The Devil’s Staircase
Across the world there have been several man-made and natural structures which have been given the name ‘The Devil’s Staircase’, and among them, Sri Lanka has one of the most dangerous. The 14km trail has a steep ascent with many sharp zigzag turns, and it’s recommended that only more experienced hikers should embark on this trail as it is quite challenging. Alternatively, you could also go with a 4 wheel drive vehicle, but you would miss out on the beautiful scenery.
Why You Should Visit
You could either start your journey in Ohiya and end in Kalupahana or vice versa, the only difference would be if hiking uphill or downhill. The highlight on the trail is the Bambarakanda Falls, the cascade is a kilometre before Kalupahana and you could end your journey here instead. Bambarakanda Falls is the country’s tallest waterfall with a height of 863ft! The Devil’s Staircase passes the tributary that creates the waterfall, which looks especially beautiful when the first rays of sunlight reflect off the cascade. Even though you may not be able to swim beneath the waterfall, it is quite lovely to sit here for a moment and enjoy Bambarakanda Falls as well as the surrounding pine forest.
The Last of the Tropical Forests
Although this hike is probably one of the most challenging it is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding. Until the turn of the 19th century, the whole island was almost entirely covered by tropical forest, but they were cleared to cultivate coffee and tea. Today, the Devil’s Staircase is one of the last remaining areas on the island which still have these primaeval forests and should not be missed.