When is the Best Time to Visit Sri Lanka?

Travel+Leisure World's Best Awards 2023 logo in white
Written by
Charlie Morris

Published on: October 12th, 2017

Last modified: March 21st, 2024

Sri Lanka's tropical climate means the country sees warmth and sunshine throughout the year.

If you're heading to Tangalle and Galle, the best time to visit Sri Lanka is from November to March. If you're after cooler temperatures, then the Tea County is generally around 10°C cooler than the rest of the country. For leopard spotting in Yala National Park, go between May and October.

The north and east of the island make up the dry zone, while the western slopes of the central highlands are the wettest part of Sri Lanka.

May - October
Beach break
November - March
Warm weather

The Best Time for...

Nov - Apr

Spotting Wildlife

May to October is the dry season in Yala National Park. This is when the bush dies back and animals, including leopards and elephants, congregate around the water holes. If you visit in the wet season between November to April, you’ve got a better chance of seeing migratory birds but be prepared for dramatic downpours.

Nov - Mar

A Beach Break

The south coast around Tangalle and Galle is best visited between November and March – the sea is considered unsafe to swim in outside these months.

Monsoon Season

Sri Lanka is affected by two monsoon seasons. The Yala monsoon hits Colombo and the south and west coasts during May and June. The Maha monsoon affects the far north and east between February and December.

Whatever you want from your trip to Sri Lanka, our team of expert travel designers are here to help.