Sri Lanka Travel Information

Ready to discover an island blessed with incredible natural beauty, a rich culture dating back millennia and a wealth of wildlife? With its national parks, tea-leaf covered hillsides and ancient architecture, Sri Lanka is a beauty to behold and a wonderful country for a holiday.

Sri Lanka is a year-round destination with two monsoon seasons so there is a lot of confusion around when is the best time to visit. The weather doesn’t run like clockwork here, and we can always be surprised by the weather in Sri Lanka! However, there will rarely be weather so dramatic that it will stand in the way of a brilliant holiday with plenty of warm weather and sunshine. This is our guide as to when you might like to visit Sri Lanka.

Facts about Sri Lanka

  • Area: 65,610 sq km (25,332 sq miles)

  • Capital city of Sri Lanka: Colombo

  • Major languages: Sinhala, Tamil

  • State religion: Buddhism, followed by Hinduism, Christianity and Islam

  • Country code: +94

  • Currency: Sri Lankan rupee

  • Time zone: (GMT+5:30)

Best time to visit Sri Lanka

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Colombo
East Coast Beaches
Galle & the Southern Beaches
Cultural Triangle & Tea Plantations
Yala, Wilpattu & Gal Oya National Parks
Colombo
East Coast Beaches
Galle & the Southern Beaches
Cultural Triangle & Tea Plantations
Yala, Wilpattu & Gal Oya National Parks
Best time
Low season
Off season

Sri Lanka location in world map

Sri Lanka is a pearl shaped island located off the south east tip of India, approximately 644 km north of the equator. It stretches from 6 to 10 degrees North Latitude and from 80 to 82 degrees East Logitude. It is 445 km. (277 miles) long and 225 km. (140 miles) at its widest. The total land area us 65,610 sq km. (25,332 sq miles). The island is 48 km (30 miles) from the Indian subcontinent at its northern most point which is called Point Pedro. The coastline is over 1600 km (1000 miles) long.

Climate

The climate is tropical. In the North west coast temperatures occasionally rise to 38C (100F). The climate varies as you travel to the central highland The annual average temperature is Colombo 28 degrees centigrade (83F) The central highlands of Kandy have an average temperature of 20C (68F) and an altitude of 448 metres or 1600 feet, while Nuwara Eliya, high in the Central Highland, has an average temperature of 16C (61F).

The island has only two season but for two periods an year the country receives monsoonal rain. The south west monsoon bring rain form April to June and the North west from mid October to mid February. These monsoons are essentially trade winds which carry rain with them. The rainfall averages could be between 60 – 80 inches along the coast rising to about 120 inches in the hill country. Pidurutalagala is the highest mountain in Sri Lanka. It rises to a peak of 2542 metres.

Language

Sinhala and Tamil are considered the national language. English is regarded as the link language and is widely used in business, banking, international trade and tourist oriented activities.

Customs and Courtesies

Since Sri Lanka is predominantly Buddhist, temples and images are held sacred. When visiting a temple or Hindu shrine it is necessary to remove your shoes and headgear as a sign of respect. Women should be modestly dressed when visiting temples.