Ella Sri Lanka, a must see, incomparable, nature tourist destination in Sri Lanka currently considering as one of top tourist getaway in Sri Lanka not because of anything, this tiny little tourist destination is a gift of mother nature good enough to make your visit to Sri Lanka memorable.
HOW TO GET THERE
If you traveling directly from Colombo airport (Bandaranaike international) i cannot say its a super convenient journey because of its distance (200 KM through rising mountains via snaky roads) So the best way to do Ella is, you may keep it after central, southern or eastern part of the country, may be after Kandy, Mirissa, Arugam bay or Pasikuda.
So, if you coming from Kandy the cheapest way to reach Ella is taking the train. But its really tough to find the space in last minute specially in the peak season (November to April, July and August) So its always better to book in advance. You can use the train ticket reservation service of Mobitel to book your tickets in advance.
Or, if you coming from Mirissa, you can use the buses (no direct buses) as follows.
Bus from Mirissa to Matara bus station > Bus from Matara to Bandarawela or Nuwara Eliya, get off directly in Ella (But this route is not frequent)
Bus from Matara to Monaragala or Ampara, drop at Wellawaya > Bus from Wellawaya to Bandarawela, get off in Ella
Or the most convenient and quickest method to reach Ella from any destination is taking a private car. Also we Tuktukdude operating a regular shuttle from Mirissa to Ella (vice versa) inclusive of morning half day safari drive in Udawalawa, for your reference here i’am keeping the rates for all frequent transfers.
Mirissa from/to Ella shuttle service (with Udawalawa Safari drive*/breakfast):
$98/person (Solo traveler)
$49/person (group of 02)
$32/person (group of 03)
$30/person (group of 04 or above)
Airport transfer (Ella):
$75 for private car (03 passengers)
$85 for private van (07 passengers)
TOP THINGS TO DO
10. Traditional cooking and dinning experience
Aha food tasting 😍, and cooking???🤔 I know food tasting for everyone but cooking may not for everyone. But you will love to have this traditional Sri Lankan cooking and dinning experience with locals at this memorable activity. So just grab it to experience a different culture of cooking and foods. I am quite sure you will be very happy after all 🙂
09. Day trip to Nuwara Eliya
Nuwara Eliya, one of famous tourist destination in Sri Lanka, widely knowing as “the little England” because of the influence in British architecture and many other things left here even after the independence from Britain. If you’re into an amazing day trip contains nature, culture, tea plantations.. etc, this will be a must do travel.
Basically my itinerary suggestion is to visit Bomburu falls, Hakgala royal botanical garden, Seetha Amman temple, Pedro tea factory and the lake Gregory throughout the day. Specially Bomburu falls is a must see attraction because you will really enjoy the waterfall bath, beauty of the path you have to hike (2 KM) and its surrounding. Also Hakgala will be ideal place for a relax walk while admiring the various nature gifted flowers and plantation while Pedro tea factory is one of major tea factories in Sri Lanka to visit. Seetha amman temple and Lake Gregory will be must see iconic attractions in Nuwara Eliya without any doubt.
08. Yala safari drive from Ella
If you visiting Sri Lanka, this is a thing not to miss. The reason we suggesting Yala Safari as a thing to do in Ella is, a day trip for morning or afternoon Safari from Ella will be worth than having a overnight stay near Yala (Honestly in the suburb of safari park have very few attractions other than safaris) Also instead of doing a return trip from/to Ella, you have the option to do it along the way from Ella to Mirissa. In this case, you will save an extra night + it will be a value addition to boring intercity transfer 😍
(Day trip from/to Ella inclusive of picnic Hotel pickup/drop, Safari drive and breakfast)
07. Having a train ride between Nanu oya and Ella
Well, without having the train ride specially between Nanu oya and Ella, your visit to Ella wont complete. Because this railway tracks coming through Sri Lanka’s most beautiful natural surrounding and yeah, for insta people this will be an ideal thing to do, when it comes to photography. Again, a must do travel! 🙂
06. Waterfalls exploration (Upper Diyaluma, Kital ella falls and Rawana falls)
Its all about having a decent bath in pure water coming from mountains while admiring the beauty of nature gifted waterfalls and its surrounding. My top recommendation is to visit Upper Diyaluma, cause its not gonna let down your expectations. Basically a must see attraction. Also the easiest waterfall can access from Ella is, Rawana falls located in the edge of main road between Ella and Wellawaya. Just 5 KM away from Ella tourist centre. Also Kital ella falls is located very close (6 KM) to centre, to access it you may use the Ella to Kital ella train ride as well.
05. Lipton seat
An amazing breathtaking view of misty mountains over the tea plantations. Back in colonial era Mr Lipton planted the very first plant of tea, eventually became one of major tea exporter in Sri Lanka widely known as Lipton tea nowadays. From Ella, first you need to reach Bandarawela, beautiful hill-country destination and the final destination is 15 KM away from Bandarawela. Also its possible to access Lipton seat after reaching Haputale via different route (15 KM) Then its just 1.5 KM walk to the top of the iconic attraction and travel early in the morning, will definitely add an advantage because you will be able to enjoy the misty views and the sunrise. If you looking new things which is still not famous among foreign tourists, this will be highly recommended.
04. Sunrise viewing over the clouds, day trip or Overnight camping, to Madulsima
Madulsima is a rural village located 50 KM away from Ella. But its worth to go all the way through tea plantations, nature reserves since i am quite sure you will enjoy the peace giving its beauty, not only that this viewpoint Pitamaruwa mini worlds end will give you one of best memories in your entire life. The best time to be there is sun rising time since when the day light is coming, clouds are vanishing from the scene So if you can be there before its fading away it will be a bonus. But during the day time, its still worth to see the beauty. Also on the way back to Ella can visit “Besama waterfall” (“Basing” in English) to have a relaxing natural waterfall bath. Also here we Tuktukdude doing a day trip to Madulsima from Ella inclusive of waterfall visit, so let us know if you thinking to join with for this amazing experience during your stay in Ella 🙂
03. Nine arches bridge
The most iconic instagramable attraction in Ella. The excitement of viewing the train coming over the Nine arches bridge is worth to see. An ideal location for photographic fellows and ladies. Basically its considering as one of major attraction of famous 03 icons tour in Ella. A must do! must see! Highly recommended!
02. Ella rock
Among the 02 most famous hikes in Ella this is the most advance one but i can say its not a tough hike at all (approx 10 KM/3 h round trip) The best time to do Ella rock is the morning session of the day. After Ella rock, the itinerary following by majority is Nine arches bridge and Little Adams peak in the afternoon. Overall an attraction not to miss, must do in Ella.
01. Little Adams peak (Punchi Sri pada)
The little Adams peak, the winning icon out of 10 must see attractions/things to do in Ella, is mostly know attraction without argument + most awesome thing to do because of it elegance view and natural beauty. This short hike is worth than the effort, the breathtaking views and peace giving surrounding will give you all the pleasures of a hike to top of a mountain. The view is fantastic. Absolutely worth the climb without any doubts.
WHERE TO STAY
Ella is a place accommodating everyone. From budget hostels to luxury hotels/resorts, it has everything in this tiny destination! For your reference, here i am mentioning 02 of tea plantation bungalow exclusively managing by Tuktukdude, featuring on Airbnb. You may enjoy free Travel credits of $34* for first home or experience booking via this link.
WHERE TO EAT
Ella has plenty of options to eat, from small rotee shops to major restaurants you may find basically everything. For Sri Lankan style experience, we are recommending Cafe chill, for cheap eats Cafe C and for fine dinning experience Cafe UFO in Ella.
OTHER THINGS TO KNOW
OTHER DESTINATIONS TO VISIT
BENTOTA HIKKADUWA GALLE/UNAWATUNA TALALLA DICKWELLA/HIRIKETIYA
TANGALLE TRINCOMALEE PASIKUDA ARUGAM BAY KALPITIYA NEGOMBO
ELLA KANDY NUWARA ELIYA DAMBULLA/SIGIRIYA HATTON
Buddhist pilgrim/cultural cities/Ancient ruins:
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