Start with a stop at De Silva Restaurant for a perfect String hopper breakfast. At least our hostel didn’t serve local breakfast. So, we chose to go out and eat. Milano next door also serves local breakfast. Also called Idiyappa in Tamil, String hoppers are a familiar dish for me with dhal and coconut sombol (more like fried coconut with spices).
Depending on how much you want to walk, you can either walk to Lover’s Leap waterfall or take the bus to the base of the Pedro Tea Factory and walk from the base up to the waterfalls. From Nuwara Eliya city there are continuous buses to the area. Or its a 4-5KM walk to the base.
The walk among the tea plantations and villages makes it an amazing hike, especially if you can speak Tamil, its even more exciting to chat with locals along the way.
We chose to walk back through the villages instead of the tea estate to engage more with locals.
Next stop is Sita Temple situated a few KMs outside of the town. Just ask around for the buses that go to the temple. But, a warning, don’t be frustrated with the fact that you may have to ask a few different people before you get the right information, unless you can speak Tamil. Not many can speak English. That’s not to say its hard to travel in Sri Lanka. There are tons of backpackers making their way through.
This temple is believed to be the site where Sita was held captive by Ravana.
This mountain seen from the Sita Temple is believed to be the Sanjeevi Mountain mentioned in Ramayana.
After a short nap break at the hostel after lunch and evening tea, take a walk through the villages to go to Shantipura for sunset. Shantipura is the village located at the highest altitude in Sri Lanka. It is certainly a beautiful hike, but it goes through some random unmarked trails. So, its better to get someone who works at the hostel/hotel to go with you. We paid 300RS to the guide for the walk.
There is a small tower at the village that gives an amazing 360-degree view of Nuwara Eliya. Stay back till sunset to see the magic unfold among the mountain ranges filled with tea plants.
Back to the town to have dinner at De Silva again (the only restaurant we liked) for some south Indian Dosa.
After breakfast, hike up to Single Tree for another great view of Nuwara Eliya. Although Sunrise would have been a great time to go, but anytime is just fine. It’s a good uphill hike for a couple of miles from the base. It’s a bit tricky to find the trailhead. Assuming the city’s structure doesn’t change much, there is a statue in the middle of the town with a hand pointing in one specific direction, and thats the road to go on to find the trailhead. You will see the road named “single tree” on the right side. Or just ask around.
Take a walk to lake Gregory for boating or just walk around the huge lake. Since my first trip in 2011, the lake has gotten lot more commercial with water activities.
There are lot of tea factory tours, Victoria park in the middle of the town and Hakgala Botanical Garden to keep the rest of the day busy.
But, if you had planned more than two days here, I have to warn you that you may run out of things to do, unless the 3rd is meant for going to Horton Plains National Park, which is just an hour away from Nuwara Eliya.