Trekking And Hiking
While the tropical country is already a most sought-after holiday destination, trekking and hiking in Sri Lanka will give you the fabulous opportunity to go offbeat and explore the nook and corner of adventurous Sri Lanka. The diverse hills covered with various types of forest patches and a soothing climate make Sri Lanka one of the best places for trekking and hiking lovers. Not only that, you will also witness the spectacular and breathtaking views of waterfalls on the way.
The following are some of the most famous trekking and hiking spots in Sri Lanka
It is revered as a holy site by Buddhists, Hindus, some Muslims, and Christian. Locally known as Sri Pada, it is a famous tourist spot for hiking as well. Known variously as Adams Peak, Sri Pada, and Samanala Kandha the boulder at the peak of the rock contains an indentation resembling a footprint which the Christians believe to be the footprint of Adam, and the Buddhists believe to be the foot mark of Buddha, the Hindus believe to be the footstep of Siva, the Mahommedans believe to be the footstep of Adams and Portuguese Christians were divided between the conflicting claims of St Thomas and the eunuch of Candace, queen of Ethiopia.
The pilgrimage season begins on the poya (full moon) day in December and runs until the Vesak festival in May. Most undertake the strenuous hike during this period. There are 5,200 steps leading from the village of Dalhousie to the mountaintop.
The peak is usually ascended at twilight and the main purpose behind it is to witness the first sunrise, an incredible sight. At dawn, the mountain casts a triangular silhouette on the surrounding plains which gradually moves as the sun rises in the sky. This is the highlighted event here.
Adam’s Peak mountain, situated between the Ratnapura and Nuwara Eliya Districts, can be accessed via six entry points which are Ratnapura-Palabaddala, Hatton-Nallathanni, Kuruwita-Erathna, Murraywatte, Mookuwatte, and Malimboda.
Little Adam’s Peak and Ella Rock
Little Adam’s Peak which is 15 km away from Ella town, is a green knoll offering breathtaking views of waterfalls and tea factories shimmering out of the mist that cloaks the surrounding hills. The length of the round trip will be around 4.5 km
The 10km walk to Ella Rock is more tiresome, but also more rewarding. The hike will take approximately 4 hours to complete and will take you through rubber tree forests, tea plantations, and the woodlands of Ella. The Ella Gap (A spectacular view through the space between the mountains is known as Ella Gap) and the Ella Gap waterfall are astonishingly beautiful.
Sinharaja Forest Reserve
This is the largest rainforest in the country. This biodiverse region is made of tropical rivers and forests wild life including rare mammals and birds. There are 147 bird species among which 33 are endemic. The hike is done by foot with the mandatory guide to ensure your safety in the dense and damp forest. You can watch a variety of species of birds as you trek and along the way bathe in the natural ponds or streams. The villages of Deniyaya or Kudawa, are the best places to put your base where you can purchase entry tickets and arrange a trek with the guides available in that area.
Horton Plains National Park
Horton Plains National Park is a national park in the central highlands of Sri Lanka located at an elevation of 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. It is also a popular tourist destination. The sheer precipice of World’s End and Baker’s Falls are among the tourist attractions of the park.
The Knuckles Mountain Range
The Knuckles Mountain Range lies in central Sri Lanka, in the Districts of Matale and Kandy. It takes its name because the massif resembles a knuckle of a clenched fist caused by a series of folds and peaks. The upper part of the mountains is covered by thick layers of clouds.
The higher elevations of the mountain consist of a variety of flora and fauna. The region has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a major eco-tourism spot in Sri Lanka consisting of some beautiful nature trails for adventurous trekking.