Hiking and Tekking in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka always enthralls visitors with its legendary natural beauty and variety. The magical and mystical beauty of the highlands is a paradise for every visitor. Hiking would surely be an enchanting experience with the different landscapes, rivers and cascading waterfalls, fascinating plants and wide variety wildlife.
The island offers a superfluity of opportunities to the ardent hikers, from easy hike across the gently undulating hills to a tough hike to the difficult paths on steep mountainsides. The extremes of altitudes and weather are some of the challenges that the hikers might encounter.
For such a small island which boasts a good climate year round hiking and trekking is such a delightful way to experience and explore the beauty and the culture of this tear drop paradise in Indian Ocean.
Go out for a hike at Belihuloya, a striking area in the hill country of Sri Lanka which provides a wide variety of hiking and trekking tours through jungle, across the paddy fields and up to the mountains. The exhilarating trek from Belihuloya leads to the Horton Plains National Park, a natural reserve speckled with unique flora and faunas, and waterfalls.
Horton Plains is situated 2,134 m above sea level, offers some terrific hikes in an extraordinary environment of forest patches, grasslands and a number of high-altitude vegetation. The trek ascends through scrub jungle and tea plantation, the climax of the hike is the dramatic 880 m escarpment known as the World’s End and the mesmerizing Baker’s Falls.
The two highest mountains of the country Kirigalpotta (2,395 m) and Thotupola (2,357 m) both tower over Horton Plains and form a part of the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary. Trekking these two peaks is exhausting yet exhilarating, the trek are quite tough, the long challenging trails through forest, the hops across streams and the exploration to the mist before reaching the summit are all rewarded by the a dramatic view of the beautiful expanse of the Horton Plains.
A climbing to the hiker’s stairway to heaven, the Adam’s Peak, the holiest mountain and the only mountain in the world venerated by pilgrims of different religions. The hikers are enticed by the challenge of what might be the world’s longest stairway up to Sri Lanka’s Sri Pada or Adam’s Peak. The mystical shadow of the 2,243 m peak that perfectly cast across the clouds during the magical sunrise is a entrancing moments after the long aches and pains of hiking.
Hunnasgiriya is a 1,184 m peak situated in Kandy, at the edge of the beautiful Knuckles Range. The lower slopes are covered by the tea plantation while up to the peak are sub-montane forest bursting with bamboos and wild strawberries, moss and ferns and waterfall. At the summit is a panoramic view of the Knuckles Range, Victoria Reservoir, Hatana Range, Bible Rock, Matale Mountains and the valleys in between.
The misty Knuckles Range originally known as Dumbara Kanduvetiya, borders the Kandy and Matale Administrative Districts. With its rich with bio-diversity the mountain rises 1,863 m above the Dumbara valley, a great place for trekking. There are about 35 peaks rising to more that 915 m in the knuckles range. Situated in the middle of intermediate climatic zone, the range has a largely untouched and rugged terrain characterized by lowland semi-evergreen forest, patina and montane wet evergreen forest that harbour a great degree of wildlife. The region stretches a remarkable 155 sq km with five major forest formation, a real haven for hikers with numerous trails that journey across clear rivers, dense forests, past flowing waterfalls, flourishing tea plantations, and flank paddy fields and interesting Kandyan gardens, in which a sense of serenity pervades oneself, and provides a feeling of rejuvenation.
The highest isolated hill of Ritigala in Sri Lanka, with a beautiful paved footpath, with several elevated platforms, and archeological sites. Ritigala is a Strict Natural Reserve in which hikers are not allowed to trek further than the archeological ruins of ancient forest hermitage. The summit has a surprisingly cool and wet microclimate that causes the high vapor condensation which leads to vegetation similar to a wet evergreen forest. There are numerous varieties of flora including the abundant number of medicinal herbs.
Piduruthalagala is a magnificent mountain, with an altitude of 2,525 m high above sea level, the highest peak of the country. Situated in the Nuwara Eliya District, the summit offers spectacular vistas of the town and the glorious green tea plantation. The peak has shrouded in forest, gushing waterfalls and a superb panorama of surrounding hills. However, this amazing scenery is closed to visitors for security reasons.
Trekking in Sri Lanka would not be completed without the visit to the captivating Sinharaja Rainforest. This 8,900 ha is considered to be the one of the least disturbed rainforests crown of Sri Lanka. It offers a variety of trails that are specially designed to meet the specific interests and level of the hikers. A tropical wet evergreen forest with high concentration of dominant trees and the diversity of species is positioned on the Rakwana mountain range which lies apart from the main central Mountain ranges of islands.
The rainforest is consists of a series of ridges and valleys and 10 peaks and tumbling waterfalls and rivers and caves. A trek along the given paths would surely provide nature enthusiast a treasured experience of tranquility and oneness with nature.