When to travel where in Sri Lanka | a mini guide

Sri Lanka is a destination you can travel to anytime of the year and still be assured an enriching experience. Sri Lanka’s travel seasons can roughly be divided into peak season and low season. Sri Lanka doesn’t really have an off-season but during the rainy months travel itineraries will have to be adjusted to include experiences that can be done despite the monsoon rains. Rain or shine there is always plenty to do and see in Sri Lanka, so that you will never experience a dull moment.

Sri Lanka has a tropical climate and the distinction in seasons come as wet and dry seasons, with monsoon seasons that affect different parts of the island at different times. Basically, this ensures that no matter what time of the year you visit, there will be some part of the country that can be enjoyed to the fullest.

December to March

Considered as the peak season, from December to March is when the island has the greatest number of visitors as the monsoon rains are centred around the north eastern parts of the country. The south western coast and hill country are popular with tourists during these months, as the weather is relatively mild and there is usually a lot happening to keep everyone entertained.

Nuwara Eliya

This up country town has a moderate climate with cool evenings that get quite chilly during December and February. The area experiences the heaviest rainfall during October and November, but seriously that just adds to the appeal, as you watch the foliage get drenched while you sit snug with a warm cup of tea maybe, near a crackling fireplace.

Southern Coastal Belt

Including Koggala, Galle, Unawatuna, Hikkaduwa, Bentota and further up, Negombo, the southern coastal area is best enjoyed during December to March when there is the least rainfall.

April to September

East Coast

The absolute best time to be in the northern and eastern parts of the country where the picture book perfect beaches beckon you to rest, relax and rejuvenate.

The south west monsoon hits the southern and western areas during the months April to September, making it the perfect time to head on over towards the north eastern areas of the country. Surf or relax on the famous sands of the Arugam Bay beach or Passikudah while Trincomalee too is an area worth exploring. Go whale and dolphin watching and of course a trip to Sri Lanka wouldn’t be complete without visiting the abundant wildlife parks.

Kandy

Kandy can be visited throughout the year with the driest months being between January and March with the coolest being between January and February. However, July and August are popular with visitors as it is the time of the Kandy Esala Perehera which a 10 day religious pageant that honours the Sacred Tooth Relic.

May to September

Cultural Triangle

The Cultural Triangle can be visited all year round as it maintains warm and humid conditions. Consisting of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya and Dambulla is it usually the wettest from around October to December. So, if thoroughly exploring these ancient locations is on the cards plan your visit between the months of May to September.

Yala National Park

The best time to visit is from February to June, as the water levels are lower which brings the animals out to the popular watering holes. This guarantees you a greater chance at seeing the wildlife in their natural habitat.

Kataragama

Visit during the months of July and August to witness the Kataragama Festival. Located in the deep south of Sri Lanka, it is a trip worth tying up with a trip to Yala.

Use this basic guide to plan your holiday to Sri Lanka. As said before, Sri Lanka is a country you can visit anytime during the year and be guaranteed an experience-packed vacation.