Catch a trundling train to this picture-perfect village set within the lush valleys, patchwork fields and tea plantations of Sri Lanka’s Hill Country.
Escape the heat of Sri Lanka’s coastline and enjoy a serene respite amid the stunning natural beauty of Ella. This pretty town sits on the southern Uva Province and forms part of the exquisite Hill Country. Visit Ella to experience the charm of a colonial countryside retreat and enjoy unbeatable views of forest-covered mountain slopes. Hike to hilltop lookouts, stroll through verdant tea plantations and discover majestic waterfalls.
Ella’s town center is a neat cluster of twisting streets lined with cafés, general stores and restaurants. Local market vendors set up along the roadside and offer fresh produce, handicrafts and sundries. Many of the area’s guesthouses and hotels have well-kept gardens and views over the town’s surrounding landscapes. Learn the secrets to Sri Lankan cuisine with a cooking class at Ella Spice Garden.
Walk south from town along the main road until you reach the edge of the ridge. Here, an overlook offers views of Ella Rock and Ella Gap, the latter formed by a split in the hills. A 4-hour round-trip walk will bring you to the summit of Ella Rock and more panoramas. The trail follows sections of the railway track, crosses tea fields and climbs steep inclines.
Farther south is Ravana Falls. Marvel as water gushes out from between large rocks. Swim in the waterfall’s small pool but be wary of the pool’s slippery surface. Halfway between the town and falls is Ravana Cave, where legend states that the Hindu goddess Sita was rescued by Rama.
Travel east from the town center for more hiking adventures at Little Adam’s Peak. Arrive late in the afternoon to watch the sun set behind mountain peaks. Visit Nine Arch Bridge, an impressive multi-arched viaduct. Take a guided tour of the nearby Newburgh Green Tea Plantation.
Reach Ella by taking a train ride from Colombo through the Hill Country. Enjoy a daytrip to Horton Plains National Park, a plateau in the shadow of the mountains Totapola and Kirigalpotta.