Are you yearning to be surrounded by nature? Then Ella in Sri Lanka is the perfect place for you to visit. Even though Ella is a small hill station, you will never get bored. Waterfalls, caves, or picturesque landscapes, Ella has it all. Ella has something for both nature enthusiasts and sybarites – those who love to be pampered. Here are some things to do in Ella, Sri Lanka has in store for you.
Best Time To Visit Ella, Sri Lanka
What makes Ella an irresistible location is that it can be visited year-round, but the best time to visit during the summer is between March and June and in Winter from December to February. Ella faces a low season during the Monsoons due to the travel restrictions put in place during a heavy downpour.
How To Get To Ella, Sri Lanka
By Air: Colombo Airport to Ella: 235 km
By Train: It is very convenient to take the bus to Colombo Fort Train Station and then take a direct train to Ella. The train ride captures the Sri Lankan highlands and will become a highlight of the trip.
By Taxi: You can also take a direct taxi to Ella from Colombo airport for added convenience. It will take you about 5.5 hrs from the airport to the hill station.
By Bus:You can easily take a bus to Colombo Fort and from there change to the bus to Badulla. Get off at Kumbalwela junction which is 10 km from Bandarawela. Kumbalwela and Ella are 5 km apart, so you can take a small bus ride or even a tuk-tuk. Traveling by bus is a bit tiresome, so we suggest taking a train or a taxi to reach Ella.
Fun Things To Do In Ella
Below are some fun things to do in Ella:
1. Ella Rock
If you like starting your mornings with a refreshing trek, then you must visit the Ella Rock. This lovely hike takes about 2-3 hours to reach its final stop – Ella Rock. The best of all is that this activity is one of the free things to do in Ella. There is no doubt that tourists often lose track of time admiring the scenic views on their 8 km trek. And, if the weather is great, we suggest you pack some snacks for a picnic because the trek has loads of stunning views. It is advised you take a guide or a friendly local along, someone who is familiar with the trail, as this trek isn’t signposted well.
Suggested Read: Top 6 Honeymoon Places In Colombo For A Romantic Rendezvous
2. Ravana Falls
Do you enjoy swimming in water bodies surrounded by picturesque views? Well, the Ravana Falls in Ella is the perfect place for you to cool off and enjoy a swim. Admire the water cascading over the edge while you take in the environment. The Ravana Falls is definitely one of the fun and free things to do in Ella. But just make sure you are attentive around here as rocks here tend to get very slippery
3. Little Adam’s Peak
This particular trek takes around 2-3 hours, as this stands at 2,243m. So, you are bound to stop and admire the views. Near the summit is a rock formation resembling a huge footprint. It is also one of the most popular treks in Ella, so expect bumping into other travelers on the way. Along the trek, you pass by lush tea plantations and tea pickers. If you are on a budget then you are in for a treat, as this activity is one of the many free things to do in Ella.
4. Nine Arch Bridge
If you think that this is all, no, it isn’t! The Nine Arch Bridge in Ella was built when Sri Lanka was under the British rule. The British relocated the steel which was to be used to complete the construction of the bridge. But, this didn’t break the spirit of the talented craftsmen of Ella and they still managed to build this magnificent bridge using stone bricks and cement. The bridge can be reached by a taxi ride from Ella. Don’t miss the quiet sunrise at the bridge; there are very few tourists in the morning.
Taxi price: INR 200
By Walk: 30 minutes by walk
5. Tea Factory
Just outside the small town of Ella, located in Dambatenne located 9 km northeast of Haputale, is a popular tea factory in town, known as the Halpewatte Tea Factory, by Amba Estate Ecological Tea Plantation and Dambatenne Tea Factory. This tea factory was built way back in 19th century by a Scottish tea baron Sir Thomas Lipton. You can also take the opportunity to learn more about the local Ceylon tea and also purchase freshly-made tea, followed by a tea tasting session.
This is also one of the most unique things to do in Ella, more so due to its historic significance.
By bus from Haptuale: INR 28 (20 minutes away)
Factory visit hours: 8 am – 6 pm
Factory entrance fees: INR 250
6. Ravana’s Cave
This cave was supposedly used by Ravana to hide Sita. Ravana’s cave is located just 2 km from the small town of Ella, and the cave lies close to a cliff. It is considered to be one of the most popular tourist attractions located in Sri Lanka as it holds a historical significance. The pathway towards the cave is pretty steep, so we advise you to wear proper clothing and shoes to stay comfortable and safe during your visit to the Ravana Cave.
Distance from the entrance of the cave: 700 steps
If you didn’t know, Sri Lanka is also known for its famous Ayurvedic massage. Treat yourself with a much-needed massage after your sightseeing activities in Ella. If you do plan on going for a massage, then 98 Acres Resort is considered to have the best spa in town. There are other local massage centers, but you deserve treating yourself to a royal massage after all the traveling and trekking around the town.
8. Ella’s Local Cuisine
Get a taste of the Sri Lankan and Western cuisine at Cafe Chill – the perfect place for relaxing and enjoying the local cuisine. This quiet little cafe is considered to be one of the most favorite local joints in Ella visited by almost every visitor of Ella. Dream Cafe, Matey Hut, Ceylon Tea Factory Restaurant, AK Ristoro, Curd Shop, 360 Ella, Downtown Rotti Hut, Little Folly Restaurant, and Cafe Guru are one of many famous cafes and restaurants that one must try in Ella.
9. Dhowa Rock Temple
Dhowa is a small little village which is located on the main road of Badulla – Bandarawela. It also happens to have a 2 millennia old temple also known as Rajamaha Viharaya. This place is also considered to be a historical place, as you can also see old artwork and carvings on the walls of the Dhowa rock temple.
There are many free things to do in Ella, along with a few that you can treat yourself to. For a fulfilling vacation to this Sri Lankan paradise, start searching for all must-sees and must-dos in the destinations of your choice.