Sri Lanka is best in January because…

30 °C (Jan. avg. temp.)

High Season

   What to do:Is one of the best times to visit Sri Lanka

  • January is generally considered to be one of the best times to visit Sri Lanka. There is plenty of sunshine along the southwest coast so January is ideal for hitting the beach, swimming in the sea and sunbathing.
  • January is also one of the best times to see blue whales in Mirissa.

   Weather:It's hot (minimal rainfall except in highlands)

The temperature at this time is hot but not too humid so you won’t be drenched in sweat all the time. Expect around 30 °C around the coasts and the Cultural Triangle. In the highlands the temperatures are usually cooler (around 20 °C).
The highlands tend to still receive a bit of rain in January but this tends to come in bursts and is followed by clear skies.

   Where to go:Head to the South and West Coasts

Galle, Bentota, Mirissa, Tangalle, Weligama and Colombo.

   Where to avoid?Possibly the north and east

The north and east parts of the island as they may still be affected by the final days of the northeastern monsoon.

   Wildlife:High chance to see lots of animals in Uda Walawe & Wilpattu

For wildlife, Yala will have dried out after the monsoon by the latter half of January and will be perfect for spotting leopards. As the parks become hot and dry, wildlife spotting becomes easier as animals congregate around watering holes. Uda Walawe and Wilpattu are also fantastic choices during this time as there is a very high chance of seeing lots of different animals. January is also one of the best times to see blue whales in Mirissa.

   Hiking:Perfect time to hike up Adam's Peak

The highlands tend to still receive a bit of rain in January but this tends to come in bursts and is followed by clear skies. Nevertheless, temperatures are mild in places like Nuwara Eliya and Ella in January – perfect for hiking Adam’s Peak or some of the region’s other mountains.

   Festivals & Events:Don't miss the colourful festival celebrating Buddha

Duruthu Perahera

Duruthu Perahera takes place in January at the sacred temple in Kelaniya. This colourful festival celebrates Buddha’s first visit to Sri Lanka and is quite the spectacle with drummers, dancers and elephants parading the streets. This is one of the key festivals in Sri Lanka that we recommend you attend .

Tell us what you think about Sri Lanka in January

I’d love to hear your experience of Sri Lanka in January in the comment area below! 🙂
Have any questions about travelling in January, don’t hesitate to ask me!

JJ

Joanna, world traveller and Sri Lanka specialist

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Head to the South and West Coasts