A Guide to Chasing Waterfalls in Sri Lanka
Don’t go chasing waterfalls…or do! Especially if you have a partner to share the experience with. Sri Lanka is home to more than a hundred of these stunning feats of nature, typically surrounded by lush greenery and cascading into stunning pools that beckon visitors for a swim. Visiting the waterfalls of Sri Lanka can be an adventurous undertaking, but the romantic atmosphere that they create in the secluded depths of the island’s jungles makes them an ideal attraction to include on any couple’s itinerary!
Here are five of Sri Lanka’s best waterfalls to visit.
Laxapana Falls, Nuwara Eliya
Known as the island’s 8th-highest waterfall, Laxapana Falls takes its place in local legend as the setting where Lord Buddha paused to mend his saffron robe on his journey to visit to Adam’s Peak. It is easy enough to get close to its base via car in the Maskeliya area of Nuwara Eliya, which is followed by a small hike to reach the water. Reaching a height of 126 metres tall, Laxapana Falls features a stunning pool at its base. The water here is deep and can be rough with the strength of the cascading falls, so swimming here is not recommended.
Ravana Falls, Ella
Ravana Falls in Ella is known as one of the widest waterfalls in Sri Lanka, reaching a height of about 25 metres. Its name is said to come from the legend of King Ravana, who kidnapped an Indian princess, the wife of the Hindu god, Rama. According to the legend, Ravana hid the princess in the caves behind these falls.
The falls are best viewed during the rainy season, when the water cascades over the rocks in full force, so aim to visit between the months of June and November. You can generally spot locals splashing around in the pool at the base of the fall, but take care, as the rocks can get rather slippery.
Baker’s Falls, Horton Plains
Situated in Horton Plains National Park, Baker’s Falls reaches a height of around 20 metres and is one of the more famous waterfalls in Sri Lanka. It was named after Sir Samuel Baker, a famous English explorer. It is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Sri Lanka, featuring bright splashes of pink flowers and greenery on either side of its cascading waters.
The falls are tougher to visit during the rainy season because the path leading to it can become very slippery, making the task of viewing the waterfall a riskier one. Try and visit between January and March, when the area is dryer. However, swimming in the pool is prohibited and out of bounds.
Bopath Ella, Ratnapura
The aptly named Bopath Ella – which roughly translates to the Bo-Leaf Waterfall – flows from a wide rock that curls inward to form a spout that allows a narrow stream of water cascade through, and is thought to resemble water falling off the tip of a Bo leaf. Bo trees are sacred to Buddhism, and are an important symbol for the island as a whole. Reaching a height of 30 metres tall, these falls are one of the most popular in the country.
Diyaluma Falls, Badulla
Known as Sri Lanka’s second tallest waterfall, Diyaluma Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls to visit on the island. At the top of the falls, you’ll find gorgeous natural infinity pools with views over Sri Lanka’s jungles – super romantic, and not to be missed!
You’ll need to hike for around 30 minutes to reach the top of the falls, but don’t worry, the trail is pretty easy to follow. Visit during the summer months when the water levels are lower for a chance to swim in the natural infinity pools at the top of the falls!
Tip – If you’re early birds, here are the most romantic spots to watch a sunrise from in the area.