Hiking Trails That Are Ideal For Friends
If you and your friends are more into adventure than being indoors, hiking is a great way to relish nature while also escaping the hustle and bustle of the city. Sri Lanka’s hiking trails are primarily situated in the Central Province, smack in the middle of the country’s mountainous terrain.
Here you can find hiking trails of various difficulty levels, but all enjoyable in their own ways.
1. Diyaluma Falls
Situated in the Badulla district, Diyaluma Falls is the second tallest waterfall in Sri Lanka at a height of 220m. Reaching the summit ought to take you nearly a couple of hours, but it’s not exactly a tough hike per se. There’s a lot to do along the way, too! Swimming in the many rock pools, for example, is a surefire way to cool down and unwind (but best avoid doing so during the rainy season!). The climate is usually crisp and cool, so the hike would be quite comfortable and less likely to utterly dehydrate you. At the top, you can see the full extent of the glorious waterfall as it plunges several hundred feet to the pools below.
Pidurangala is the lesser-known neighbour of the famous Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Though a slight bit smaller in height that Sigiriya, the Pidurangala climb is slightly more arduous. The rock houses a temple within it, some 500m off the ground, and up to half of the ascension, you could use the staircase. After the stairs come to an end, you’ll have to rely on the boulders and rocky walls to hoist yourself over to the top. If you’re eager for a bit of a culture trip, take a gander at the sleeping Buddha statue positioned within the rocky cavern. It is one of the largest of its kind in the country. Despite the effort involved in reaching the summit, it will all be worth it once you take in the panoramic view of the countryside from the very top.
The quiet, rural Meemura is excellent for those looking for an escape away from the noisier trails. The village of Meemura is nestled in the hills close to the Knuckles Mountain Range. The natural pools and many waterfalls along the clearings are reasons enough to pick Meemura for your hike.
It’s also a hotspot for some rare endemic wildlife, so don’t forget to keep an eye out and your cameras ready! The best part about Meemura is, through it, you could access the Knuckles reserve through it, but don’t have to worry about finding lodgings in such a remote area. The friendly villagers could arrange it for you. Be sure to check you Dothalugala while you’re there! It’s a 3-hour trek and is thoroughly marked so you’re less likely to get lost.
4. Hanthana Mountain Range
Located in central Sri Lanka, quite close to Kandy, the Hanthana Mountain Range is one of the more popular hiking spots. Within the bowl-like range are seven peaks, of which Uura Kanda is the tallest at a height of 3,800 ft. The climb is not difficult with staircases adjoining the peak leading you up, but it does reach a point without stairs. Upon reaching this point, a bit of struggle is necessary to make it to the top. Uura Kanda is a triangular peak jutting out of the mountain, similar to the one from Lion King during the intro of the Circle of Life. Sure, you could recreate that moment, but at great risk of plunging down its height, and keep in mind, there is no netting to catch you. Overall, the hike up Uura Kanda is a pleasant one with tons of shrubbery and trees to keep you company.