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Sri Lanka in December 2023: A Cultural & Festive Destination

Sri Lanka in December: A Festive Month of Culture and Celebration

Sri Lanka in December is the start of the country’s high season. The weather is pleasant in the southwest, with cool temperatures and dry conditions. Buddhist pilgrims begin to climb Sri Pada, also known as Adam’s Peak, during this time. This is a great month to visit Colombo, Kandy, and the island’s most popular beaches.

Weather in Sri Lanka in December

Sri Lanka in December 2023: A Cultural & Festive Destination

The weather in Sri Lanka is broadly defined by its two separate monsoon seasons. The northeast monsoon brings wet and stormy weather to the island’s northeastern half in December, while the southwest of the island is just beginning its dry season.

  • Colombo experiences highs of around 88°F (31°C) and lows of 75°F (24°C), with a few days of rain during the month.
  • Kandy is slightly cooler, with highs around 82°F (28°C)
  • In tea country, the weather tends to be damp and much colder than the rest of the island year-round. Lows at the hill station of Nuwara Eliya in December can drop to 52°F (11°C).
  • Trincomalee, in Sri Lanka’s northeast, experiences highs of around 82°F (28°C) in December, with an average of 15 rainy days expected during the month.
  • The Cultural Triangle region (Anuradhapura, Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, etc.) is located in the so-called “dry zone”, but it still receives most of its rain at this time of year.

Overall, December is a good time to visit Sri Lanka if you are looking for pleasant weather with cool temperatures and dry conditions. However, if you are planning on visiting the northeast of the island, be prepared for some rain.

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Crowds and Costs in Sri Lanka in December

Crowds and Costs in Sri Lanka in December

December is a popular time to visit Sri Lanka, as the weather is pleasant and there are many festivals and events happening. This means that crowds and costs can start to increase, especially in the most popular tourist destinations.

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  • Popular attractions: Well-traveled attractions like Galle Fort can also be very crowded in December. If you want to avoid the crowds, it is best to visit these attractions early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
  • Costs: Prices for accommodation, activities, and transportation can also increase in December. It is a good idea to book your travel and accommodation in advance, especially if you are on a budget.

Where to Go in Sri Lanka in December

December is a great time to visit Sri Lanka, as the weather is pleasant and there are many festivals and events happening. Here are some of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka in December:

Colombo
Galle Face Green

The capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo is a bustling city with a rich history and culture. There are many things to see and do in Colombo, including visiting the Gangaramaya Temple, the National Museum, and the Pettah Market.

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Kandy
The Illustrious Kandy Esala Perahera

The former capital of Sri Lanka, Kandy is a beautiful city located in the central highlands. There are many important Buddhist temples in Kandy, including the Temple of the Tooth Relic.

Unawatuna Beach
Plan your trip to Unawatuna beach

A popular beach located in southwestern Sri Lanka, Unawatuna Beach is known for its beautiful white sand and clear waters. There are many hotels, restaurants, and shops near Unawatuna Beach, making it a great place to relax and enjoy the sun.

Talalla Beach
Talalla Beach, Sri Lanka

A less crowded beach located near Unawatuna Beach, Talalla Beach is known for its quiet atmosphere and stunning sunsets.

Mirissa Beach
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A popular beach located in southwestern Sri Lanka, Mirissa Beach is known for its whale watching opportunities. There are also many hotels, restaurants, and shops near Mirissa Beach, making it a great place to relax and enjoy the sun.

Ella
Ella Odyssey Train Ride

A hill station located in the central highlands of Sri Lanka, Ella is known for its beautiful scenery and stunning views. There are many hiking trails and waterfalls near Ella, making it a great place to explore the natural beauty of Sri Lanka.

Nine Arches Bridge in Ella

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Nuwara Eliya
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A hill station located in the central highlands of Sri Lanka, Nuwara Eliya is known for its cool temperatures and rolling hills. There are many tea plantations and colonial-era buildings near Nuwara Eliya, making it a great place to experience the British colonial history of Sri Lanka.

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Things to do in Sri Lanka in December

Adam’s Peak: A Pilgrimage for the Soul
Sri Lanka tourist places: Adams Peak – The UNESCO World Heritage Site

For those who enjoy hiking and a spiritual experience, climbing Adam’s Peak is a must-do in December. Also known as Sri Pada, this sacred mountain is a popular pilgrimage site for Buddhists. Devotees believe that the footprint of Lord Buddha can be found at the summit.

The climb takes about five hours, and most pilgrims choose to ascend overnight. The route is well-lit and there are kiosks serving refreshments along the way. The sunrise at the summit is truly breathtaking, and it is an unforgettable experience to share with like-minded travelers.

In addition to climbing Adam’s Peak, there are many other things to see and do in Sri Lanka in December. Here are a few suggestions:

Visit the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy
Temple of the Tooth Sri Lanka

This Buddhist temple is one of the most important religious sites in Sri Lanka. It houses a sacred tooth relic of the Buddha, and is a must-visit for any visitor to the country.

Explore Colombo’s food and nightlife scene
Colombo Street Food

The capital city of Sri Lanka, Colombo is a vibrant and exciting place to visit. There are plenty of restaurants and bars to choose from, and the nightlife is always buzzing.

See the Dutch colonial town at Galle Fort
Magnificent Galle Fort at sunset, epitomizing Sri Lanka's captivating history and architectural splendor - Galle Fort Tour Sri Lanka

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a beautiful example of Dutch colonial architecture. The fort is surrounded by a moat, and there are many interesting shops and restaurants to explore.

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Relax on the beaches of Unawatuna or Mirissa
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These two beaches are popular with tourists for their beautiful white sand and clear waters. There are also many hotels, restaurants, and shops near these beaches, making them a great place to relax and enjoy the sun.

No matter what your interests are, you’re sure to find something to love in Sri Lanka in December. With its rich culture, stunning natural beauty, and pleasant weather, Sri Lanka is a great place to visit any time of year.

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Festivals in Sri Lanka in December

December is a festive month in Sri Lanka, with a number of religious and cultural events taking place. Whether you are interested in Buddhist pilgrimages, Christmas celebrations, or simply some winter sun, Sri Lanka is a great place to visit in December.

Here are some of the top events and activities you can enjoy in Sri Lanka in December:

Unduvap Poya
Poya day meditation in Sri Lanka

This full moon day is an important day for Sri Lankan Buddhists. It commemorates the arrival in Sri Lanka of Sangamitta Theri, the eldest daughter of Emperor Ashoka. She is celebrated for bringing a sapling of the sacred Bodhi Tree from India and planting it in Anuradhapura.

Adam’s Peak Pilgrimage
Adam's Peak Pilgrimage

The Adam’s Peak pilgrimage season begins on the full moon of December. This sacred mountain is a popular pilgrimage site for Buddhists, who believe that the footprint of Lord Buddha can be found at the summit.

Christmas
Christmas in Sri Lanka in December

Sri Lanka’s Catholic communities celebrate Christmas on December 25th. These communities live mostly in the Colombo region. Christmas has also been widely adopted as a secular holiday, with traditions such as Christmas trees imported from Western countries.

Colombo Shopping Festival
Colombo Shopping Festival in Sri Lanka in December

This annual festival takes place in Colombo and features discounts and promotions from stores across the city.

In addition, there are also a number of other events taking place in Sri Lanka in December.

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Sri Lanka Tour Packages

Our Sri Lanka tour packages offer the perfect way to explore this beautiful island. We have a variety of packages to choose from, so you can find one that fits your interests and budget. We can also create a custom itinerary for you.

What to Pack for Your Trip to Sri Lanka in December

The weather in Sri Lanka in December is typically hot and sunny, with a chance of rain. Here are some tips on what to pack for your trip:

  • Lightweight, breathable clothing: Cotton, linen, and other natural fabrics are ideal.
  • Hat and sunglasses: The sun can be strong in Sri Lanka, so it’s important to protect your skin and eyes. A hat and sunglasses are essential.
  • Swimsuit: If you’re planning on spending time at the beach, be sure to pack a swimsuit. The water temperature in the ocean is usually around 80°F (27°C) in December.
  • Long pants and long-sleeved shirt: If you’re planning on visiting religious sites, be sure to pack long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. These are usually required for entry into temples and other religious buildings.
  • Rain gear: It’s not uncommon to get a few rain showers in Sri Lanka in December, so it’s a good idea to pack some rain gear. A raincoat or umbrella will come in handy if you’re caught in a downpour.

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Tips for Travelers to Sri Lanka in December

Tourist in Sri Lanka in November

When traveling to Sri Lanka in December, there are certain things that one must keep in mind. Here are some pointers to help you plan your trip:

  • Book your flights and accommodation in advance: December is a popular time to visit Sri Lanka, so it’s a good idea to book your flights and accommodation in advance.
  • Pack light, breathable clothing: The weather in Sri Lanka in December is typically hot and sunny, with a chance of rain. Pack light, breathable clothing made from natural fabrics.
  • Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat: The sun can be strong in Sri Lanka, so it’s important to protect your skin and eyes. Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat.
  • Be mindful of your cultural surroundings: When visiting religious sites, be sure to dress respectfully. This means covering your shoulders and knees.
  • Learn some basic Sinhala or Tamil: Learning a few basic phrases in Sinhala or Tamil will help you communicate with the locals and get around.
  • Be prepared for rain: It’s not uncommon to get a few rain showers in Sri Lanka in December. Be prepared for rain by packing rain gear and an umbrella.
  • Enjoy the weather! The weather in Sri Lanka in December is perfect for outdoor activities. Be sure to get out and explore the country’s many beautiful beaches, mountains, and forests.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Be aware of the local customs and traditions: Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country, so it’s important to be respectful of local customs and traditions. For example, it’s considered rude to point with your index finger.
  • Take your time: Sri Lanka is a beautiful country with a lot to offer. Don’t try to cram too much into your trip. Take your time and enjoy the experience.
  • Stay safe: Sri Lanka is a safe country to visit, but it’s always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions. Be sure to keep your valuables safe and don’t walk alone at night.

FAQs about Visiting Sri Lanka in December

What is the weather like in Sri Lanka in December?

The weather in Sri Lanka in December is typically hot and sunny, with a chance of rain. The average temperature is around 27°C (81°F). The humidity is also high, so it’s important to stay hydrated.

What are the best places to visit in Sri Lanka in December?

There are many great places to visit in Sri Lanka in December. Here are a few suggestions:

* The beaches: Sri Lanka has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. If you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation, head to one of the beaches in the south or southwest of the country.
* The mountains: Sri Lanka is also home to some beautiful mountains. If you’re looking for an active vacation, go hiking or trekking in the mountains in the central highlands.
* The cultural sites: Sri Lanka has a rich history and culture. If you’re interested in learning about the country’s history and culture, visit some of the many temples, palaces, and other cultural sites.
* The wildlife: Sri Lanka is home to a variety of wildlife, including elephants, leopards, and monkeys. If you’re interested in seeing some of the country’s wildlife, go on a safari in Yala National Park or one of the other national parks.

How much does it cost to travel to Sri Lanka in December?

The cost of travel to Sri Lanka in December varies depending on your budget and the length of your stay. However, you can expect to spend around $1,000 – $2,000 per person for a week-long trip.

What are the currency and exchange rate in Sri Lanka?

The currency in Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan rupee (LKR).

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