Horton Plains National Park is situated in the central highlands of Sri Lanka close to Nuwara Eliya. It was a protected National park in 1988 and 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 like 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. In this blog post you will find all the information about Horton Plains National Park and the hike to World’s End.
Where is Horton Plains in Sri Lanka
Horton Plains National Park is located south of Nuwara Eliya and West of Ella. There is no accommodation in the park so you need to stay in one of the towns close to the park. There are several hotels nearby if you want to gain some extra hours sleep in the morning, but they are in the middle of nowhere! If you want to combine the trek to Worlds End with the other things to do in Nuwara Eliya or Ella, I would recommend to stay in one of the towns. That way you have your base there for 2 or 3 days to explore the area.
Is Horton Plains worth visiting
Yes, absolutely! If you love nature and hiking and you don’t mind to get up early for the best view, then you definitely want to add the Horton Plains hike to your Sri Lanka travel itinerary.
Arriving at day break in the early morning, there is almost a mysterious atmosphere with the mist and morning dew. Sri Lankan Sambar deer grazing undisturbed in the long grass and with the low hanging clouds, you will feel as if you have stepped into a different country. World’s End hike in Horton Plains National Park is a trek that is more accessible than other hikes in Sri Lanka, due to the well maintained paths and it’s slightly less strenuous hill walking. If you are considering to skip a visit to Horton Plains, then consider again. The park really does have something for everyone. It is even one of the few Sri Lankan National Parks that has so much diverse things to offer!
About Horton Plains National Park
Along with the nearby Peak Wilderness Protected Area and the Knuckles Conservation Forest, the Horton Plains are a World Heritage Site called The Central Highlands of Sri Lanka. It’s a unique ecosystem with abundant flora and fauna that’s been described as “a super biodiversity hotspot” and one of the most beautiful Sri Lankan national parks.
How long is Horton Plains trek
The Horton Plains trek comes to a sudden end at the peak of World’s End. There you will have an impressive view on the surrounding landscape that plunges 1200 meter. The trek to Worlds End is 4km, but the trail then loops back to Bakers Falls which is 2km and continues back to the entrance which is another 3.5km. So the total roundtrip is 9.5km which will take you about three hours in total depending on the time you spend at Worlds End or Bakers Fall.
What to see in Horton Plains
During the hike in Horton Plains National Park you will discover a diverse landscape with wild grasslands, cloud forest, different types of rocks, beautiful waterfalls and misty lakes. There is also a wide variety of wildlife. You will see many birds, sambar deer and even leopards live in the National Park! There are many different species of plants and trees. You can see more than half of Sri Lanka’s mammals, more than half of the flowering plants of the island, as well as many different trees and shrubs.
On your way to the big Worlds End, you will first pass the so called Mini Worlds End which is a 300 meter drop and also a very impressive view. After this lower viewpoint you can continue the hike to the ‘real’ Worlds End.
To see World’s End, you need to get up early. The best is to start your hike before sunrise so you won’t be disappointed with a huge blanket of mist obstructing the beautiful view of World’s End. Standing on the edge of Worlds End is a very special experience, but be careful. There are plenty of horror stories with fatal outcome so you must take the usual safety precautions. There are numerous spots to get great photos, but always be careful near the edge. Especially when there is a lot of wind.
The extraordinary view of tea plantation villages in the valley and the view towards the southern coast is just incredible. If you’re lucky to go on a clear day, you can see the ocean which is 80 kilometres away on the horizon of Worlds End. Horton Plains is simply one of the best nature reserves in Sri Lanka and Eco Tourism venues in the world!
How high is World End Sri Lanka
World End is a sheer cliff with a drop of about 1200 meter.
What to prepare before you Horton Plains hike to Worlds End
- Don’t bring any plastic! At the entrance of the park, all plastics will be confiscated due to their eco-friendly rules.
- Good hiking shoes
- Enough drinking water
- Light snacks
- Sunscreen or a hat
- A sweater for the chilly morning
- Your camera or binoculars
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