Unique Experiences in Sri Lanka No On Knows About!

I was browsing the internet looking for “Unique Experiences in Sri Lanka” that were close to GlenMyu Estate.

Arriving at the Travel Triangle website I came across an article “Toss Out Your Itinerary For These 14 Unique Experiences In Sri Lanka No One Knows About!”.

Glancing through list I noticed that the third item was “Trek Through Sri Lanka’s Biggest Cloud Forest”

“Stepping into this surreal terrain will make you feel like you’ve entered Narnia!“

Reading through the short excerpt from the website, they compared the experience to entering Narnia.

It is Unique, but we have visited Horton Plains lots of times

Horton Plains National Park is certainly a unique experience and we, at GlenMyu Estate, love it there.
It’s one of the top places we recommend for our guests to go to whilst staying at GlenMyu Estate.

It’s one of our favourite places.

Horton Plains National Park entrance is just over an hours drive from the estate. We send our guests off early in the morning with a delicious packed breakfast. They usually eat their breakfast when they arrive or when they reach one of the viewpoint such as Lesser World’s End or Greater World’s End.

We love it at Horton Plains National Park.

Before we started the Bed and Breakfast at GlenMyu Estate, we visited Horton Plains National Park regularly ourselves. If we had friends coming from Europe it was one of the things we really enjoyed showing them.

There are so many aspects to Horton Plains that we love.

I just feel so healthy completing the 11 kilometre circular hike.

Horton Plains is at an elevation of between 2,100–2,300 metres (6,900–7,500 ft.), so you are walking at an altitude where the air is a little thiner. The hike is not too strenuous and I feel that I have had a good workout at the end. I’ve no idea of how many step you do on the hike but it’s got to be way more the 10,000.

Beat the clouds!

We normally walk in a clockwise direction. Our aim is to reach Lesser World’s End and Greater World’s End before the clouds come in so we can enjoy the view. If you leave it later in the day you are less likely to get to see the amazing views from these precipices.

Lesser World’s End has a drop of 270 metres.

Greater World’s End has a drop of 870 metres!

It’s a little disappointing when the clouds are in (it’s happened to us a couple of times!) as it’s one of the highlights of the walk.

However, there are so many other things we love about being in Horton Plains National Park that it is not the “end of the world” if you don’t get a clear view.

The stunning landscape.

The landscape at Horton Plains is unique in Sri Lanka. Trees and shrubs are miniature as they are growing at such a high elevation.

The Flora and the Fauna.

Horton Plains National Park is the home to over 150 animals and around 750 species of plants.

You can spot different types of lichens, orchids  and ferns.

The cloud forest is also home to the Red Slender Loris, Purple Faced Langur Monkeys, Sambar Deer, Wild Boar, Wood Pigeon, The Sri Lanka Spurfowl, and many other animals. These animals are difficult to spot.

Birds and smaller animals are easier to be sighted.

Some of the endemic species native to these forests such as the Striped- necked mongoose, Rhino horned lizard, and Giant squirrels can easily be seen whilst hiking.

There are also Leopards at Horton Plains however, only a few have been spotted.

A Samba Deer at the entrance to Horton Plains National Park.

One managed to head butt me as I was putting my breakfast back into the car!

They are used to visitors coming to the park however, you should not feed them. 

Baker’s Falls is a beautiful cascade

The third main sightseeing place in Horton Plains is Baker’s Falls.

It is a beautiful waterfall which is a climb down some steps. There is a place to sit and enjoy the water cascading down creating stunning pictures and an enticing pool. Unfortunately there is no swimming permitted.

How hard is the hike at Horton Plains Nation Park?

I was not very fit when I originally moved to Sri Lanka. Working at a desk job and not doing enough exercise along with a bad diet didn’t help.

However, I was able to do the 11 kilometre hike. There are some natural rest points including Lesser World’s End, Great World’s End and Baker’s Falls. These points give you a chance to rest and get some energy back whilst admiring the stunning views.

Don't worry!

We always recommend guests to walk clockwise so that you reach Lesser World’s End and Greater World’s End first.

The signboard at the start of the hike states that clockwise if difficult and anti clockwise is easy. 

Our experience of walking anticlockwise is that it starts easy and then is harder at the end. I would prefer to get the hard work out at the state when I have some energy rather than at the end of the walk. 

I have seen too many tired and unhappy faces when we have met hikers that have walked anticlockwise. 

So, please do not be worried about the signpost saying “harder route”. Honestly once you have reached Lesser World’s End the hike does get easier.

Do I need any special hiking equipment?

I would recommend that you take:

A rucksack – a small rucksack to take some water, food (some of our packed breakfast).
Light rain/windproof jacket that you can pack into your small rucksack.
You may need this for the first twenty minutes of the hike just in case you are a little cold or there is some light rain.

Sandals, or training shoes or walking shoes.
I normally walk in sandals that are fastened with velco. Some of our guests have used training shoes. There really is no need for working shoes, however, if you have brought them along you may as well use them.

I have seen lots of Sri Lankans walk around Horton Plains in flip flops (jandles) however I think this is too risky. Clearly Sri Lankans are experts walking on all kinds of terrain using this kind of minimal footwear..

A camera and charged mobile phone.
There will be lots of opportunities to take photos and videos on your hike. Maybe you will get a great photo at World’s End (better than mine!) or of the Sambar Deer.

Some toilet paper.
There are a couple of toilets on the walk however you will need your own loo roll!

Don't get sunburnt!

Suntan Lotion
It may feel cool at first however, you must remember that you will be walking at an altitude of 2,100–2,300 metres (6,900–7,500 ft.
The sun may not be out, but you can still get sunburn.
Horton Plains elevation is comparable to some European Ski resorts such as Val Thorens at 2,300 meters/7,500 feet above sea level, or Tignes at 2,100 meters/6,900 feet. You would be using sunscreen whilst skiing and Horton Plains is the same. We have had experience of guests returning from their hike a little to red, so you have been warned!

Some money for the entrance fees and souvenirs.

Horton Plains Entry fee

The entry fee to Horton Plains was around LKR 23,000 Sri Lankan Rupees in May 2023 for two adults. (around Euros 65/USD 70 at November 2023).

You can read about our guests experience in our article “Horton Plains Entry Fee”.

There is a visitor centre and gift shop at the entrance to the park and you and want to pick up a memento or two. 

Picnic tables and a small shop selling drinks and snacks (limited selection) are also available at the entry to the park.

Why should I stay at GlenMyu Estate? - you are over an hour away!

This is a reasonable question. 

You will find that most tourist spots in Sri Lanka take a while to reach due to the small roads. There are some places to stay near Ohiya however most people stay either in Nuwara Eliya or Haputale. Travelling from either of these locations take a similar time to get to the park entrance.

At GlenMyu Estate you will get back to a place where you can truly relax after the efforts of your hike. We have a Natural Spring Fed Swimming Pool which is a great place to release the tension from those muscles from the walk.  

After your efforts, a cup of organic tea and Ru’s homemade cake is a good reward and will keep you going until dinner. Ru’s meals are delicious (okay I’m biased but please read our reviews on the food we serve).

There are also lots of other places to explore within a short drive from the estate. Ella Town, Nine Arch, Bridge, Ravana Falls, Mini Adams Peak and Ella Rock are things you can do on a day trip. We are only forty minutes drive from the wonderful Upper Diyaluma Waterfall which is another highly recommended experience in the Sri Lankan Hill Country. You can read more about what you can see whilst staying at GlenMyu Estate in our article “The best places to visit in the Sri Lankan Hill Country.”.

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