Ella rock: A serious quest

ella rock view climbing mountain sri lankaMultiple guidebooks warn you for it; finding Ella rock isn’t the easiest thing on earth. Where all the instructions on where to go end, practically just starts the hike to the top. The only thing you know is
that you gotta walk upwards and it’s the second mountain, not the first. Besides that, it is one big maze of tea plantations.

lost climbing ella rock sri lanka
Right? Left? No one really knows…

Ella rock adventures

However, as stubborn as we are (and with us, many other traveler so we’ve noticed) we thought we could do this without a guide. Luckily we weren’t the only ones getting lost at the exact point where instructions stop… might as well join forces! To make it even harder, I kind of suspect the locals of making a running gag out of those lost tourists. One guy says you gotta go right, the next one wonders where in gods’ name you’re going, you gotta go left! One way or another, we did find a path after some serious off the beaten track climbing. Watch out for colorful lizards and chameleons along the way, cause behind every little rustle you hear there’s probably one of those pretty fellas.

view rice fields ella rock sri lanka

hiking ella rock tea plantation sri lanka
The maze of tea plantations
colorful lizards woods ella rock sri lanka
Hello mister…

The contest of views

I know we talk about views a lot here at Mokum Surf Club. Being so spoiled over the past few months in South America, Ella rock has something to compete with. After the sweaty and steep climb, we did get rewarded. As far as the eye can see there are green rolling mountains full of tea plantations and if you’re lucky (we weren’t) you’ll be able to see as far as the Indian Ocean. So honestly, this one ranks pretty high as well!

climbing ella rock view sri lanka
A 360 view that goes on and on and on
old man ella rock sri lanka
This guy is waiting for you on top of Ella rock with fresh coffee and tea.. what a champ, right?climbing ella rock woods sri lanka

Well deserved comfort food

I bet your tummies are rumbling after sweating your ass off and training your calves, so once you’re going downhill start dreaming about Cafe Chill. This place got it all sorted out; healthy fruit and veg smoothies, good food, very tasty desserts and some lounge tunes to finish it off.

There’s more to Ella than Ella rock…

Ella rock is not the only thing around. For such a small little town, there’s surprisingly much to do. Probably the best tip I can give you is to rent a scooter for the day. Just cruise around and you’ll find plenty of pretty spots and side roads. It seriously doesn’t matter which direction you choose, cause all surroundings of Ella are simply stunning. The tea plantations with their colorful pickers are a beautiful sight and doing a tour on one of the many plantations around is a must.

tea pickers plantation ella sri lanka

driving scooter ella hills sri lanka
Bro-Sister act cruising the hills of Ella

A bit further out of town is the Ravana waterfall. A proper tourist attraction for both people and monkeys (not sure which one attracts which) so it seems. If you’re not up for a waterfall dive in between shampooing locals, I’d recommend going to the smaller Upper Ravana fall. Just as beautiful, but you got the place all to yourself.

rawana falls ella sri lanka
The lower Ravana waterfall also known as the local hammam
monkey ravana falls ella sri lanka
Cheeky monkeys.. be careful with your stuff and food

Where to sleep

If you’re looking for a place to stay in Ella, try to find a bed at one of the many homestays up the hill. We stayed at Chamodya homestay and Waterfall View homestay, which were both stunning. These places are both only a 5 to 10 minute walk from the main street, but offer you views and tranquility that can’t be beaten. Having breakfast with a view like that will throw that morning mood out of the window right away.

hotel ella view sri lanka
Breakfast is served
view ella rock nature sri lanka mountains
This is what we woke up to…

Extending is easy

Thinking we would only stay here for two days, we added a few more almost instantly. There’s a lot to do around Ella and the spectaculair views all around add to the relaxed vibe which make you in no hurry to leave. The smell of forest, the sound of a hundred different birds, the curious cheeky monkeys and the fluffy coconut pancakes with curd for breakfast, can every day start like this?


hiking ella rock sri lanka

sticker mokum surf club ella rock sri lanka
Leaving our mark on Ella rock..
kids train rails trekking ella rock sri lanka
School kids on the train tracksella rice fields sri lanka

view ella rock hiking sri lanka

train kandy ella sri lanka
The Ella – Kandy train
view climbing ella rock sri lanka
Indian ocean.. where are you?ella rock mountains view sri lanka
traffic hills ella sri lanka
It doesn’t matter which road you take, every route around Ella is just simply stunningtea picker plantation ella sri lanka
tea plantation ella sri lanka
Cruising through one of the many tea plantations around Ellatuk tuk view ella rock sri lanka

tea plantation view ella sri lanka

ella rock view hiking sri lanka
Ella rock view

Photos by: M. Barends & T. Barends©