Santani Journal

Top 5 Hiking Trails in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is well-known around the world as a paradise island and because of that, the country is famous for its stunning beaches. As a result, many local, as well as foreign tourists, miss out on the serene adventure of hiking in Sri Lanka.
Sigiriya Rock Fortress and Pidurangala - Sri Lanka

There are a number of spectacular hiking trails for travelers who are either amateurs in hiking or who want a change of scenery after many years of hiking. You can go for light strolls or hard-core treks in Sri Lanka, but every trail is filled with lush greenery and stunning natural beauty. Let’s see some of the best hiking trails Sri Lanka has to offer.

Ella rock and Little Adam’s trails

Ella rock is situated in the Badulla district of Uva province in Sri Lanka and it has now become one of the major tourist attractions in the hill country. The hiking trail leading up to the Ella rock is a 10km round trip which will approximately take about two hours. The trail starts through a beautiful tea plantation and hikers have claimed that the terrain at the beginning is not very challenging although it becomes steep towards the end of the trail. Another challenge is the inability to trace the trail, but many hikers have been able to finish the hike without the assistance of a guide. The best time for this hike is either early in the morning or a bit late in the evening. Although unfortunately, you cannot set camp here, it leads you to another wondrous hike trail, Little Adam’s trail.

Unlike the Ella trail, the Little Adam’s trail has a marked path for the hikers and the route type is out and back. The 1.6km trail can be completed within one hour and has two alternate entrances; the trailhead next to Ella Flower Garden Resort and the trailhead in 98 Acres Resort, signposted by a white Buddha statue. This hiking trail is quite scenic as it has multiple platforms, rocks, and viewpoints. If you need a picturesque experience with many stunning photos, Little Adam’s hike is one you cannot miss. Since the trail is not too challenging, you will have plenty of energy to enjoy the surroundings. Just like the Ella rock, Little Adam’s trail does not provide you with an appropriate place to camp.

World’s End Trail

World’s End trail is the perfect hike trail for the wildlife enthusiast, because the area is rich with bird life and endemic species such as Sambar deer and leopards. This 8.5 km loop trail takes almost three hours to complete, and it best be completed before 9.00 am as mist starts to set in after that. The hike is of moderate nature in a well-maintained path in the depths of the Hortons Plains National Park. The fact that the hiking trail is signposted is of great help for the hikers. The first lookout is the Mini World’s End and you will get a sight of the glorious Baker’s fall as well. The beauty of the trail almost makes hikers forget about the lethal slope at the end of the trail track. Even though camping is an option, the local authorities have restricted camping for visitors temporarily.

Bomburu ella waterfall hike

The trail leading to the Bomburu Ella waterfall is a less trodden area. The trail falls through Sita Eliya Kandapola Forest Reserve for about 2-3 kms, along which you will witness a number of graceful cascades.Situated near the Welimada town, it is 2 Km off the Welimada-Pussellawa road in the Uva Paranagama Provincial division of the Badulla district. Hikers are warned of occasional wasp attacks as it is a known area for wasps; in fact, the name of the waterfall has been coined through the Sinhala word for wasps – Bambara. The good news is that there is a meadow just below the waterfall which allows the hikers to camp and rest.

Bambarakanda waterfall and Lanka ella hike

The Bambarakanda waterfall hike is one of the easy trail tracks in the hill country starting from Bambarakanda Rest, Kalupahana and ends at the top of Bambarakanda falls. The length of the hike trail is about 1.6 Km. It will take you about 1.5 hours to reach the tallest waterfall in Sri Lanka and it is necessary to know that the trail descends before it ascends, giving a 200m effective elevation gain. The hiking season for this specific trail is from April to September.

If you take the path to the left towards the Pine trees through the same trail, you might end up in another beautiful location. You will have to tread approximately 1 Km through the Pine Forest and Savana. You will reach Lanka Ella after about 500m and see how it is surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges and savannas. Although you might get carried away with the scenery remember that it can get windy at times, and it is misty during the day. Hikers are not advised to take a bath or go for a swim as the depths of the pools are unknown.

Hanthana and Uragala mountains

One of the most famous hiking sites in Sri Lanka is the Hanthana mountain range. Consisting of 7 peaks, Uragala summit being one of them, Hanthana trail tracks go for about 7.9 Km which takes around 3 hours and 28 minutes to complete. The hiking trail is moderately challenging but gifts you with breathtaking panoramic views. It is recommended that the hikers should start before 9 am and descend before 3 pm.

As it is evident, a traveller should plan a separate vacation to visit all the adventurous hiking trails in Sri Lanka’s hill country and these are some of the must-visits, if you are a hiking enthusiast.

Share this on
Subscribe to Santani Newsletter