Sri Lanka is a magnificent Island on earth that is truly blessed with long stretch sandy pristine beaches, abundance wildlife, rich heritage, unique Cultures, Over 2000 years old Ancient Wonders and breathtaking landscapes. This is a true paradise for all kind of travelers who are looking for a real exotic travel and holiday experience without any doubt.
Apart from those light and relaxing vacation moods, there another rocky world awaits in the mountain interiors of this country. Sri Lanka is a special hiking destination that is comprised of trails for all sorts of experience levels, from easy walks to intense walks and treks.
Here we want to bring you up the top seven trekking trails in Sri Lanka where you can enjoy your adventurous travel modes.
1. Adam’s Peak- The Spiritual Hike
The hike of Adam’s Peak is more a pilgrimage than a hike and locals call this “Sri Pada”. It is believed that the founder of Buddhism, the great teacher “Buddha” visited the mountain in 6th Century BC during his third visit to Sri Lanka. According to the legends and folklore, he visited abode one of clan’s leaders in ancient Sri Lanka “Sumana Saman”. As per the request of Sama, Buddha had left the foot impression on the summit. Later Sumana Saman became a god and he is worshipped by locals as a local deity and believed to be the god & the protector of the peak. Now other three main religions in the world, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism claims that this peak as their own sacred places. The height of this special mountain is 2,243 meters above mean sea level (7,360 feet) and located at 11 miles north east of Rantapura town, in Hill country of Sri Lanka.
There are 5200 steps to the summit but devotees and travelers do not care about how many steps to be climbed because they know, once they are on the summit, they can fulfill their life time achievement. Achievement to venerate the foot of Buddha and at the same time, they will spot one of most beautiful sunrises in the world from the summit. The hike of 5200 steps starting from the village of “Dalhouise” in the small town of Nallathanniya.
Usually the climb starts at midnight from Dalhouise and it takes four to five hours to reach the summit. The best time to climb Adams Peak is between “January & May” when the weather is at its best.
Travelers who are willing to enjoy the climb, should avoid the months of November to May when the rains fall. There are several hotels in Delhouise, Nallathanniya where you can stay an overnight before the climb or after the climb. Adams wilderness area has been declared as a UNESCO World heritage site in 2010.
2. The Knuckles- The hike for adventurers
Knuckles mountain range is located in the central highlands, between the capital of Central province –Kandy and Matale districts. The name of Knuckles because of their shapes. The shape looks like a knuckle of a clenched fist. There five hills resembles the shape of a real knuckle fist. The elevation of the mountains are 900 meters to 1900 meters from the above mean sea level. The local name is “Dumbara Hills” and considered as one of most scenic hills in the country. The region and the surrounding is abundant with rich bio-diversity, variety of vegetation, blessed by beautiful natural waterfalls, small traditional villages. This is a perfect exotic, tougher and less crowded trekking trail. If you are a trekking enthusiast, this is the right place for you. Also this is a paradise for bird watchers. There are 128 bird species inhabit the region. You can start the journey with a local professional trekking guide that is arranged by Traumland Tours along with breakfast, snacks, water bottles, lunches as well as overnight accommodations are provided in an eco -friendly camp sites. Also the trail can be started from Kandy in the early morning. Best time do the trekking is March to September and this is a challenging trekking.
3. Horton Plains- Hike for views
Horton Plains is the coolest and the windiest location in Sri Lanka that is truly blessed by the beauty of mother-nature. Located at the elevation of 2,100 meters above mean sea level and the Horton plains national park covers 3,169 hectares of plains spread in the highest tableland of the country. This unique terrain is spread over the southern ridge of Central highlands, between Nuwara Eliya and Haputale. This is a cloud forest or montane forest with its unique features such as short trees not more than 10m tall, trees with twisted branches due to the high winds, leathery thick leaves, trees are decorated by orchids and lianas. Whole area is rich of ecosystems such as montane ever green forests, grasslands, marshy lands and aquatic ecosystems. Large portion of endemic flora & fauna species is one of a main reason that Horton Plains has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2010.
During the dry season, the temperature drops down to 5 Centigrade (14 Fahrenheit) in the day time and overnight frosty is fairly common. Horton Plains national park is considered as one of top bio diversity hotspots in Sri Lanka as well as in South Asia. The most common animals of the area are Sambar Deer, Strip-necked Mongoose, Long-tailed Giant squirrel wild boar, Sri Lankan Leopard, the endemic primate – Bear Monkey, Torque Macaque, fishing cat and otter. Also this is another bird paradise for bird watchers, who can easily spot Sri Lankan Bush warbler, Sri Lanka whistling thrush, Dull Blue flycatcher, yellow-eared bulbul, Sri Lanka wood pigeon, Sri Lankan white eye and Sri Lankan jungle fowl are some of bird species.
The chimney pond, Baker’s fall, beautiful and adventurous foot paths over the lush grasslands and the World’s End cliff are the iconic geographical features of Horton Plains. Among all, World’s end is the most iconic feature and the view is breathtaking, absolutely stunning. It is a sheer cliff, with a drop of about 4000 feet (1,200m). Visiting World’s end is the main achievement of every single traveler and the best time to start the trekking is about 6.00am. Horton Plains is located about 29km from Nuwara Eliya. This is a slow phase adventurous trekking that is suitable for all age groups.
4. Ella Rock & Little Adams Peak- Easy but the best
This is a famous hotspot for some breathtaking views in the Hills of the island. Located in the world renowned little paradise town in UVA province, “Ella”. Ella is a tourist destination and well known as “Paradise of Backpackers”. One of a top holiday destination to rejuvenate yourself while enjoy the comfortable mild weather and having mouthwatering meal. Also Ella is a true paradise for adventure seekers. Ella Rock and Little Adams Peak will definitely fulfil your hunger of trekking adventures. Ella rock is standing 1,040 meters above mean sea level and you can just start the trekking of Ella Rock from the heart of Ella town. The landscapes and scenery will remind you bit of an English country side. Tea plantations, lush green meadows and one track railway lines can be seen from The Ella rock. Ella rock is the highest cliff of the village that will give you an exceptional experience and a stunning panoramic view of plains. The trail starts and ends at the Ella Railway station. You can easily find the way by using a map or you can hire a local trekking guide. The best time to climb is in the morning, just after the sunrise. Difficulty level is easy and moderate. It will take approximately 4 – 5hours both ways.
The second trekking in Ella is the famous “Little Adams Peak”. Every single traveler who visits Ella, definitely climb this small peak to spot a breathtaking 360 panoramic view around Ella and Ella gap. The climb is about 30 minutes one way and climb is very easy. Trekking is starting from the famous luxury resort in Ella- 98 Acres Resort & Spa. The best time climb is in the morning or in the evening
5. Sinharaja Rain Forest- The Bird’s Paradise
Explore the world famous Sinharaja Rain forest reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage site that was declared in 1988 and also a biosphere reserve. Sinharaja Rain forest is located in South-West region of Sri Lanka and the country’s last viable area of primary tropical rain forest. More than 60% trees are endemic and most of them are rare species. The portion of Bio Diversity is extremely higher as there are much endemic wildlife, especially bird species. There are about 147 bird species have been reported in the forest and rare birds species have been also reported. This is a home to over 50% of Sri Lanka’s endemic species of mammals and butterflies. This is also a paradise for different varieties of reptiles and amphibians. Sinharaja Rain forest is one of best virgin rainforests where you can have an unforgettable and rare trekking experience. If you are a hardcore nature and bird lover? This is one of a life time opportunity for you. Best period to visit Sinharaja Rainforest is January to March and then August to September. You will need a professional trekking guide to enjoy this trekking and the trekking can be categorized as easy to moderate.
6. Meemure- Where the beauty and the tradition lives together
Meemure is one of remote, scenic and traditional villages in Sri Lanka, located in Central highlands between Kandy and Matale districts, surrounded by Knuckles mountains. According to the latest census, the population of Meemure village is about 400 with roughly 100 families. The trekking of Meemure will give you a unique trekking experience that you have never experienced before. Meemure village is surrounded by the dense forest of knuckles ranges. You can enjoy the walk through paddy fields, natural water streams and lush green plains. You can have a fun filing bath in a natural water stream or a natural pond. The famous pyramid shape “Lakegala Mountain” that is about 1314 meters in height has become a famous mountain for advance hikers recently. To complete the trekking of Meemure, you will need 8 to 10 hours and you can stay overnight in Kandy. The best time to visit Meemure is from April to September.
7. Pidurangala – The Hidden Monastery
Pidurangala rock has become one of top tourist destination among local and foreign travelers. Located in ancient Pidurangala village, next to the world renowned and the 8th wonder of the World “Sigiriya Lion Rock”, in Sigiriya village. Pidurangala is overlooking the famous Sigiriya rock and gives you a spectacular panoramic view. In ancient days, Pidurangala was a Buddhist temple and according to the inscriptions and chronicle, this place was occupied by meditating Buddhist monks. You still can see the remains of a monastic complex, a reclining Buddha statue and ancient granite steps. The view and the sunrise will make your hike more worthy. This is a perfect trekking for energetic and adventurous hikers. The best time to visit Pidurangala is either early morning to spot sunrise or in the evening to spot one of best sunsets in Sri Lanka. The climb is approximately one hour one way and the hike is bit challenging in some places.