Best time to visit Sri Lanka

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Best time of year to visit Sri Lanka

Although the island is considered to be a year-round destination, the best time to visit Sri Lanka depends on the region you are heading to. As it's a tropical country, you can expect rain any time of the year, but there is a monsoon pattern to choose the right place and time. December through April is a prime tourist season when southern and western territories (including Colombo) enjoy the best weather. December and January in Sri Lanka are pleasant but also the busiest, especially for Christmas and New Year, so book early. Winter and spring in southwestern part is a good time for exploring Adam's Peak, and for those on the coast—snorkelling and whale watching. Southwest monsoon hits this area in May–September, but showers are usually sharp and short. Northeast monsoon prevails on the east coast in October–February, and the best season there runs from May through September. Late summer is the time to witness elephant gathering at the Minneriya Lake. If you happen to be in Central Sri Lanka in summer, join the Kandy Esala Perahera festival, one of the oldest of Buddhist festivals in the country.


Elephant Gathering

August–September • nature

Around 300 elephants gather at the banks of Minneriya Lake

Leopard Safari

March–October  • activity

To watch leopards in the wild is definitely an experience of a lifetime


early November–January | mid-March–mid-October • food

Have you ever wondered what chocolate is made of? Now is the time to see a cocoa bean!


April–October  • activity

Arugam bay is the most famous surfing spot

Whale Watching

November–April | July–September  • activity

Sri Lanka is fortunately situated in a vantage point to observe whales

Diving the North East Coast

May–October  • activity

Warm waters of Indian ocean promise incredible diving

Uva Tea Harvest

August–October  • activity

Uva is probably the most famous tea producing region


June–early August • activity

Sri Lanka has one of the strongest national teams for cricket. It's one of the most popular sports on the island

Beach Season on East Coast

June–September  • activity

The beautiful beaches of east coast are perfect for relaxation


May–September • food

Often called the Queen of fruits, mangosteen is a total delight

Sinharaja Rainforest

January–April | August–September • nature

With its unique biodiversity, this nature preserve is one of the last virgin rainforests on Earth

Elephant Safari in Udawalawe National Park

May–September • nature

One of the three most popular national parks of Sri Lanka is famous for its elephants


May–August  • food

Introduced during the British colonial times, durian grows only in the southern part of the country

Trekking in the Knuckles Range

December–August • activity

Untouched UNESCO World Heritage site is indeed a trekker's paradise


late May–mid-August • food

During this period, ​you can try one of the sweetest fruits, sold everywhere


January–March | May–September • activity

A mystical fortress built over the Lion Rock

Dambulla Cave Temple

all year round • activity

Prehistoric cave, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, reflects the centuries of human culture


January–February | June–September • activity

Part of Sri Lanka's famous Cultural triangle and UNESCO World Heritage list


January–February | June–September • activity

An ancient capital and UNESCO World Heritage site

Deep Sea Fishing on theEast Coast

May–September • activity

Fishing on the East Coast depends on monsoons


Tea Harvest

January – March • activity

Sri Lanka is well known for its suberb tea, which is the main agricultural crop in many provinces

Vesak Festival

May 29, 2018 • event

Both religious and cultural, the festival adorns the country

Stilt Fishing

June–mid-July | late October–mid-December • activity

Once this kind of fishing was a necessity, now it fades away

Horton Plains

January–March • activity

Have you ever wondered where does the world end? See the World's End at the Horton Plains

Dolphins Watching

November–April  • nature

Sri Lanka can boast having the best spots for watching dolphins!

Kandy Esala Perahera

August 17–27, 2018 • event

Celebrated to pay respect to the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha in Kandy

Adam's Peak Pilgrimage

December–April • activity

The destination for followers of different religions, Adam's Peak or Sri Pada is surrounded by legends

Diving in the West and South West

October–May • activity

You can visit some awesome diving spots close to Colombo

Beach Season on South and West Coast

January–March  • activity

Due to monsoons, beach seasons vary depending on the area you are in

Turtle Watching

January–April • activity

There are at least 7 species of sea turtles that hang out on the shores of Sri Lanka to nest

Deepavali (Diwali)

November 06, 2018 • event

Tamil people of Sri Lanka celebrate the most significant Hindu holiday

Bird Watching

October–July • nature

Migratory birds as well as those who can call Sri Lanka home, will impress any bird watching enthusiast

Avurudu Table

April 13–April 14 • food

The New Year table in Sri Lanka consists of many traditional sweet dishes

National Bird Watching Month

December • nature

Explore the wonderful feathered species of Sri Lanka during a special birding event

Hakgala Botanical Gardens

April–May • nature

Visit Hakgala Botanical Gardens to get a glimpse of Sri Lanka's natural beauty

Sloth Bear

June–July  • nature

These cute bears are best seen during the palu fruit season!

Independence Day

February 04 • event

A celebration of the day that Sri Lanka was no longer a colony

Colombo Aadi Vel Festival

late July • event

A colourful religious ceremony honouring the Hindu God of War with offerings and piercings

Sinhala and Tamil New Year

April 13–April 14 • event

A traditional holiday of Aluth Avurudda is equally important for Sinhalese and Tamil people of Sri Lanka

Poson Poya

June 16, 2019 • event

The celebration of the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka