When should you visit a historic site? Historic sites are locations where pieces of political, cultural, or social history have been preserved. Often due to their cultural value. Historic sites can be temples, whole cities, pyramids, castles, churches or any other kind of buildings.
This is one of the most stunning historical sites of Sri Lanka. It's also very popular and heavily crowded at times. We show you how to avoid the crowds and make the most out of your visit. Also, make sure to read our 7 must-know tips before you visit at the end of the article.
Avoiding the Crowds
It's significantly less crowded in the early morning and in the late afternoon. If you want to avoid midday heat and beat the crowds at the same time, be there at 7 a.m. sharp or visit in the late afternoon. Visiting later in the day (about 2 hours before they close) also gives you the perfect light for a good shot of Sigiriya Rock. Especially the intriguing fresco paintings are at their best in the late-afternoon light. However, for a perfect photo, it needs to be sunny. Avoid weekends and public holidays if possible, as in addition to foreign tourists many local and domestic visitor are there. Overview of public holidays: Sri Lanka Public Holidays. Opening hours from 7 am - 5:30 pm. The entrance fee is costly (30 $ in 2017), and the experience may get spoiled when you arrive at midday while sharing the place with tons of other tourists.
Climate / Weather
'Dry season' in this area is from May to August/September but often overcast from June to August. It's a tropical climate with humidity around 80 % most of the year. October until December are the wettest months. From January to May it's frequently sunny. We spent two days at Sigiriya in January, and the weather was quite nice. Helpful weather overview: Climate - Average Monthly Weather Sigiriya
Sigiriya is a year-round destination. It usually offers the most pleasant weather conditions between January and June. However, showers can occur throughout the year.
March - November
Best to visit when the weather is warm to experience the atmosphere in the streets.
This city seems to always have people walking around during the summer months no matter what day of the week it is.
Mesa Verde is always open. We recommend a visit after Labor Day in September. However, the best time to visit depends on what you are looking for. Read on for detailed information about the weather, how to avoid the crowds and the best time for tours:
The best time to avoid the crowds and still enjoy pleasant weather is September after Labor Day, as long as guided tours are offered. School holidays are between the end of May and Labor Day. Around 600,000 visitors come to Mesa Verde annually, most of them in the summer. There are fewer people in the early morning and the late afternoon.
There isn’t much rain. It’s a dry area better known as “Four Corners”. The driest month is June, the "wettest" in August. Thunderstorms occur in summer. In Autumn the temps are still pleasant. Due to the high-elevation snow is common in the winter. Spring starts late, and temps are bearable in the summer with around 30°C / 86°, winter average is 4°C / 39°F. Check road and weather conditions first, as it’s located in high elevation between 7,000 to 8,572 foot / 2.134 to 2.613 meter. During heavy snowfall, roads may be closed. The road to Wetherill Mesa with the Step House and Long House opens to the public depending on the weather conditions (snow and ice) between late April to Mid-May and closure between mid to late October. The road is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in spring and fall and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Mesa Verde lookouts are open year-round, even in winter from 8 A.M. until sunset. Visitor Center and Chapin Mesa Archeological Museum are also open throughout the year. Check the Opening hours. Most shops, restaurants, gas station are open from late spring to late fall.
You can enjoy this beautiful view of the bridge in any season.
In Spring, there are beautiful Sakura. Besides Spring, the Castle area is a nice park.
The very best weeks for the garden are the end of May and beginning of June. At this time of the year, the huge rhododendrons and azaleas are in bloom. My visit was at the end of June, and I only got an idea that it must be magnificent a few weeks earlier.
The castle and garden are open to the public after Easter until the end of October from 10 a.m., and the last admission is at 5 p.m.
It gets crowded at midday. To enjoy the castle and the garden with few people only arrive early at 10 a.m.
Tours to the private apartments are offered once a year for several weeks by arrangement only.