Love Sri Lanka Explore

Sri Lanka in December: Its Weather, Places, Things To Do & More

Welcome to Sri Lanka, a beautiful island nation rich in culture, history, and biodiversity. For many years, it has been among the most popular holiday destinations and was named the number one travel destination by Travel Triangle in 2023. Whether you want to enjoy a tropical climate, scenic landscapes, or other diverse attractions, Sri Lanka can give you an all-inclusive experience.

Visiting Sri Lanka in December can expose you to varying weather conditions depending on the region you visit and the monsoon. In this article, we will provide some tips and suggestions on things to do in Sri Lanka in December, the best places to visit, and the weather to expect.

How to Plan Your Trip to Sri Lanka in December

Here are some things you should consider when planning your trip to Sri Lanka. Aside from accommodation, there are things that need to be taken care of initially.

A visa, or Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA), should be obtained before you arrive in Sri Lanka. You can get your ETA online here. The ETA is valid for 30 days and will cost around $35 for most countries.

When visiting Sri Lanka, it would be best to be up-to-date on vaccinations to prevent mishaps. We recommend getting vaccinated for diseases such as typhoid, hepatitis A, and tetanus before you travel to Sri Lanka, and if possible, malaria prophylaxis. This all depends on the areas you plan to visit.
The local currency of Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan rupee (LKR). Exchange facilities are available at the airport, banks, or authorised dealers. The availability of ATMs, payments by debit or credit cards, and mobile wallets has improved, but you will still need to carry some cash for minor transactions, especially in rural areas.

You can travel around Sri Lanka with ease by taking a bus, train, taxi, or tuk-tuk. Renting a car, a bike, a tuk-tuk, or a scooter is also possible, but you need to obtain a valid driver’s licence and insurance. For convenience and safety, you can always opt to engage a private driver or a tour guide to take you around. Some vehicle rental companies offer support to obtain a driving permit, which you can collect from them on arrival.

The Weather in Sri Lanka in December

The weather and temperature in December can be unpredictable. This is due to the two monsoon seasons that alternately affect the wet and dry seasons in the country. The northeast monsoon, which lasts from November to March, is prevalent in December and usually brings rain to the north and east of the island. Therefore, when planning where you want to go in Sri Lanka in December, it is best to keep this in mind.

What are The Best Places to Visit in Sri Lanka in December?

Although there are many amazing places to visit in Sri Lanka, some of them are more suitable for travel in December than others.

Nuwara Eliya – Things to Do and the Weather

This is one of the most popular destinations in Sri Lanka. Travelling by train will allow you to enjoy scenic views of tea plantations, waterfalls, and mountains. In Nuwara Eliya, you can enjoy the colonial architecture (53°F), reminiscent of Old England, the golf course, and botanical gardens. In December, the weather in Nuwara Eliya is usually mild and very wet. The average temperature ranges from 20°C (68°F) to 12°C (53°F), and the average rainfall expected is about 229 mm (9 inches). Rain is usually experienced within the first two weeks of the month.

Kandy- Things to Do and the Weather

Kandy is known for being a city steeped in traditions and religious practises. Experience the cultural aspect of Sri Lanka and get a chance to visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, which is the home of a tooth relic of Lord Buddha. Additionally, you can pay a visit to the National Museum of Kandy, the Royal Botanical Gardens, the Kandy Lake, and the Udawattakele Forest Reserve. In December, Kandy experiences weather conditions similar to Nuwara Eliya but slightly warmer and drier. The temperature ranges between 28°C (82°F) and 18°C (64°F). The average rainfall is about 175 mm (7 inches), and it rains for about 11 days of the month.

Yala National Park- Things to Do and the Weather

For wildlife enthusiasts, the best national park in Sri Lanka to visit in December is Yala National Park. Visitors often get the chance to see leopards, elephants, sloth bears, crocodiles, and many other animals. Full-day or half-day safaris are available, and for the adventurous, there are opportunities to spend a night camping in the reserve. Due to its location in the southeast of the island, the weather in Yala in December is hot and dry, as it is away from the effects of the northeast monsoon. The temperature ranges from 32°C (90°F) to 23°C (73°F), and the average rainfall is about 95 mm (4 inches), with rain expected on average for only around 6 days of the month.

Sigiriya Rock Fortress- Things to Do and the Weather

Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sigiriya is a massive rock formation that contains the remains of a palace, gardens, frescoes, and a lion gate. Enjoy the mildly challenging climb to the top and be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The weather in Sigiriya Rock Fortress in December is moderate and wet, as it is located in the central north of the island. The temperature ranges from 29°C (84°F) to 21°C (70°F), and rainfall amounts to around 150 mm (6 inches).

Bentota Beach- Things to Do and the Weather

There are many beaches in Sri Lanka that are the favourite haunts of tourists all year. However, Bentota Beach is known to be the best place to surf in Sri Lanka in December. It also offers a variety of other water sports, such as snorkelling, jet skiing, and sailing. Many visitors also choose to relax on the golden beach and watch the sunset, or take a boat ride on the Bentota River. Take some time to visit the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery, situated close to Bentota, where you can see and learn about the endangered sea turtles. The weather at Bentota Beach in December is warm and humid, as it is located in the southwest of the island, which is more affected by the northeast monsoon. The temperature ranges from 30°C (86°F) to 24°C (75°F), and usually for around 12 days of the month, rainfall of about 175 mm (7 inches) occurs.

These are just some of the many amazing places to visit in Sri Lanka in December. For instance, many activities and experiences are awaiting you in Colombo, Galle, Anuradhapura, Dambulla, and many more areas. Sri Lanka is a diverse and fascinating country that has something for everyone.

Travelling to Sri Lanka in December can be an enjoyable experience. Aside from the weather, which is only a mild and negligible hindrance in many cases, Sri Lanka has a lot to offer, from culture and history to nature and wildlife. Relax on the beach, explore the ancient sites, or go on an adventure. There are many ways to have a completely enjoyable and fulfilling experience within your budget. Finally, be aware of scammers and check reviews before paying for any services or reservations before you arrive.