Weather & When to go : Sri Lanka
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When to visit (Quick Summary)
January - April
May - July (South-West Monsoon)
October - January (North-East Monsoon)
January - April (South)
May - July (East)
December - April (Bundala National Park - birds)
November - April (Kalpitya - dolphins)
July - September (The Cultural Triangle
- The Gathering of the Elephants)
January - March
A fantastic time to travel across the whole country, Sri Lanka is basking in sunshine and dry all over throughout these months. Temperatures will be lovely and warm, although a touch cooler up in the Hill Country. Beaches on both sides of the island 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. 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.
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Meet the Sri Lanka experts
Becky joined the Experience Travel Group team in July 2012, but she’s been preparing for a job in travel for years! Her love for travel began with extensive globetrotting through South East Asia with her parents, and subsequently developed under her own steam. Becky has a passion for history, and enjoys exploring the culture, religions and traditions in all of the countries she visits. This passion has taken her all over the world including Asia, the Middle East and she also spent a year studying at the University of Otago, in New Zealand as part of her History degree.
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Frances’s first travel experience was when she moved to Papua New Guinea at 6 months old. After that she moved around, predominantly in Europe: Istanbul, Milan, Munich and Amsterdam, before moving to Kolkata, India. Living and travelling in India is what first ignited her interest for exploring new places and since then she has been to Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Nepal and parts of Australia and New Zealand. Asia has always been her preferred destination for travel because of great cities like Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Colombo and Bombay. While they are huge, chaotic and disorganised at the best of times they somehow still manage to function and Frances is always surprised by how many things do work!
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Nick is Experience Travel Group’s Sales Manager and our pre-eminent Sri Lankan specialist. When not obsessing over his other passion, sport (he's a lifelong Wimbledon supporter), Nick loves exploring life in Asia and has spent a great deal of time in Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand and Laos over the past decade. He has pioneered our Indonesia holidays and is passionate about extolling the virtues of this often over-looked country.
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Matt loves everything about travel and he's had the bug since his (first) gap year in 2004. He started his career in adventure tourism, working for one of the UK's leading operators; helping to organise trips all over the world. After some serious trekking and climbing peaks, he's decided to take a softer approach to travel and over the last few years he has focused primarily on South East Asia - which is where he specialises for us now. Ask him his favourite country in this region and he’ll start telling you that it's not possible to choose as they all have their own unique quirks and qualities. A boring answer so our advice is: don't ask!
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