Horton Plains Trekking is one of the top side trips from Nuwara Eliya, if you are staying there more than couple of days. There are several places to visit in Nuwara Eliya that will keep one busy for at least 2 full days in the hilly city surrounded by tea estates.
Horton Plains Trekking
This is my second time visiting Nuwara Eliya, a few years apart, and I decided to stay back for an extra day to things I missed the first time I visited Sri Lanka.
How to get to Horton Plains National Park ?
Just an hour outside of Nuwara Eliya, the national park has no public transportation. Most of the people go by tuk-tuk or Jeep organized by the hotels/hostels from the city.
We went with our hostel owner in the tuk-tuk that he drove himself. We left the hostel at 5:30AM to get there for sunrise. Believe me it’s worth getting there early. We were one of the first few to get in the line to buy the ticket. Eventually the crowd caught up.
Horton Plains National Park Entrance Fee
The entrance fee to Horton Plains NP is $15.00 U.S. Dollars or its equivalent in Sri Lanka rupees, according to Government website.
Usually the drivers wait outside the park and you have to pay the entrance fee and get into the park through a single line.
Best Time to Visit Horton Plains National Park
Pretty much any month is a good month to do Horton Plains hike. However, December through March tends to be on a more pleasant side heat wise. Also, as the day gets going it gets really hot to do Horton Plains hiking.
Usually, almost everyone will start Horton Plains trekking at the dawn to catch the sunrise in the park along with clouds lifting from the plains.
Horton Plains National Park is a plastic free zone. They check your belongings and remove plastic bags, covers, wraps from your food to make sure the park is not polluted. But they give brown bags to keep your things. Plan accordingly if you can.
How Long is Horton Plains Trek
It’s a 9.5KM loop with stops that cover World’s end and Baker Falls. It takes a good 3-5 hours to do Horton Plains trekking, depending on how long you stop at each view point.
The Horton plains hike is relatively easy. Just some rolling hills with few short uphills. There isn’t much to see/do in the park, besides the designated view points such as World’s End and Baker Falls.
The picture above is the view from World’s End. Basically on a clear day, you can see the villages of in the valley. When we walked up to Horton Plains World’s End, rest of the crowd was catching up. The path gets really narrow to the top and we had to walk in single pile to get to the real top to get a view of the valley.
Next stop is Baker Falls through some trees that gave relief to the scorching morning sun. Do carry hat and water with you. There is no way to get into the water at Baker Falls, but there is a deck where you will feel the waterfall breeze to cool you off.
Along the way back to the park entrance there are small pools, streams and wide open space around you.
Is Horton Plains National Park Worth It ?
Having been spoiled by American national parks, its an OK park to visit. But again, you got to enjoy the country for what it has to offer. World’s End view is certainly something to go for as you get to see the remote villages in the valley on a clear day.
We finished the walk/hike in 4 hours with plenty of breaks. We were back to Nuwara Eliya for lunch.
Horton Plains Hiking Tips
- Pack breakfast and water.
- Take Sunscreen, hat and shades.
- There are few restrooms (dirty however) in the park.
- Do pack toilet paper if you don’t mind going into the wilderness.
Horton Plains National Park Map
Camping at Horton Plains National Park
It’s possible to do camping at Horton Plains National Park. First Monday of every month, the park officials give out campsite reservations. Ask around at the hotel or hostel to see if you can secure a spot. It is certainly well worth the trip to visit Horton Plains if you can secure a camping spot.
Horton Plains National Park Tours
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