Sri Lanka

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WorldIndian OceanBay of BengalSouth AsiaSri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Capital Sri Jayawardenapura Kotte
Language Sinhalese, Tamil
Currency Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR)
Time zone SLST (UTC+5:30)
Calling code +94

The island of Sri Lanka lies in the Indian Ocean, to the southwest of the Bay of Bengal and to the southeast of the Arabian Sea. It is separated from the Indian subcontinent by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait. Its population was estimated in 2017 to be 22,409,38.

Sri Lanka's documented history spans 3,000 years, with evidence of prehistoric human settlements dating back to at least 125,000 years. It has a rich cultural heritage and the first known Buddhist writings of Sri Lanka, the Pāli Canon, date back to the Fourth Buddhist council in 29 BC. Its geographic location and deep harbors made it of great strategic importance from the time of the ancient Silk Road through to the modern Maritime Silk Road.

According to Hindu mythology, a land bridge to the Indian mainland, known as Rama's Bridge, was constructed during the time of Rama by the vanara architect Nala. Often referred to as Adam's Bridge, it now amounts to only a chain of limestone shoals remaining above sea level. According to colonial British reports, this is a natural causeway which was formerly complete but was breached by a violent storm in 1480. The width of the Palk Strait is small enough for the coast of Sri Lanka to be visible from the furthest point near the Indian town of Rameswaram. The teardrop shaped island consists mostly of flat-to-rolling coastal plains, with mountains rising only in the south-central part. Amongst these are Sri Pada (Adams Peak) and the highest point Pidurutalagala, at 2,524 meters (8,281 ft). The Mahaweli Ganga (Mahaweli river) and other major rivers provide fresh water to the population.


British Admiralty
BA 813 - Colombo to Sungama Kanda point
BA 827 - Bay of Bemgal - southern part
BA 1583 - Little Basses reef to Pulmoddai roads
BA 1584 - Tricomalee to Point Calimere
BA 1587 - Sri Lanka and India - Colombo to Camorin


Tropical climate; two distinct monsoon seasons. Heavy rainfall along the western coast occurs during the SW monsoon, especially May to September. Coastal temperatures are usually high. The island is occasionally affected by tropical cyclones, which develop in the Bay of Bengal, the worst months being November and December. Northeast monsoon (December to March) only affects east coast

Weather links

Sources of weather forecasting here.


List popular passages/routes, timing, etc.


Add here VHF channel for coastguard, harbor masters. etc.

Also see World Cruiser's Nets


Add any navigation notes such approaches, dangers etc here. If this section does not apply remove it.



  • Visiting yachts are only allowed in official ports of entry except in an extreme emergency .
  • When arriving in a Sri Lankan port (port of entry), the yacht skipper must contact the Harbour Master, or immediately report to the nearest customs office or police station.

A health officer will board the vessel for inspection before granting clearance. The vessel will then be inspected by Customs.

  • The port authority will indicate the area in the port where visiting yachts may anchor/moor and you may not move from there without the Harbour Master's permission. ONLY the designated dinghy landing points may be used in each port.
Documents required
  • Clearance certificate from last port
  • Detailed crew lists and proposed crew changes.


On departure, a clearance certificate must be obtained from Customs.

Customs and Immigration


  • All firearms and ammunition MUST be declared on arrival and will held in custody by Customs until your departure.
  • Permission is required from Customs to remove or return any item to the yacht - this includes ship's stores and anything for repairs.
  • Electronic and electrical goods such as cameras and radios have to be re-exported.
  • Yachts are allowed to stay in Sri Lanka for up to 2 months.


  • A 30 day visa is granted to all arrivals aboard a yacht and can be extended for up to 2 months.
  • Any crew that leaves the yacht (signs off) must obtain a Landing Endorsement from Immigration or local police before leaving the harbour area.
  • Prior permission/clearance from Immigration or the police is reguired before taking on any new crew/passengers and a new crew list must be submitted.

Fees and Charges


  • PETS: Animals must not be taken ashore
  • ONLY the designated dinghy landing points may be used in each port

Health and Security


  • Vaccinations are recommended for Hepatitis A+B, Polio, and Tetanus. Also, the Typhus vaccination outside of tourist areas especially in the wet season.
  • Dengue fever: During the rainy season use mosquito repellent. When head and joint aches occur get a blood check. There is no vaccination yet.
  • Malaria : Gampaha (e.g. Negombo), Colombo, Kalutara, Galle, and Nuwara Eliya districts are considered malaria free, as is the city (but not the entire district) of Kandy.

Elsewhere, malaria exists and is most likely in Anuradhapura. In the dry season, using DEET repellent for a mid-day road or train trip to Kandy (including visits to the Peradeniya Gardens) or Nuwara Eliya should suffice. Risk increases after sunset. Malaria prophylaxis (anti-malarials) are warranted for trips to the north (especially Anuradhapura), east, and southeast (however some types are not available locally.)

  • Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers over 1 year of age coming from infected areas.


Violent crime is not a serious problem for tourists in Sri Lanka. As in most tourist locations, beware of pickpockets, and don't leave valuables unguarded. Women should not be alone at night on the beach or streets. There has been a slight increase in violent crimes involving tourists in the past few years, but it is still rare.



Key to symbols: |Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |Anchorage icon – anchorage |Needs data icon – needs data ||
  • Colombo Colombo /wiki/Colombo Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Needs data icon – needs data |
  • Galle Galle /wiki/Galle Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Anchorage icon – anchorage |
  • Trincomalee Trincomalee /wiki/Trincomalee Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Anchorage icon – anchorage |Needs data icon – needs data |


  • The first and the biggest Sri Lankan airport is Colombo-Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB IATA)
  • Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (Hambantota International Airport, HRI IATA), in the southern part of the country, approximately 250 km away from Colombo
  • Sri Lankan Airlines operates seaplane service to destinations such as Nuwara Eliya, Kandy, Galle and elsewhere
  • Sri Lanka has an extensive railway system serving all major towns and cities in the island except for the North
  • For those on a budget buses are everywhere. As a foreigner you maybe be overcharged, simply ask for a ticket to your destination to get the correct fare


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)



Books, Guides, etc. Use the Reference template or not at your discretion. For example:

{{Reference|Rod Heikel|Greek Waters Pilot Imray||Laurie and Wilson, Cambridgeshire|9780852889718}}, expands to
Rod Heikell, Greek Waters Pilot Imray, Laurie and Wilson, Cambridgeshire, ISBN 9780852889718
  • Author, Title, Publisher, ISBN ISBN number
  • Author, Title, Publisher, ISBN ISBN number

You may want to remove the above entries and use instead a link to an Island Group that lists the relevant references. If so enter, after removing {{MagentaText|xx}}, the following:

See [[Island Group#References_&_Publications|Coutry or Region]].

If you do not use the above link, please remove it.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

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