Sri Lanka is a fairly small country but that doesn’t have any effect on the complicated monsoon mechanisms that play here.
A complex situation rarely gives rise to a simpler solution, but hey, we’re in Sri Lanka. Two separate monsoon systems drain the island nation. This, in turn, gives tourists the opportunity to visit a part of the island where the weather is good.
The main south-west monsoon, Yala, drenches the west and south-west coasts and the hills from April through September. Whereas the north-east monsoon carries the light showers and sprinkles them across east coast from November through December.
The country experiences weather disturbance in October and November, which results in heavy rains and thunderstorms practically anywhere in the country. Thus, the best period to visit the west and south coasts and hill Country is from December to March.
Let’s have a look at why February, out of them, is the most favourable month?
Why February is the Best Time to Visit Sri Lanka
Great weather on either of the coast sides
As mentioned earlier, the south and west coasts of the country are sunbathing during February. Hotels or accommodations in Rajagiriya are especially crowded during summers. The temperatures go as high as 30 degree Celsius. The rainfall, too, is minimal making it one of the most preferred times for tourists to visit this side. As far as the north and eastern coasts are concerned, the monsoon winds are about to bid goodbye, thus the rainfall is extremely less during February as compared to previous months.
Since the weather becomes much drier during January and February, it is the most ideal time for visiting Uda Walawe and Wilpattu National Parks to see the animals in their natural habitat. The probability of their visibility increases as they come to the waterholes to drink water. If you are in luck you might also end up spotting the leopard enjoying the sun at Yala National Park.
Visit the cultural triangle
When you move inward to areas in the country, the warm and dry weather prevails making the cultural triangle an ideal location that shouldn’t be missed during February. The average temperature is 27 degree Celsius.
Enjoy the hills and trek up
Tropical countries usually don’t have cold hillsides. But wait till you visit Sri Lanka during February. The tea gardens in and around Nuwara Eliya will be a delight to visit during the cool temperature. Since the temperatures are not just cool but dry too, February is a great time to trek the Knuckles Mountain Range.
Dolphin and whale spotting
Dolphins and whales (blue and sperm whales) can be seen off the southern coast near Mirissa and north-west coast near Kalpitiya during February. You can join a whale watching tour from Mirissa.