It’s always hot here, but for the paradise experience, visit the dry parts for the time of year. Sri Lanka experiences 2 annual monsoons, dividing the island in half diagonally. Monsoons can affect your holiday negatively – heavy rainfall, muddy roads, land slides if extreme, rough seas, flooded roads.
South West Monsoon: May – September. Dry: December to March
North East Monsoon: October – February. Dry: May – September
Inter-monsoon: March – April & October – November. Affects all parts as the season changes; prone to rain fall and extension of monsoon weather.
Seasonality is important to factor in if….
….you want to do some of the following – go to the drier parts.
Wildlife safari: Rainy season means muddy, impassible road tracks, animals in hiding as plenty of water available, parks may even be closed.
December – March: Go to Wilpathu or Udawalawe national parks, Sinharaja Forest, (Minneriya)
May – September: Go to Yala, Bundala, Maduru Oya, Gal Oya, (Minneriya)
Whale & Dolphin watching: Rainy season means rough waters and limited migration of these mammals close enough to shore. Sight-seeing boat tours often don’t operate in this season.
December- March: Go to the South and West Coasts, Mirissa and Puttalam
May – September: Go to the East Coast, Trincomalee, Pasikudah and Arugam Bay
Climbing in the hill-country: Optimal period is December – March, when it should be drier. If you go at another time, do your walk or climb when the sun is out, take care of the muddy, slippery paths, watch out for leeches and be aware that peak season refreshment kiosks won’t be open and there’s no night lighting to show the way.
Chilling on the beach: For calmer waters and dry, sandy beaches, go to the coast in its dry season. Even if it’s dry on the day, the overall monsoon effect results in rough seas.