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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 Niall

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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 »
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Sri Lanka Climate Guide

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Bentota 86°F 4" 88°F 4" 88°F 6" 90°F 12" 86°F 17" 86°F 10" 84°F 8" 84°F 7" 84°F 12" 84°F 17" 86°F 14" 86°F 9"
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"

Trip ideas and travel guides to exploring Sri Lanka

Mother and baby elephants in the wild
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 traveling 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