Sri Lanka is an all-year-round travel destination with amazing activities and experiences. However, the weather changes on the East and West coasts depending on the time of the year due to the monsoon seasons.
Depending on your plan and places to visit, you may want to travel to Sri Lanka at a different time of the year.
When to visit Sri Lanka? This article will show the best time to visit Sri Lanka and tips to make the most of your trips.
Sri Lanka weather
Sri Lanka has two separate monsoons, so you may find good weather somewhere on the islands most time.
The temperature island-wide is around 26–32°C, with the hottest days reaching 35°C.
However, the temperature in the hill country is more pleasant thanks to the higher altitude. It’s around 20°C in Kandy and 12 to 17°C in Nuwara Eliya, the highest place on the island. It can be really cold at night, with temperatures dropping to under 10°C and sometimes close to freezing.
Humidity is high everywhere, with around 90% in the southwest and 80% elsewhere. Therefore it feels much colder in the hill country and hotter and sweaty in other parts.
Rainy seasons in Sri Lanka
The rainy season start in the west, southwest coasts, and hill country from April or May to September, with the highest rain volume from April to June.
On the east coast, it’s rainy from November to March, with heavy rains from November to December.
Between October and November, expect heavy rainfall and thunderstorms anywhere on the island.
Best time to visit Sri Lanka
The best time to visit Sri Lanka’s west and south coasts and hill country is December to March. It’s a great time to explore the tea plantations, go hiking, join a safari, or relax on the South beaches. This period is also a high season in Sri Lanka, so prices are higher, and accommodations are in high demand.
April to September is ideal if you want to explore the east coast. Arugam Bay on the East coast is home to the best surf spot in the country. Visiting Jaffna in the North is also an excellent idea for this period.
In mid-April, the Sinhalese new year celebration is an excellent opportunity to enjoy Sri Lanka’s festive atmosphere and culture. However, public transportations such as trains and buses are not running this week, so plan your trip wisely and book everything in advance.
When not to visit Sri Lanka
October and November see heavy rainfall across the country, so it’s not ideal for visiting Sri Lanka. You won’t be able to enjoy outdoor activities or relax on the beaches much during this time.
Also, at the moment, there’s political unrest, and the country is in a bad economic situation. If you plan to visit in the near future, please plan your trip carefully and have a private driver. It’s best to wait for a few months when the situation gets better.
More tips on Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is an amazing country to visit whether you’re traveling with a family, a partner, or solo. Depending on your plan, there are different times to go.
We use booking.com to book hotels and homestays in Sri Lanka and are happy with it. Also, don’t forget to buy travel insurance on your trip. It will cover medical expenses and offer emergency assistance and coverage for other unexpected expenses.
Here are some articles that you help you plan your trip to Sri Lanka:
- Best things to do in Sri Lanka
- Transportation guide: How to get around Sri Lanka.
- Sri Lanka train travel guide