This post was last updated on April 8th, 2020 at 10:45 am
Horton Plains is a beautiful region in southern Sri Lanka near Nuwara Eliya. Horton Plains is located in the vicinity of the third-highest mountains of Sri Lanka (Kirigalpotta and Totapola) and is located on a wavy plateau at an altitude of around 2,000 meters (6500 feet).
What are the Horton Plains?
The Horton Plains is covered by beautiful grasslands, dense forests, impressive rocks, waterfalls, and misty lakes. The surprising diversity of the landscape is further enhanced by the wide variety of wildlife.
Because the Horton Plains are at a high altitude, the landscape here seems completely different from the rest of Sri Lanka. Not only nature but also the climate.
TIP – They ask 5,800 rupees (about US$31) p.p. for the entrance fee! You can get a discount if you travel in a group, but count on this price!
It is a lot cooler here than in the rest of the country. The wet climate here also influences nature which is particularly green here. In the Horton Plains the Mahaweli, Kelani and Walawe rivers also pass through, giving you impressive waterfalls here.
The wild animals that you can still find here are, unfortunately, in fewer numbers than in the past. Wild elephants have long been barred by colonial hunters and the 45 leopards that live here do not come close to people. The animals that you can spot here are mainly limited to deer, monkeys, and birds.
One of the most famous places on the Horton Plain is World’s End. Here the plateau seems to stop out of nowhere and gives you a spectacular view of a beautiful valley that is about 900 meters deep.
Unless you arrive at World’s End very early, the view here is obstructed by the fog, which in itself is not a problem as it gives the view a magical touch. Especially in the rainy season (April to September), there is a lot of fog here.
The best time to view World’s End is between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. before the clouds appear. Before the fog sets in, you can spot green tea plantations in the valley and you can even see the coast.
TIP – Come here around 6:00 a.m. so that the trails are not too busy with walkers.
Bring Warm Clothing
Keep in mind that you are up high and that it can be quite chilly in the evenings and early in the morning. You will need at least a sweater and long pants. In the afternoon it warms up considerably here. You have the best weather from January to March.
Hiking in the Horton Plains
The path where you walk is not very difficult to take. Everyone with good health should be able to do this hike. When you start, you have 2 choices – right and left. The path runs around so it doesn’t matter which way you go.
Most travelers go left, so if you go right it is less busy on the path, although you will certainly not be the only one.
TIP – Employees of the park are very environmentally aware (luckily!). So don’t leave a mess behind and make sure you don’t take plastic bags with you!
Everyone walks this hike because of the viewpoints that you have at the end of the hike. These two fantastic points are World’s End (870 m.) and Little World’s End (270 m.). If you have nice weather you have a breathtaking view of the region. With a bit of luck, you can even see Adam’s Peak.
TIP – Depart early in the morning, before 10 a.m. If you go later you have the chance that the fog will ruin the view.
If you walk a comfortable pace, the walk takes around two to three hours. The walk itself is not challenging. Along the way, you should definitely stop at Baker’s Falls (see photo below). It is well worth it!
How to Get to the Horton Plains
The easiest way is to take a tuk-tuk from Nuwara Eliya to the plains of Horton. Bargaining is, of course, a must if you decide to take a tuk-tuk. Agree on a price in advance so that you do not have to pay double at the end of the journey.
If the number of people you’re going with is more than 2, we recommend renting a minivan. You can already rent one for 3,500 rupees ($20).