Santani Journal

Is January A Good Time To Visit Sri Lanka?

Wondering whether January is the best time to visit Sri Lanka? Well, this blog post is for you.
santani wellness kandy, sri lanka

January is still winter in most countries and the cold temperatures, harsh weather conditions and shorter days discourage travel in these regions. However, for those seeking a warm and vibrant escape during this time, the tropical nation of Sri Lanka emerges as the ideal destination. With its warm, sunny weather, golden seashores, and impressive wildlife, the tropical island of Sri Lanka is your ideal destination. January is the best time to visit Sri Lanka as it offers various opportunities to experience the natural beauty and the cultural wonders of the island. This article focuses on a few things you must know before planning your trip.

Understanding Sri Lanka’s Climate

visit Sri Lanka
Golden sands and turquoise waters in Sri Lanka

January is just after the Sri Lankan monsoon season, therefore, it’s not at its “hottest”. The average temperature in January would be around 20 to 30 degrees Celsius. The climate is generally warm and sunny; not entirely dry but travel-friendly. During this season, the lakes are filled with water and there’s lush greenery after the downpour. The hill countries offer cooler temperatures and misty landscapes which are perfect for hiking. The cool breeze and eye-catching views make it an ideal destination for anyone seeking to indulge in the calmness of the natural Sri Lankan landscape.

Things to Do In January

Kelaniya temple Perahera in Colombo:
Kelaniya Temple Perahera
Colombo’s cultural richness with the Kelaniya Temple Perahera

A Sri Lankan Perehera is a must to experience for anyone looking for a local cultural experience. A perehera is a cultural procession where tradition, rituals and arts all combine together. Several pereharas are conducted across the island at different times of the year. The Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya holds the annual Duruthu perehera procession on the full moon day of January. The procession showcases the ancient traditions, cultural heritage, traditional folklore, folk music, and rhythmic dance forms and drum beats that have evolved around Buddhism throughout the ages.

Adam’s Peak pilgrimage:
Adams Peak, Sri Lanka
A spiritual journey at Adams Peak, Sri Lanka

The Adam’s Peak is a holy mountain that is believed to be the place where Adam first stepped foot on earth. Every year, pilgrims take a sacred walk to the top of the hill from the full moon in December to the full moon in April. Hence, if you visit Sri Lanka in January, you can take part in the Adams Peak Pilgrimage. It’s a strenuous path with more than 5000 steps but offers spectacular views. If it’s not too misty, you might be lucky enough to catch the sunrise or sunset.

Yala Safari:
Yala Safari
Nature’s nursery at Yala Safari

January is the best time to go on a safari in Yala. This is just after the rainy season so it’s the ideal time for wildlife sightings, especially around the waterholes. This sanctuary is extremely popular for its high leopard density and elephant population. Apart from this, there are also a large diversity of Sloth Bears, Sambar Deer, Spotted Deer, Mouse Deer, Rusty spotted cats and rich birdlife. This wildlife sanctuary offers a unique experience and one of the must-sees of Sri Lanka.

Horton plains National Park:
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Nature’s canvas comes alive at Horton Plains National Park

The weather in January is ideal for a hike in Horton Plains. The clear weather and less fog provide ideal views and great visibility. These plains are covered in wild grassland and interspersed by thick forests, rocky outcrops, lakes and waterfalls. Most species found in here are endemic to the region. Not only is it a popular wildlife tourist destination but also a spectacular world heritage site that was designated as a national park in 1988.

Travel Tips for January Visitors

Prepare for larger crowds: January is the peak tourist season in Sri Lanka so travelers during this season should be prepared for larger crowds at popular tourist spots. Consider visiting these attractions during weekdays or early mornings to avoid the busiest times. If possible, book your tickets in advance to help save you some time.

Pack suitable clothing: The clothes you carry with you depend on where in Sri Lanka you want to visit. If your trip only consists of the humid coastal regions, pack lightweight, breathable clothes. If your itinerary includes the hill country, bring layers such as light jackets, sweaters and long sleeves. Comfortable walking shoes are essential, especially when going on a hike. It’s also important to note that the weather can vary significantly during long hikes, especially in the hill country. It’s wise to carry a light jacket or a sweater with you to keep you warm as you ascend to higher altitudes.

Respect Photography laws: Sri Lanka is a photographer’s delight but certain areas have restrictions and cannot be photographed. Be informed of any restrictions as they’re crucial for culturally sensitive sites. Contact local authorities, tourism offices, or relevant agencies for any inquiries.

Temporary License to Drive: You can drive in Sri Lanka as a tourist by obtaining a temporary Sri Lankan driving license from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in Werahera or the Automobile Association of Sri Lanka (AA). This can be done by producing an English copy of a valid driving license from your home country to prove your driving qualifications.

Accommodations in January

Enjoy the ideal January weather by booking accommodations in coastal or central Sri Lanka. Explore beachfront resorts or hotels along picturesque shores for a tropical beach experience. For cooler temperatures and a hill country experience amidst flourishing tea plantations, venture into the Sri Lankan hillside. Cities like Kandy, Ella and Nuwara Eliya offer misty landscapes and beautiful mountain views.

Santani Wellness Kandy is your ideal luxury wellness retreat getaway for a holistic experience in Sri Lanka. Built on the edge of a mountain, overlooking the Knuckles Mountain Range, this wellness resort is enveloped by lush greenery, untouched water streams and a cloud forest that floats beneath you. With its minimalistic architecture and glass walls that blend the indoors and outdoors together, this wellness resort and spa is geared towards achieving harmony with oneself and the universe around. This may also mean restorative yoga sessions, Ayurvedic spa treatments and nutritious meals made under the concept of Rasa Haya. Combined with many outdoor leisure and recreational packages, Santani Wellness Kandy is your ideal getaway this January.

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