In hill country and southwest Sri Lanka, April brings some thunderstorms in the evenings, although the main Southwest monsoon hasn't yet started. By this time, the monsoon season in the northeast of the country is over, and the weather there is looking better. The Cultural Triangle is located in an area known as the “dry zone”, which isn’t too humid at this time and gets little rain.
Temperatures in Sri Lanka are fairly consistent year-round, with hotter temperatures along the coast and cooler ones at altitude. In April, Colombo experiences highs around 90°F and lows of 77°F, with a few more rainy days than the previous month. In Kandy, daytime temperatures are generally the same as in Colombo, with slightly cooler mornings and evenings. Kandy is located in a valley, but the mountain towns nearby can be significantly colder: in Nuwara Eliya for example, highs in April are at 73°F, with lows at 54°F.
Crowds & Costs
The mixed weather means Sri Lanka isn't as popular with tourists in April as in the previous few months. Many travelers won’t have breaks from school or work at this time. If you’re looking to avoid the crowds and get better deals, April might be a good time to travel.
Where to Go
April in Colombo tends to be humid and muggy, especially with the effects of urban pollution. It’s a good month to get away from the coastal cities and head up to the Central Highlands to cool off. The Central Highlands are affected by both the Southwest and Northeast monsoons, so the weather there is variable; there are no defined “wet” and “dry” seasons. Hill stations have cool weather throughout the year.
It’s also a good time to visit the east of Sri Lanka. This region will be fairly dry at this point, but slightly cooler than in later months.
For more information, see Best Time to Visit Sri Lanka.
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What to Do
April is one of the last months of the Adam’s Peak pilgrimage season, so visitors to the Central Highlands can consider trekking up this sacred mountain overnight. Otherwise, there are plenty of other areas that are good for hiking, including Horton Plains National Park, and the mountains surrounding the town of Ella. Sri Lanka’s mountains are covered in rich, green tropical forests. The region is home to a variety of wildlife, as well as breathtaking scenery. Note that poisonous snakes live in Sri Lanka, so it’s important to wear proper footwear and be careful.
Travelers can also check out some of the tea estates around Nuwara Eliya. This picturesque mountaintop city is notable for its many grand vacation homes built during the British colonial period. Its high elevation means it has some of the coolest weather in the country—bring a sweater, or buy one at the local Winter Market.
Although April is the hottest month of the year in Kandy, it’s still cooler than much of the rest of Sri Lanka. If you find yourself in the central region at this time, stop by Kandy to see the famous Temple of the Tooth and visit the beautiful Royal Botanical Gardens.
Events in April
Several interesting events and holidays happen in Sri Lanka in April.
One of the most important is the Sinhalese New Year, also known as Avurudu. While “Sinhalese” refers to Sri Lanka's Buddhist population, this is a public holiday that’s generally celebrated by all Sri Lankans. Avurudu begins at the sighting of the new moon; traditions include setting off fireworks and eating sweets.
Easter is celebrated by Sri Lanka’s Christian population, and secularized Easter traditions (like Easter bunnies and chocolate eggs) are widely popular.
Traveling to Sri Lanka in April? Check out these great itineraries.
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