The best time to visit Sri Lanka is either Jan-Apr or July-Sep for the best odds of good weather countrywide. The weather in Sri Lanka is somewhat complicated given that it has two separate monsoon seasons affecting different parts of the country.
The best time for exploring the hiking trails around Ella is between Dec-Mar when the Hill Country is driest. The shoulder season of April and Sep-Nov is a decent time to visit while the Yala monsoon season of May-Aug brings rain to the Hill Country.
The best time to visit the south and west coasts is Jan-Mar when the region is mostly sunny. With April comes the monsoon season. Jun-Sep are the wettest months but are still sunny. In November, the weather turns hot and humid but it’s still a good time to visit especially for Diwali celebrations.
best time to visit Sri Lanka’s national parks
For the best time to visit Sri Lanka’s national parks use the table below.
|Park||Features||Best time to visit|
|Adam’s Bridge National Park||Marine life including dolphin, dugong and turtle; migratory birds as well as the brown noddy.||May-Aug|
|Bundala National Park||Migratory birds, wetland park, coastal lagoon, some elephants.||Year round|
|Gal Oya National Park||Grasslands, evergreen forest, reservoir (tank), elephants, sloth bears, leopards, water buffalo and deer.||Dec-Sep|
|Horton Plains National Park||UNESCO World Heritage Site, hiking, montane forest and World’s End cliff drop.||Dec-Mar|
|Kaudulla National Park||Reservoir (tank), scrub jungle, elephants, deer, monkeys, sloth bear, leopards and waterfowl.||Aug-Mar|
|Knuckles Mountain Range||UNESCO World Heritage Site, hiking, traditional villages, caves, waterfalls and evergreen and riverine forests.||Dec-May|
|Kumana National Park||Grassland, jungle, lagoons and mangrove forests.||May-Sep|
|Lunugamvehera National Park||Grassland, reservoir (tank), water buffalo and elephants.||May-Sep|
|Minneriya National Park||Reservoir (tank), elephants, deer, monkey and waterfowl.||May-Sep|
|Pigeon Island National Park||Snorkelling, coral reef, blacktip reef shark, sea turtles.||May-Oct|
|Peak Wilderness Sanctuary||UNESCO World Heritage Site, Adam’s Peak pilgrimage and hiking.||Dec-May|
|Sinharaja Forest Reserve||Rainforest, UNESCO World Heritage Site, sambar and barking deer, leopards, monkeys and birdwatching.||Aug-Sep / Jan-Mar|
|Udawalawe National Park||Open grassland, elephants, spotted deer, water buffalo and wild boar.||Year round|
|Wasgamuwa National Park||Evergreen forest, hilly ridges, grassy plains, elephants, leopards, sloth bears and purple-faced langur and toque macaque monkeys.||Jun-Sep|
|Wilpattu National Park||Dry woodland, leopards, sloth bears, deer and crocodiles.||Jan-Mar|
|Yala National Park||Elephants, sloth bears, leopards, water buffalo, spotted deer, reservoirs (tanks) and tropical thornforest.||Nov-Jul|