Sri Lanka is a 10-11 hr direct flight from London. Sri Lanka has maritime borders with India to the northwest and the Maldives to the southwest. It's documented history spans 3,000 years, with evidence of pre-historic human settlements dating back to at least 125,000 years. Its
geographic location and deep harbours make it of great strategic importance from the time of the ancient Silk Road through to World War II. The main arrival airport is Colombo (CMB).
Sri Lankan is a year round destination, relatively close to the equator. The air temps are fairly constant all year round.
Weather and Climate
Sri Lanka traditionally experiences 2 weather seasons. From November to April the weather is usually drier, with the majority of activities being focused on the south west side of the island. From May to October the best locations to visit are on the north east of the island, where you are more sheltered from the rainy weather reaching the southern areas. It is worth remembering however, that as with many locations, the seasons are much less predictable than they have been historically!
Our holidays to Sri Lanka are typically quoted with Sri Lankan flights from Heathrow direct to Colombo. We are however able to book most major airlines. If you would like to depart from a different UK airport (eg. Glasgow/Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham or Gatwick) or have a specific airline you prefer to fly with, simply let us know in your booking request. A supplement may apply for regional departures. Times and any applicable supplements will be confirmed by your travel consultant before you finalise your holiday.
If you wish to make your own flight arrangements to Colombo, let us know and we can remove the cost of the international flights from your quote. We are unfortunately not able to redeem airmiles on your behalf. Please do not confirm any flight arrangements yourself before your holiday is confirmed by us.
The most common stop over point en route to or from Sri Lanka is Dubai. We are able to book several hotels here.
Many customers also chose to take the short flight to the Maldives from Sri Lanka. These two destinations combine perfectly to build a longer itinerary. Talk to your travel consultant about creating a bespoke holiday.
Arrange before you go
All UK visitors to Sri Lanka need an entry visa (valid for a 30days) prior to travel approx £40: Apply online here . It is your responsibility to ensure your passport is valid and you fulfil entry requirements. Regulations can change: please review current FCO advice: click here
Scuba Travel requires all of our customers to have diving insurance. Please make sure that you have appropriate cover for your diving activities.
We also strongly recommend you have travel insurance. It's worth taking out travel insurance once you have paid your deposit to ensure you are covered for unforeseen events and cancellation.
Find out more about our combined dive and travel policy click here
Please speak to your local GP or check out the latest NHS advice on travel immunisations: click here
Preparing to fly
You will also be able to manage your booking online once you have been ticketed (after you have paid your holiday balance). Most airlines will now enable you to select your seating at this point. There may be a small charge for prebookable seating before online check in opens. Please speak to the airline for more information about charges.
As you are flying with a scheduled airline, you will be able to check in online with your airline. Please visit their website for more information about when online check in opens.
An airport lounge is a great way to start your holiday or to while away flight connections in comfort. Scuba Travel works with Lounge Pass to offer a huge range of affordable airport lounges around the world.
Prebook your airport parking to save money! If you have a long way to travel, why not also look at booking an airport hotel. These aren't as expensive as you might think.
What happens when I arrive?
On arrival in Sri Lanka, you will need to clear immigration and collect your baggage. You will then be met outside of arrivals by a representative from your liveaboard or resort. They will be holding a board with either your destination or your name on it.
If you have any issues at all locating your rep, please contact us. We have an emergency contact, manned by a member of the team here in the UK. Please call 0044 7747 488 002. We will be able to help your rep locate you in the airport.
Depending on your itinerary, you will usually require a land or air transfer from Colombo airport. It takes approx 45mins -1 hour to clear immigration and collect your baggage.
Negombo hotels are around 20mins from Colombo. The Dickowita harbour is around 40mins from Colombo. If you are visiting the national parks (eg Yala) or Kandy, transfers may take several hours by road. Due to local traffic and road conditions, land journey times can be difficult to predict. We recommend you take water with you and keep any essentials in your hand baggage to make your journey as comfortable as possible.
If you are heading to Trincomalee you will be met on arrival and taken to the charter flight departure point. This may be by fixed wing aircraft or helicopter. Currently the baggage allowance on these flights is 30kgs hold. Please be aware your hold baggage may not travel on the same flight as you so we recommend keeping your valuables and travel essentials in your hand baggage. We endeavour to keep the transit between flights as short as possible and your transfer will normally take place within 3 hours of your international arrival, but please be aware, you may have to wait at the airport between flights.
You will be taken back to Colombo airport in time for your international flight. Domestic flights and transfers will arrive in time for you to make your connections. Typically you will arrive at the airport 1 1/2- 2 hours before your flight time.
There is currently no departure tax when leaving Sri Lanka.
Included in your holiday
Transfers form Colombo to Negombo, accommodation and meals on a B&B basis including complimentary water in your room and with food.
All additional soft and alcoholic drinks, meals outside your package, local services, baby sitting, tour or excursions are arranged and paid for in resort. We are able to book international flights from London if required. You may be charged for excess baggage on the domestic flight if you are above the weight limit for your hold baggage.
Tipping is entirely at your discretion. We do not make recommendations as to how much to tip. Should you wish to leave a tip for the staff and crew, it should reflect the level of service you have enjoyed.
Sri Lankan rupee $USD widely accepted
Sri Lankan has good overall phone coverage
Plugs and electricity
220V, 50Hz (European 2 pin or British plugs)
Please take your own equipment with you. If you require rental kit, do let us know in advance so we can check current availability and costs
From November to April all scuba diving activities move to the south west coastline. Diving can be arranged locally subject to weather and availability.
Whale watching is a must do day trip from Negombo
Where available, nitrox is payable in resort
Deposits and Balances
A typical deposit for a holiday to Jungle Beach Sri Lanka is £250 per person, although this will depend on your exact flight option and travel class. Larger deposits may be required for some flight options (eg premium economy/business class).
Ways to pay
We charge 2% on credit card transactions but nothing on UK debit card payments. All non sterling card payments will be subject to the 2% surcharge. Alternatively, you are welcome to pay via bank transfer. Overseas transfers must add £6 to the sterling total to cover international handling fees. We are not able to accept PayPal transactions.
If you have booked as part of a group, you can still call and pay directly without needing to go via your group leader. Please have your trip reference number to hand to help us locate your holiday as quickly as possible. You will receive a transaction receipt - your group leader will forward your ATOL certificate and booking confirmation