Hiking Experiences in Nuwara Eliya
If you are a hiking enthusiast, the city of Nuwara Eliya works as a great base to visit a number of trails in the surrounding region. The longest trail, in Horton Plains, will probably take you about six hours to complete. We’ve put together some excellent options for you to choose from.
Hortons Plains National Park
Horton Plains is probably the most popular place to hike in the central highlands of Sri Lanka. Located 32km away from Nuwara Eliya, at an altitude of 2,100-2,300metres, it is a protected area covered by montane grasslands and cloud forests. The plains are rich in biodiversity, with many species found in it being endemic to the region. The Sri Lankan sambar deer can be seen commonly at the park, and the Sri Lankan leopard on occasion. The park is also a designated Important Bird Area, and has many migrant bird species such as the alpine swift, crested serpent eagle, mountain-hawk eagle and black-winged kite.
Horton Plains has three main hiking trails. One takes you to the Kirigalpoththa Mountain, one to Thotupola Mountain and the last to World’s End, a cliff with a 4,000ft drop and Baker’s Fall, a beautiful 66ft waterfall.
Located just outside of the city of Nuwara Eliya, the vast slopes of Moon Plains offer spectacular views of the surrounding mountainous landscape. It is home to mammals such as wild buffalo, deer, elk and leopard, as well as many bird species. Moon Plains is an ideal site for a cycling tour or a hike, simply for its stunning views.
Galway’s Land National Park
The montane forest of Galway’s National Park is renowned for its rich birdlife and beautiful scenery. The park is also home to mammals such as buffalo, wild boar and barking deer. A 2km long walking trail leaves from the park office, and it is best to request a guide to accompany you. This park is ideal for kids as the trail is not difficult. It is full of colorful flowers and of course interesting bird life, including 10 species that are endemic to Sri Lanka.