Skip to content

The best time to visit Sri Lanka depends on which part of the country you’re going to. It’s a year-round destination with consistent warmth and lots of sunshine, with temperatures averaging between 88°F at their highest and 72°F at their lowest. It’s normally hotter in coastal areas and the lowlands than it is in areas with higher altitude. Showers can occur at any time.

The southwest coast is best between December and April, before their monsoon season starts, while the east coast and the north is less humid between May and September, when their monsoon season is over.

The central hills remain cooler all year round and we’d only recommend avoiding them in October and November, when the rainfall is less predictable.

Speak to someone
who's been there

Audley Travel Specialist Niall

Start planning your tailor-made trip by contacting one of our Sri Lanka specialists

Sri Lanka Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Colombo 86°F 3" 88°F 3" 90°F 5" 90°F 10" 88°F 14" 86°F 8" 86°F 5" 86°F 4" 86°F 7" 86°F 14" 86°F 13" 86°F 6"
Galle 84°F 4" 86°F 4" 88°F 6" 88°F 9" 86°F 12" 84°F 8" 84°F 7" 82°F 7" 84°F 9" 84°F 14" 84°F 12" 84°F 8"
Hatton 72°F 4" 73°F 3" 79°F 6" 81°F 10" 77°F 12" 75°F 13" 73°F 12" 75°F 10" 77°F 10" 75°F 12" 75°F 11" 72°F 7"
Kandy 81°F 7" 82°F 5" 86°F 5" 86°F 8" 84°F 9" 82°F 7" 81°F 7" 82°F 6" 82°F 7" 82°F 13" 81°F 13" 81°F 10"
Nuwara Eliya 66°F 5" 66°F 3" 73°F 3" 75°F 7" 70°F 7" 66°F 7" 64°F 7" 64°F 6" 70°F 7" 66°F 10" 68°F 9" 66°F 9"
Sigiriya 82°F 6" 86°F 3" 90°F 4" 90°F 6" 90°F 3" 88°F 0" 88°F 2" 90°F 2" 90°F 4" 86°F 10" 84°F 11" 82°F 13"
Yala National Park 82°F 9" 84°F 5" 86°F 4" 88°F 4" 90°F 2" 90°F 0" 90°F 1" 90°F 1" 88°F 1" 88°F 5" 84°F 9" 82°F 9"

Month-by-month guide to traveling 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
Tamil Tea Picker, Pedro tea plantation, Near Nuwara Eliya

Visiting Sri Lanka in April

April brings the start of the southwest monsoon, so the best place to be is in the north of the country, Cultural Triangle or on the eastern coast. The south remains warm and sunny, but showers increase and the seas aren't so calm. The 14th April is Sinhalese and Tamil New Year.

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
Pigeon Island Excursion, Jungle Beach, Trincomalee

Visiting Sri Lanka in May - June

Whilst the south is humid and hot, the cental hills are cooler but experience showers through May and June. The north and east is much more pleasant. In May, the Vesak Poya celebrates Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death.

The east coast beaches

Visiting Sri Lanka in July

As the school vacations begin, it's a good time to explore the cultural cities and wildlife of the north as well as the beautiful stretches of beach on the east coast. It's important to plan in advance to ensure we can secure your first choice accommodation.

Events & Festivals

  • Kandy Perahera (July or August): This is a fun spectacle, with colorful processions and traditional dancing taking over the city to celebrate the famous Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha, housed at the Sri Dalada Maligawa.
The Naguleshwaram Temple

Visiting Sri Lanka in August - September

Weather continues to be at its best in the north and east of Sri Lanka between August and September. The Kandy Perahera is an elaborate festival and procession that celebrates the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha. The music, singing and dancing brings everyone together annually either in July or August, on the full moon 'Poya' day. 

Events & Festivals

  • Kandy Perahera (July or August): This is a fun spectacle, with colorful processions and traditional dancing taking over the city to celebrate the famous Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha, housed at the Sri Dalada Maligawa.
Macaques are a regular sighting throughout Sri Lanka

Visiting Sri Lanka in October - November

October and November continue to be warm and sunny all across Sri Lanka, but between monsoons the weather is much less predictable and showers can occur frequently. However, it really does vary from year to year, so it's impossible to forecast.

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
Mother and baby elephants in the wild

Visiting Sri Lanka in December

Whilst the eastern coast and north starts to experience more rain, the south and west is beautifully warm and dry. Christmas and New Year are very popular times to travel, so it's important to plan well in advance.

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

Why travel with Audley?

  • 100% tailor-made tours
  • Fully protected travel
  • Established for over 20 years
  • 96% of our clients would recommend us
Travel advice aircraft image

Travel advice

Practical tips for traveling to Sri Lanka, from social protocols to guidance on money matters, with a link to the latest government travel advice.

Audley Indian Subcontinent brochure

Request a brochure

Our detailed brochures feature trip ideas and travel experiences recommended by our specialists.

View itinerary ideas