Ella combines the best of Sri Lanka: stunning rainforest highlands, rolling tea farms, and dramatic waterfalls. As one of the largest tea producers, visitors can expect to spend their days among the greenest settings, taking in the views from high mansions and challenging hiking trails. Even the train ride to Ella is one of life's most memorable experiences, as you travel through bamboo woods and tropical mist on the famed blue train. With this comprehensive travel guide, you can enjoy all of the best things to do in Ella.
Activities in Ella, Sri Lanka
Ella has a lot to offer, from ascending the lush mountain peaks to jumping in refreshing waterfalls. The town itself has a lively atmosphere, with plenty of fantastic cafes and restaurants to visit after a day in the outdoors. Here are the best things to do in Ella, Sri Lanka.
Ascend Little Adam's Peak
Little Adam's Peak is smaller than its greater brother Adam's Peak, yet it is no less spectacular. The breathtaking ridge consists of three green peaks that stand above the valley below. Hike across breathtaking scenery, passing past villages, tea plantations, and vast grass fields. Reaching the summit is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take in the amazing, panoramic views and feel as if you're on top of the world!
It takes about 45 minutes to walk from Ella Town to the mountain's base. It takes about 15 minutes to get from the bottom to the top (or 30 minutes to reach the furthest of the 3 peaks).
On your way back from your wonderful hike, keep an eye out for 98 Acres Resort. This is a nice area to drink a coffee or a locally produced tea while taking in the scenery.
Nine Arch Bridge
Ella's Nine Arch Bridge is noted internationally for its beauty. The magnificent bridge is 25 meters tall and 91 meters long! It's tucked up in the deep green hills under low-lying clouds, just outside Ella Town and on the same path as Little Adam's Peak.Before reaching the postcard-worthy location, stroll through the magnificent bamboo forest, enjoying the stone arches and waving to those passing by on the vintage blue train. This is one of the nicest destinations in Sri Lanka to visit!
Endless views of the tea fields from Lipton's Seat
Lipton's Seat in Haputale is an ideal morning or afternoon excursion from Ella. Take the train to Haputale and then a tuk-tuk to the breathtaking overlook above the Lipton tea estate. This is where Thomas Lipton (a well-known tea grower) would sit to enjoy his lovely tea fields. It's also where he sowed the first seeds of Sri Lanka's most important export. When you look down on the endless green tea fields, with tidy rows of bushes and smiling, hard-working people collecting leaves, it's simple to see why he chose this location.
After that, arrange for a visit of the surrounding tea factories. You may learn more about the history and manufacture of tea here, as well as try it!
Diyaluma Falls, Sri Lanka's second highest waterfall
Diyaluma Falls is a must-see in Ella and the second highest waterfall in Sri Lanka. It's the ideal time to be out in nature and enjoy the climb to the top of the waterfall.
Enjoy the thundering power of the water crashing onto the rocks from the foot. You'll feel on top of the world at the summit when you explore the three natural infinity pools that reach out onto the cliff edge. Swimming in these waters and seeing down the 220 meters below is an unforgettable experience.
Diyaluma is only one hour's drive from Ella. Once you've arrived at the bottom, you can drive 30 minutes to the top and hike 45 minutes to the pools. The trek from bottom to summit takes about 2 hours without a tuk-tuk.
Attend an Ella Spice Garden Cooking Class
Sri Lankan cuisine ranks among the greatest in the world (a taste explosion!). The meal is so delicious that you'll want to take the recipes home and learn how to make it yourself. Join a cooking lesson at Ella Spice Garden to learn about the local ingredients. It's also a great way to learn from a local and meet some new individuals who are taking the course.
Ravana Flying Zip Line
CThe Flying Ravana zip line is one of the top Ella activities for thrill seekers and explorers! The incredible zip line runs for more than half a kilometer, is 82 meters high, and can reach speeds of up to 80 kilometers per hour! The closest you'll get to flying is zipping through the treetops and staring down on the valley below. It's also only a 10-minute drive from Ella town, making it the ideal activity for an afternoon in Ella.
Hike to Ella Rock's summit.
The majestic grandeur of Ella Rock can be felt no matter where you are in Ella. The stunning green mountain is a popular walk and one of the top things to do in Ella. This hike is unique in that the trail is highly natural and overgrown, giving you a truly daring sensation.
The two-hour climb from Ella town to the peak follows train tracks through extensive grass meadows and deep forest. It's a fantastic feeling to reach the summit, dangling your legs off the cliff and staring down at the valley below. It's best to begin the hike as early in the morning as possible to avoid the blazing sun. Pack clothing as well, as it will be freezing in the early hours and considerably hotter as you descend.