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Sri Lanka weather & when to go: January

Sri Lanka January weather overview

January is amongst the best all-round months to travel in Sri Lanka, with dry and warm weather expected across most of the country’s highlights and key regions such as the Cultural Triangle and Kandy. In Tea Country things are naturally cooler due to altitude. The southern and western coast are both experiencing plenty of sunshine and minimal rainfall throughout the month, there is however plenty if rainfall expected on the east coast. Throughout the month expect average temperatures around 30 °.

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January’s weather in detail

The entire southern coast and south-west corner of the country are expecting plenty of sunshine whilst in the east, the north-eastern monsoon should be starting to wind down, meaning that the National Park of Yala and Uda Walawe will also be hot and dry, making January a good month for wildlife sightings as the animals gather around water holes. 

The central regions of Kandy, the hills of Tea Country, and to a lesser extent the Cultural Triangle, are likely to be receiving a little rainfall in January. Whilst the usual warm weather is expected in the Cultural Triangle, temperatures in the Tea Country, especially around Nuwara Eliya, remain cooler due to the higher altitude (avg temp: 20 °C). Cooler temperatures and minimal rainfall make January a good month for climbing Adam's Peak.

The best of Sri Lanka’s beaches in January:

The south-west (the section south of Negombo & Colombo) and the entire south coast: Peak season.

The entire east coast: Monsoon season.

The central and northern section of the west coast (from Negombo northwards): Mixed/end of monsoon season.

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