Best places to visit in Sri Lanka in December

Visiting Sri Lanka in December offers a wonderful opportunity to explore the island’s diverse landscapes, cultural heritage, and natural beauty, all under favorable weather conditions. Here are some of the best places to visit in Sri Lanka in December:

  1. Colombo

Colombo, the capital city, is a vibrant hub with a mix of modernity and colonial charm. In December, the weather is pleasant, making it ideal for exploring attractions such as the National Museum, Gangaramaya Temple, and the bustling markets of Pettah. Don’t miss the Galle Face Green for beautiful sunsets and local street food.

  • Kandy

Known as the cultural capital of Sri Lanka, Kandy is a must-visit destination in December. The city hosts the famous Esala Perahera festival, usually held in July or August but sometimes extending into early December. Witnessing this grand procession with beautifully adorned elephants, traditional dancers, and drummers is a highlight. Visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, stroll around Kandy Lake, and enjoy the cool climate of this hill city.

  • Nuwara Eliya

December is the perfect time to visit Nuwara Eliya, often referred to as “Little England” due to its colonial architecture and cool climate. Surrounded by lush tea plantations, this town offers scenic landscapes, tea factory visits, and activities like hiking to World’s End in Horton Plains National Park. The annual Nuwara Eliya Golf Club Championships also take place in December.

  • Sigiriya

Sigiriya, with its iconic rock fortress, is another must-see in Sri Lanka. The weather in December is typically dry, making it comfortable for climbing to the top of Sigiriya Rock to admire the ancient ruins and the breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside. Nearby attractions include the ancient city of Polonnaruwa and the Minneriya National Park for wildlife safaris.

  • Galle

The historic city of Galle, with its well-preserved Dutch fort, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a charming destination in December. Wander through narrow streets lined with colonial buildings, visit art galleries, and relax at cafes overlooking the Indian Ocean. December also marks the beginning of the high season for whale watching in Mirissa, just a short drive away from Galle.

  • Mirissa and Unawatuna

For beach lovers, Mirissa and Unawatuna offer idyllic settings with golden sands and turquoise waters. December is a great time for swimming, snorkeling, and enjoying water sports. Mirissa is known for whale watching excursions, where you can spot majestic blue whales and playful dolphins in their natural habitat.

  • Ella

Ella, nestled in the Hill Country, is a tranquil escape known for its stunning scenery and laid-back vibe. December is perfect for hiking to Ella Rock or exploring the Nine Arches Bridge, where you can witness spectacular views of tea plantations and waterfalls.

Tips for Traveling in December:

  • Book Accommodation Early: December is a peak tourist season in Sri Lanka, so it’s advisable to book accommodation well in advance.
  • Pack Accordingly: Although the weather is generally pleasant, be prepared for cooler temperatures in hill country destinations like Nuwara Eliya and Ella.
  • Enjoy Festivities: If your visit coincides with Christmas and New Year’s Eve, you’ll find festive celebrations in major cities and tourist areas, offering a unique cultural experience.

Exploring Sri Lanka in December promises a memorable journey filled with cultural insights, natural wonders, and unforgettable experiences. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, these destinations offer something for every traveler’s interest.

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