Sri LankaVisiting Sri Lanka in December


December can be a great time to travel to Sri Lanka, as the weather is not too hot or dry. This is primarily due to the monsoon season ending in late November or early December. The central highlands, including tea country in Nuwara Eliya, are green, lush and extremely beautiful at this time of year. It can get rather chilly up in the hills, so its best to have a sweater or two in hand. The weather in the southern and western coasts are perfect for sunbathing and beach activities in December.

Things to do

Sri Lanka is a year-round holiday destination, as there’s always fun and exciting things to do in the country. If you are visiting in December, you can enjoy coastal activities such as swimming, snorkelling, diving, surfing, whale watching. Nature and safari lovers can enjoy wildlife safaris, bird watching and plenty of exciting hikes and treks during this time. Those who enjoy culture and history can visit the country’s cultural triangle where there are a number of temples and ruins that date back thousands of years. December is also a great time for foodies to enjoy plenty of delicious Sri Lankan cuisine, in addition to unique seasonal fare.

Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Sri Lanka can be a fun experience. The city of Colombo gets rather busy during this season with many Christmas activities such as carols, themed markets, shopping events, and of course extravagant Christmas Day lunches and dinners being offered by almost all hotels and restaurants. There are plenty of Catholic, Protestant and non-denominational churches that conduct Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services in English should you wish to attend.

New Year’s Eve is a time for raucous fun on the island. Take your pick from beach parties, all night-long dinner dances at hotels, spirit filled parties at pubs and bars, or a quiet elegant dinner with your loved ones, as you watch the skies light up with midnight fireworks.

Where to go

The coastal towns of Galle, Bentota, Weligama, Mirissa and Negombo are great places to visit for sun, sand and swimming. The southern and southwestern coasts are ideal for snorkelling, diving and surfing at this time of year. If whale watching is something that interests you, head over to Mirissa for an unforgettable experience.

You can also enjoy some wonderful wildlife safaris at Yala National Park or Udawalawe National Park at this time. Kumana National Park is perfect for birdwatching.

Visit Ella Rock, Horton Plains Park or Kanneliya Forest for hikes and treks that will give you a chance to experience the diverse natural beauty of the island.

Head over to Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya to experience the fascinating cultural heritage of the country. It is possible that you will experience some rain due to the eastern monsoon.

Aim to spend Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Colombo or Galle, as these cities offer more choices in terms of activities and parties.

Take note that December is peak season for tourism in Sri Lanka. Therefore, you may have to pay high season surcharges for accommodation and certain experiences.