Sri Lanka climate
Sri Lanka is a tropical country with ocean winds cooling humid heat. Temperatures rarely fall below 16 C in the winter and summer temperatures average a hot 32 C. The monsoon season lasts from mid-October through January and leaves the island drenched.
When to fly to Sri Lanka
Thanks to the tropical weather that graces the island, there is no bad time to book flights to Sri Lanka...
If you’re looking for cheap flights to Sri Lanka, try and visit in between the two rainy seasons. On the south-west coast and in the hills, it is driest between November and April. On the east coast, the best conditions are between May and September.
Monsoon season is between May and July, and December and January.
Getting around Sri Lanka
There is only one domestic plane service in Sri Lanka, ExpoAir, which flies between Colombo and Jaffna. For every other destination, take the train or bus. Three-wheel vehicles, known variously as tuk-tuks, bajajs or auto-rickshaws are a fun way of taking short trips. Independent travellers can rent motor-bikes and cars. Hiring a car and driver is another popular option; drivers will have local knowledge.
Sri Lanka insider information
- Colombo is the largest city in the country, though no longer the capital, and also the arrival point of all international flights to Sri Lanka. The city has been variously occupied by Portuguese, Dutch and British, leading to an interesting assortment of various architectural styles in the buildings.
- Nuwara Eliya is the tea capital, the main hill resort. Due to its altitude – about 2,000m above sea level – it remains cool throughout the summer months and Sri Lankans flock here to escape the heat of the city. It is a town of English-style bungalows and afternoon tea.
- Located about 85km from Colombo, the Pinnewela Elephant Orphanage houses 75 elephants that were either lost or abandoned by their mothers. Established in 1975 by the Sri Lankan Government, this is a popular spot with visiting tourists.
- The Green, Olive Ridley, Leatherback, Loggerhead and Hawkesbill marine turtles are all endangered and the government takes conservation efforts very seriously, for example paying local fishermen to protect natural turtle-nesting sites. Kosgoda and Rekawa are among the best known sites.
- In the centre of the country, the sacred city of Kandy was the last capital of the ancient kings of Ceylon. It is home to The Temple of the Tooth Relic. In July or August, the festival of Esala Perahera takes place. One of the inner caskets used for covering the tooth relic is taken through the city accompanied by dancers, drummers, flag bearers and brightly decorated elephants.