12 x Things to do in Ella, Sri Lanka 2023

Last Updated On November 18, 2022

Ella is a small, peaceful mountain town on the southern edge of Sri Lanka's picturesque Central highlands in the Badulla District of Uva Province. This charming tiny town is widely sought after by travelers and those seeking a calm setting to indulge in nature's beauties. It is an excellent vacation from the big cities' hustle and bustle lifestyle.

nine archages bridge

Ella is located at an elevation of 1,041 meters among lovely green pine forests. The hamlet is a popular destination for hikers worldwide, with the magnificent Ella Rock and Little Adam's Peak among the most popular hiking locations since the treks take you through plantations and wilderness with great views. The name 'Ella' is derived from the Sinhalese word for 'waterfall,' as numerous beautiful cascades surround the community. Among these waterfalls are Dunhinda Falls, Diyaluma Falls, and Ravana Falls.

Ella, Sri Lanka, is a laid-back little town surrounded by lush tea plantations. Ella offers a variety of activities. Take one of the most scenic train excursions from Nuwara Eliya to Ella and fall in love with the scenery. You'll probably wind up staying longer than you intended. Ella has a pleasant climate with cold evenings and about 28 degrees.

1. Kandy To Ella Train Ride

The train ride from Kandy to Ella is the most beautiful in Sri Lanka, if not the world! As you board the train, you will be treated to stunning vistas of lush green tea plantations, mountains, viaducts, valleys, and impenetrable jungle.

This train ride is a scenic 7-hour journey through tea estates, the jungles, and mountains. As the journey progresses, you will ascend into the rolling green highlands, home to large tea plantations and other magnificent hilltop villages and waterfalls.

Furthermore, it is the ideal approach to immerse yourself in Sri Lankan culture. Meet friendly people aboard the train, wave to youngsters running along the rails, and consume spicy delicacies sold by vendors who board at each stop. This is a must-do activity in Sri Lanka.

2. The Demodare Nine Arches Bridge

Ella's most famous attraction is the Nine Arch Bridge. This stunning bridge, surrounded by lush vegetation and tea fields, has become a Sri Lankan icon. You can catch the breathtaking sunrise if you arrive a little earlier. It is possible to walk to the bridge, and the nearest viewpoint is 1.8 kilometers away from Ella town center.

3. Ella Rock

If you visit Sri Lanka, you must see the dawn from a mountain top at least once, and there is no better site to do so than Ella Rock. Hike early in the morning to catch the sunrise from the summit. It's an incredible feeling watching the sky shift from deep purple to pinkish-orange, especially for early risers catching the dawn from the peaks - a must-do when in Ella.

Hiking Ella Rock is definitely for more experienced hikers, or at the very least for the more daring, as the entire trip takes roughly four hours. Ella Rock is accessible from Ella's main town.

You'll stroll past tea farms, railway lines, and a tiny eucalyptus forest on your journey to the cleared summit, where you can take in the breathtaking views. The peak provides a panoramic view of Ella Gap, Little Adam's Peak, and Ella town. 

4. Little Adam’s Peak

The Little Adams peak is a stunning mountain range formed by three green peaks rising over the valley below. The hike takes around an hour to get to the top of Little Adam's Peak from Ella. But you can cut some time off the trip by taking a tuk-tuk to the trailhead near Ravana Zipline, only 20 minutes to the top from there.

You can explore the beautiful countryside, passing via little towns, tea plantations, and extensive grasslands when you reach the summit.

5. Ravana Falls

Ravana Falls is an excellent place to see while in Ella and is about a 10-minute drive from the main road. The drive to the waterfall is one of the most scenic in the country, with tiny roads and hairpin twists that will make you feel like you're on a roller coaster! To get to the falls, you must journey through an incredibly dense jungle, where you will notice the waterfall early.

6. The Demodare Loop

The Demodara Loop is an advanced accomplishment of civil engineering that is a spiral railway loop in Demodara. The railway line runs underneath the mountain, snakes around it, and arises from a tunnel beneath the Demodara Railway Station.

7. Diyaluma Waterfalls

The Diyaluma falls, Sri Lanka's second-highest waterfall located within an hour's drive from Ella town. But it is also one of the most beautiful in the country. Diyaluma is supposed to be drawn from ancient folklore and approximately translates to "rapid flow of water" or "liquid light." Hike to the top of this three-tiered horse's tail for stunning vistas and a refreshing plunge in a natural infinity pool.

Trek through densely forested areas and rocky terrain until you reach the summit. The vast rocks make tiny natural infinity ponds ideal for cooling off after a long journey. There are many natural pools along its 220-meter drop, where travelers can cool themselves in the cool water. The top part of Diyaluma waterfall offers deep pools at various levels, while the lower part has breathtaking drop-offs.

8. Lipton´s Seat

Lipton Seat is a breathtaking viewpoint named after Thomas Lipton, the founder of Sri Lankan tea. The viewpoint overlooks vast tea plantations, and no trip to Sri Lanka is complete without a stop at Lipton Seat. When you reach Lipton Seat, you can explore the stunning tea estates or have a cup of tea at the Lipton Seat restaurant.

9. Dhowa Rock Temple and Cave

In 1996, the Dhowa Rock Temple and Cave in Ella has designated a protected archaeological site in Sri Lanka. The village, 137 kilometers from Kandy and 204 kilometers east of Colombo, is surrounded by spectacular mountains, cloud forests, greenery, and endless tea plantations. It also has a rich biodiversity. The train journey to Ella over the clouds and hills of Sri Lanka is regarded as one of the most breathtaking in the world.

10. Flying Ravana Zipline

The Flying Ravana Zipline is one of Ella's most recent attractions and one of the best things to do in Ella. The zipline is about 500 meters long and journeys more than 80 kilometers per hour. You can take in the spectacular scenery as you speed by the spectator observation platform. This is a dual zipline, so you can run your friend to the base or relax and enjoy the ride with them.

11. Explore the town of Ella

Undoubtedly Ella is one of the most beautiful towns in Sri Lanka. Aside from the outstanding natural beauty that draws visitors worldwide, the town boasts a vibrant atmosphere with excellent hotels and restaurants. If you want bustling nightlife, stop at the bars down the street. 

12. Ravana Cave

The Ravana Cave is located behind Ravana Falls and is associated with King Ravana of the legendary Ramayana epic, where the Demon King stole Princess Sita in India and hid her here. The Demodara Loop, a railway engineering marvel, and the Nine Arches Bridge, commonly known as the Bridge in the Sky, are both popular tourist sites in Ella due to their architectural inventiveness and magnificent vegetation.