When to go to Sri Lanka? The best periods according to the regions

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Martí Micolau

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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When you are looking for information on the climate and weather in Sri Lanka or wondering when to go, you may read contrary information depending on the site. Indeed, the indications are sometimes not clear, because there are several climates over the same period in Sri Lanka.

As a result, we offer you here a detailed topo of the best (and worst) periods to travel to Sri Lanka according to the regions. All the information given is that which is observed most often, Sri Lanka is not spared by climate change.

When to go to the south and west of Sri Lanka?

Ideal between January and April!

The best time to travel to southern and western Sri Lanka is clearly between January and April! The weather is sunny, dry, it's hot (between 30 and 35 degrees) and the Indian Ocean is calm for swimming (the water is generally almost 30 degrees). In order to avoid the tourist crowds during this period, we advise you to avoid the towns of Mirissa, Hikkaduwa, Bentota and Unawatuna. You can favor the cities of Tangalle or Polhena, which are much quieter.

Tangalle Beach

These two regions are therefore ideal for celebrating the New Year on December 31 (you will have many places dedicated to party) and the Sri Lankan New Year (between April 12 and 14, depending on the year).

In July and August, the weather is generally fine or cloudy, with a few scattered showers during the day or night. However, it's not the great monsoon as some think! These regions can therefore be visited very well during the summer, but it should be noted that swimming in the ocean is not recommended. Indeed, the monsoon takes place mainly in water and there are dangerous currents.

? May, June, October and November are clearly the months to avoid in these regions, because of the monsoon. The humidity is almost 100% and some days can be entirely rainy.

When to go to the North and East of Sri Lanka?

Perfect between April and September

The best time to travel to the north and east of Sri Lanka is between April (or even mid-March depending on the year) and September. The weather is dry, bright and hot there (between 30 and 35 degrees, with a peak of heat often in May). The beaches of Nilaveli, Uppuveli, Passikudah, Arugam Bay are easily swimmable and you can do either surfing, diving or snorkeling depending on the location. The water temperature is very pleasant, with around 30 degrees.

Nilaveli Beach

Please note, in July-August, the tourist influx is very strong in the region of Trincomalee. Tourist sites like Pigeon Island are then overcrowded.

In August, you can see the "Nallur Festival" in Jaffna, a Hindu festival which lasts 25 days.

? Between November and January, above all, it is not recommended to go to these regions: the "little monsoon" is raging. You will therefore encounter rain and rough seas. The temperature at this time is between 26 and 30 degrees. The humidity is almost 100%.

When to visit the central region and the Cultural Triangle?

Almost all year round!

The best period to visit the Cultural Triangle and visit the must-sees of Sri Lanka is between December and April. The weather is then dry, sunny and the temperature is between 28 and 32 degrees.

In May, June, October and November, the weather is generally rainy from 15 p.m. You will enjoy the good weather getting up early in the morning. Note that in June (during the full moon), in Mihintale, the Poya Poson party is a must to discover during your trip.


Last but not least, in July-August, the weather is often maintained, although showers can occur. In any case, nothing that will prevent you from visiting the Lion Rock or the ruins of Polonnaruwa.

In August, in Kandy, you can discover the Perahera: a big buddhist festival. However, we do not recommend it because of the abuse suffered by the elephants participating in the festivities. Too bad because all the dancers and musicians are magnificent.

When to visit the mountainous region?

Escape the rain between December and May

If you want discover the tea fields with a beautiful blue sky contrasting with the green of the leaves, meet between December and May in the mountainous region. You will enjoy discovering Ella, Haputale, Hatton, climbing Adam's peak or even discovering Nuwara Eliya. Note that in April, in the latter city, you have a very nice festival to discover, with cooking workshops and activities around the lake. The temperature in this region is between 18 and 22 degrees during the day, close to 10-12 degrees at night. So plan for warmer clothes!


? Between May and November, the season is rainy In the region. In May, June, October, November, you may have full days of rain. In July, August and September, it will only be showers. Note that throughout this period, it is better to favor all your visits in the morning, when the good weather is maintained more easily than at the end of the day.

In this region, we do not recommend that you climb Adam's peak during the monsoon period: indeed, the mystical atmosphere of the place is no longer there because the pilgrims have left and the climatic conditions make the place difficult to access ( and you definitely won't get the sunrise once you get up there, because of the clouds).

Travel to Sri Lanka all year round!

You can therefore travel all year round in Sri Lanka: depending on the region, you will find what you are looking for by avoiding rainy areas, and you will then adapt your itinerary. In any case, please note that apart from the mountainous region, the temperature is generally between 27 and 35 degrees all year round in Sri Lanka and the humidity level is generally high.

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