|Most popular in||July||High demand for flights, 17% potential price rise|
|Cheapest in||October||Best time to find cheap flights, 12% potential price drop|
|Average price||$1051||Price for this month|
|Cheapest price||$473||From New York to Colombo|
The tear drop-shaped island of Sri Lanka, situated just 31km off the southern coast of India, is often called the “pearl of the Indian Ocean”. Its beaches are palm-fringed and soft-sanded, its climate is hot and humid and its interior lush and verdant. Overall, it’s not hard to understand why tourists book flights to Sri Lanka every year to enjoy this island paradise.
Beautiful and idyllic it may be, but Sri Lanka is also rich in history. Galle port was used by Persians, Arabs, Greeks, Romans, Malays and Indians before the Portuguese, Dutch and, later, English arrived. As a result, the country has an intricate tapestry of cultural influence. Flights to Sri Lanka will deliver you to graceful people, a beautiful island and a rich holiday experience.
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The flight to Sri Lanka from the U.S. will typically have a duration of 20h 30m, on average. Total flight time depends on the exact route, stopovers, and duration of those stops. Added stops and layover times can significantly increase your travel time, so be sure to compare total flight times before booking. Flights from New York are closer to 20h in duration while flights from LAX have an average flight time closer to 27h 30m.
There are currently no direct flights offering service from the US to Sri Lanka. A number of one-stop flights are available from many larger cities, including Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York. Flights into Sri Lanka arrive at Columbo, with service available from China Eastern, Qatar Airways, Kuwait Airways, and Emirates. SriLankan Airlines often has Sri Lanka flight deals with reasonable stopovers and flight times.
The majority of tourists traveling around Sri Lanka choose to travel by road or train, as there is a well-developed road network throughout the country. Driving can be unpredictable, so most travelers will employ a local driver or choose public transportation. Several international agencies are available for car rentals, including Dollar, Thrifty, and Hertz. There are minibuses available or travelers can find rickshaws throughout the towns and villages, as well. Taxis are available but tuk-tuks (open rickshaws) are cheaper and readily available in most places. There are also buses available for long-distance trips, including public and private options. If you want to know the locals, the crowded public buses are fun, but for those who want comfort, a private line is preferred.
There are more than 1,000 miles of beaches in Sri Lanka, including one of the best that is located near the airport—Negombo Beach. Tourists frequent popular resorts like Bentota, Beruwela, Hikkaduwa, and Mount Lavinia, as well. Adam’s Peak is considered a holy site by many religions, and is also known as the Sacred Footprint. Anuradhapura offers ancient remains full of what was once a city of temples, palaces, and beautiful stone structures. In Kitulgala, you’ll find plenty of adventure and outdoor activities, including mountain biking, kayaking, and hiking. White water rafting on the Kelani River is also a great experience or you can go diving around Pigeon Island. Yala National Park and Wilpattu National Park offer local wildlife safaris, as well.
US citizens that fly to Sri Lanka for transit or tourism require prior approval from the Electronic Travel Authorization system, which is available from the airport upon arrival or you can get your ETA online before you travel to avoid delays on arrival. This allows visitors to remain in Sri Lanka for up to 30 days. Those who are transiting Sri Lanka without leaving the airport do not need an ETA. US residents visiting for short-term business can get a business ETA on arrival. You should be careful to apply for the appropriate travel authorization as using the wrong visa can result in deportation.
Sri Lanka is a tropical country with ocean winds cooling humid heat. Temperatures rarely fall below 60 F in the winter and summer temperatures average a hot 90 F. The monsoon season lasts from mid-October through January and leaves the island drenched.
Thanks to the tropical weather that graces the island, there is no bad time to book flights to Sri Lanka…
If you’re looking for cheap flights to Sri Lanka, try and visit in between the two rainy seasons. On the south-west coast and in the hills, it is driest between November and April. On the east coast, the best conditions are between May and September.
Monsoon season is between May and July, and December and January.
There is only one domestic plane service in Sri Lanka, ExpoAir, which flies between Colombo and Jaffna. For every other destination, take the train or bus. Three-wheel vehicles, known variously as tuk-tuks, bajajs or auto-rickshaws are a fun way of taking short trips. Independent travellers can rent motor-bikes and cars. Hiring a car and driver is another popular option; drivers will have local knowledge.