Best Hikes in Sri Lanka
By Uwin Lugoda
Hiking is one of the best ways to experience nature, and nothing speaks of nature like the diverse terrain of Sri Lanka.
Littered with gorgeous mountainous landscapes and hidden waterfalls, Sri Lanka has become famous among avid hikers. While each hike is different from the other, whether it is in distance or the difficulty level, all of them lead to beautiful locations.
Here are some of the best hikes you can go for in Sri Lanka:
The second tallest mountain in Sri Lanka is home to a grand hike. Located in the Nuwara Eliya District to the west of the Horton Plains, Kirigalpoththa is the highest summit in the country accessible by the general public. This is because the highest peak, Pidurutalagala, is home to a military base and is off-limits to the public.
The hike is 12 km and is a fairly easy one. Starting at the Horton Plains National Park, the trek takes you through marshy lands, a tributary of the Belihul Oya and finally across a beautiful cloud forest. Throughout the hike you find yourself being exposed to this island's unique flora and fauna, Binara flower, horned chameleon and sometimes even leopards.
Finally at the end of the hike you are greeted with a complete panoramic view, with no obstructions. The trek is an amazing experience and the view you get at the top is one you won't see anywhere else.
Ella Rock hike
Ella is one of those places that came into reality straight out of a fairytale. Surrounded by beautiful landscape, untouched by man, Ella has become one of, if not the most famous hike in all of Sri Lanka.
Starting off at the Ella Railway Station, the trail takes you through train tracks; passes a waterfall, a rubber tree forest and a tea plantation. And once you reach the top, you will be witness to a breathtaking view of the valley below and the surrounding landscape.
The hike is also home to a beautiful sunrise and sunset, making the ideal times to climb the rock, either early in the morning or late afternoon.
This particular hike has been attracting adventurers from all over the globe making the Ella town a famous tourist spot in Sri Lanka.
The Knuckles Mountain Range has gained fame due to its beautiful scenery, lush ecosystem and rich history.
The mountain range covers parts of Kandy and Matale districts, and earns its name from the fact that the peaks create the illusion of a clenched fist.
The mountain range is a hikers' paradise, with its beautiful views, crystal clear waterways, cloudy forest and, exquisite flora and fauna. One of the remarkable features of this area is that it holds most of Sri Lanka's climatic conditions within it.
Knuckles, is home to multiple peaks, to trek all of them you will have to camp out in the forest for a few days. Due to the vastness of the mountain range a guide who knows the mountains is needed to show you around so you don't lose your way.
Tourist and locals from all over the world come to experience the range. It's the perfect place to get away, as it takes you away from the busy cities and into a wholly different world where nature meets the soul.
Mini Adam's Peak
This is the closest and easiest hike in Ella. With a not so rough terrain, almost anyone can complete the hike.
Just a 15 minute walk from Ella town and you will reach the entry point to this hike. The entire hike takes around one and a half hours and is more like a relaxing stroll instead of a hike. Mini Adam's Peak is 1141m in height and provides you with a 360 degree panoramic view once at the top.
The trail takes trekkers through tea estates and through some amazing views.
Mini Adam's Peak is best experienced in the morning and the evening so that you can catch the sunrise or the sunset. This also helps avoid the hot afternoon sun beating down on you while you climb.
This is the perfect hike for amateur trekkers, but it's definitely a must for tourist and locals.
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