We are often asked when is the best time to travel to Sri Lanka weather wise, but this country is in fact one of the few Asian destinations to be a truly year round destination. The period from December to mid-April is considered the best season for overall weather across Sri Lanka’s iconic ‘classic route’ of travel which covers Colombo, the Cultural Triangle, Kandy and/or the Tea Country and usually ending in the South of the island. However, there are plenty of great reasons to travel outside of this period, during the “low” or “shoulder season”,for an alternative and lesser touristic experience of the island, while still enjoying great weather and lesser crowds.So essentially, Sri Lanka can truly lay claim to being a year-round holiday destination. The following is our guide to the island’s weather and climate patterns in each not-to-miss area:
Colombo & West Coast
The best weather is expected between late November through to April while rainfall is at its highest between June and September, although August is often an exception with less rainfall.
The Cultural Triangle
Many of Sri Lanka’s cultural highlights, including Dambulla, Anuradhapura and Sigiriya, are located within this ‘dry zone’. Aside from a high rainfall in November and December, conditions remain fairly arid throughout the year.
Kandy and the Tea Country
Kandy sits at a far lower altitude than the Tea Country’ and because of this can expect to enjoy higher temperatures and lower rainfall than in the hills to the south. At an elevation of 700 meters, you’ll feel a slight drop in temperature as you journey from the Cultural Triangle or Colombo to Kandy. The weather in the Tea Country is influenced by both monsoons, and at nearly 2,000 meters above sea level, the Tea Country region is much cooler than elsewhere in Sri Lanka, with temperatures sometimes dropping below 14 degrees at night – cold by Sri Lankan standards!
The beaches in the south western corner, close to Galle, experience similar weather patterns to the west coast, with the best weather expected between late November and April. As with much of Sri Lanka, September and October can also see heavier rain, although by November blue skies are expected once again, with good weather expected through till May.
North and East Coast
In the north and eastern coastal regions of the country, the weather is influenced by the north-eastern monsoon, which brings wind and rain between October and January, and drier weather between May and September.While these areas are not as commercially developed, both offer an exceptional opportunity to enjoy some of Asia’s most interesting landscapes and untouched beaches.