5 Amazing Treks To Do in Sri Lanka
If you are like the thousands of people who have discovered that being active on your holiday is key to coming home feeling both rested as well as invigorated then we are here to help you find the right trek for you. If you are going to Sri Lanka on a holiday, here is a list of 5 different treks that the No Roads team have tried and tested! They vary from easy/moderate through to ones that are for a more seasoned trekker. No matter what your fitness or motivation level you will find the right trek for you.
Adam’s Peak or Sri Pada is the most popular trek in Sri Lanka. It is culturally the most important mountain in Sri Lanka to all religions. For some, it is said to be where Adam first set foot on earth, for the Hindus it is the footprint of Lord Shiva, for others it is the footprint left by Buddha or for some, it is where butterflies go to die. For all Sri Lankans Adam’s Peak has a strong significance and during pilgrim season thousands of Sri Lankans and tourists will climb the 5,500 steps to the top. You will begin the trek at 1 am so you arrive at the top of Adam’s Peak for sunrise. The round trip will take around 6 to 8 hours due to a large number of crowds. There are several shops and bathroom breaks along the way that light up the track. You can trek Adam's Peak in the offseason when it will be a lot less crowded but there will be no shops and therefore no light guiding the way so it can be a bit more dangerous. It is best to avoid during the Monsoon season between May and August. Adam’s Peak is around 5 hours to the east of Colombo and is accessible by car or by train. The best town to base yourself before you begin your trek is either Ratnapura or Dalhousie.
Adam’s Peak Traverse
For those looking for a more challenging version of Adam’s Peak the traverse is the best option for you. You will begin the trek the same as the previous option by ascending the 5,500 steps but for the return, you will head down the mountain on the other side towards Ratnapura via the Kuruwita Trail. This steep and rugged trail is very rarely used and the rocky terrain makes this a really challenging trek. From start to finish this trek takes around 10 to 12 hours to complete. Factor in the early morning start and the high concentration level you will need for the downhill sector and this trek will really test you. A great full day excursion for a physically fit person who wants to see a side of Adam’s Peak that few people will have the privilege of experiencing.
If you head a further 3 and a half hours east from Adam’s Peak you will reach the Horton’s Plains National Park. This national park is home to a range of treks as well as incredible wildlife. One of the best treks, that is also family friendly, is the 9 to 10km circuit to World’s End. This half day adventure will take around 4 to 5 hours and has wide open areas to trek where kids can run ahead and you can see them in plain view. The hike is undulating so some level of fitness will be required. You might be lucky enough to spot some sambar deer and will definitely be rewarded with stunning views when you reach World’s End.
Mini Adam’s Peak
If you keep heading east from Horton’s Plains for 2 and a half hours you will find yourself at Ella which is one of the most laid back and beautiful places to visit in Sri Lanka. Ella is home to tea plantations and temples as well as Mini’s Adam’s Peak, which is the perfect walk for families or anyone who would like to take a nice easy stroll. This walk takes 2 to 4 hours and is on a level path, it is a gradual climb to the top. Even though it is one of the easier hikes the views at the top are truly remarkable. For families who are in the Ella region, this trip is perfect for you.
Sri Lanka’s Hidden Trails
If you really love trekking and it is your favourite way to discover a new country then there is a No Roads Expeditions 12 day fully guided tour that incorporates Adam’s Peak Traverse and Horton’s Plains as well as other long-forgotten treks in Sri Lanka that have recently been rediscovered. This expedition also includes plenty of cultural activities as well as wildlife adventures, including a very special night at the Circuit Bungalows in Horton’s Plains, which very few tourists will ever have access to. For a trip that is completely balanced with plenty of physical activity, Sri Lanka’s Hidden Trails is a one of a kind adventure.