When to visit Sri Lanka
Jan - Apr (Entire Country)
Mid-July - Sep (Entire Country)
Feb - Sep (North and East)
May - Jul (South-West Monsoon)
Oct - Jan (North-East Monsoon)
Jan - Apr (South)
May - Sep (East)
Mid-July to Sep (South)
Dec - Apr (Bundala National Park - birds)
(South coast - whales)
Nov - Apr (Kalpitya - dolphins)
Jul - Sep (Minneriya / Kaudulla - Elephants)
Jan - Oct (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.
Sri Lanka’s weather in April is usually at its hottest and driest - 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. A brilliant option for families looking for a tropical summer holiday and 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!
Weather in Sri Lanka in December is typically hot and dry across the island, making it a lovely choice for a Christmas or winter break. It is worth noting that in recent years, there have been instances of monsoon rains lasting into December, but these usually calm by the end of the month. The plus side is that the seasonal rains help restore the lush green landscapes, making holidaying soon afterwards an exceptionally beautiful time to enjoy the rural regions.
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- Best beaches and recommended boutique hotels
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Meet the Sri Lanka experts
Becky joined the Experience Travel Group team in July 2012, but was an explorer from a young age, thanks to her globe-trotting parents. Southeast Asia was where her young journeys began and later, combining her passion for history with travel, she delved into the culture, religions and traditions of Asia and the Middle East. Becky also spent a year studying at the University of Otago, in New Zealand, as part of her History degree.
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Holly’s first job in travel was in a marketing role. However, it didn’t take her long to decide to exchange inspecting photographs of amazing destinations for being in them herself.
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Our Head of Travel, Nick loves exploring life in Asia and over the past decade he has spent a great deal of time in Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. To add to his impressive repertoire, Nick also pioneered our Indonesia holidays and having done exhaustive tours to Bali, Java, Flores and Indonesian Borneo he is passionate about extolling the virtues of this often overlooked country.
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Sara was bitten by the travel bug straight after university, and her working life has been peppered with sabbaticals before deciding on a career in the Travel Industry in 2012. She worked for two of the UK’s leading tour operators organising tailor made trips to India and Sri Lanka, before joining ETG.
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