THE 7 MOST UPLIFTING HIKES IN SRI LANKA
by Jetwing · Published · Updated
Are you fond of hiking? Are you someone that loves to explore? If so, Sri Lanka should be your next destination to visit. Sri Lanka, the land like no other is home to a range of hikes that will simply take your breath away. On our tiny island, you have opportunities to hike in plantation estates like; tea estates or you can take up the challenge to hike up thick forests along with the amazing wildlife! If I was to choose one out of the two options given, I would most certainly go ahead with a challenging hike – trust me the adventure is just beyond expectations and magical…
Just as how beautiful and mesmerizing these hikes may seem, not all of them are friendly. Most of the off the beaten paths are extremely challenging and a guide is required to proceed on your adventure. However not the case with the easy & friendly hikes, namely: Little Adam’s Peak, you can show and do the hike all by yourself.
What are some of the go-to hikes in Sri Lanka? Lace-up, gear up and head on towards the following hikes…
Adam’s Peak (7KM Hike)
Adam’s Peak is one of the well-known hikes in Sri Lanka and around the world. This mountain peak is named Adam’s Peak because it is said that this is the exact location where Adam first set foot on Earth after he was banished from Heaven. Another name would be, ‘Sri Pada’ this is because it is also believed that the footprint on the peak is of Lord Buddha’s. People also believe that this is where all butterflies go to die, hence why it is called the Butterly Mountain as well.
Adam’s Peak would be one of the toughest and the most spiritual hikes in the country. To get to the peak, you have several hike options from all staired paths to through the thick jungle paths. The most common path taken by people, especially by the pilgrims would be the easiest that consists of 5,200 steps.
Whichever path you choose, it will only lead you to a beautiful mountain top above the clouds. The ideal time would be to climb throughout the night so you reach the peak by dawn – trust me it’s worth the climb. This would give you a glimpse of what heaven may look like because you are literally over the clouds and the sunrise is just magical.
Little Adam’s Peak & Ella Rock (4.5KM to 10KM Hike)
Little Adam’s Peak and Ella Rock are both situated in Ella. Ella is one of the well-known destinations in Sri Lanka for hiking & trekking.
Little Adam’s Peak is only a 4.5km hike and it would be a climb of 30-45mins. This is one of the easiest climbs ever in Sri Lanka. You may be adventurous and might want to even skip this hike, don’t let that happen. The landscapes from the Little Adam’s Peak viewpoint are just out of this world – words will never describe the true beauty of it.
Ella Rock hike would be a tougher one, also more rewarding. This hike would be a 10km hike that will only take anywhere around 3-5 hrs. The hike can be done early morning or later afternoon recommended to do the early morning hike since it gets extremely hot in Sri Lanka and would make things tougher than usual…
It is also recommended to have an experienced guide along with you to avoid any wrong directions as it may be a little confusing at times…
Sinharaja Forest Reserve (Distance vary)
Sinharaja Forest Reserve is Sri Lanka’s biggest rainforest, also the biggest bird’s paradise. Most of the travelers that are expected to experience this hike would be birders. It’s a must for you to visit the reserve with an experienced guide, the distance and difficulty of the hike can all depend on your views – just a matter of talking to the guide and letting him/her know what you expect of the experience.
Sinharaja Forest is home to many animal species, including a range of birds, amphibians and many more…
This hike would be one of the most adventurous and magical – you are also more likely to come across rare endemic species and hidden waterfalls inside the reserve.
Sigiriya Rock Fortress & Pidurangala (1-3KM)
Sigiriya Rock Fortress is known to be Sri Lanka’s most popular lookout spot. This hike contains a very deep history behind it and it said that the ruins on the top of the rock are King Kashyapa’s Palace. To get to the very top, there are nearly 1200 steps that you need to climb, which is worth the climb. The views from the top are amazing…
Pidurangala Rock is just opposite Sigiriya Rock Fortress. This is another famous climb done by many tourists & locals that visit Sigiriya. Here you get an amazing view of the landscape, also of the famous rock – Sigiriya Rock Fortress.
Horton Plains & World’s End (9.5KM)
Horton Plains National Park is a wildlife and nature reserve that is situated 28KM south of Nuwara Eliya. Horton Plains is a highly demanded hike/trek done by tourists and even the locals. This reserve is home to a variety of wildlife and vegetation. The hike/trek can be done approximately within 4-5hrs. Pro hikers even complete the hike/trek within 3hrs, so it technically depends on your experience and your stamina. We suggest you start the hike/trek at dawn and take your time to blend in with nature.
Horton Plains is also famous for the World’s End. Here you find a cliff that overlooks a wide area of Sri Lanka and the views are just jaw-dropping to be precise.
Lipton’s Seat (8KM)
The ideal hike for tea lovers. The Dambatenne Tea Estate was found by Sir Thomas Lipton back in 1890. The hike is done through the tea plantations up to the viewpoint where Sir Thomas Lipton used to come, sit down and survey the plantation. Throughout the hike, you will come across tea pluckers in colorful attire with a big basket hanging on their backs.
The Knuckles (Distances Vary)
The Knuckles Mountain range is for adventurers. Here, you have many paths to the top and is advised to do the hike along with a guide. It’s always best to have a guide on a hike like this to get the experience you want. This is one of the toughest hikes on the Island, however, the hike is one on demand by many that visit Sri Lanka because the climb is worth it.
The peaks resemble a closed fist to a faraway distance hence the name, ‘The Knuckles’.
Above are just a few of the hikes/treks available on our tiny island. There’s a lot more than Sri Lanka could offer. Make sure you experience a hike in Sri Lanka – it’s bucket list-worthy.