If you are an avid hiker, you are going to love exploring the alluring wilderness of Sri Lanka. Already a touted tropical destination, the profuse flora and fauna of the country also provide some excellent opportunities for trekking in Sri Lanka.
While the tropical country is already a most sought-after holiday destination, trekking in Sri Lanka gives you an opportunity to go offbeat and explore the length and breadth of the country in adventurous ways. Jungle trekking in Sri Lanka is one of the popular experiences tourists opt to venture in during their vacation in Sri Lanka. The dense rainforests store wonderful surprises in the forms of wildlife, waterfalls, and enchanting views. The best part is that most of these treks are just day long making it convenient and doable even for the beginners.
Top Places For Trekking In Sri Lanka
While there are quite a number of trekking trails in the country, here are top few trekking adventures in Sri Lanka that will make it easier for you to choose and plan your adventure in the tropical paradise.
- World’s End in Hortons Plain National Park
- Ella Rock
- Adam’s Peak
- Knuckles Ranges
- Kitulgala Rainforest Trekking
- Sinharaja Forest Reserve
1.World’s End in Hortons Plain National Park
Find a pleasing utopia in the grasslands of Horton’s Plains where Mother Nature will astound you with its breathtaking landscapes and evergreen forests. Walk in the vast grasslands and swamps and let the sound of flowing water be music to your ears. The ultimate reward is the cliff called ‘World’s End’ (4,000 m) from where you can see the whole world stretched to the eternity. Do not absolutely miss the ‘Baker Falls’ which is regarded as one of the most enchanting waterfalls of Sri Lanka. A picturesque detour between Nuwara Eliya and Ella, it is one of the popular trekking places in Sri Lanka.
Elevation: 4,000 m
Difficulty Level: Easy to medium
Suggested: The best trail is covering the World’s End first and then visiting the falls.
Time taken: 3-4 hours
Cost: The entry to the park costs $15 (INR 1064)
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2. Ella Rock
Ella is a beautiful village in Uva Province of Sri Lanka which will remind you of the English countryside. The lush green meadows, tea plantations, and railway lines are best seen from Ella Rock. It is the highest cliff in the village that gives you breathtaking panoramas making it one of the best hikes in sri lanka. It is only after you reach the top you will agree why hiking up to the top is all worth it. Even the weather which is a mix of sunny, misty, and cloudy makes a good reason to climb the steep path. The beautiful, enchanting trail begins from and ends at the Ella Railway Station.
Elevation: 1,041 m
Difficulty Level: Easy
Suggested: The trail is marked (though not prominently), but you can hire a guide to show you around if you fearing getting lost.
Time taken: 4 hours
3. Adam’s Peak
The most popular and touristy trail in Sri Lanka is the hike to Adam’s Peak. Climb the 5,200 odd stone stairs in the night so that by the time you reach to the top of Adam’s Peak you can enjoy the spectacular sunrise. Adam’s Peak or ‘Sri Pada’s’ has an important significance for all the religions. While Buddhists claim that it is the left foot of Lord Buddha, Hindus believe it to Lord Shiva’s footprint. Muslims and Christians believe it was Adam’s first step after being exiled from the Garden of Eden. This is why you will see a lot of pilgrims crowding the stairs to the peak but it is all worth it.
Elevation: 2,243 m
Difficulty: Challenging though no prior technical expertise is required
Suggested: Avoid full moon days and Sri Lankan Year to save yourself from the long queues of tourists and pilgrims. You will have to wait for 5-6 hours before you reach the top.
Time taken: 3-4 hours
Even though the popularity of Pidurangala Rock is eclipsed by Sigiriya Rock, the beauty and hiking prospects should not be overlooked. Located in the neighbourhood of Sigiriya, not only Pidurangala offers wonderful viewing spot for Sigiriya but also the alluring views of the sunrise. Since most people do not know about this gem, you will encounter much lesser crowd as compared to Sigiriya. Even the trail to the top offers a variety of attractions on the way like the Cave Temple, Reclining Buddha Statue, and even massive paws of lions. It is one of the most off-beaten places for trekking in Sri Lanka.
Difficulty: A bit challenging because of the boulders and steep climb.
Suggested: Hike early in the morning as the sun gets too hot as the noon approaches.
Time taken: 2-hours
5. Knuckles Ranges
While Sri Lanka is a beach country, it is also a hill country. The Knuckles Ranges, 180 km from Colombo, provide a number of opportunities for trekking in Sri Lanka. The reason it is called The Knuckles Range is since all the five peaks are in the shape of the knuckles. The region is abundant with a variety of vegetation, waterfalls, and villages and various trekking tours in Sri Lanka offer guided tours in the forests of the Knuckles Ranges. And, the best part is the trails are bit more exotic, tougher, and less crowded. If you are a trekking enthusiast, this is one of the thrilling places for trekking in Sri Lanka.
Elevation: 900-1900 m
Difficulty: Medium- difficult
Suggested: It is recommended you hire a guide to avoid getting lost and encounter unforeseen dangers.
Time taken: 7-hours for experienced trekkers
Suggested Read: 10 Places To Visit In Bentota On Your Sri Lanka Trip
If you want to ditch the attractions crowded with tourists and want to explore the depths of the beautiful country, head to one of the most isolated villages in Sri Lanka. Meemure is surrounded by the dense forests of Knuckle Ranges and ethereal natural beauty. But what is most attractive about the village is the world’s largest granite rock ‘Lakegala’ which looms over the village protecting it and the adjacent lake. Enjoy walking through paddy fields and salubrious weather making it one of the best places for trekking in Sri Lanka.
Suggested: Be aware of the leeches on the trail and take precautionary measure to repel them off.
Time taken: Half a day
7. Kitulgala Rainforest Trekking
Make the most of the lush rainforests of Sri Lanka by taking a trekking tour in Kitulgala Rainforest Reserve. The region is bestowed with lush vegetation and numerous gushing waterfalls. Get smitten by the exquisite scenic beauty and have a unique trekking experience of your lifetime. Start your journey with a wild open catamaran ride and walk through dense forests. The jungle also provides an array of adventure activities like rappelling, swimming with the fish, and waterfall trekking.
Suggested: It is the wettest region in the country with monsoons happening twice a year. So, the best time to do this trek would be from February to April.
Time taken: A day
8. Sinharaja Rainforest
A rich treasure trove of flora fauna and nature’s diversity, Sinharaja Forest is where you can experience best trekking in Sri Lanka. This is your chance to trek into virgin rainforests and get into the wild. While the lush greenery will take your senses over, you will also get to spot endemic species of birds, reptiles, and plants. If you are a hardcore nature lover and love to spend time in jungles, then this is a great trekking opportunity
Suggested: Since it is a rain forest, wear gumboots and keep rain cheater wwith you at all times.
Time taken: 1-2 days
Belihulya may not be your typical moiuntain trekking in Sri Lanka. But if you are looking for something easy on your stamina yet abundant in nature, then you should go for this. It is a day hike located in the faraway hamlet of Ratnapura district of Sabaragamuwa>. Ideal for adventure tourism, you can lay your eyes on the dazzling views of the valleys, tropical forests, and stunning grasslands.
Suggested: Carry a day pack and other trekking essentials
Time taken: 1 day
Less of trekking in Sri Lanka and more of an experience, Ohiya trail introduces you with the rural culture of Sri Lanka. The trail goes through verdant trails and offers vantage points from where you can watch bewitching sunsets and sunrises. Each direction you look in, you will find an abundance of greenery. It is one of the quaint places to get off from everything and spend some time in solitude amidst nature.
Suggested: Sort out your arrangements of your stay
Time taken: A day
For those who love a good dose of adventure will not be able to resist themselves from embarking on a journey in the rainforests of Sri Lanka. There is no such thing as elephant trekking but if you want, you can enjoy an elephant safari on the back of pachyderm. If you too are planning a trip to Sri Lanka, going for a hike in the country seems like a perfect activity to soak in the beauty and charm of this place.
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