Best time to visit Sri Lanka

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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.

ParkFeaturesBest time to visit
Adam’s Bridge National ParkMarine life including dolphin, dugong and turtle; migratory birds as well as the brown noddy. May-Aug
Bundala National ParkMigratory birds, wetland park, coastal lagoon, some elephants.Year round
Gal Oya National ParkGrasslands, evergreen forest, reservoir (tank), elephants, sloth bears, leopards, water buffalo and deer.Dec-Sep
Horton Plains National ParkUNESCO World Heritage Site, hiking, montane forest and World’s End cliff drop.Dec-Mar
Kaudulla National ParkReservoir (tank), scrub jungle, elephants, deer, monkeys, sloth bear, leopards and waterfowl.Aug-Mar
Knuckles Mountain RangeUNESCO World Heritage Site, hiking, traditional villages, caves, waterfalls and evergreen and riverine forests.Dec-May
Kumana National ParkGrassland, jungle, lagoons and mangrove forests.May-Sep
Lunugamvehera National ParkGrassland, reservoir (tank), water buffalo and elephants.May-Sep
Minneriya National ParkReservoir (tank), elephants, deer, monkey and waterfowl.May-Sep
Pigeon Island National ParkSnorkelling, coral reef, blacktip reef shark, sea turtles. May-Oct
Peak Wilderness SanctuaryUNESCO World Heritage Site, Adam’s Peak pilgrimage and hiking.Dec-May
Sinharaja Forest ReserveRainforest, UNESCO World Heritage Site, sambar and barking deer, leopards, monkeys and birdwatching.Aug-Sep / Jan-Mar
Udawalawe National ParkOpen grassland, elephants, spotted deer, water buffalo and wild boar.Year round
Wasgamuwa National ParkEvergreen forest, hilly ridges, grassy plains, elephants, leopards, sloth bears and purple-faced langur and toque macaque monkeys.Jun-Sep
Wilpattu National ParkDry woodland, leopards, sloth bears, deer and crocodiles.Jan-Mar
Yala National ParkElephants, sloth bears, leopards, water buffalo, spotted deer, reservoirs (tanks) and tropical thornforest.Nov-Jul