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Updated by Joanna James on Mar 12, 2018
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 5 Trekking and Hiking Trails in Sri Lanka – Discovering Natural Treasures

Sri Lanka is blessed with some of the world's most breathtaking scenery and the best way to experience these natural treasures is by way of trekking and hiking these trails.

1

Horton Plain National Park

Tucked away amidst mist shrouded mountains, the Horton Plain National Park is a protected reserve that has a unique natural beauty. It is best to start a trek early morning, though do remember that it can get quite cold. Treks here will take you past stunning natural backdrops as you make your way to the area's most popular spot; World's Ends. An awe-inspiring drop of 870 metres awaits at the precipice of this point that provides amazing vistas of the surroundings landscapes. On your way to World's Ends or on the way back, you can also visit Mini World's End or Baker's Fall's. On your trek, you may see a variety of wildlife too including sambar deer, toque macaques, European otters and a range of birdlife.

2

The Knuckles Mountain Range

Easily accessible from Kandy, the Knuckles Mountain Range offers many trails for those looking for adventure filled Sri Lanka tours. A popular place for camping as well, this pristine mountain range is ideal for half or full day treks. As you explore the idyllic terrains including pine forests blanketed in mist, you will come across a fascinating array of flowering plant species. You may even catch glimpses of wildlife such as barking deer and giant squirrels. There is a huge variety of migrant bird species as well, while part of the joy of trekking here is the chance to visit traditional villages where you can experience life in the mountains that goes on at its own pace.

3

Ella Rock Trail

Ella has fast become one of the most popular destinations in the mountainous central region and its spectacular scenery is one reason for this. The Ella Rock Trail has become a favourite amongst trekkers and though the climb up this mountain and back takes around 3 to 4 hours (depending on the route and your stamina), the sight one gets at the summit is worth it, especially if you arrive in time to catch the sunrise. Ella has many such trekking highlights and local tour operators such as Walkers Tours offer specialised excursions that let you truly explore the mountains and local villages.

4

Sinharaja Rainforest

A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site, Sinharaja Rainforest is rich in biodiversity and offers wonderful hiking paths through the forests and beneath thick leave filled canopies. On your trek, you will come across a wide variety of plant and tree species, enchanting streams and a range of bird life. In fact, Sinharaja is one of the best places to spot endemic bird species and the Ceylon Jungle Fowl, Ceylon Wood Pigeon, Ceylon Lorikeet and Ceylon Blue Magpie are among such avifauna that can be seen.

5

Weligalpoththa Buddhist Monastery

Combining trekking with a cultural adventure, the path leading to the Weligalpoththa Buddhist Monastery offers a captivating day out in nature. Located about an hour away from the south coast town of Bentota and set amidst the Paniyawala Rainforest, this monastery can be reached by way of a trek that lasts about two hours. You will journey along an intriguing jungle path and even encounter a traditional village. At the monastery itself, you can gain an insight into a monastic way of life and the island's rich Buddhist heritage.

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