The beautiful island of Sri Lanka has warm tropical weather moderated by ocean breezes. Mean temperatures range from 17 °C (63 °F) in the central highlands, where frost may occur for several days in the winter, to a maximum of 33 °C (91 °F) in more low-altitude areas. The climate is defined by two monsoon seasons, May to July in the southwest, and October to February in the north and east.?
It is hot and dry in the country’s north and east during March through September, with highs of 32°F C (90°F ) in March, rising to 37°C (100°F) in July before falling back to about 33 °C (91°F ) in September, though the coast has a cooling effect so it does not seem so hot. April brings the start of the southwest monsoon, so the best place to be is in the north of the country, cultural triangle, or the eastern coast. The stunning northeast beaches are perfect in in July, August and September. There are also many festivals at this time in Sri Lanka, such as the Vesak Poya in May, which celebrates Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and death, and is marked with flowers, the lighting of lamps and burning of incense, as the country comes to life in ritual and ceremony
May to August and it is monsoon season in the country’s west and southwest, with rainfall of around 150 mm over these months. July and early August can be hot, between 25 and 31 °C (77-88 °F), but not unpleasant for traveling the island, which is invariably cooled by sea breezes. During these months it will be possible to see a great many elephants at the various game parks and preserves around Sri Lanka, with Yala National Park a highlight. It is home to many spectacular bird species, such as the Sri Lanka wood pigeon, crimson-fronted barbet, and black-capped bulbul, not to mention a vast array of reptiles endemic to the island, including the Sri Lankan flying snake, painted-lip lizard, Wiegmann's agama, and Bahir's fan-throated lizard.
This important Hindu festival takes place in the pretty pilgrimage town of Kataragama in the south of the island. On the day/night of the full moon in July, devotees subject themselves to various ritual torture techniques in a bid to appease their deities. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but certainly an unforgettable spectacle.
Location: Kataragama, Sri Lanka
July - August
One of Sri Lanka’s most spectacular and colorful festivals is Esala Perahera, a ten-day event in the central city of Kandy. Held to commemorate an ancient Buddhist tooth relic, this festival features processions through the streets, dancing, and music. It all ends with a peculiar ‘water cutting’ session (with swords) in the river.
Location: Kandy, Sri Lanka
July - August
Vel Festival sees the ceremonial chariot of the God of War, Skanda, pulled between two of Colombo’s major Hindu temples. Over two to three days, body painting and colorful outfits can be seen alongside painful displays of religious devotion, where participants dangle themselves by piercing their skin on their backs with metal hooks.
Location: Colombo, Sri Lanka
Kalpitiya Kitesurfing Season
From May to December, the turquoise ocean water and tranquil lagoon of Kalpitiya plays host to local and international kitesurfing enthusiasts. Many visit this northwestern town for its various events and competitions held between June and August. Beginners are also welcome and there’s several training centers scattered around.
Location: Kalpitiya, Sri Lanka
Arugam Bay Surfing Season
Arugam Bay, one of the top ten surfing destinations in the world, welcomes thousands of surf pilgrims, particularly during the months of June and July when the conditions are at their best. This surfers’ paradise on the southeast Sri Lankan coast hosts competitions and events along its several challenging point breaks.
Location: Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka
Chasing Waterfalls in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka
Author : Zinara Rathnayake
Thereâs a lot to see in Sri Lanka, from Sigiriya to leopards, but thereâs something to be said for a long hike to a waterfall. Central Sri Lanka's unique topography gives it some very interesting cascades.