Sri Lanka Travel Advice

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A train weaves its way through the hill country near Nuwara Eliya
Getting Around In Sri Lanka: All You Need To Know

Sri Lanka is a compact country so domestic flights are limited. Newer highways are reducing travel times for those who take the bus. However, trains are the more comfortable way to get around. The best way to see Sri Lanks is on a bike and there is an excellent network of roads to get you around to every corner of the country.

A man happy to be on his bike, or off it as the case may be
Cycling in Sri Lanka: All You Need To Know

From dreamy rice fields to sprawling tea plantations, rural villages to nature preserves teeming with wildlife, the range of Sri Lanka's geographical and cultural treasures is astounding—and there's no better way to see it all than on two wheels. Find out how to navigate the roads, weather, and more with this comprehensive guide to cycling in Sri Lanka.

Elephants in Udawalawe National Park
Map of Unique Ways to Experience Sri Lanka's National Parks
Unique Ways to Experience Sri Lanka's National Parks

An intact flora and fauna collection is one of Sri Lanka’s greatest assets and a couple of park visits are a great way to break up your tour. Horton Plains, Yala, and Udawalawe National Parks are often the highlights, but each park has its own unique way to avoid the crowds and have an amazing experience.

When to visit Sri Lanka

The Seema Malaka Temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka in January: Travel Tips, Weather, and More

January is part of the high season in Sri Lanka, when the main tourist areas in the southwest are cool and dry. While the monsoon season is still going on in the northeast of the country, the late autumn rains in the "Cultural Triangle" will have mostly finished by now, making it a good time to visit the island’s historic sites.

Seema Malaka Temple in Colombo
Sri Lanka in February: Travel Tips, Weather, and More

By February, peak tourist season is well underway in Sri Lanka. The beaches in the southwest are pleasant and dry, and the northeast monsoon is winding down. The Cultural Triangle also has good weather at this time.

Hikkaduwa Beach in Sri Lanka (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)
Sri Lanka in March: Travel Tips, Weather, and More

March is the last month for excellent beach weather in the southwest of the island, and the peak tourist season is winding down at this time along with the sunny skies. The Cultural Triangle is dry, and the north and east don’t receive too much rain this month, making it a great time to visit.

Flowers bloom in Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka (Photo courtesy of Pexels)
Sri Lanka in April: Travel Tips, Weather, and More

April is considered a shoulder season in Sri Lanka. The weather's generally good during this month, although the southwest starts to experience heavy evening thunderstorms during this “inter-monsoon” period. Visitors to Sri Lanka in April can enjoy reasonable weather in both the north and south of the island, with fewer crowds than at other times of year.

Majestic Sri Lankan leopards can be seen in Yala National Park
Sri Lanka in May: Travel Tips, Weather, and More

In May, the southwest monsoon will have started in Sri Lanka, and travelers can expect several hours of rain per day in Colombo and on the island’s southern beaches. On the other hand, the northeast monsoon will be over; this is a great month to check out northern and eastern Sri Lanka, the Cultural Triangle, and the hill country.

June is a great time to see blue whales in eastern Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka in June: Travel Tips, Weather, and More

In June, the southwest monsoon rains are falling over Sri Lanka. Colombo is damp and humid, and the island’s southern beaches and mountainous center are experiencing intermittent rainfall. Sri Lanka’s northeastern half will be dry, however, making this a good time to explore the island’s less-touristed regions.

Fire dancers perform at the Kandy Perahera (Photo courtesy of Pexels)
Sri Lanka in July: Travel Tips, Weather, and More

Sri Lanka’s two distinct monsoon seasons truly make it a year-round destination. While July is a wet month in southwestern Sri Lanka, the island’s northeastern half will be dry. This is a good time to explore national parks, wander along deserted beaches, and enjoy July’s colorful festivals.

A Hindu temple in Jaffna, Sri Lanka (Photo courtesy of Pexels)
Sri Lanka in August: Travel Tips, Weather, and More

In August, the southwest monsoon is nearing its end in Sri Lanka. With lower rainfall than surrounding months and many tourists from the northern hemisphere on summer vacation, it’s a popular time to visit. Consider a trip to Trincomalee or Yala National Park for wildlife spotting, celebrate the Kandy Perahera, or witness one of the country's largest temple festivals in Jaffna.

Sunset in Trincomalee (Photo courtesy of Pixabay)
Sri Lanka in October: Travel Tips, Weather, and More

October is the beginning of Sri Lanka’s off-season, so visitors can expect to benefit from lower prices and shorter lines at the attractions. At this point, the summer crowds are gone and the winter ones haven't yet arrived. The inter-monsoon season brings intermittent rain and thunderstorms throughout the island.

The "White Stupa" in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka in November: Travel Tips, Weather, and More

November is shoulder season in Sri Lanka. The rain and thunderstorms of the inter-monsoon season keep away the crowds, so visitors can enjoy lower prices and shorter lines. Consider traveling near the end of the month, when the weather in the southwest of the country starts to clear up.

The view from Little Adam's Peak near Ella, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka in December: Travel Tips, Weather, and More

December is the beginning of Sri Lanka’s high season. The main tourist areas in the southwest will be cool and dry, and Buddhist pilgrims start flocking to the summit of Sri Pada, or Adam’s Peak. This is a great month to visit Colombo, Kandy, and the island’s most developed beaches.