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The Best 5 Backpacking Spots in Sri Lanka That You'll Love to Explore

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Sri Lanka is a tiny island in the Indian Ocean that will amaze you with its sheer beauty. Diverse in culture and nature, Sri Lanka has something for everyone. While the ancient cities of Northern and Central Sri Lanka keep the history buffs enamored by their glorious charm, beachlovers tend to hang out in the island’s coastal belt; also Sri Lanka has many mist-clad mountains for trekkers as well. This bright sun shining tropical island with warm and kind-hearted people bewitch you with its glory.

Now Sri Lanka is a new favorite for backpackers as it's fast becoming a backpacker hot spot. The reason it's pretty easy to get around the tropical island without much struggles.

Sri Lanka is full of great places to visit, so today I picked the 5 backpacking hot spots to share with you guys. Have a look at them below!

1) Adams Peak - The Sacred Summit of Sri Lanka

The moderately tough hike up challenge to the sacred summit of Adam's Peak is taken on by many Sri Lankans and foreign travelers. At the time period of the pilgrimage season, the summit path is illuminated by a sparkling strip of lights which from afar appears like a track of stars leading into the heaven and in the off-season time you will need a torch to light up the path. The summit can be very cold, so it's better to plan your climbing to reach the summit at dawn, As dawn illuminates the holy peak, the rambling morning light exposes the Hill Country rising in the east and the land slanted to the coast in the west. Adam’s Peak keeps its most wonderful moment for just after dawn. The sun casts an impeccable shadow of the peak on to the foggy clouds down on the way to the coast. As the sun rises upper, this peculiar triangular shadow battles back on the way to the peak, and finally vanishing into its base.

Most of the people find it hard to descent down the summit. As the unending steps can shake the strongest knees. Using walking poles or a strong stick will make the descent much less shaking on your legs. Take a hat, as the morning sun deepens hastily, hat can protect your head from the heat. Remember to stretch your legs when you finish your descent, and taking a massage is very much recommended too. Make sure to wear hiking boots or good-quality sports shoes. Bring warm clothes and pack plenty of water. If you’re climbing in the pilgrimage season, you'll find many stalls at the local market vending warm jackets and headgear. Else, buy the gears at the Nuwara Eliya market or the stores in Ella. Ensure to do the hike at least in duos. You can get a guide around Rs. 1000 in LKR.

2) Ella - The Natural Paradise of Sri Lanka

Ella is the natural paradise of Sri Lanka and one of the most popular destinations in the tropical island. It's one of the biggest hotspots for backpackers because it is a relaxed and inexpensive place with generally nice weather. Ella has heaps of treks and hiking options. Ella rock is the highlight among them, it is a lengthy rock that will take up about four to five hours of your day to hike but you will never get bored. The track to the top of Ella Rock will skip you along the railroad tracks and get you through tea plantations. The uphill stretches of Ella Rock gives you the epic viewpoint. The next hike up to Little Adam’s Peak for the breathtaking sunrise gives you incredibly gorgeous views of Ella in undeniably magnificent surroundings. Little Adam’s Peak is about a 45-minute to an hour hike, It’s a good exercise in the brisk early morning.

Diyaluma Falls and Ravana Falls are some of the most impressive waterfalls on the island. They are as magnificent as they are scary. From the bottom of the waterfalls, you can feel the water spray drench your face. There is nothing more beautiful than looking down from the top of the waterfalls. You couldn’t miss it. Another spectacular attraction of Ella is Nine Arches Bridge; it's breathtaking to see the green tea plantations below from this unique bridge. You can also go on sightseeing train travel at this Nine Arch Bridge. You have numerous activities to entertain yourself at Ella. Backpacking to Ella will give you a feeling of being nestled amongst nature.

3) Meemure - The Adventurous Village

Meemure is a small beautiful remote village in Sri Lanka, with a very small population of 400. It is situated between Kandy and Matale District in the array of Knuckles Mountain. Lakegala Mountain in Meemure village is a pyramid mountain. It stands for many spotless ruins, including potholes with the mark of olden human inhabitation. Other mesmerizing attractions in the “Lake gala “areas are “Nawathna falls “and hiking trails in Lakegala deeps. “The village of Gala Muduna” is a beautiful tiny remote village in the south of Meemure with inhabitants of 20 families. Unblemished from the outside world. It is ironic with fauna and flora of the Knuckles.

The tiny village gains its name, “Gala Muduna,” because of it’s position on a top of a huge rock. There are three primary rivers that initiate from the Knuckles and enter through the area; which are “Heen Ganga”, “Hulu Ganga” and “Kalu Ganga.” Heen Ganga, in precise, begins from eastern angles of the Knuckles range; flows roughly 36km via Corbett gap and Kalupahana, and lastly joins the Mahaweli, the longest river of Sri Lanka. Olden forests and varied rocky plates line the banks of Mahaweli. Where lays the absolute paradise of ringing waterfalls, potholes, and lively nature. Meemure is a paradise on the earth. Where you can view the wonders of nature. It's the best spot to do night camping.

4) Alagalla Mountain Range - The Potato Range of Sri Lanka

Alagalla Mountain Range or "Potato Range" is positioned between the margins of the Central and Sabaragamuwa Provinces in Sri Lanka. It's one of the most pleasing treks for experienced travelers. The top of the mountain is about 3740 ft high above from the sea level. The Potato mountain range is famed for its historic importance, breathtaking sights and the adventurous trek. History archives that Alagalla mountain range was the popular battle spot for numerous foreign invasions against the Kingdom of Kandy. The mountain range itself has had a significant role in guarding Buddhism and its culture for almost five centuries against the invasions of Portuguese, Dutch and British.

When you are traveling to Kandy, this beautiful mountain range can be effortlessly acknowledged with its high elevation compared to other mountain ranges nearby it, giving you an amazing sight of the glory of Mother Nature. While hiking up the mountain, you will have to encounter with Leeches, as the cool weather of the mountain makes an impeccable breathing home for leeches so it’s advisable to take anti-leech protection with you. You can reach the top by the shadowy climb through the Savannah-like-grass while enjoying the beauty of the glorious nature. When you hit the top of this mountain range you’ll witness the incredibly beautiful adjoining sceneries of other mountain ranges, greenish paddy fields, ancient historic places, spiritual spots and the spectacular view of Kandy.

5) Knuckles Mountain Range - The Mountain of Paradise

Named after its eerie resemblance to human knuckles, the Knuckles Mountain Range is a beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Site and a famous spot among travelers and hikers. The thick forest area, encircled by 34 magical mountains that array from 900 to 2,000 metres, is home to many spectacular trekking trails with flowing gorgeous waterfalls in every clearing, charming villages veiled within the mountains, many adjoining rice fields as well as various rare and mysterious animals, this mountain range exhibit the best of Sri Lanka’s varied natural beauty.

The Knuckles Mountain Range is considered one of the hardest hiking trails in the island. So, no matter how experienced you are in hiking, it’s compulsory to have a guide. Also the area’s immensity and the likelihood of getting lost, climbers are only permitted to enter the protected reserve with an experienced guide. Failure to do so you will get in trouble with the authorities. While this hiker’s paradise features 34 trails, discovering information on most of them can be tough. Dothalugala nature trail, Nitro Caves, Mini World’s End, and Duwili Ella trail are some of the famous trails in the Knuckles Mountain Range to explore. Bring enough water bottles; also be sure to bring anti-leech spray, anti-leech socks and other protections with you to escape from any unpleasant surprises, because the mountain range is packed with leeches. With right gears and protection you can enjoy a pleasant hiking experience at Knuckles Mountain Range.

Wrapping - Up

Here we go! Whether you want to go on a hike up to Adam's peak or do a night camping at Meemure village or explore the diverse nature at the Knuckles Mountain Range, I hope this article will be a good starting point for you as here you can learn about these best backpacking spots in Sri Lanka to plan a wonderful backpacking trip. If you guys have something to add, please leave it in the comment below. I'd love to hear from you.

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