A complete article with considerations, requirements, restrictions, and all kinds of information necessary to make a trip to Sri Lanka.
Traveling to Sri Lanka has been the dream of many travelers since time immemorial.
Known as the teardrop of India, this small country has countless places of interest to satisfy almost all tastes: mountains, jungle, paradisiacal beaches, spectacular fauna dominated by the abundant herds of elephants, impressive temples, and one of the line’s most beautiful railway in the world.
Ancient Ceylon is well worth a getaway, so if you plan to get to know it sooner or later, stay and read because today we are going to give you a lot of information and general considerations about how to travel to Sri Lanka, as well as a few tips for doing it taking advantage of your time and money.
1. Requirements and restrictions to travel to Sri Lanka
If you are thinking of taking a trip to Sri Lanka, we have very good news for you because the country has opened its borders to international tourists and has already lifted most of its travel restrictions.
All those vaccinated travelers who want to visit Sri Lanka and have the complete guideline for at least 14 days before entering the country do not need to do any PCR test or quarantine.
You will have to fill out a form before arriving in the country, with which you will obtain a QR code that you must show at the airport.
You will also need to take out compulsory insurance that costs $12 and is requested here.
All unvaccinated travelers or those who still do not have the complete vaccination schedule can visit the country under the “Bio Bubble” program that allows them to stay in hotels certified by the government. Among others, the travel requirements are:
Have a reservation made at a certified hotel.
PCR 72h or antigen test 48h before shipment.
Carry out and prepay a new PCR test upon arrival at the airport.
I have hired a transfer to the hotel.
Acquire compulsory insurance.
At 7 days, or when 14 days have elapsed since the complete vaccination schedule, you will need to do a new PCR test to be able to leave the hotel and move freely.
In both cases, you also have to obtain an entry visa to the country, which we will discuss further.
2. How to travel to Sri Lanka from Spain
The connections to travel from Spain to Sri Lanka are generally quite good. Of course, keep in mind that there are no direct flights, and stopovers are usually made through Doha or Dubai, with normally very comfortable stops in fairly modern airports.
You have daily departures from Madrid and Barcelona to Colombo airport, the most common point of entry to reach the country.
Suppose you are in Southeast Asia and want to take the opportunity to get to know Sri Lanka or continue your trip through one of these countries. In that case, the good thing is that Colombo airport directly connects with many neighboring countries.
Once you arrive at Bandaranaike International Airport, you will have the city of Negombo, its beaches 10 minutes away, and the capital, Colombo, 32 km away.
3. Is it advisable to travel to Sri Lanka?
Yes. Sri Lanka is one of the most recommended countries to visit today.
In general, Sri Lanka is a fairly safe country for tourists. People in Sri Lanka are extremely friendly and hospitable, and there is hardly any crime against highly respected tourists.
Unlike the European ones, the roads are much better than those of neighboring India and many other Asian countries, and medical care offers many more guarantees than expected.
Sri Lanka is also cheap, so traveling through it is relatively inexpensive. It also has varied gastronomy and has managed to preserve an amazing heritage and an exuberant landscape.
Sri Lanka is a country smaller than several regions of Spain, where you can enter temples of different religions: Hindus, Buddhists, and even Christians, as well as enjoy the famous train from Kandy to Ella, which is considered one of the most beautiful in the world.
If you like wild animals, you are in luck because there are thousands of elephants in the wild in Sri Lanka, and if you enjoy hiking, there are several national parks protected by UNESCO, with peaks as famous as Adam’s Peak.
What do you prefer to relax? No problem, the southern beaches with their white sand and turquoise waters rival those of the nearby Maldives.
Do you understand why Sri Lanka is one of the best travel destinations? Here we leave you with a complete article about what to see in Sri Lanka.
4. Traveling alone to Sri Lanka or in a group trip?
One of the many questions we ask ourselves before embarking on a trip to Sri Lanka is whether to do it alone by join a group.
There is no definitive answer, and everything will depend on your tastes and needs, but in general terms, we can say that:
If you are one of those adventurous travelers who want to explore Sri Lanka independently, you can do so without major problems as long as you have enough time.
Although it is not a country with too many hostels, you will find shared accommodation where you can meet other travelers in the main tourist places. Although public transport can be tedious, it reaches all the areas of interest on the island.
Of course, you must arm yourself with patience because the schedule’s punctuality is not the country’s strong point.
If you are one of those who prefer to travel accompanied or like to meet new people, traveling in a group is undoubtedly your best option.
Another positive part is that doing it this way allows you to take advantage of your travel time from the first moment since private transport or even rental tuk-tuks will be much cheaper if you share them. Also, you will have more independence to stop where and how you want.
5. Vaccinations to travel to Sri Lanka
Apart from vaccination for Covid, there is no mandatory requirement to travel to Sri Lanka unless you have previously been in a country where yellow fever is an endemic disease. However, there are some recommended vaccines, such as:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
You can check it in detail on this website.
6. How to obtain a travel visa to Sri Lanka
Obtaining a Sri Lankan visa before taking the plane is essential to travel to the country. The visa for Sri Lanka is processed completely online through the official website.
To do this, you must fill out and send the form and wait for your electronic visa authorization, known as ETA, to be approved.
The visa will allow you to be in the country for 30 days, costing $35. As in almost all countries, it is required that your passport has 6 months of validity left from your entry into the country.
7. What is the best time to travel to Sri Lanka?
The best time to travel to Sri Lanka will depend greatly on the area of the country you want to visit, with the southwestern part being ideal between November and March and the northeastern part between May and September.
The climate in Sri Lanka is generally very stable in its temperatures, almost always between 25 and 30 degrees. The difference is made by the rain that appears in different parts of the island depending on the season.
That is why knowing when you will travel to Sri Lanka is essential when planning your travel itinerary around the country.
Sri Lanka has a climate marked by two different monsoons :
The northeast monsoon
Known as “Maha,” it occurs between November to March. At this time, the island experiences what is known as the northwest monsoon, which brings rain to this entire area of the island.
Towns like Trincomalee are greatly affected, and many remain with restaurants and hotels closed. Likewise, the seawater becomes cloudy, making activities such as diving or snorkeling difficult.
The southwest monsoon
Also known as “Yala,” it is the main monsoon that the island experiences and runs between May to September, with June being the month in which the greatest amount of rainfall generally occurs.
This monsoon affects the entire southwestern area of the island, including much of the country’s highlands and the southern coast.
This makes Sri Lanka an ideal country to visit at any time of the year, and you will need to slightly adapt your route to the season in which you see the country.
8. How to travel around Sri Lanka and get around the country
Getting around Sri Lanka is generally not difficult. If you opt for public transport, you will be able to see most places of interest without any problem, although the schedules will not allow you to make the most of your time.
This option is recommended for those who want to stretch the visa month to the maximum by doing slow travel and letting themselves go.
The advantage, obviously, is that the prices of the buses are enormously low, to give you an idea, the one that goes from the airport to the capital costs less than €1 at the exchange rate and is almost 35 km away.
The good railway network in the country makes the train one of the main means of transport to mix with the local population and enjoy the landscapes, yes, do not go in a hurry.
From our point of view, the best way to get around if you have a little more budget or are traveling in a group, is the rental tuk tuk, which allows you to reach all the main places as well as many others that would otherwise be difficult. . In addition, driving your tuk tuk is already an adventurous experience that you will not forget.
9. Sri Lanka and Maldives or just Sri Lanka? How to organize your trip.
If you are thinking of taking advantage of your trip to Sri Lanka to make a cocktail and also get to know the Maldives Islands, you should know that if what you are looking for is a beach, the beaches of Sri Lanka do not have much to envy those of the Maldives.
Also, apart from beach activities in the Maldives, there is little else to keep you entertained; chances are that after 4 days, you will have more than enough.
The Maldives, however, is an excellent destination for diving, whether you are already initiated or if you are going to get the Open Water. But if you are not one of those who consider water their natural environment, you will have more than enough with the beaches of Sri Lanka, and you will save a lot on your travel budget.
It would help if you remembered that the prices in the Maldives (in local islands) are at European levels. Needless to say, if you go to a resort island in Sri Lanka, both eating and staying are very cheap.
However, if you love diving and want to take the opportunity to get to know some of the best sea beds in the region, combining Sri Lanka and the Maldives on a trip is an excellent option that will not disappoint you.
Now you know some of the main points to consider when traveling to Sri Lanka. Don’t forget to go through our travel to Sri Lanka section to learn about all the plans we have.