A: Sri Lanka, also sometimes known as Ceylon, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean, located in Southern Asia, South-East of India, in a strategic location near major Indian Ocean sea lanes. This is a separate country from India. It has a total area of 65,610 km², with 64,740 km² of land and 870 km² of water. The coastline of Sri Lanka is 1,340 km long.
A: Please see the Visa section for all the details regarding the visa procedure.
A: Sri Lanka is a year round destination as it is opportune to have two monsoons that occur in different parts of the island at different times. In case if you wish to enjoy the western and the southern coastal resorts when the weather is best, it is advisable to visit Sri Lanka between December and April. However, the monsoon, when it comes, does not generally last for very long and the ground dries very quickly. Temperature throughout the island do not vary much during the year, since altitude is the only variable that directly affects air temperature. Usually, the coastal belt, Cultural Triangle area and the South-East dry zone are within 27-32°C, Kandy and lower Hill Country are within 20-25°C (Cooler at night) and Nuwara Eliya and the upper Hill Country are within 15-20°C range. However, the Kandy area are slightly cooler at nights, while Nuwara Eliya and upper hill country are much cooler at nights.
A: Sri Lanka is rich, different and diverse in respect of all your expectations to attract a spectrum of tourists from all parts of the world. Thus, the accommodation in the island has been transformed in recent years. Specially, the past decade has brought a major change, with the growth of world class star hotels, resorts & spas, villas, boutique hotels and small independent and individualistic properties offering a huge array of choice. Rejoice Holidays is keen to treat you with world class accommodation as per your choice.
A: You will find Sri Lanka as a very child-friendly country. People often make special efforts to entertain children. Children are carefully catered and looked after in restaurants and hotels. Guest houses in the island usually have family rooms. Baby food, nappies and other related requirements are available in supermarkets across the island. However, it is advisable to bring child friendly mosquito repellent and sun cream, although they can be bought in Sri Lanka too. Some of the highlights for children are the Dehiwala Zoo in Colombo, the numerous beautiful sandy 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 in stores such as Odel, Urban Kitchen, Cheers Pub and Cinnamon Grand.
A: Of course you can. Every full moon day is a Buddhist public holiday (Known as Poya) in Sri Lanka. Every such Poya has a unique name. The most important Poya is in May named "Vesak" . Vesak is a festival that marks the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha. This is celebrated in a grand manner with illuminated bamboo frameworks (Pandals) all over the island, hung with pictures depicting the events in the life of Buddha. This festival is a fabulous celebration to see. Additionally, Sri Lanka's most tourist-oriented traditional festival is the Kandy Esala Perahera (Kandy Grand Festival) which is held in Kandy over 10 days in late July to early August. The meaning of Perahara is "Procession", and that is exactly what occurs nightly - a magical passing-by of drummers, dancers, whip-crackers, acrobats and robed elephants. A caparisoned tusker carries the reason for the festival, the tooth relic of Buddha for the Buddhist people who venerate.
A: The path from Dalhousie (a near small town) to Adam's Peak contains around 4800 steps in its 1000-meter or so ascent. The steps vary from well-kept, shallow treads to rocks and boulders. In some places the gradient is very steep. If you are average in fitness, then the climb may take 3-4 hours to complete. There are plenty of tea-houses on the way up for refreshments, and many of the pilgrims are infirm elders who make it to the top without any hassle.
A: Yes. Ayurveda is one of the main ancient traditional healing systems of Sri Lanka and is practiced as equivalent to Western medicine. Many hotels offer Ayurvedic treatment for guests and have qualified practitioners to advise you as to how you may improve your health. Different kinds of baths and massages are also offered in the treatments.
A: National Parks are different from Wild Life Sanctuaries which allow free movements. We need to obtain permission and a specially trained guide will be provided by the park. Sri Lanka has 14 National Parks which offer the chance for you to see some of the country’s endemic animals. Elephant, leopard, sloth bear, sambhur, spotted deer, hog, mouse, barking-deer, wild boar, porcupine, ant-eater, civet cat, giant squirrel, monkeys such as the macaque, purple-faced leaf monkey and grey langur are some of the animals you would encounter in these parks. The largest of these parks, is Yala, where jeep safaris will offer you close encounters with leopards and also abundant bird-life. The best park to see elephants is Uda Walawe. We, at Rejoice Holidays feel pride in guiding you to all of these parks as per your choice, enabling you to get the best out of your tour while providing true value for money.
A: Sri Lanka is a compact sized island catering to the various tastes of the visitors. Because of this compact size, accessibility to most of the major tourist attractions are very easy. That even a week will allow you to visit and enjoy a number of different areas. However, to experience the island properly, approximately a two week of stay is advisable.
A: There are seven "World Heritage sites" declared by the UNESCO in the island of Sri Lanka. Generally, the area called "Cultural Triangle" should not be missed as a visitor. This includes: Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla and Sigiriya. "The Cultural Triangle" has a lot to offer and each of the four places have been declared as "The World Heritage Sites" by the UNESCO. In the hill country of the island, the royal capital of Kandy - another World heritage by the UNESCO is not missed along with the Dalada Maligawa, which houses the Buddhist sacred tooth relic of the Buddha. Dutch fort in Galle, the south of the island, is also another "UNESCO World Heritage". The seventh World Heritage Site in the island is an ecological example, The Sinharaja Forest Reserve. Apart from these seven world heritage sites, eye-catching sites include the Knuckles mountain range, Horton Plains and the World's End, where the hill country comes to an abrupt end, dropping 2,000m to the coastal plains. Adam's Peak is an adventurous thing to do; climbing the mountain and appreciate the stunning view of Sun-rise as well as the country-side from the peak. Moreover, there are lots and lots of fabulous beaches and national parks are in Sri Lanka which are enjoyed by almost all the visitors.
A: UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place, such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, or city, which is listed by the UNESCO as of importance to the common heritage of humanity. The list is maintained by the International World Heritage Programme administered by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, composed of 21 state parties. Under this programme, Sri Lanka’s cultural depth is recognized, and it has been declared six sites as Archaeological World Heritage Sites in the country. The Buddhist sacred city of Anuradhapura, The ancient city of Polonnaruwa, The Golden Temple of Dambulla, The ancient city (mainly: the rock) of Sigiriya, The Buddhist sacred city of Kandy, The old town of Galle and its fortifications and the seventh UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sri Lanka is an ecological lung to the planet; The Sinharaja Forest Reserve.
A: Yes. Various kinds of aquatic sports are available for you to enjoy, such as wind-surfing, water-skiing, jet-skiing, surfing, sailing, scuba-diving (including wreck-diving), snorkeling, speed-boating as well as banana-boating. Sea temperature around the country remains at approx. 27° C, which makes the island an ideal location for almost all kinds of water sports. Additionally, there are plentiful freshwater sport opportunities available in rivers and reservoirs, such as kayaking and canoeing, and the most thrilling of all is, white-water rafting. Notably, Kithugala in Sri Lanka is famous for white-water rafting and also for being the prime location for the Oscar award winning film, "The Bridge on the River Kwai , which grabbed seven Oscar awards.
A: There are lots of other sport options available such as rock-climbing, caving, mountain biking and paragliding for the adventurous. If you would like to enjoy a more relaxed sport, you may play Golf. There are three world class golf courses across the country. The Royal Colombo Golf Club in Colombo, The Victoria Golf Club in Kandy, and The Nuwara Eliya Golf Course in Nuwara Eliya. Apart from golf, there are excellent opportunities for trekking. Nature trails of remarkable interests include the Sinharaja rainforest, the cloud-forests of Horton Plains, the Knuckles (mountain range), and Hakgala Strict Natural Reserve.
A: Both the European style and the Sri Lankan typical food is available for you to taste. Sri Lankan typical food mainly consists of rice with curry such as eggplant, potato, green banana, chicken and fish, that range from delicately-spiced to near-dynamite. Generally, breakfast served in hotels and guest houses is usually European style with tea/coffee, eggs, fruit, toast and fruit juice/cordial. However, as with all meals on the island, a real Sri Lankan breakfast is a feast of its own. Idiappa (string hoppers - similar to vermicelli but made with rice flour), Egg hoppers (bowl-shaped pancakes with fried egg), Pittu (a rice flour and shredded coconut mixture similar to a coarser type of cous-cous), Kiri bath (milk rice), Roti (stuffed bread) and the full accompaniments of creamy coconut sauces and Sambol (spicy chutney) are just a few of the delicacies on offer at breakfast time. Dinner is normally a choice of rice and curry which is the national dish. Various noodle dishes, deviled meat or fish cooked in a rich tomato and onion gravy, and Chinese food are common all over the island. Western dishes are also available in the tourist areas. Lamprais - a dish with rice and accompaniments baked in plantain leaves is a legacy of the Dutch. Fresh fish, prawns, crab, squid and crayfish are also readily available. Tasty snacks known as short eats are excellent for trips. Delectable fruit includes the popular mango, pineapple, banana and papaya, as well as, lesser-known but distinctive fruits such as Sapodilla, Mangosteen, Rambuttan, Woodapple, custard-apple and Beli are also available. Colombo and other major cities have an impressive range of restaurants specializing in international world class cuisine.
A: Sri Lanka has a soft warm climate throughout the year in the low country. Thus, loose cotton skirts or trousers and tops, and long sleeved blouses for visiting temples, are ideal for women. Men may wear cotton trousers, shorts, T-shirts, or even the locally used sarong (Sarong is a length of fabric, often wrapped around the waist and worn as a kilt). It is advisable to take a sun-hat and sandals, slippers or open shoes that are easy to slip on and off. Especially in rural areas and in temples, very short skirts and shorts should be avoided.
Meanwhile, for the hill country, you may have a simple sweater. If you intend to sample a nature trail, it is better bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes (specially if you are visiting the Adam's Peak, Kithugala Forest Trails, Horton Plains / World's End and Singharaja Forest Reserve). Moreover, if you are travelling with children, a sun-hat, loose cotton shorts and tops, including long-sleeved tops to protect them from mosquito bites, might be useful. However, if you would like, all the above items could also be purchased locally, and the items are cheaper in price too. We generally advice you to travel light, rather than carrying loads of clothes etc. However, the choice is yours.
A: As anywhere in the world, with common-sense precautions, it is easy to stay healthy in Sri Lanka. Moreover, Sri Lanka has excellent sanitation and health care. Hospitals are of world class standards. In the capital of the island, which is accessible quickly from any part of the country, you can have almost any treatment, from simple dental care to complex surgeries, including cosmetic surgery. Fever in Sri Lanka, although rare, should always be considered potentially serious and you should seek medical advice immediately if in case (We can help you on all the procedures in the rare occasion of a need). The first golden rule is never to drink tap water and to avoid ice and juices in places where they do not use bottled water. Secondly, make sure you keep yourself hydrated by drinking sufficient amounts of clean water or king coconut juice which is a cheap, healthy alternative. Thirdly, be careful in the sun, which is bit strong in the region, especially from 10am to 3pm. Fourthly, do not pet or play with stray dogs because it is possible they may have rabies. And, may be most importantly, please ensure always you have mosquito repellent with you since prevention of mosquito borne disease is certainly better than cure.
A: The recommended vaccinations for Sri Lanka, are Hepatitis A, Poliomyelitis, Tetanus and Typhoid. Malarial prophylaxis is also strongly advised. We recommend that you seek expert medical advice BEFORE travelling to Sri Lanka or any other country in general. Specialized travel-medicine clinics are your best source of information; they stock all available vaccines and will be able to give specific recommendations for you.
A: Each tour is customized for you. Thus, you may decide as to how many people would accompany you in a tour. You and your friends / family / colleagues etc may travel around the island on your own with our dedicated and expert guide, with A/C transportation along with world-class hospitality.
A: Tipping is part of the culture in Sri Lanka and it is expected, mostly unjustly, a lot of the time. However, staff are not generally paid a very good wage and thus they supplement their income through tips. It is totally up to you as to when and how much you tip someone. So the choice is yours ! Tipping has become a customary way of showing your appreciation for the services rendered. Drivers generally expect a tip, as do people who ‘guide’ you through a site. A rule of thumb is to tip 10% of the total amount due. If there’s no money involved, you may use your other thumb for this rule; which is, Rs 10 (Approx. USD 0.09) for the person who minds your shoes at temples; likewise, Rs 20 (Approx. USD 0.18) for a hotel porter.
A: Souvenirs often combine traditional designs such as Makara (a mythical animal combining lion, swan, elephant and lotus) which are most evident in brass work (boxes, trays, lanterns, vases) and silverware (ornately carved and filigree jewellery, tea-sets). In addition, ritual masks, lacquer ware, batik & handloom textiles, lace and wood carvings are popular. Specially, Sri Lanka has the widest variety of precious stones among the gem producing countries in the world. Blue sapphires, Star sapphires, Rubies, Cat's eye, Garnets, Moonstones, Aquamarines and Topazes are some of the finest varieties available in Sri Lanka. Please see: Travelling Tips also.
Please see: Travelling Tips also