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Updated by Anastasia Smith on Jun 05, 2024
Headline for 5 of the Best Trekking Trails of Sri Lanka's Hidden Heights - Discover the wonders of Sri Lanka's rugged landscapes
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5 of the Best Trekking Trails of Sri Lanka's Hidden Heights - Discover the wonders of Sri Lanka's rugged landscapes

Sri Lanka has many wonderful trails to hike with its mountainous rugged landscapes. There are easier walks in the National Parks, spiritual hikes up Adam’s Peak and even treks through time as you explore the wonders of Sigiriya. Here is a list of 5 of the best hikes that Sri Lanka has to offer.


Little Adam’s Peak and Ella Rock

A rather easy hike to start things off in the town of Ella. Little Adam’s Peak’s summit has a lovely view of the surrounding waterfalls, hills and forest area. The Nine Arches Bridge is a lovely place to walk along as you take many snapshots of the scenery around you. There are many short trails to hike along to reach some of the most picturesque waterfalls you can find. The hike to Ella Rock is a more challenging experience, but well worth the effort to reward yourself with a beautiful view from its rocky summit.



Trekking in Sri Lanka is not complete without a hike through history itself, as you take in the painted frescos on the walls of Sigiriya to reach the summit of the ruins of King Kasyapa’s Palace. The hike itself spans about 1200 steps of climbing and at the summit, you will be greeted with an unobstructed view of the surroundings. Reaching Sigiriya has been made quite convenient with the flight service of Cinnamon Air. Sri Lanka has daily domestic flights that make travelling to the further reaches of the island much quicker than by road.


Adam’s Peak

Locally known as Sri Pada (Sacred Footprint), or Samanala Kande (Butterfly Mountain) this hike is quite the spiritual hike. It is the most sacred summit in Sri Lanka and has spiritual significance to Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and Christians as well. Many people make this challenging hike on a full moon day during the pilgrimage season to reach the summit before sunrise to enjoy a wonderful view of the rising sun and then pay their respects according to their beliefs. The trek back downwards can take a reasonable amount of time, so make sure you allocate a day for this hike. 


The Knuckles

This mountain range gets its name from resembling a closed fist from the distance.  It is listed as a part of the UNESCO Peak Wilderness Protected Area. When trekking through this mountain range you’ll see many buffaloes, monkeys and birds. If you are lucky you may sight a wild elephant or even a rare leopard. Having a guide is mandatory as the paths are not well defined and it is one of the more difficult hikes to go on.


Sinharaja Forest Reserve

This expansive rainforest is filled with a variety of fauna and flora, with over 140 bird species of which 33 are native to only Sri Lanka. The reserve can only be entered by foot and requires a mandatory guide to keep you safe on your trek through the dense underbrush of this beautiful rainforest. Starting your trek in the early morning is ideal as most of the wildlife is active at this time.