Sri Lanka receives two monsoons, the more torrential Yala monsoon and the lighter Maha monsoon. Sri Lanka in November witnesses the Maha monsoon; the northeastern regions experience more rainfall, whereas the southwestern areas are relatively unaffected. The temperature is also quite cooler at this time.
Things to Do in Sri Lanka in November
1) Unwind At the Southwestern Beaches
As the rainfall recedes, dry and sunny weather returns to the beaches along the southwestern coast, particularly the gorgeous beaches at Negombo, Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna and Mirissa. Relish the breathtaking views of the sunset, soak in the vibrant atmosphere at the numerous restaurants and pubs dotted along the shores.
2) Water and Adventure Sports
A host of beachside activities such as surfing, windsurfing, snorkelling, scuba diving and whale and dolphin watching, are best enjoyed in Sri Lanka in November. Surf schools, diving centres and whale watching tour operators are aplenty at the beachside destinations, particularly at Mirissa and Hikkaduwa. Activities such as white water rafting at Kitulgala, the country’s best-known adventure sporting destination, are also popular in November.
3) Birdwatching At the National Parks
Birdwatchers can rejoice, as the national parks of Sri Lanka in November are famous wintering grounds for migratory birds. National parks such as the ever-popular Yala, Bundala and Udawalawe are home to species such as great white pelicans, black-capped kingfisher and flamingoes, respectively. Unfortunately, wildlife sightings are quite infrequent during this month.
4) View The Spectacular Waterfalls
Come monsoon, and it is pretty evident that one is bound to get amazing views of the picturesque waterfalls scattered across the country. But due to higher water levels, it is advisable to avoid visiting or swimming at a few of the falls. The best waterfalls to visit in Sri Lanka in November include Diyaluma Falls, Sera Ella Falls and Dunhinda Falls.
Festivals in Sri Lanka in November
As a land of many religions and cultures, Sri Lankans celebrate various festivals throughout the year. Two major festivals are celebrated in Sri Lanka in November—Deepavali, which can occasionally be in October, and Il Poya. Deepavali is the Hindu festival of lights, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil. Il Poya is the penultimate poya (full moon day) of the year, and an essential Buddhist occasion; Gautama Buddha is believed to have announced the Buddhahood of Maitreya Bodhisattva on this day. The demise of Lord Buddha’s chief disciple Sariputta also occurred on Il Poya.