A giant tuscker walking along a dusty path at Yala National Park

Sri Lanka, the astounding tropical island, surrounded by the blue waves and golden shores, is well known as a year-round destination. Even so, you can still have confusion about the best time to visit Sri Lanka. However, this land of wonders has got a variety of climates. This can be perfectly experienced when moving from the coastal belt towards the central highlands. Normally, the areas of the central highlands happen to be cooler and refreshing than the coastal areas and the plains of the country. Nevertheless, two main monsoons influence Sri Lanka. They bring rain to different areas, in different time periods. Hence, these would make it a bit hard for you to decide on the best time to visit Sri Lanka.

However, the best time for you to visit Sri Lanka, might not be the best time for another to visit Sri Lanka. Three main factors would help your decision! They are, where you like to visit, how you are planning to spend your time, and what you are interested in seeing in Sri Lanka. Find answers to these questions, and you will end up finding the best time for you to visit Sri Lanka! 

We are providing you with a full guide to make your decision easier. To start with, let us have a look at the weather patterns throughout the year. And of course, the ideal spots to visit in those seasons are also lined up for you. So, nothing to worry about! These details would surely help you in choosing the best time to visit Sri Lanka.

January to March

The earliest months of the year are absolutely a perfect time to travel across the island. The temperature is at an average of around 30 degrees Celsius. Yet, the Hill Country is cooler and refreshing comparatively. Heaviest and the lengthiest rainfalls will be declining to make the rainfall during these days the lowest. Moreover, the beaches on the west and south coast are dry and sunny with perfect waves rolling over. The warm and pleasing atmosphere in the land during this period would be inviting visitors to a number of locations in Sri Lanka.

Wondering where to visit during the months of January, February and March? Here are some of them that should never be missed!


Weligama on the South Coast of Sri Lanka is a marvellous beach and a lively fishing town. The waves in the Weligama are ideal for the surfers at beginner level to brush up their skills. 


Unwatuna is also a city in Southern Sri Lanka. It has a breathtaking golden beach and is famous for its coral reefs and the beautiful view. The waves here might not be the best for the beginner level surfers, yet are great to swim to your heart’s content. 


Situated in the South Coast of the island, Mirissa is a famous tourist attraction, popular for its beauty and nightlife. Waves here suit a number of water activities such as surfing, snorkeling, whale watching and diving.     


Galle is the main city of Southern Sri Lanka, and is well known as a fortified city built by the Portugues. Apart from its historic value, it is popular for its scenic golden shores, and as an access point for whale watching. 


Kandy, the capital of Central Province, is the home of the Temple of Tooth Relic. It is also a charming city with a beautiful landscape. It accommodates Peradeniya Botanical Garden, the largest botanical garden in Sri Lanka.  

Horton Plains

Horton Plains is the largest plains in Sri Lanka and is located in the central hills of the country.  It accommodates a vast range of endemic flora and fauna which adds more color to its impressive views and proves the beauty of the wildlife furthermore. 

Adam’s Peak

Adam’s Peak, also popular as Sri Pada or Samanala Kanda is a peak sacred for all the religions practised in Sri Lanka. It is a mountain that stands at 2, 243 meters, and leads to a spectacular view at the top.


Colombo, is the commercial capital of Sri Lanka. Moreover, it is a vibrant city with historical monuments, antique buildings, modern architecture, and greenery streets. The traditional Navam Perera is an eye-catching site in Colombo that should never be missed in the month of January.     

Udawattakele forest reserve

This is a not so popular historic forest reserve located in the Central region of Sri Lanka. It is certainly a wonderful environment to observe wildlife. The significance is that it also houses three meditation centres for Buddhist monks.

Wilpattu National Park

Located approximately 188 km away from Colombo, Wilpattu National Park is the oldest national park in Sri Lanka. A variety of wild animals such as Elephants, sloth bear, leopard, water buffalo, sambhur, spotted deer, mongoose, mouse, shrew along with other reptiles and birds can be observed here.

April to June

Starting off with April, it happens to be a vibrant month of festivity in this country. That is because the Buddhists and Hindus celebrate the Sinhala and Hindu New Year in mid-April. The atmosphere of this season would be spirited and brilliant, with colourful flowers and fresh fruits all over the trees. The weather is lovely, with plenty of sunshine and clear skies. The temperature would range at mid 30 degrees Celsius. Owing to these facts, many say that this is the best time to visit Sri Lanka. However, it is always better to avoid the hottest hours of the day, normally between 11 a.m to 3 p.m for your own good.

Towards the end of April, of course, there would be signs of the monsoon coming. Quick and sharp downpours would occur towards the South-west coast of the island. Therefore, the recommendation is to keep away from swimming in the ocean along the south and west coastlines on the island during this time. Nevertheless, this is one of the nicest times to travel to many other top destinations in Sri Lanka.

Need to know what they are? Mentioned below are some of them. Have a look at it before you decide on where to go! 


Jaffna is the capital of the North Province and is a site which is becoming popular among tourists nowadays. It is a city with historical value, and a cultural site influenced mostly by the Hindu traditions.

Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya is one of the most charming cities in the central highlands of Sri Lanka. It is an area with a stunning landscape along with waterfalls, lakes, and lush terraced fields. It is also known as ‘Little England’ due to the colonial-era bungalows that can be seen there.

Cultural Triangle

The concept of the cultural triangle in Sri Lanka is built upon covering an area with exceptional historical and cultural values. The below three Sinhalese ancient kingdoms are considered as the point of boundaries of this treasure trove. 

  • Anuradhapura: Anuradhapura, the capital of the North Central Province is an ancient kingdom in Sri Lanka. Moreover, it had been the first ancient kingdom of this country. This city still holds clusters of historical sculptures, monuments and religious buildings, which exhibit the grandeur of this olden realm.   
  • Polonnaruwa: Polonnaruwa, the ancient royal city of  Polonnaruwa kingdom, is the second capital of Sri Lankan history. It is simply a cradle of glorious Sinhalese Buddhist civilization and old-world charm. Therefore, this monastic city is also declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO.
  • Kandy: The elegant city ofKandy is the capital of Central Province. Furthermore, it is popular for its spectacular beauty and fascinating atmosphere. It houses the sacred Temple of Tooth Relic, and also the largest botanical garden in Sri Lanka.  

 Whale watching in the south coast

Waves along the south coast during this period makes it one of the most reliable destinations to spot whales. Dondra point accessible from Galle, Mirissa and Hikkaduwa can be known as the finest point to enjoy whale watching.

July to September

This time period is considered as the inter monsoon period. Odd showers which do not last long can be spotted here and there throughout this period in many areas of the country.  Yet, a nicer and calmer atmosphere is common in several locations making them high attractions during this season. Moreover, the temperature across the island may revolve around 30 degrees celsius. As a result, most of the land areas around the country remain bright and dry. However, all these together would create an extremely nice environment for travellers to travel around during these months. 

Excited to know the best places to visit in these months? Here are some of them!

Minneriya National Park

This national park is located 182 km away from Colombo, in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka. It is a popular spectacle to spot a number of wild creatures. Moreover, it is known as the largest place with Asian elephants in the world. 

Kaudulla National Park

Kaudulla National Park is situated in GalOya, in the Polonnaruwa district of Sri Lanka. It is another top-ranked place to observe wildlife at its best. Jeep Safaris around the grasslands and scrub forests here give travelers the opportunity to experience the wildlife perfectly.


This is a scenic beach around the area of Trincomalee, to chill, relax and to have a good swim. Moreover, Passikudah is a fine place for the travellers who seek a place of charm to view the marvellous sunset and to explore around.


Ella is a small village located in the central highlands of Sri Lanka. It is simply a paradise filled with tea estates, waterfalls, mountains, and refreshing airs, which collectively create a breathtaking view amidst the mists and clouds.  


Sigiriya, rather known as ‘Sinhagiri Rock’, is an ancient fortress in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. The lion mouth, the mirror wall, and the remains of the water garden highlight its grandeur. This is also declared as the eighth wonder of the world.

Dambulla Cave Temple

Dambulla Rock Temple, also known as ‘Jumbukola Vihara’, is a site with historical and religious value. It is located in the vicinity of the village of Sigiriya. One of its significance is that it has got five caves, each filled with statues of Buddha and various personages of the Buddhist History.


Arugam-Bay, lying at the south-east corner of this island is an excellent beach to relax and chill while enjoying its charming beauty. Surf tourism is at a peak in this area, and it is also popular for many other water activities such as snorkelling and diving.

October to December

The weather condition in October is quite unpredictable. Along with the North-East monsoon heavy rainfalls and strong winds take place in many areas of the country. Most of the travellers find it uncomfortable to travel around in a time as such. Hence most top destinations in Sri Lanka would be less crowded during this time. The atmosphere of November is also not that much different from October. Yet, sunshine may be greater and the downfalls will be diminishing. However, towards the end of November, the moisture of the surroundings would fade away. As a result, December turns out to be an excellent month to travel around. The temperature towards the end of this season would range between 26 – 30 degrees Celsius. The cool breeze around would certainly make this time more favourable for holidays. Thus, December is popular as a best time to visit Sri Lanka.

Ratna Ella

This is one of the not so popular waterfalls located in Sri Lanka, in the area of Mahiyanganaya. A hike of around 45 minutes through the green will lead the travelers towards the magnificent view of this fall. 

Lake View Park

This is a pleasant and calm environment in the areas of Mullaitivu, to give a break for the busy lives, and to chill and relax. It is also a fine site for camping and to explore the picturesque nature around.

Tea States of central highlands

Tea states along the lands of Hatton, Bogawantalawa, Dickoya to Nuwara Eliya certainly enhances the beauty of the central highlands furthermore. These states provide the travellers with a wonderful environment to walk through, and to enjoy while capturing this beauty of greenery.    


Located in the north central region of the country, Habara is a wonderful place for travellers to relish the moments of nature. Moreover, it is a perfect area for elephant rides and jeep safaris.    


Hikkaduwa is an area that never disappoints its visitors through its marvellous oceanic views and the underwater ecosystem. Waves here also create an ideal place for travellers to indulge themselves in water activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving and surfing.  


Kitulgala is one of the finest spots to experience the thrill of water rafting amidst the white waves of Kelani river. Its surroundings are popular for camping, hikes and many other water activities as well.


Bentota, located in the south west coast of Sri Lanka, is a popular resort town among locals as well as tourists. This area provides a perfect atmosphere for water activities such as deep sea fishing, banana boat riding, rafting, kayaking and canoeing.

Glen Falls

This is a famous waterfall located in between Kandy and Nuwara Eliya. It is a beauty of nature pairing with the falls of Devon, Laxapana and Ramboda in the vicinity. 

Yala National Park

Situated around 200 km away from Colombo, Yala National Park is the second-largest national park in Sri Lanka. It accommodates a variety of wild animals such as leopards, elephants, crocodiles, and many other endemic species of reptiles, and colorful birds.  


Negombo is a city in the Western Province of Sri Lanka and is popular as a paradise for canoeing and kayaking. Moreover, Christmas nights in Negombo in December creates a mind-blowing view that should never be missed.

The worst time to visit Sri Lanka

Now you have a clear idea about the best time to visit Sri Lanka. Nevertheless, it is always better to know about the worst time to visit this country as well.  As always mentioned, Sri Lankan weather patterns are not 100% guaranteed. Yet, the monsoon seasons normally occur periodically. They will bring heavy rain showers, along with high humidity levels. The areas that get cloudbursts accordingly have a possibility of rain of more than 50% every day. This would make whatever journeys planned a bit uncomfortable beyond doubt. Hence, a period as such is surely not the best time to visit Sri Lanka. So, it is always better to skip these monsoon seasons when planning your trip.    

There are two main monsoon seasons that influence the weather conditions of this land.

  • South-Western Monsoon :  This monsoon brings rain to the cities such as Colombo and Galle, located in the South West quarter of the country, during the months of May to September.
  • North – Eastern Monsoon: This monsoon brings rain to the North-East quarter of the country, during the months of October to January.

Apart from these main two monsoon seasons, the inter-monsoonal period lies between October and November in Sri Lanka. It is typical to expect thunderstorms across the island during this term. This nature slowly gets cleared towards the end of November, making it a best time to visit Sri Lanka.

 Impact of Climate Changes on Tourism and Fisheries

Impact on Tourism

Sri Lanka is a world popular destination as a tourist attraction. Thus, the climate changes that happen on and off affect tourism in Sri Lanka immensely. The rainy season makes the waves rough and the famous water activities challenging. Certain plains and lowlands flood. Some areas tend to be slippery, making it uncomfortable to roam around and enjoy. Transportation disturbances due to natural disasters such as floods and land slopes instinctively make travelers avoid certain areas. Therefore, the rainy season undoubtedly becomes the offseason for the majority of the world-famous tourist attractions in Sri Lanka.

Accordingly, there are many impacts that climate changes have on tourism. Let us focus our attention on some of them. The rising temperatures and changing rain patterns affect natural endowments in a bad way. Unfortunately, reports reveal that these factors are damaging beach recreation sites, corals, ornamental sea fish and the oceanic environment in the coastal areas. Since Sri Lanka is well known as a site with high biodiversity and scenic ocean ecosystems, the impact it has on tourism is greater than one could ever imagine.     

Apart from that, the tourism industry stands as the third-largest contributor to the per capita income of Sri Lanka. Therefore, significant reductions in the number of tourists visiting Sri Lanka affects the daily livelihood of thousands as well as the Sri Lankan economy beyond doubt. 

Impact on fisheries

As you already know, blue waters of the Indian Ocean surround the island of Sri Lanka. Hence, a majority of citizens across the coastal areas are dependent on oceanic resources. As regard, the climate changes affecting maritime domains threaten a number of livelihoods of innocent Sri Lankans.

One of such highly affected groups is the fishery-based livelihoods. Quality of the fish catch and the availability of fish become issues along with the climatic changes. As a result, those groups will suffer because of the inability to make their living.

Likewise, the impact of climate changes in Sri Lanka not only affects tourism, yet a chain of many more widespread sectors. Hence, it is obviously a reason that creates a negative socio-economic effect on Sri Lankan society.     

Health Issues 

Owing to the climatic changes in Sri Lanka, the spread of particular diseases becomes recurrent. Listed below are some of them. These diseases would undoubtedly make the best time to visit Sri Lanka, the worst!

  • Vector-borne diseases: Blood-feeding anthropods transmit these kinds of diseases. Dengue fever is such a vector-borne disease that would spread significantly along with the climatic changes. That is due to the growth in the breeding of dengue mosquitoes during the rainy season.
  • Diarrheal diseases: As floods occur, communities living in poverty face a number of difficulties due to poor access to proper sanitation. These conditions lead the way to diarrheal diseases that spread vastly among the community.
  • Leptospirosis and other rodent-borne diseases: Climate changes that vary among floods and droughts have shown a relationship with Leptospirosis and other rodent-borne diseases such as dysentery, hepatitis, and typhoid.  

You can always have confusion about the best time to visit Sri Lanka. Yet, we believe that this guide would help you to plan a brilliant holiday avoiding troublesome weather conditions. Simply, there is always somewhere on this splendid island for you to visit and enjoy. This means that you can make any time of the year the best time to visit Sri Lanka. Just small research on it would take you there at the right time!