Planning to Sri Lanka in October? October is without any doubt the rainiest month in Sri Lanka. While in most parts of the world rainy weather means steel gray skies and cold wind, on Sri Lanka it means short and warm showers.
In this tropical paradise, October is known for the late afternoon and evening showers which end almost as soon as they start.
Especially in the south of the country, where for the large parts of the day the sun does shine. Also, these rains bring welcoming moisture into many parts of the island, and nature takes the most beautiful green color.
And this lush nature is one of the reasons why Sri Lanka is often called the Jewel of the Indian Ocean.
We would like to present to you five best places to visit in October.
Sri Lanka In October Itinerary Idea
Nuwara Eliya is probably the single most important city for tea production in Sri Lanka. Being situated at more than 1,800 meters of altitude, it is characterized by a very mild climate compared to the rest of the island. And October is the tea harvest month in this region.
Throughout the whole year, here you can have some of the best tea in the world, but during October you can have arguably the best tea in the world before it gets shipped around the globe.
Especially the black tea for which this region is famous. Because of the often rainy afternoons, trekking is not recommended during October.
But, this city was in colonial-era very popular among British colonists and its architecture does show the fact and it could be said that it poses a charm similar to the English countryside.
So exploring this charming city is a must. Most of the activities popular in Nuwara Eliya also sound as more common in the British island, golfing, fly fishing, bird watching at Galway’s Bird Sanctuary, boating on Lake Gregory, or having a walk through the gardens of Victoria Park, are things you will enjoy here.
Suggested Read: Sri Lanka Itinerary 3 Weeks: The Ultimate Guide
Since the 1960s and rise of popularity Sri Lanka’s beaches were favored by aficionados of this sport. And the waters of Arugam Bay are without any doubt the best surfing spot on the island.
Furthermore, Arugam is by many considered as one of the best 10 places for surfing in the world. If you are a surfer you should definitely consider visiting Arugam.
Surfing season lasts throughout November when conditions are not ideal, so missing out in October means waiting till late May of the next year to come here.
Check our guide on how to get from Colombo airport to Arugam Bay if you are going by yourself.
Yala National Park
One of the two oldest national parks in Sri Lanka, Yala is a very popular safari destination. Though most people associate safaris and large cats with Africa, this park is known as being a location with the highest concentration of leopards in the world.
But despite that, the endemic Sri Lankan leopard is an endangered species with less than 1,000 individuals spread across this island.
Yala National Park is home to many other species endemic to Sri Lanka. Sri Lankan elephants, sloth bear, wild water buffalo, are just some of those you can see here.
Read our guide on how to transfer from Colombo airport to Yala National Park if you are planning a safari trip to Yala.
The city of Dambulla is best known for the Golden Temple of Dambulla, a cave temple complex dating from the first century BC.
Today it is a Unesco World Heritage Site and is still a functioning Buddhist temple. Consisting of five caves, with more than 150 statues of Buddha, and more than 1,500 murals covering an area of 2,100 square meters, it is considered as by far the best-preserved and most impressive cave temple, of which there is many around Sri Lanka.
Though the cave temple complex was founded in the 1st century BC, it was much expanded over subsequent centuries, and the artwork inside of it is characteristic for various parts of the history of Sri Lanka.
The significance of these caves, and their history, go far before the founding of the temple. Near the caves is Ibbankatuwa prehistoric burial site, where several hundreds of tombs made of cut stone slabs were found.
Human remains in these tombs were dated between the 7th and 4th century BC, and with the presence of the gemstones not found on the island, they are evidence of the existence of highly developed indigenous civilization long before the arrival of Indian influence on the island.
Unawatuna is one of the most beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka. Though during October swimming is not advised on most of the beaches of the western and southwestern shores of the island.
Being protected by reefs makes this beach one of the few exceptions. But, Unawatuna is not famous only because of its beaches. With coral reef and numerous historic shipwrecks in the vicinity, it is a very popular diving spot.
Even if you are not an experienced or even basic certified diver, you should not worry as at Unawatuna you can take diving classes and acquire a range of PADI diving certificates.
Wants to see Unawatuna? Check our guide on how to get from Colombo airport to Unawatuna.
In October, most of Sri Lanka is often showered by short evening rain. And during it, the nature of the island is in bloom, showing in its most majestic glory for which it has long ago become a favorite tourist destination.
Though October is not the most popular month of the year, it is a month when the island is at its most beautiful.