geography   Climate

The small tropical island of Sri Lanka is situated south of the southern tip of the Indian sub-continent. Sri Lanka covers an area of 65,610 square kilometers, the maximum length of Sri Lanka is 435 Km and the island's maximum breadth 225 kilometers. Sri Lanka lies 880 kilometers north of the Equator. The central mountainous region is surrounded by wide plains that extend up to the island's 1230 kilometer coastline of Palm fringed beaches.

  • Longest River in Sri Lanka
    The Mahaweli 331 Km
  • Highest Mountain in Sri Lanka
    Pidurutalagala 2520 m
  • Highest Waterfall
    Bambarakanda 241 m
 

The climate is a perfect example of all year round summer tropical climate. In Sri Lanka the temperature changes with the altitude; The lowland plains average around 27 C, in the hill country it ranges from 20 - 25 C and in the mountains between 10 - 16 C. The sea temperature around the island seldom drops below 27 C.

Sri Lanka's weather patterns have been affected like many other places in the world. However it has definite periods of dry and rainy seasons. In general the Island is affected by two monsoons. The south West monsoon from May to October and the North East monsoon from December to January. Although there is heavy rain during the monsoon, sunny days are extremely common even during its peak. Unlike in the past, where it could rain the entire day, rain is normally experienced in short, sharp 15-minute bursts about 3 or 4 times daily.
 
   
Population   Religion
The population of Sri Lanka is almost 21 million. the major ethnic groups are Sinhalese 74%, Tamils 18% , Muslims 7% and others consisting mainly Burghers (descendents of the Dutch and Portuguese) 1%.  
  • Buddhists 69%
  • Hindus 15%
  • Christians 8%
  • Islam 8%
 
   
Languages   Economy
The official languages are Sinhala, Tamil and English. Communication in English is possible in most places of the Island.  

Sri Lanka's economy has depended on agriculture and plantation crops since its pre independence era. Rice is the staple cereal. The major export crops continue to be Tea, Rubber and Coconut. However the economy has diversified and the Garment sector, Fisheries, repatriated earnings of Sri Lankans working in the Middle East and Tourism have become major foreign exchange earners for the country.

  • Capital City : Sri Jayawardenapura kotte
  • Commercial Capital : Colombo
 
   
Currency   Credit Cards
Sri Lanka's currency is the Rupee. The Rupee is divided into 100 cents. While the currency notes come in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000 and 5000. The coins come in denominations of Rupees 1, 2, 5, 10 and cents 5, 10, 25, 50   Major Credit Cards such as Visa, Mastercard, American Express are accepted.
 
   
International Airport    
Colombo Airport, Katunayake, 35 Km (45 Minutes – 1 hour) from Colombo City.   International Airlines
   
  • Air Arabia
  • Air Asia
  • Cathay Pacific
  • China Eastern Airlines 
  • Etihad Airlines
  • Flydubai
  • Gulf Air
  • Indian Airlines
  • Kuwait Airways
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Mihin Lanka 
  • Oman Air
  • Qatar Airways
  • Saudi Arabian Airlines
  • Singapore Airlines
    There are also seasonal Charter flights from Germany, the U.K. and Switzerland.

 
Entry Formalities    

All visitors are required to obtain a visa prior to arrival. Visit www.eta.gov.lk for further information.
Nationals of Singapore and Maldives are exempted from this requirement.Please visit www.airport.lk for the Official Website of Airport & Aviation Services in Sri Lanka.

   
     
 
   

Customs and import

On arrival visitors to Sri Lanka are officially required to declare all currency, valuable equipment, jewellery and gems, even though this is rarely checked.