Although the potential health dangers of Sri Lanka may be worrisome at first, most travellers do not experience any major trouble in the country. Travellers are generally worried about contracting infectious diseases, but infections rarely cause serious illness, especially if you take some easy preventive measures. The health differences in Sri lanka are very sharp, and you may find all kinds of hygienic standards throughout the country. There are many private hospitals and health centers and healthcare quality can widely change from one another. We strongly recommend that you ask (hotels are a good information point) prior to going to any given center.
When travelling to Sri Lanka it is not advisable to travel without health insurance coverage, as the health system in the country is far from perfect. If you do not have medical insurance, services such as emergency evacuation or hospitalizations would be extremely expensive for western standards. If you need to go to the doctor while you are in the country , embassies and consulate provide lists of recommended medical centers. Self treatment may be appropriate if your problem is minor, but finding the medication may not be as easy, so make sure you bring along some medicines from home. If you are prescribed medication over the counter, always check the expiration date and only buy sealed packages.
It is very advisable to visit your doctor in your home country , around 6 weeks before your trip. He will inform you about the required vaccinations for Sri Lanka (only Yellow Fever at the moment we write this post). Your doctor will consider your medical factors and will provide a personalized recommendation. For US citizens, it is advisable to vaccinate against diphtheria and tetanus, Hepatitis A and B, Polio, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies, Typhoid and Varicella.
If you are not feeling well during or after your visit to Sri Lanka, you may need to see a doctor. If you need help finding a travel medicine specialist, see Find a Clinic. Be sure to tell your doctor about any relevant information about your travels, such as if you were in contact with non domestic animals or you travel to unpopulated areas.
If your doctor prescribed antimalarial medicine for your trip, very common as a preventive measure keep taking the rest of your pills after you return home. If you interrupt your medical treatment too soon, you could still get sick.
For more information on what to do if you are sick after your trip, please consult the measures provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Before visiting Sri Lanka, you are required to apply for a tourist visa. This process can be completely carried out online and has a cost of US$30 and a validity of 30 days. A Sri Lankan travel visa can still be obtained at international embassies for the same price and duration. If you are already in Sri Lanka and you do not have a valid visa, there is a counter at Bandaranaike International Airport that provides short notice visas, although you will be required to pay a small penalty.
If you wish to extend your trip to Sri Lanka, it is possible to renew your 30-day tourist visa twice through a relatively simple bureaucratic process. For more information, contact the Department of Immigration and Emigration https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sri_Lankan_English When travelling through Sri Lanka, you must carry a valid passport at all times. This is especially necessary when booking accommodation and accessing the international embassies in the capital.
Tip: Although obtaining a Sri Lankan visa for US citizens is not particularly difficult, make sure that you have a valid passport for more than six months. Also, it is advisable to apply for the visa as soon as possible, because your Sri Lankan visa may take weeks to be processed.