When is the best time to visit Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka can be visited year-round, as country and climate are influenced by two opposing monsoons in different areas.
Southwest monsoon (“Yala”): Mid-May to late September, with heavy rainfall, the East and Northeast remain dry.
Northeast monsoon (“Maha”): October to mid-April, with moderate rainfall, the South and West remain dry.
Therefore, the best time to visit depends on the region you plan to stay in.
Best time to visit the East: April to September/October
Best time to visit the South and West: November/December to April
Best time to visit the North: due to consistently warm temperatures and moderate precipitation, year-round, except for November and December.
Best time to visit the highlands: January to March
Best time for a trip around the entire island: Transition months between rainy and dry season
Sri Lanka can be hit by tropical cyclones. The most active months are usually May and October/November.
What is the climate like in Sri Lanka?
- Tropical monsoon climate
- High temperatures that barely vary
- Northeast drier than the humid Southwest
- Highest temperatures from March to June
- Coolest months from November to January
Coastal lowlands: average temperature during the day between 28 and 31°C, at night rarely below 25 °C, high humidity of 70 – 90 %.
Highlands/mountainous regions: average temperature during the day between 20 and 24°C, over 2,000 m only between 12 and 16°C.
Significantly lower humidity than in the lowlands.
Which factors determine the climate in Sri Lanka?
- Proximity to the equator
- Mountains inland
- Annual change of the main wind directions and the monsoon associated with it
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