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The best time of the year to visit Sri Lanka

The pearl of the Indian Ocean – the name fits the island perfectly with all the wealth of adventures and sights it holds in store for visitors. Taking a glance at its rich culture, stunning scenery, and friendly people, it’s no wonder that Sri Lanka has remained a popular tourist destination over the years. But right before you grab your passports and book your tickets, you’d want to know if it is the right time to visit the island.

So… when is the best time to visit Sri Lanka? The answer depends on what you want to see and do while you’re there; every season brings a unique experience. In short, regardless of what time of year you choose to visit Sri Lanka, you’re in for a reel of memories that will stay with you for a lifetime.

Visiting Sri Lanka between December and March

If your plans for Sri Lanka involve basking at a West-coast beach, this is the time of the year! The monsoon winds have died out, leaving the Central, Southern, and Western regions with plenty of sunshine and minimal rainfall. Expect temperatures of around 30°C at Colombo and Galle, with areas like Nuwara Eliya falling about 15°C short.

While the clear water beaches are mostly reserved to the North and East, there is still plenty to explore in the West. You’ll find yourself occupied with the Cultural Triangle, with chill-inducing historic sites in Sigirya, Anuradhapura, and Kandy. If your love for wildlife is what has driven you to visit Sri Lanka, you better book a ticket between December and March: you’ll spot leopards, elephants, buffaloes, and hordes of other wild animals while on a safari at Yala.

Looking for a good climb? You’re in luck; there is plenty of hills and mountains the conquer in the central and southern regions, including Adam’s Peak. If you find that to be little more than a hike, the historic rock of Sigiriya will have you dazzled all the way from the foot to the summit.

Since January is considered the ‘peak’ for tourist arrivals, prepare to spend a little extra on your stays and flights. This shouldn’t worry you much, however, since the price variances are often minuscule. To find cheaper deals when traveling on a budget, your best bet is to visit Sri Lanka during December.

Visiting Sri Lanka between April and September

Tourists visiting Sri Lanka between April and October are in for a festive treat. Vesak, the Esala Perahara, and Diwali all fall within the season. While that alone may seal the deal, it gets even better! The monsoons have drifted far from the North and East, leaving the best beaches in the country with glorious sunshine and scarce rainfall.

Spending time on the clear blue and warm Eastern coast will have you questioning reality. The Trinco beach is one of those places you would wish time would freeze as you sunbathe on the golden shore. You shouldn’t, however, spend your entire vacation on the beach if it’s April: you will miss out on Vesak. The Buddhist population celebrates ‘Vesak’ to commemorate the birth and enlightenment of the Buddha.

Around May, you’ll find the best time of the year to explore the North, including the vibrant city of Jaffna. While lesser known amongst travelers, Jaffna is home to some of the friendliest people in the country, as well as some historic Hindu temples. While spending time at Jaffna, be sure to visit the string of heavenly islands that span out into the Northern Sea.

During the month of August, you will stumble across perhaps the best-known festival on the island; the Esala Perahara. Myriads of dancers, fire jugglers, and acrobats followed by dozens of dressed Elephants parade the streets of Kandy. Skipping a couple of months ahead, Diwali celebrations take place in the North and East – bright lights, vigorous worship, and a pleasant aura around the region.

Your trip to Sri Lanka

Despite how the term is often tossed around with no real weight to it, Sri Lanka truly is a genuine ‘year-round’ tourist destination. From the cooler central hills to the warmer coasts on either side, you will find a lot to do and see at any time of the year.

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With an enviable location in the heart of the financial district Hotel MaRadha – Colombo provides a comfortable stay for all business and leisure travelers, with easy access to your shopping, entertainment, and business needs. Hotel Maradha – Colombo overlooks the Indian Ocean and is truly one of a kind, featuring 35 premium hotel rooms, suites, and apartments. We will ensure your stay in Colombo is truly perfect.