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Travel Guides

Best Hiking and Trekking Trails in Sri Lanka

hiking and trekking trails sri lanka
Hiking and trekking in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, The Island, which is the pearl of the Indian Ocean a fabulous destination vibrant with nature. Mountains and waterfalls take a priority in attracting both foreign and local hikers to this small Island. Hiking in Sri Lanka provides an excellent experience for both short-distance hikers and hikers who love to go on long journeys. In this little Island, there are around 28 Hiking trials altogether. Among these trails, Adams Peak, Ella, Horton Plains, and Knuckles can be considered the most decent as well as beautiful trails in Sri Lanka. Hiking and trekking trails in Sri Lanka falls through tropical, paddy fields, Tea Plantains, Spice Gardens waterfalls, Mountain and Hills of Sri Lanka bring about a unique experience that cannot experience any other way. Find below the best hikes in Sri Lanka that you should not miss on your Sri Lankan tour.

Ella Rock

Ella, A small town located in Badulla of the Uva province is approximately 200 kilometers east of Colombo. The Ella rock offers dramatic views of lush greeneries and mesmerizing landscapes of nature. Further, the mountain’s peak is a notable place to watch the sunrise or sunset. The hike starts a few kilometers away from the Kithaella railway station which comes before the Ella station. You can even get off from the Ella station and do a little rail hike along the railway tracks and reach the starting point. Signboards are displayed to guide you on the correct path. Distance is around 10KMs, and it will take approximately 3-4 hours to complete the hike. Better to start this early morning and try to wear sensible shoes and a light suit.

In the summit, the viewing point is exceptional. Enjoy the view and never forget to record some everlasting moments on your cameras. Among the best things to do in Ella, Flying Ravana ziplining experience has emerged as a new highlight in tourist itineraries.

Mini Adams Peak

Mini Adams Peak is one of the significant itineraries among things to do in Ella and Ella hikes list. You should not miss this because it will offer several instagrammable locations with greenery mountain backgrounds. The Little Adam’s peak got its name after the “brother rock” Adam’s Peak. The total time to go hike up and down this rock takes approximately 2-3 hours as you start climbing up, you would be passing tea plantations, a large rubber estate, and a beautiful waterfall.

When you climb the top, you will find more than one summit to enjoy the incredible 360 degrees panoramic views. Be careful when you are posing because the edges may be slippery. As similar to the Ella rock try to be there on early mornings or late evenings to avoid the thick sun waves.

The best way to reach Ella is through the train ride. Read my Ella Travel Guide to get more information about accessing the destination.


Adam’s Peak

The mountain is located in the southern reaches of the Central Highlands in the Ratnapura and Nuwara Eliya Adam’s Peak is known as the fourth-highest point in Sri Lanka. The term “Sri Padhaya” is commonly used by the locals for this destination. History says that Lord Buddha visited the mountain peak and marked the left footprint on the top of the hill.

This peak is also known as the Samanala Kanda. December to May is the season to climb the mountains. It is not recommended to hike apart from the season, due to extreme weather conditions. There are two most common routes to the summit from Hatton and Rathnapura. The hike will take around 5-6 hours.

To reach the destination, take a Badulla train from Colombo and get off from Hatton. Then take a bus to Nallathanniya fro Hatton. The trail will start right from the moment you get off from Nallathanniya. The hike is pretty tricky and challenging. So be ready for it. I strongly recommend you to avoid weekends for this trip because local pilgrims show in with numbers on weekends. There are several other routes heading towards the summit.


Horton Plains

The national part of Horton Plains is in the central province of Sri Lanka. Three of the major rivers in Sri Lanka; Mahaweli, Kelani, and Walawe originates near this plateau. World’s end is the most famous tourist highlight in Horton Plains. This place is not free, and you have to buy a ticket from the entrance. It will cost around USD 25-30 if you make a van. Check here for more details on tickets. Travelers have to be careful at Worlds’ end since some guests had fallen down from here and died recently.

The hiking trail starts somewhere inside the forest. and you are not allowed to take polythene bags or covers. The trail is circular and you can choose either path to follow on. Baker’s falls, mini-worlds end, and Worlds end are the key highlights. The trail is not that difficult and you can complete all the sightseeing activities within 4-5 hours.


After Pidurutalagala, The second highest mountain in Sri Lanka is the Kirigalpotta Mountain which is 2388m(7800 feet) tall. Kirigalpotta is in the city of Nuwara Eliya and this mountain is quite close to the Horton Plains. The trail is around 7 KM for one way. It will take about 5-6 hours to complete the hike.


Belihuloya is a small village located in Ratnapura District in Sri Lanka. Hawagala is the most reputed hike around Belihuloya. Non-Perial is also popular among local travelers. Adara Kanda is a popular hiking destination for university students. In Sinhala, “Adara” means love. Most state and private universities choose “Adara Kanda” annual trip and it has established as a culture among them. It is pretty challenging and you should get the guidance of a villager or Sabaragamuwa University student to climb to the top. Scenarios on the top are incredible and extraordinary fantastic.

Knuckles Mountain Range

Any blogger cannot drop Knuckles out of the list of “Best hikes in Sri Lanka”. It is that much epic and incredible. The Knuckles Mountain Range is in the Central province of Sri Lanka. The name ‘Knuckles'” was given by the British during their governing time in Sri Lanka, But locals call this mountain Dumbara Kanduvetiya. The mountain peak has a lovely nature with greenery covering the whole area. The most attractive place of the mountain is the mini-worlds end and Pitawala Pathana, which are close to each other. Sera ella is also a destination that you should not miss on your tour.

If you access the Knuckles range from the Panwila route, you can make the five peaks trail as well. And the popular viewpoint, Kelebokka is also nearby. Knuckles is a highly sensitive environmental system. Therefore it is essential to protect the environment and surroundings when you travel.

During your next trip to Sri Lanka, or your next vacation escape to the countryside, think of indulging in this wonderful hiking experience by taking one of the best hikes in Sri Lanka.

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