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Sri Lanka is a year-round destination with consistently warm temperatures and lots of sunshine. There isn’t one perfect month and showers can occur at any time. The southwest coast and central hills are best between December and April, which is also an ideal time for whale and dolphin watching. The southwest waters become rougher in April, followed by increased humidity in May, so these months through to September are best spent further north and on the east coast. The central hills remain cooler all year and the only months we'd recommend avoiding are October and November, when rainfall is less predictable.

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Audley Travel specialist Matt

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Month-by-month guide to travelling in Sri Lanka

Galle, Sri Lanka

Visiting Sri Lanka in January - March

January to March is a beautiful time to be in the central hills or southwest Sri Lanka, as days are sunny and dry and the sea is usually calm. Galle Literary Festival takes place annually in late January or early February.


Events & Festivals

  • Marine life (November to April): Head to the south coast during these months to try spotting blue, sperm, fin and Bryde's whales, as well as many dolphin species, turtles, tuna and even flying fish. Read more »


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Sri Lanka Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Bentota 30°C 101mm 31°C 98mm 31°C 159mm 32°C 316mm 30°C 440mm 30°C 260mm 29°C 204mm 29°C 190mm 29°C 310mm 29°C 431mm 30°C 359mm 30°C 218mm
Colombo 30°C 74mm 31°C 74mm 32°C 136mm 32°C 247mm 31°C 361mm 30°C 208mm 30°C 135mm 30°C 103mm 30°C 184mm 30°C 360mm 30°C 318mm 30°C 160mm
Galle 29°C 105mm 30°C 94mm 31°C 143mm 31°C 239mm 30°C 307mm 29°C 192mm 29°C 167mm 28°C 177mm 29°C 222mm 29°C 354mm 29°C 316mm 29°C 192mm
Hatton 22°C 98mm 23°C 86mm 26°C 147mm 27°C 253mm 25°C 303mm 24°C 341mm 23°C 310mm 24°C 265mm 25°C 254mm 24°C 299mm 24°C 282mm 22°C 181mm
Kandy 27°C 176mm 28°C 119mm 30°C 130mm 30°C 211mm 29°C 228mm 28°C 173mm 27°C 172mm 28°C 163mm 28°C 176mm 28°C 323mm 27°C 340mm 27°C 262mm
Nuwara Eliya 19°C 127mm 19°C 87mm 23°C 82mm 24°C 180mm 21°C 180mm 19°C 168mm 18°C 175mm 18°C 154mm 21°C 169mm 19°C 245mm 20°C 236mm 19°C 228mm
Sigiriya 28°C 163mm 30°C 86mm 32°C 95mm 32°C 153mm 32°C 84mm 31°C 11mm 31°C 47mm 32°C 42mm 32°C 95mm 30°C 253mm 29°C 271mm 28°C 328mm
Yala National Park 28°C 219mm 29°C 134mm 30°C 95mm 31°C 114mm 32°C 61mm 32°C 8mm 32°C 23mm 32°C 13mm 31°C 28mm 31°C 126mm 29°C 239mm 28°C 237mm

Trip ideas and travel guides to exploring Sri Lanka

Mother and baby elephants in the wild
Sri Lanka
Swimming Pool, Reef, Wadduwa
Sri Lanka
Alison in a tuk tuk in the small town of Ella, Sri Lanka

To witness one of nature’s great spectacles, I’d recommend travelling to Sri Lanka in August to see ‘The Gathering’. Each year, hundreds of wild elephants can be found around the ancient reservoir in Minneriya National Park, which is thought to be the largest grouping of wild Asian elephants in the world.

Alison, India & Sri Lanka Specialist