SriLanka Guide!

[this post has been updated in jan 2024]

In 2018, Ive picked Sri Lanka to be my birthday trip (November 13)

About Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) is an island nation south of India in the Indian Ocean. The known commercial capital of Sri Lanka is Colombo; however Anuradhapura is its ancient capital. The city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka’s ancient capital, has many ruins dating back more than 2,000 years. Theravada Buddhism is the major religion in Sri Lanka.

The weather during my visit in was humid. I visited in November (the end of at the monsoon season), but to my good luck it did not rain at all! It was raining all week the week prior to my arrival to Sri Lanka! (Yay for me haha)

The highest seasons visit Sri Lanka depending of course which part of Sri Lanka you’ll be visiting is from end of November till early April. Especially Colombo and the South coastal areas.

Here is a summary of the times of the year that determine the climate of Sri Lanka.

– From mid-December to February: it is the period of the north-east monsoon, which brings rainfall especially on the eastern side (Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Hambantota). The rains gradually decrease as the sea becomes slightly cooler. Temperatures are the lowest of the year, and sometimes nights are quite cool (below 20 °C or 68 °F).

– From March to mid-May: this is the first intermonsonic period, usually dry and gradually hotter (especially in the north-central part of the country), in which, however, rains occur in the form of downpours or thunderstorms in the afternoon or evening, which are frequent and abundant only on the western side (Colombo) and in the mountainous interior areas (Kandy, Nuwara Eliya).

– From mid-May to September: it is the period of the southwest monsoon, which, however, releases the bulk of the rains in India, while in Sri Lanka, it brings heavy rainfall only on the southwest coast (Colombo) and in the mountainous area of the interior, especially in the first part (mid-May – mid June) and a little less in the last (September).
In this period, the north-west (Jaffna, Mannar) is the driest area because it is protected by the south-east of India. However, during this period, the sea is rough on the western side, and there may be dangerous currents, except for the beaches partially sheltered by a coral reef (the beaches of Unawatuna and Hikkaduwa).

– From October to mid-December: this is the second intermonsonic period, in which, unlike in the first, there are rains spread throughout the country, since tropical depressions often form.

As a result, on the eastern side it rains a lot only from October to February, in the north-west it rains a lot only from October to December, on the western side it rains mainly from April to June and from September to November, while in the mountainous areas it rains mainly from April to December.

Within a mere area of 65,610 kilometres lie 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 1,330 kilometres of coastline – much of it pristine beach – 15 national parks showcasing an abundance of wildlife, nearly 500,000 acres of lush tea estates, 250 acres of botanical gardens, 350 waterfalls, 25,000 water bodies, to a culture that extends back to over 2,500 years!

Areas of interest in Sri Lanka:

My trip was short, so I had to limit myself with my choice and I wanted to see something different than the usual of what I hear. Hence, George one of our travel partners, suggested and planned my visit to the South and the coastal areas as well as to include the National Park in Yala. The idea sounded great, so I went for it!

Here are the usual recommended areas in Sri Lanka, and below you’ll see the areas I visited:

  • Colombo (Capital) – I hear there’s nothing much to do here so I didnt allocate any time during my three visits
  • Bentota (Beach Area)
  • Galle (Beach/Coastal)
  • Nuwara eliya (Mountain area with a cool-er weather)
  • Kandy (Mountain, Nature, Cooler weather)

What I’ve explored during my trips are:

  • Galle
  • Yala
  • Nuwara Eliya
  • Mirissa Beach

South of Sri Lanka

First 2 nights of my visit to Sri Lanka were spent in the South of Sri Lanka, specifically in Weligama! Back In 2018, I enjoyed it alot and enjoyed my stay at Cape Weligama. However, in 2024, I’ve planned the same for a client of mine and her feedback regarding Cape Weligama was really negative. For that, I advise against staying here unless they’ve renovated/enhanced the rooms and service.

Hotels in the South of Sri Lanka that i’ve seen personally or are recommended by trusted sources:

  • Rock Villa Sri Lanka
  • Villa Thamburu
  • Fortress Hotel & Spa (boutique and beautiful! suitable for a getaway)
  • Anantara Tangalle (honeymoon and those looking for luxury stay)
  • Amangalle in Galle Inside the fortress (Excellent location! Pictures available on my @hellohotelz account)
  • Shangri La Hambatota (more appropriate for a family with kids) – I personally saw it at night, i’m sure there’s lotsa beauty in the AM as always)
  • Le Grand in Galle (beautiful)

Other recommended Hotels:

Yala National Park

Yala National Park is a huge area of forest, grassland and lagoons bordering the Indian Ocean, in southeast Sri Lanka. It’s home to wildlife such as leopards, elephants and crocodiles, as well as hundreds of bird species. Inland, Sithulpawwa is an ancient Buddhist monastery. Nearby caves contain centuries-old rock paintings. Southwest, Magul Maha Viharaya also has ancient Buddhist ruins. Both are pilgrimage sites.

An impressive hotel in the National Park that I stayed in is WildCoast Tented Lodge .. Amazing place, great design, beautiful service!!! Its though in a national park so its a great place for a fun Safari ( you won’t be seeing a lot of animals, but a nice one for sure).

Wild Coast Tented Lodge is adjacent to the famous Yala National Park, renowned for its dense leopard population. This luxury tented camp is situated where the jungle meets a pristine beach, overlooking the blue waters of the Indian Ocean.

Wild Coast Tented Lodge started welcoming people from Aug 2017.

I loved every single bit about the room and especially the service. I highly recommend this hotel if you are seeking a unique different experience.

Wild Coast Lodge’s design uses arched fabric structures that allows the tents to take on the shape and colour of the rocks and boulders that lay scattered nearby, whilst a clever layout in the shape of a leopard’s paw print alludes to the area’s most famous resident. While the main buildings, made of bamboo, blend in with the distinctive rock formations of Yala, the air-conditioned tents offer state-of-the art amenities.

The property offers vehicles to tour the quietest corners of Yala National Park and expert naturalist guides talk guests through the incredible diversity. The Sanctuary Spa borders pristine ocean and dense bush and uses native Sri Lankan ingredients, Ceylon Tea and Ceylon Cinnamon.

Ive stayed at the Cocoon Pool Suite. The cocoon pool suite and the suite without the pool are exactly identical, the only difference is the pool.

‎Restaurants المطاعم :

Ministry of Crab (قباقب)

Indian Summer (هندي وصيني)

Park street اكثر من مطعم حلو

Lagoon (seafood)

Echo (Italian)

London grill (steaks)

Sugar (coffee shop & rest)

Manhaten fish market

Mahraja palace (indian)

Taj hotel indian rest

Taj hotel (chinese rest)

Kingsberry Hotel (seafood rest)

Mount lavinia hotel (poolside)

Shopping: الملابس و التسوق

House of Fashion


Arcade Independence Square (@vip cinema)

7 Stories

Majestic city mall


Factory Outlet

Cotton collection

Petta (سوق شعبي)

‎مصانع و محلات الأواني المنزلية (للأمهات) :



So if you’d like to visit Sri Lanka, here’s a general route that you could potentially explore or be inspired by!

  • Arrival – Colombo 
  • Explore the cultural triangle! (Stretching between Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Dambulla – and encompassing everything in between – the Cultural Triangle is a treasure trove of ruins, rocks and wildlife. It is located in the central part of the country and is known for its rich historical and cultural significance.) – You could base in Ulagalla to explore! (around 4 hours drive from Colombo)
  • Stop at Kandy
  • Nuwara Eliya – Highlands and tea estate of Sri Lanka
  • Mirissa Beach – lovely beach for surfers, laid back and reminded me of Bali
  • Galle – Colonia seaside city
  • Back to Colombo – Departure

Happy travels!


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