Your travel guide for Sri Lanka

Ella, a small town located in the hill country of Sri Lanka, is a hidden gem that offers a variety of things to see and do. From picturesque hikes to delicious local cuisine, there is something for everyone to enjoy. This travel guide will count down our recommendations for the top 10 best things to do in Ella.

Ella, Sri Lanka, during dawn with a view of the Ella Gap
The view of the famous Ella Gap during dawn.

10. Explore the Town

Ella may be small, but it has character. Take a stroll through the streets and take in the sights of this charming town. You'll find traditional Sri Lankan houses, vibrant markets, and friendly locals. Be sure to stop by one of the local shops to pick up a souvenir or two. Walk around the town. You can also find some great cafes and restaurants for a refreshing drink or a delicious meal. And remember to try some street food! In the evening, the town takes on a whole new character. You may enjoy an evening stroll followed by dinner at a nice restaurant with some good music.

9. Visit the Halpewatte Tea Factory

Ella is famous for its tea production, and a visit to a tea factory is a must. Halpewatte Tea Factory offers tours where you can learn about the history and process of tea production, from plucking to processing and packaging. During the tour, you will get to see the different stages of tea production and learn about the varieties of tea grown in the area. And, of course, you will get to taste some of the delicious teas produced in the factory.In addition to the tea tasting, you can also explore the tea plantation surrounding the factory. Take a leisurely walk through the lush green tea bushes and learn about the importance of tea cultivation in Sri Lanka. Don't forget to take some stunning photos of the picturesque landscape, with rows of tea bushes stretching into the distance as far as the eye can see. Before leaving the factory, make sure to visit the gift shop, where you can buy a variety of tea blends and tea-related souvenirs to take home.

Find out more about the Halpewatte Tea Factory.

8. Take a Cooking Lesson at the Ella Spice Garden

Sri Lankan cuisine is known for its delicious flavors. What better way to experience the local cuisine than by learning to cook it yourself? Ella Spice Garden offers cooking classes where you will learn to prepare traditional Sri Lankan dishes using fresh, locally grown ingredients. During the cooking class, you will learn about the significance of spices and herbs in Sri Lankan cuisine. Discover the different types of spices used, such as cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and nutmeg, and how they are combined to create mouth-watering dishes. You'll gain hands-on experience in cooking a range of dishes, such as curry, rice, and roti.
The class is led by experienced cooks who will teach you the techniques and secrets to making a delicious traditional Sri Lankan meal. And the best part... you get to eat what you cook!

Learn more about the Ella Spice Garden.

7. Take a Thrilling Ride at the Flying Ravana Mega Zipline

The Flying Ravana Mega Zipline is the place to go if you're looking for a rush of adrenaline. This zipline offers impressive views of the surrounding hills and valleys as you soar through the air. You will fly over the beautiful landscape and enjoy fresh air and views. It's an exciting way to experience the majesty of the hill country. The zipline stretches over 500 meters and reaches speeds of up to 80 kmph, providing a thrilling ride for adventure enthusiasts. Make sure you capture the adventure on video. There are also plenty of other activities at the Flying Ravana adventure park, such as abseiling, air rifle shooting, archery, and ATV rides. It's a great place to visit for a fun and adventurous time in Ella.

6. Enjoy the Breathtaking View from Lipton's Seat

View from Lipton's Seat near Ella Sri Lanka
The view from Lipton's Seat

Sir Thomas Lipton, the founder of Lipton Tea, used to sit on this viewpoint to admire the beautiful tea plantations. This viewpoint offers a spectacular panoramic view of the southern part of the hill country, including the famous Nine Arch Bridge. You can walk to the viewpoint and enjoy the panoramic views of the hill country. The hike to the viewpoint is easy, and you can enjoy the beautiful tea plantations and be inspired by the view.Upon reaching Lipton's Seat, take a moment to sit on the famous bench and soak in the breathtaking views. From this viewpoint, you can see several prominent landmarks, such as the Handapanagala Lake and the Udawalawe National Park, in the distance.

Find out more about Lipton's Seat.

5. Diyaluma Falls

Diyaluma Falls is the second-highest waterfall in Sri Lanka and is a must-see for nature lovers. It is a magnificent sight, with water cascading down over 220 meters into a series of natural pools. The hike to the falls is relatively easy and offers beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. Once you reach the falls, you can dip in the refreshing waters of its natural infinity pools and admire the stunning scenery of the Sri Lankan highlands. The hike to the falls takes around 1 hour, and it's an excellent opportunity to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. The pools at Diyaluma Falls offer a refreshing retreat from the tropical heat. Take a swim in the cool, clear water or simply relax on the rocks, listening to the soothing sounds of the waterfall. Make sure to bring a camera to capture the beauty of the falls and the surrounding landscape.

Read more about Diyaluma Falls.

4. Visit the Iconic Nine Arch Bridge

Early morning at the Nine Arch Bridge in Ella, Sri Lanka
The Nine Arch Bridge in the early morning.

The Nine Arch Bridge, known as the "Bridge in the Sky," is a must-see attraction in Ella. This bridge is a magnificent piece of engineering and offers stunning views of the surroundings. You will pass this bridge when arriving at Ella. You can also visit the bridge to get a closer look or visit a higher spot for a better view and some great photos. Constructed in the British colonial era in the early 20th century, the bridge is made of stone, bricks, and cement without the use of steel. It stands as a testament to the impressive engineering skills of that time. Try to secure a good viewpoint and catch a time when the train is passing over the bridge for the perfect photo.

Find out all you need to know about the Nine Arch Bridge.

3. Climb to the Summit of Little Adam's Peak

A man enjoying the sunrise from Little Adam's Peak in Ella, Sri Lanka
Enjoying the sunrise from Little Adam's peak.

Little Adam's Peak, also known as "Mini Adam's Peak" or "Punchi Sri Pada," is a popular hiking spot in Ella. The hike is relatively easy and offers gorgeous views of the surrounding hills and valleys, including the famous Ella Rock, the Nine Arch Bridge, and the town of Ella. Little Adam's peak is actually made up of 3 separate summits, and the hike to the third one is somewhat of a challenge. But if you do reach the third summit, you'll be rewarded with an astonishing 360-degree view of the surrounding landscape. The hike takes around 1 hour, and it's a superb chance to enjoy the majestic view of the area and take some beautiful photos. If you reach the top by sunrise, you are in for a treat!

Read more about Little Adam's Peak.

2. Ravana Falls

Ravana Falls in Ella Sri Lanka
Ravana Falls

Named after the Sri Lankan king Ravana mentioned in the Hindu epic "Ramayana," the Ravana Falls is a must-see for anyone visiting Ella. The falls is located near the main road on the way to Ella and is one of the most visited waterfalls in Sri Lanka. You can take a dip in the cool, refreshing water and admire the cascading waters of the falls. It is especially impressive during the rainy season when it creates a powerful spectacle. It is only a short 10-minute drive from the Ella town. It's a nice place to enjoy the scenery and take some beautiful photos.

Find out more about Ravana Falls.

1. Hike to the Top of Ella Rock

Ella Rock located in Ella, Sri Lanka during the early morning
Ella Rock in the early morning

One of the most popular things to do in Ella is to hike to the top of Ella Rock. The hike is relatively challenging, but the views from the top are well worth it. You will be rewarded with an otherworldly view of the surrounding hills and valleys, and you can also see the famous Nine Arch Bridge and Little Adam's peak. The hike takes around 4 hours and offers an ideal chance to enjoy the scenery and click some great photos. It's highly recommended to start the hike early in the morning to witness the spectacular sunrise over the mountains, bathing the landscape in a golden hue and adding a touch of magic to the experience.

Read more about Ella Rock.

These are just the top 10 things to do in Ella. But there are so many other destinations to visit and things to experience in Ella. Even just arriving in this charming town in the Kandy to Ella train is a truly unique experience. If you are interested in history and culture, make sure to visit the Dhowa Rock Temple. Or, if you want to swim in the pools of a secluded waterfall surrounded by lush greenery and scenic mountains, make sure to visit Kithal Ella.

Whether it's hiking to the top of Ella Rock, swimming in the pools of the Diyaluma Falls, or taking a train ride over the iconic Nine Arch Bridge, there is something for everyone to enjoy in this hidden gem of Sri Lanka. It's a place where you can reconnect with nature, explore the local culture, and make lasting memories. With so many things to experience, Ella is a destination that will leave you wanting more.

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