WHEN TO VISIT (QUICK SUMMARY)BEST TIME
January - April (Entire Country)
Mid-July - September (Entire Country)
February - September(North and East)
May - July (South-West Monsoon)
October - January(North-East Monsoon)
January - April (South)
May - September (East)
Mid-July to September(South)
December - April (Bundala National Park - birds)
(South coast - whales)
November - April (Kalpitya - dolphins)
July - September (Minneriya / Kaudulla)
January - October(Yala/Wilpattu - leopards)
JANUARY - MARCH
A fantastic time to travel across the whole country, Sri Lanka is generally basking in sunshine and relatively dry all over throughout these months. Temperatures will be lovely and warm, although a touch cooler up in the Hill Country. Beaches on the south and west coasts are dry, hot and sunny.
Arguably the driest and hottest month of the year, April starts to get very hot - especially in the central and Cultural Triangle regions with temperatures at least in the mid-30°Cs. It’s a great month to head to the beach, with clear skies and long, sunny days. Make sure to avoid the hottest hours of the day (11am-3pm) when sightseeing during April.
MAY - JUNE
The south-west monsoon blows through May and June, but as the name suggests it only affects the south-west quarter of the country such as Colombo and Galle. It is also the more gentle of the two monsoons that Sri Lanka experiences, with mainly short and sharp showers that tend to pass quite quickly.
JULY - SEPTEMBER
This is what is known as "inter-monsoon" season, meaning that spare the odd shower, the weather is great at this time of year. Temperatures remain high across the country at around 29°C average and the beaches are hot and dry. All in all, a great period to travel.
OCTOBER - NOVEMBER
The north-east monsoon blows in October and November, and it is the heavier of the two monsoons that Sri Lanka experiences. Whilst the name may lend itself to the north-east only, this monsoon does in fact affect the whole country. This monsoon can be unpredictable – it can be stronger, lighter or more sporadic than past years, and sometimes it never comes at all!
December is usually a great month to travel if the monsoon winds down, with nice, hot and dry weather across the island. However, there have been instances in recent years of monsoon rains lasting into December. The rains will also have helped thicken out the lush green landscapes, making it an exceptionally beautiful time to enjoy the rural parts of Sri Lanka.