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The lush highlands of Sri Lanka are beautiful to explore. The most famous place to stay is Ella which is tucked away in the misty green hills of Sri Lanka. Well known because of the nine arches bridge, this little town has attracted many visitors over the years. But there are many more things to do in Ella. In this blog post you will find all our tips for the best things to do in Ella Sri Lanka. 

Hike up Little Adams Peak

One of the must things to do in Ella is climbing up Little Adams Peak. The view from the mountain top is just incredible, and you don’t have to walk as far as when trekking up the big Adams Peak Sri Lanka. The best view, and light for photography is when you go with sunrise. Sunset is of course also an option. If you want to enjoy some of the best views of Sri Lanka without the need to hike for hours, Little Adams Peak is the perfect trek. With well maintained stairs and a not too strenuous hike, this is an activity for young and old! 

Read everything in detail about Little Adams Peak in our complete guide

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Stop by at the Ravana Falls

The Ravana Falls are located in the misty mountains of Ella along the road. The water gushes down a height of 25 meters fallen from an oval concave rock. Ravana Falls is a 3-tier cascading waterfall, creating rock pools along its way down. During the wet season Ravana Falls takes the form of a drooping areca flower, but its wide size is reduced dramatically during the dry season. Although it is always worth it to check this waterfall when you’re Ella Sri Lanka, especially because of the easy access.

Read our complete guide about Ravana Falls here

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Explore the Ravana Cave

The Ravana Cave is located 2 kilometres outside of Ella town and lies 1370 metres above sea level.  It is one of the most important tourists attractions with an historical value in Ella. The history of  the Ravana cave is that King Rawana used this cave to hide the Princess Sita. If you are interested in the Sri Lankan history, and you’re ready to climb some stairs to see this cave, then the Ravana Cave is one of the must things to do in Ella Sri Lanka! 

Read our complete guide about the Ravana Cave here

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Admire the Nine Arch Bridge

The Nine Arch Bridge is located just outside of Ella Town in between the tea fields and is on the same way to Little Adam’s Peak. Completed in 1921, the Nine Arches Bridge is built entirely out of bricks, rock and cement, with no metal used in its construction. It was an engineering feat back in those days. With its 91 meters height and beautiful arches, this became a very popular photo spot over the years. There are a few places to view the bridge from, with the most popular being from the actual bridge itself and below from the tea plantation. Visiting the Nine Arches Bridge is absolutely one of the must things to do in Ella Sri Lanka! It’s free of charge and you don’t need a guide to get there.

Read everything about the Nine Arch Bridge in this complete guide

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Hike to Ella Rock

For the ones who seek a little adventure and spectacular views, the hike up to the summit of Ella rock is a vantage point you don’t want to miss out on! The hike is free of charge, but be aware that there might be touts along the way that says you’re going the wrong way, or who tries to direct you to the ‘correct’ route. Touts do this to make money from you as your guide.

Navigation to Ella Rock

Starting at the famous Ella train station, you have to follow the train rails going to Kandy for approximately 40 minutes until you arrive at Kithalella railway station. Keep walking along the tracks past the station and after 5-10 minutes, look out for a rock marked with a blue arrow and a label which reads ‘Ella Rock’. Turn left at this juncture. The marking fades over time (and may even be covered with cement), so make a note that you have to turn left after waymarker 166 ½ but before waymarker 166 ¼. After this, you will pass long grass, many beautiful waterfalls, bridges, tea plantations, a lower beautiful viewpoint and local Sri Lankan homes. The best time to do this hike is early morning because of several reasons. To beat the heat and to have the chance of a clear view and magical sunrise. The complete hike takes around 2 hours round trip, make sure to pack enough water and snacks to power your journey and to put your hiking boots or sneakers on!

Read the complete guide for Ella Rock here

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Visit the Diyaluma Falls

Diyaluma Falls is 220 meters high and is the second highest waterfall in Sri Lanka. It is located right next to the road so you can admire the beauty of this waterfall easily. But for the real adventurers there is the possibility to hike up to the upper waterfall so you’ll have an amazing view over the surrounded hills. Because the waterfall has different levels and pools you can take a dip to cool off after the hike. A great adventure for half a day and definitely one of the best things to do in Ella!

Read our complete guide about Diyaluma Falls here

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Diyaluma-falls-sri-lanka-pool

Visit Liptons Seat tea fields

Liptons Seat is the famous viewpoint where the man who built the Lipton tea empire , Sir Thomas Lipton, used to sit and contemplate his vast tea plantation and the magnificence of Sri Lanka’s high country. The best way to visit the tea plantation is to catch the Ella to Kandy train to Haputale train station, and then a tuk tuk to Lipton seat. The total cost should be around LKR 2000 – 3000, depending your negotiation skills 😉 The entrance fee to Liptons seat is 100 LKR and if you come with a Tuk Tuk they charge an extra 50 LKR.

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Go on a safari to Udawalawe National Park

Not directly located in Ella, but a great day tour to do from Ella is going on a safari in Udawalawe National Park. This park was created to provide a sanctuary for wild animals and is about 1 hour and 50 minutes driving from Ella. The best time to go on a safari in Udawalawe National Park is from January to March when rainfall is at its lowest. Despite being one of the smallest national parks in Sri Lanka, there are still over 500 elephants living inside the park. You are able to see hordes of wild Asian Elephants in their natural habitat. Other than that, the park is also home to other wildlife such as water buffalos, monkeys, crocodiles, a vast array of birds and lizards.

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Learn Sri Lankan cooking at Ella Spice Garden

A fun thing to do for young and old is attending a cooking class. It gives you the opportunity to learn more about how you can prepare a typical Sri Lankan dish. During the class you will learn about the different spices that are used. And of course you will create your own finger licking food with rich and tasty flavours. A fun activity for young and old! Make sure to book in advance because the Ella Spice Garden class might be fully booked.

Eat chill and party in Ella town

What was once a sleepy mountain village with a main street filled with local markets and restaurants, is now a vibrant hub home to new hip restaurants, cafes and boutique shops. Ella town has a vibe that feels like a lively asian backpacker town and is a great place to stay for some days. Central to Ella’s backpacker scene is the main street, with hip restaurants and delicious food. Cafe Chill for example, located right in the centre of town, serves delicious western-style food, juices, cocktails and a chill vibe. We worked here during the hours that it was raining in Ella, and enjoyed all the amazing food on the menu. At night, the upper deck becomes a bar/lounge, perfect for a few beers. Further towards the train station are a few relaxed bars serving beers and cocktails. Some are even open 24-hours, including the Bob Marley inspired Cafe One Love. 

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Go zip lining for an adrenaline boost

If you’re an adrenaline junky and into speed and heights, the first Sri Lanka’s zip-line in Ella must be on your things to do in Ella Sri Lanka list! Flying Ravana Adventure stretches more than half a kilometre across the the green hills of Ella, reaching up to 80 kmph. The zip-line is super safe because the latest equipment is used. Also before you will take off for a flight through the sky you will go through a comprehensive safety procedure. The zip-line adventure is a great thing to do in combination with the hike to Little Adams Peak and will only cost you 20 USD for adults and $15 USD for children.

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Hike through the Horton Plains & to Worlds End

The Horton Plains National Park is situated in the central highlands of Sri Lanka about an hour south of Nuwara Eliya. If you only stay in Ella and want to visit this National Park, if it definitely worth the day trip. A 2 hour one way drive will bring you to this protected National park which became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2010. Horton Plains National Park is a very special place in Sri Lanka with diverse landscapes, rich wildlife and excellent hiking opportunities. You can visit the popular sites such as Bakers Fall, mini World’s End and World’s End. The Horton Plains hike is one of the most beautiful and varied treks you will stumble across in this incredible country.

Read everything about Horton Plains National Park in our complete guide

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Visit the Sunday and wednesday vegetable market 

Two days a week there is a local market in Ella which you might want to check out. On Wednesday and Sunday morning farmers and sellers from the countryside come to Ella town to sell their products. The Passara Road (near Ella Super) is then lined with small stalls. Locals are selling not only fresh vegetables, herbs, and fruits but also clothes. It’s a nice way to support local farmers and to get some healthy snacks to cook or eat on your Ella hikes!

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kandy-things-to-do

Visit a tea factory in Ella

If you travel through Sri Lanka and don’t pay a visit to a tea factory… you haven’t been in Sri Lanka! Jokes aside, tea production is one of the most important industries in Sri Lanka with a rich history. So if you’re in the Ella or Nuwara Eliya area, you have to visit the beautiful tea fields and a tea factory. While doing this you can learn more about the process of tea which is very interesting. Uva Halpewatte tea factory and Kinellan tea factory are both two great options in Ella. 

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Take the train to Nuwara Eliya

When you’ve explored everything in Ella, it’s time to travel further through Sri Lanka. The best way to this is with the train! If your plan is to travel further up north to Kandy, you should definitely consider a stop in Nuwara Eliya. There are lots of amazing places to visit and things to do in Nuwara Eliya. And in addition to that is the train ride through the tea plantations and local mountain villages just amazing. The perfect way to see more of the amazing landscapes of Sri Lanka.

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Weather in Ella Sri Lanka

Ella has an average temperature in comparing to Colombo where it is very warm most of the time. Nuwara Eliya on the other hand is much cooler. Towards the end of the year it will get colder in Ella as well. Especially in December when the temperatures will drop to around 10 degrees. There is also more change of rain in Ella than the South coast. On average, October is the wettest month in Ella and March is the driest month. But rain can fall anytime, so be prepared! That’s also the reason why it’s so beautifully green in the valley of Ella.