Top Hiking and Trekking Sites in Sri Lanka

While the tropical country, Sri Lanka is a popular destination for travelers for its beautiful beaches,
the paradise island holds a hidden beauty not many know about. It’s its dense rainforests enclosing
wildlife, waterfalls, and enchanting views. If you are someone who loves trekking and hiking, here
are the top 7 hiking and trekking spots in Sri Lanka

Adam's Peak

Adam’s Peak

The mountain is located in the southern reaches of the Central Highlands in the Ratnapura District and Nuwara Eliya District of the Sabaragamuwa Province and Central Province. The Adam’s Peak, 735 ft. above sea level, is venerated as a holy site by Buddhists, Hindus, some Muslims, and Christians. The hollow in the lofty rock that crowns the summit is believed by Brahmans to be the footstep of Siva, by the Buddhists to be the footsteps of Buddha, by the Mahommedans to be the footsteps of Adam, whilst the Portuguese Christians were divided between the conflicting claims of St Thomas and the eunuch of Candace, queen of Ethiopia. Pilgrims walk up the mountain, following a variety of difficult routes up thousands of steps. The journey takes several hours at least. The mountain is most often ascended from December to May. During the rest of the months, it is hard to climb the mountain due to very heavy rain, extreme wind, and dense mist. The peak pilgrimage season is in April. The purpose of the visit is to capture a glimpse of the shadow of the mountain on the surrounding plain which moves downward as the sun rises. The region surrounding the mountain is largely forested hills, and the region along the mountain is a wildlife reserve, housing many species varying from elephants to leopards, including many endemic species. Adam's Peak is important as a watershed and the districts to the south and the east of Adam's Peak yield precious stones—emeralds, rubies, and sapphires,

Ella Rock

Little Adam’s Peak and Ella Rock

Little Adam’s Peak This is situated 2km away from Ella Namunukula Road in Ella and many foreign and local tourists prefer to hike and trail along this mountain. The way up to Little Adam's Peak is very easy to find and the trail is marked with signs showing the way. Reaching a height of 1141 meters, hiking on little Adam's Peak will be an epic experience allowing you to have a glimpse of stunning sceneries of densely covered jungles and cliff drops. It is better to commence your journeys from Ella town from where the summit of the mountain is a mere 3 kilometers away. The best time to hike the Mini Adam's Peak would be either during the early morning or late evening. Mini Adam's peak is very similar to Adam's Peak and hence became to be called Little/Mini Adam's Peak. Ella Rock Regarded as the world's best trail, Ella Rock is a superb hiking spot in Ella with stunning views of magnificently vegetated hillsides. Explore this 5.3-km out-and-back trail which is generally considered a challenging route but it is worth the effort. It takes an average of 2 hours to complete.

Sinharaja Rain Forest

Sinharaja Forest Reserve

Sinharaja Forest Reserve is a biodiverse wonderland, consisting of stunning rivers and fabulous forest wildlife, including rare mammals and 147 bird species, 33 species of which are only found in Sri Lanka. Automobiles are not allowed into the forest and you need to go on foot with a mandatory guide to guide you through the dense and damp undergrowth. Most hikers stay in the villages of Deniyaya or Kudawa, where you can purchase entry tickets and arrange a trek with the guides. It is advisable to visit the forest early in the morning when the trails are quiet and the wildlife is most active. It is a 2-3-hour easy trek.

Sigiriya and Pidurangula

Sigiriya Sigiriya, also called Lion Rock or Lion Mountain, is a site in central Sri Lanka consisting of the ruins of an ancient stronghold that was built in the late 5th century on a remarkable monolithic rock pillar. To experience the beauty of these evocative ruins on the top of the granite outcrop, you'll need to climb nearly 1200 steps. But don’t worry, you will be rewarded with a view over an endless sweep of Sri Lankan countryside extending to the horizon in all directions, an experience you can carry forever. Pidurangula This massive rock called Pidurangala is located a few kilometers north of the historical fort Sigiriya. There is an ancient Buddhist temple complex built on the top of the rock during (473 - 495 AC) which served as a monastery for more than 2500 years. It’s a half-hour ascent past ancient Buddhist temples and carvings to the summit, which will open up to a vista of a carpet of forest with the mighty Sigiriya Rocky Fort embedded in it.

Hortons Plains and World’s End

Horton Plains National Park is a national park in the central highlands of Sri Lanka that was designated in 1988 and is located at an elevation of 2,100–2,300 m (6,900–7,500 ft) and encompasses montane grassland and cloud forest. It is rich in biodiversity and many species found here are endemic to the region. Horton Plains is a popular tourist destination, with World's End being the key attraction. World's End is a sheer precipice with an 870 m (2,854 ft) drop. It is situated at the southern boundary of the park. The views of the lowlands floating below are awesome when the weather is clear.

Knuckles Mountain Range

The Knuckles Mountains

The densely forested Knuckles Range is found on the northeast of Kandy. This rugged massif forms part of the Unesco-listed Peak Wilderness Protected Area, founded to protect the island’s threatened montane and cloud forests. Hiking in the Knuckles Range, you’ll encounter more locals than tourists, and probably more buffaloes, monkeys, and birds than people. If you are lucky, you might encounter a leopard or wild elephant amidst the misty greenery. Guides are compulsory though, so better to make arrangements with an agency. It is recommended that you visit on two-day camping treks from Kandy, seeing the small villages and terraced paddy fields in the foothills before climbing onto the mountain.

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