When to go to Sri Lanka
The southwest monsoon, which mainly affects the southern and western coastal belt, descends from May to September. This is the best time to visit the northeastern parts of the country and hit surfing beaches like Arugam Bay. From December to March, the monsoon rain affects the northeastern parts of the country, so it’s the best time to visit the southwestern areas, and go on whale and dolphin watching tours or visit national park filled with elephants. April and September are good months to find a compromise between the different monsoons.
Weather in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has a tropical climate and the best time to visit depends on the areas you want to explore.
South and West Areas:
The best season to visit the west, south and Hill Country is during winter, from December to March. This is consequently the most touristic season in Sri Lanka.
The southwest monsoon goes from May to September in these areas. During this period, a lot of rain is expected and the sea is rough. You can still come in summer (July-August) to visit southwestern Sri Lanka, since the weather starts getting better, but the odds for rainy days will be higher than in winter and the sea a little rough.
There are two intermonsoon seasons when thunderstorms can occur in the afternoon or evening:
– March to April
– October to November
North and East Areas:
The best season to visit the northern and eastern parts of the country is from May to September. If you want to relax at the beach in summer, choose the eastern beaches.
The northeast monsoon goes from November to January in these areas. During this period, it can get extremely rainy on the east coast. The ancient cities can still be visited, since the weather tends to be more mixed in this area.
The temperatures range roughly from 25 to 30 degrees yearlong (77 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit). January is the coldest month, while the hottest season goes from May to June. The Hill Country is known to be the coolest part of Sri Lanka, with temperatures going below 10 degrees (50 degrees Fahrenheit) very often during the night.
April and September are good months to find a compromise between the different monsoons. Remember that the weather can change at any moment in the Hill Country which is rainy throughout the year.
Main events in Sri Lanka
Go for the Esala Perahera in Kandy, or celebrate the Sri Lankan New Year! Find a list of Sri Lanka’s main events and plan your holiday accordingly.
Perahera = Procession
Poya/Poya Day= Full moon day. A Poya day is a religious holiday throughout the island. Poya days occur once every month.
Note: On Poya days all liquor stores and selling points are closed and it is almost impossible to buy alcohol. Nevertheless certain hotels may sell during this religious holiday.
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