Sri LankaVisiting Sri Lanka in January


You would do well to plan your trip to Sri Lanka in January. Not only is it a great start to the year, but the pleasant weather conditions in the western and southern parts of the country will ensure you have a memorable holiday.

The weather in the western and southern coast is perfect for sightseeing and beach activities. You can expect temperatures of around 30 °C, and plenty of sunshine. Rainfall is possible, but will be at a minimal.

The temperature in the central highlands drops to its lowest during this time, with Nuwara Eliya usually recording an average of about 15 °C.

The weather in the cultural triangle is largely pleasant, although you should expect a bit of rain.

Things to do

By January, the southern coast of Sri Lanka is well into tourist season. The beaches are great for sunbathing, swimming, snorkelling, diving and engaging in a host of water sports. If you are a lover of nature, you can enjoy exciting wildlife safaris, birdwatching and whale watching, or go on hikes and treks through national parks and rainforests.

Visits to the cultural triangle should definitely be undertaken as Sri Lanka’s cultural heritage is not something to be missed out on. The food experience in Sri Lanka is great all year round. Definitely try some of the country’s delicious seafood when you are in the western and southern coasts. Enjoy relaxing and therapeutic spa treatments which are available at all tourist hot spots.

Where to go

Visit the coastal towns of Galle, Bentota, Weligama, Mirissa and Negombo for sun, sand and swimming. Bentota is great for plenty of exciting water sports at this time. Mirissa is where you should head if you want to whale watch. The southern and southwestern coasts are ideal for snorkelling, diving and surfing at this time of year.

Yala and Wilpattu National Parks can be visited in January, but you may catch the tail end of the north eastern monsoon in early January. Udawalawe and Kumana National Parks are most suited for birdwatching.

Visit Ella Rock, Horton Plains Park, Kanneliya Forest or Sinharaja Forest for rewarding hikes and treks which will give you the opportunity to appreciate the natural beauty of the country. You can also climb Adam’s Peak, as the season begins in December.

Head over to Sigiriya, Anuradhapura and Kandy for cultural tours that offer a glimpse into the country’s ancient history.

Keep in mind that peak season surcharges may apply at hotels and at certain tourist attractions during this time.