Ella is pure natural beauty, with its waterfalls, greenery, and hills it is just jaw-dropping. It has views that one hasn’t witnessed before, scenes one hasn’t seen before and nature one hasn’t felt before. Ella is the perfect place to go if one wants to refresh the brain. It has many famous places and has been under the attention of tourists for a decent amount of time now.
WHERE IS ELLA?
Ella is only about 200km northeast of Colombo. Perched at an elevation of 1,041m Ella can be found on the south-eastern ledge of the Uva Province, in the Badulla district. Its height gives it a cooler climate than the southern lowlands, and with its beautiful forest-covered hills and tea plantations, it’s the perfect starting point for many Sri Lankan hill country adventures.
WHEN TO VISIT ELLA?
The absolute best time to visit Ella is during the months of January to May when the temperatures are slightly warmer and the chance of rain at its lowest. It’s also peak season for tourists, which can make the town and its attractions feel a little crowded.
HOW TO GET TO ELLA, SRI LANKA
If you’re keen to experience the magic of Sri Lankan nature I’d really recommend traveling to Ella by train. The direct train from Colombo Fort to Ella encompasses the world-famous Kandy to Ella train ride, however, I’d highly recommend breaking up the journey and spending time in Kandy. One of the great train rides in the world, and one of the best things you’ll do in Sri Lanka. I recommend booking 3rd class for the most authentic experience.
Things to Do in Ella
LITTLE ADAM’S PEAK
Little Adam’s peak is the nephew of Adam’s Peak. From the top enjoy the view over the valley, relax and connect with other travelers. From Ella Town to the foot of the mountain takes 45 minutes, and getting to the top around 15 minutes. The first 45 minutes are very pleasing as well when you pass a local village and tea plantations.
NINE ARCH BRIDGE
This now world-famous bridge is located just outside of Ella Town and in the same way as Little Adam’s Peak. With a small 30-minute walk through the woods, you will reach a piece of beautiful architecture hidden between lush green tea fields. The Nine Arch Bridge is 30 meters high and is open to being visited during the whole day. The guards will just keep an eye on safety.
To visit the Diyaluma falls you will probably need the whole day, or at least if you are planning to visit it from the top. About an hour’s drive out of Ella is the foot of the 2nd highest waterfall in Sri Lanka. Once you have explored the foot, drive 30 minutes more to the top. Hike for about 45 minutes and reach a waterfall with many natural pools on different levels.
A quick 10-minute drive from Ella town is the Ravana Fall. It is located next to the main road so you can easily take a dip. Much easier than Diyaluma Falls. Ravana Falls has become a very popular site with both locals and foreigners stopping by to enjoy this piece of nature and a cooldown in the water.
If you are up to a bigger challenge, hike to the top of Ella Rock. Little Adam’s peak is a laugh compared to this one. It takes 2 hours to hike from bottom to top. It can be done with a guide or on your own but please make sure you asked the directions from someone you trust.
ADRENALINE KICK ZIP-LINING
There’s just something about the adrenalin kick from zip-lining that really makes you feel alive. Fortunately, with the opening of Sri Lanka’s first-ever zip-line, you can now experience that adrenalin rush here in Ella, for the cheapest price we’ve ever experienced (USD $20)
New to Ella’s burgeoning adventure tourism scene, Flying Ravana stretches more than half a kilometer across the green hills of Ella. Reaching up to 80 kmph, this zip-lining adventure isn’t for the faint of heart, but truly is one of the most exciting things to do in Ella, and Sri Lanka. The zip-line is super safe – the latest equipment is used, and staff are well trained and run through a comprehensive safety procedure before sending you on your way.
I recommend including the zip-line as part of a visit to Little Adams Peak – Flying Ravana is actually located super close to 98 Acres resort, so is the perfect way to finish your hike.