Sri Lanka is a beautiful island located south of India and full of diverse wildlife, exciting foods, and smiling people.
Here are 10 things to do in Ella, Sri Lanka.
1. Take The World's Most Scenic Train Ride from Kandy to Ella, Sri Lanka
The greatest introduction to the beautiful area that is Ella, Sri Lanka is hands down to take the local train. You can take it straight from Colombo, however many find that the area between Kandy and Ella, Sri Lanka provide the most breathtaking views. More tips and pics from the train in a future post. (By the way this train ride cost less than $1.50 per person for 7 hours!)
2. Visit Demadora Nine Arch Bridge | Ella, Sri Lanka
Nine Arch or Nine Arches Bridge (අහස් නමයේ ආරුක්කු පාලම) is an impressive engineering achievement. As the story goes, when World War 1 began, all steel allocated to the building of this bridge was redirected to support Britain's war interests. The Sri Lankans decided to continue building the bridge without steel, only stone bricks and cement. The construction ended n 1921 and is impressive see in person. Even the cows appreciate the architecture. This site is definitely popular with tourists, making just about everyone's list of things to do and see in Ella, Sri Lanka. You can walk across the bridge, wait for the train to pass, you can even climb down into the tea fields for some unique angles of the bridge. We timed it perfectly (unintentionally) and didn't have to wait long to see the train pass at all!
One advantage to not going when the train will be passing is that is the time when Nine Arch Bridge will not be crowded and you can have less obstructed photos.
Check out the Visit Ella site for train times to help you plan your trip to Nine Arch Bridge in Ella, Sri Lanka!
3. Visit Demodara Loop | Demodara Railway Station | Ella, Sri Lanka
Just one more train related thing to do in Ella Sri Lanka - Demodara Loop. You can get to Demodara Loop via a rail walk. This is a huge civil engineering feat as this spiral railway "is considered the only loop in the world with a railway station situated exactly over a tunnel at spiral loop." (source: Visit Ella) This was necessary due to the elevation of hills in Demodara, Sri Lanka. I don't have any background in civil engineering, but it was impressive to see this in person and cool to know it is one if very few of such in the world!
If you are looking for times to see when the train passes the bridge at Demodara Railway check here
4. Hike Little Adam's Peak | Ella, Sri Lanka
For absolutely stunning views, hike Little Adam's Peak in Ella, Sri Lanka. This is another very popular thing to do in the area and I really recommend it for anyone who likes the idea of hiking but is too lazy to be a serious hiker or hike Adam's Peak along with a zillion other people trying to get there by sunrise. I'm sure it's cool even though crowded, but this filled my desire for an amazing view across Ella, Sri Lanka.
Anyways, the hike is said to take about 30-45 minutes on average and while I meant to time it... I forgot. Sorry! The beginning of the hike is lots of stairs, which in a way is nice. But it also was awkward because when I needed to stop to take a breath (more often than I should admit) I felt so in the way. Although I suppose that would be true with a path too... Once you reach the top you will have panoramic views 360 degrees around. You can also continue on to the left to another peak as well. I actually opted out of this. As much as I love my Sanuk shoes and have hiked in Sanuk shoes before (Glacier Point at Yosemite National Park), I just didn't feel comfortable. Maybe if I had found a walking stick. Maybe.
Fun Fact: Mini Adam's Peak, Little Adam's Peak, Small Adam's Peak, and Punchi Siri Pada are all names for this same spot.
5. Look For Cool Lizards Little Adam's Peak | Ella, Sri Lanka
So this Ella, Sri Lanka travel tip isn't exclusively "look for this lizard" although it would be cool to know how many people would see it. It really is a reminder to just take your time. To take time to observe everything around you. The panoramic view is breathtaking and almost overwhelming and it could distract a traveler from noticing other beautiful creations like this little lizard. I find great joy in appreciating both the immense and the tiny things I find along my travels. How about you?
6. Rehydrate with King Coconuts (Thambili තැඹිලි) | Ella, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is famous for their King Coconuts, aka Thambili, aka තැඹිලි. This is an especially sweet coconut native to Sri Lanka and is an incredible hydrator. The rich source of B vitamins, amino acids, electrolytes like calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, chloride, and phosphate make it the perfect drink after hiking. Sri Lanka is hot, very hot. It's easy to get dehydrated wherever you are so pick up a King Coconut anywhere you can, but especially during your Little Adam's Peak Hike. The cost was just about $1 USD for the King Coconut we picked up on our way down Little Adam's Peak and it was a perfectly refreshing and nutritious treat. I was shocked at the sheer volume of coconut water it contained!
7. Visit Ravana Falls | Ella, Sri Lanka
This is one of the widest waterfalls in all of Sri Lanka and is only 6km away from Ella Railway Station. It's also amazing how close it is to the road! You can view it from the road or climb around various rocks depending on your comfort level. You're also welcome to get in and swim (or bathe?) in the pool the waterfall cascades into. It will definitely cool you off on a hot day! More about Ravana Falls later..
8. See Wild Monkeys | Ella, Sri Lanka
It was outside Ravana Falls and across the street nearby where we saw a ton of local wild monkeys. While common in this area, this is not common back home in North America. Chipmunks and squirrels, rabbits, gophers and the like are common at home the way these monkeys are common here! A very cool experience to see, although please be careful and remember that the monkeys are WILD. Some monkeys I have heard getting quite aggressive and brazen with tourists, but I did not witness or experience that personally. Yay!
9. Hike Ella Rock | Ella, Sri Lanka
If you are big on hiking you will probably not want to miss hiking Ella Rock. It takes about 4 hours all told and you have the opportunity to see a water fall, rubber tree forest, and tea plantations on the way!
10. Lipton's Seat | Haputale | Ella, Sri Lanka
If you want one last picturesque hike, it might be to hike to Lipton's Seat. The hike takes about 2.5 hours and it's recommended to start early before the area gets cloudy. The vantage point is far on a clear day, at times enabling you to see as far as Hambantota port which is located clear at the southern end of the island!
Where to stay?
Ella, Sri Lanka Tea Cabins - If you're up for a mini hike to your accommodation and want to feel completely relaxed, in nature, and literally stay inside a tea plantation.
Other Accommodation in Ella, Sri Lanka
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