9 Best Things to Do in Ella, Sri Lanka

This blog post features links and information which have been obtained on a press trip. However, as always, all opinions shared in this post are my own.

Ella is one of the most popular tourist towns in Sri Lanka. I recommend spending at least two nights in Ella as there are plenty of things to see and do here.

Having recently come back from my first trip to Sri Lanka, here are the nine best things I recommend doing while in Ella.

1. Nine Arches Bridge

Nine Arches Bridge is Ella’s most iconic landmark. No trip to the town is complete without visiting it, which means it can be incredibly busy. I always recommend arriving at Nine Arches Bridge for sunrise (around 6am – 7am). This is not only the best time for photos, but it’s also the quietest. 

I was on a guided tour of Sri Lanka, so unfortunately, we arrived around 10 a.m., and it was already getting very busy. By the time we left around 10:45am, hundreds if not thousands of people were here.

2. Ella Rock

I’m not someone who enjoys hiking. In fact, it’s the last thing you’d find me doing on a weekend back home in the UK. However, there’s something about Sri Lanka that makes hiking, dare I say, fun?

The hike to Ella Rock is the perfect example of this. There are a couple of different routes you can take to Ella Rock so I recommend downloading a trails app. This way, you can see the various routes available and up-to-date reviews of each.

The easiest hike is around 3 – 4 hours out and back, and the last 30 minutes or so are the hardest as the incline is pretty steep. You’ll want to set off at sunrise (or earlier) to minimise the heat and humidity, so pack plenty of water.

3. Ravana Falls

Ravana Falls is one of the most famous waterfalls in Sri Lanka. You can get here by public bus from the main town or by a tuk-tuk, which costs around 400 rupees. 

The waterfall is then 200 metres from the parking lot and is free to enter. There’s no food and drink sold here. However, between the peak hours of the day, you’ll often find street vendors on the main road. 

4. Little Adam’s Peak

Remember what I said about hiking in Sri Lanka? Well, if a four-hour hike to Ella Rock seems too much, consider visiting Little Adam’s Peak instead.

Named after its resemblance to the larger Adam’s Peak in central Sri Lanka. This hike can be completed in as little as 30 minutes out and back and is an excellent spot for either sunrise or sunset.

5. Tea Plantations & Factories

Ella is a town surrounded by tea plantations, which makes it one of the best places to visit a tea factory. Some of my favourite tea factories in and around Ella include:

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A tea factory tour in Sri Lanka provides insight into the tea-making process and often includes a tasting of different teas.

6. Ella Spice Garden

If tea isn’t your thing, then consider visiting Ella Spice Garden instead. Ella Spice Garden is located centrally in Ella Town. As such, you’ll often be able to walk from your accommodation to the attraction in a matter of minutes. 

A guided tour of the garden provides you with the unique opportunity to learn about the various spices grown in Sri Lanka. Plus, you can even take part in a cooking class to make traditional Sri Lankan dishes.

7. Flying Ravana Mega Zipline

If you’re looking for adventure while in Ella, then be sure to check out Flying Ravana Mega Zipline. This two-wire-zip line stretches more than .5km and reaches up to 80kmph.

Other popular attractions at this site include:

  • Quad Biking
  • Abseiling
  • Archery
  • Air Rifling

8. Bambaragama Falls (Bambarakanda Falls)

Bambaragama Falls is around a 2-hour drive from Ella. However, despite its distance, it makes it onto this list as it has the highest waterfall in Sri Lanka. 

While Bambaragama Falls is Sri Lanka’s tallest waterfall, it’s not very popular. Ella is the closest tourist town to the waterfall, and many people don’t want to take the four-hour roundtrip. Nor is it worth it for most people to stay in a less popular area solely for this attraction.

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9. Diyaluma Falls

Diyaluma Falls is Sri Lanka’s second-tallest waterfall. However, unlike Bambaragama Falls, it’s only a one-hour drive south of Ella. 

Again, Ella is the closest tourist town, but the distance still puts off a lot of tourists. Since many people don’t have many days in Sri Lanka, this waterfall is often overlooked in favour of other nearby attractions.


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