This post was last updated on February 26th, 2020 at 07:58 am
Whether you visit the 2000 year old temples, the world famous tea plantations or go surfing on the coast; it’s important to have good weather during your trip through Sri Lanka! Always read carefully about the best time to visit Sri Lanka; this prevents unpleasant surprises during your trip.
Sri Lanka can be visited all year round due to the pleasant climate. However, due to the two rainy seasons, there is a lot of confusion about what the best time to visit Sri Lanka is.
To get a good idea of the weather it is useful to know that there are two rainy seasons. There’s the Yala Monsoon; causing rain in the west, southwest, and inland from April to September. The other is the Maha Monsoon; causing rain on the east coast from November to March. In addition, the Maha Monsoon can also cause rain in October and November.
- Are you going to the west, south coast and/or inland? Then you have the best chance of good weather from December to March.
- Are you going to the east and/or north coast? Then you have the best chance of good weather from April to September.
The best time to visit Sri Lanka is from December to March (if you go West, South or Inland) and from April to September (if you go East or North).
The Seasons of Sri Lanka
The “winters” are generally sunny and dry where occasional showers can fall. In the summer it is warmer and the chance of rain is just a little higher. It then rains very hard for an hour or two and then changes again to beautiful weather.
However, do not blindly assume what the best time to visit Sri Lanka is. The weather can change here so you can suddenly be in a heavy rain shower.
December to March
These months are the high season with dry and warm weather in the hilly landscape and the beaches on the west and south coast. Prices are also going up here. The Maha rainy season (November to March) causes rain in the east and north.
April to September and November
Although the months of December to March are the high season, you also have nice weather in the months of April and September. They celebrate New Year in April, so transport and accommodations are often full. The rain starts to decrease in November.
May to August
The months of May to August are the low season. This is due to the Yala rainy season that brings a lot of rain to the south and west coast plus the interior regions. The weather in the north and east is the best at this time. Prices throughout the country are low.
Sri Lanka Weather by Month
Although we have considerable experience with traveling in Asia, it remains difficult to predict exactly what the best travel time is, regardless of which country you visit. In addition, it is never entirely 100% predictable. To hopefully give you a good idea about the best time to visit Sri Lanka, we have listed the average weather for each month below.
Sri Lanka Weather in January
January is a great month for traveling through Sri Lanka. The beaches along the south and west coast have a lot of sun and little rainfall. There is more rainfall in the north and east, especially in the coastal areas. Expect average temperatures around 30°C (86°F).
Sri Lanka Weather in February
The good weather is continuing throughout Sri Lanka. The south and west coast cherish the sun, high temperatures (30°C, 86°F), and little rainfall throughout the month. In the north and east around the coast the rain starts to decrease.
Sri Lanka Weather in March
Perhaps the best month for optimum weather conditions in the whole of Sri Lanka. In March you have nice weather and little rainfall throughout the country.
Sri Lanka Weather in April
April is one of the better months for traveling. The more you head towards May, the more rain falls around the west and south coasts, as well as the central Tea Country region.
Sri Lanka Weather in May
The rainy season brings rain to the south-west coast of the island. The city of Galle, the southern beaches, the west coast, and also the mountains suffer more from rain in May. Despite short, heavy showers, there is a lot of sunshine, especially during the first half of the month.
Sri Lanka Weather in June
The west and south coast of the island, as well as the Tea Country in the central part are still bothered by the monsoon. The wind creates more precipitation in the hills, but this is not as much as the previous month.
Sri Lanka Weather in July
July is comparable to June in terms of weather. Many school holidays around the world begin so it is important to plan in advance to ensure the accommodations you want are not full.
Sri Lanka Weather in August
Despite the rainy season that still prevails, you have considerably less problems with the rainfall in August compared to July and September! Temperatures remain high on the coast (29°C, 84°F), while the hills can be cold, especially at night.
Sri Lanka Weather in September
September is a month that can go in all directions. It is great to stay in the north + east of the country. Relatively little rain and lots of sun. A little more rain falls in the west, making it cooler. Fortunately, you can still enjoy the weather. In the south of Sri Lanka the chance of a shower is a lot bigger (statistically). It is always warm and if you do not mind a shower a day it is no problem.
Sri Lanka Weather in October
A month that is difficult to predict. The south-west monsoon is starting to disappear, especially towards the end of the month. However, this does not mean the sky is blue and the sun is out full force; the chance of rainfall remains on the south and west coast. However, this can vary from year to year, so it is impossible to predict.
Sri Lanka Weather in November
In the west and along the south coast, the rain starts to decrease. The uncertain weather forecast of the past two months is disappearing and there is a lot of sun. Good beach conditions, especially towards the end of the month.
Sri Lanka Weather in December
Along the west and south coast the rain keeps decreasing and it is almost always dry. Expect lots of sun and dry days with temperatures around 30°C (86°F).
The weather in Sri Lanka cannot be predicted from day to day. You may have rain in the dry months and you will not see any rain in the rainy months. The averages above are just guidelines.
The best time to visit Sri Lanka does not necessarily have to be the month in which the least rain falls. During your trip through Sri Lanka you might prefer no rain but the advantage of rain is that nature is at its best. Waterfalls flow faster and have more volume, nature is greener, and mountains and forests look more beautiful.
Especially in the north of Sri Lanka it is advisable to travel precisely after or during the rainy season. If you are more of the island hopping and partying type, you better go in the dry season.
TIP – Do you want to know what the weather is doing at the moment in Sri Lanka? Then check out Weather Online!
Continue your journey through Sri Lanka!
Do you want to know more in addition to information on the best time to visit Sri Lanka? Then check our page with the most beautiful highlights of Sri Lanka. Or read all about setting a budget for Sri Lanka and transport in Sri Lanka.