The best time to visit Sri Lanka

Some of the characteristics that distinguish Sri Lanka are the local's friendliness and its biodiversity. This tropical paradise is rich in history, culture, spirituality, wildlife, and adventure - It is a traveler's dream come true. From the balmy coasts to the buoyant beaches, abundant highlands, blanketed plantations, and lush green forests. This country has it all!

Weather in Sri Lanka

When to go to Sri Lanka?

There are two distinct seasons in the country: dry and wet. To comprehend Sri Lanka's climate, one must first become acquainted with the country's two monsoon seasons: the southwestern and northeastern monsoons.

Between May and November, the former gives rain to Sri Lanka's southwestern region, which remains dry from December to April. Between October and January, the latter gives rain to Sri Lanka's north and eastern coastal regions, but between May and September, it is dry.

High Season (December - April)

The arrival of the nicest weather in the south and west of the island coincides with the start of Sri Lanka's high season. The Maha monsoon season (October to January) does, however, keep the East, north, and Ancient Cities wet.

Sri Lanka is a year-round wildlife-watching location, although the best periods to see elephants, leopards, and buffalo coincide with the peak tourist season, which runs from November to April.

All of the larger parks are open at this time of year, and the dry weather causes animals to congregate around water holes, making them easier to identify (especially so between February and early April).

  • Best time to visit the West and Southern coastline:
    If you're a fan of the wildlife you will be able to spot blue and sperm whales in these months. The Sinhala and Tamil Nadu "New Year" festival is also around the corner, you will be able to enjoy a week worth of social and delicacies.
  • Best time to visit the Central Hills
    The mountainous area of Sri Lanka is located here, due to its geographical location - it tends to have a slightly cooler temperature all year round.
  • Best time to visit Easter and Northern areas
    Since the Maha monsoon season hits the Eastern and Northern areas, you should definitely opt to visit in the months of April - September.

Highlights: Maha Shivarathri Festival (February)

Shoulder season (September, October, and April)

Sri Lanka's two shoulder seasons, sandwiched between the two main monsoons, provide the best weather around the island, with fewer tourists and reduced rates. April, on the other hand, falls on Sinhala and Tamil New Year, which can generate traffic congestion as people travel around the nation.

With the weather being mainly dry but not as hot as in the summer, this is an excellent time for walking in the Hill Country or climbing Sigiriya.

Highlights: "The Gathering" in Minneriya National Park (August - September)

Low season (May-August)

In Sri Lanka, the low season begins in May with the arrival of the Yala monsoon, which continues to strike the west and south. This is the greatest time to visit Jaffna in the north or the east coast's chilled-out resorts, such as Arugam Bay, which is known for its laid-back surf culture.

Despite the Yala monsoon, there are several must-see celebrations during this time. Vesak Poya, a two-day event in May where colourful lights adorn every Buddhist home, shop, and temple, is one of the greatest. In Kandy, there's also the Esala Perahera, where tens of thousands of dancers and drummers create a massive parade through the city.

As featured in