Sri Lanka was everything I hoped for. A stunning country with incredible landscapes, lush jungles, wild beaches, good food and nice people.
So here my small list of things you absolutely have to do during your stay in Sri Lanka.
Table of contents
Hiking up to the Diyaluma Falls :
Diyaluma Falls is actually the second highest waterfall in Sri Lanka and definitely, a must do if you are staying around Ella or Wellawaya.
The path to get there isn’t easy at all. There are no signs to find the right way so be careful if you are going by yourself. We actually went a local guide who showed us the path. And I’m so glad we did because we would have been lost without him (especially on the way back, we walked back right after the sunset and it was getting dark super fast).
You need at least half of the day to do this activity as it is 40 minutes away from Ella and then a 1hour hike up to this waterfall. The waterfall has 3 different levels where you can swim. I would recommend checking first with the locals if it is safe to go.
Taking the blue train from Kandy to Ella – Or Ella to Kandy :
One of my highlights in my trip was taking the famous “blue” train.
To be completely honest with you, our first attempt was a huge disaster. The train we took from Nuwara Eliya was so crowded, we could barely breathe and even put our stuff somewhere. I was actually really disappointed by the whole experience.
But I didn’t want to give up. So after arriving in Ella, we decided to take the train from Ella to Haputale (1 stop only) the next day and it was the best decision ever. We took the first train at 6:20am and bought our tickets on the same day at the train station. We booked a second class ticket and it was perfect as we could easily hand out of the doorway.
The ride was incredible, and the view amazing. We had space for us and even finding a seat was easy.
When we arrived in Haputale, we simply took a taxi back to Ella (approx 45 minutes).
So I would definitely recommend doing that if you had a bad experience during your train ride from Kandy to Ella (which is actually what 70% of tourists are doing, that is why the train is crowded)
Visiting the Nine Arch Bridge in Ella :
Something you definitely have to do while you are in Ella is visiting the Nine Arch Bridge. It is a beautiful bridge surrounded by this incredible and thick lush forest (and if you are lucky enough you can even see the blue train passing by).
I would recommend to go either early or right before the sunset to avoid the crowd as it gets super busy during the day.
How to get there : It is 10 minutes drive from Ella and then you have to go down the hill through the jungle (approx 10-20 minutes) before arriving at the Nine Arch Bridge. There are a couple of different views points so don’t be afraid to walk around.
Coconut Tree Hill in Mirissa :
Coconut Tree hill in Mirissa is a unique and special cliff covered in palm trees overlooking the ocean. It is a popular spot due to Instagram. However, it is definitely a place you should visit if you are around Mirissa because the view is stunning. It was insane to see so many palm trees in such a small area.
The place gets super busy during the day, so as usual go early and be patient.
To get there: It is actually a short walk from Mirissa Beach (approx 10-15 minutes) or you can take a tuk tuk until the “Sanda Beach” or “Sunset Bar” in Mirrissa.
Jumping from a palm tree and taking epic pictures :
I have seen so many pictures of this palm swing on Instagram so I knew I had to experience it myself. The most famous place is located between Dalawella beach and Unawatuna in a bar/restaurant called “Dream Cabana”.
We paid 500 roupies (2,50 euros) and you can jump 3 times. (and while it looks scary, it was actually super fun and easy to jump)
During the sunset, the place is quite crowded so be prepared to wait a bit.