Horton Plains National Park
Horton Plains National Park is a protected area in the central highlands of Sri Lanka and is covered by montane grassland and cloud forest. This plateau at an altitude of 2,100–2,300 metres (6,900–7,500 ft) is rich in biodiversity and many species found here are endemic to the region. This region was designated a national park in 1988. It is also a popular tourist destination and is situated 32 kilometres (20 mi) from Nuwara Eliya.
The Horton Plains are the headwaters of three major Sri Lankan rivers, the Mahaweli, Kelani, and Walawe. In Sinhala the plains are known as Mahaweli Plains. Stone tools dating back to Balangoda culture have been found here. The plains' vegetation is grasslands interspersed with montane forest, and includes many endemic woody plants. Large herds of Sri Lankan Sambar Deer feature as typical mammals, and the park is also an Important Bird Area with many species not only endemic to Sri Lanka but restricted to the Horton Plains. Forest dieback is one of the major threats to the park and some studies suggest that it is caused by a natural phenomenon. The sheer precipice of World's End and Baker's Falls are among the tourist attractions of the park.
Horton Plains is located on the southern plateau of the central highlands of Sri Lanka. The peaks of Kirigalpotta (2,389 metres (7,838 ft)) and Thotapolakanda (2,357 metres (7,733 ft)), the second and the third highest of Sri Lanka, are situated to the west and north respectively. The park's elevation ranges from 2,100–2,300 metres (6,900–7,500 ft). The rocks found in the park belong to the Archaean age and belong to the high series of the Precambrian era and are made up of Khondalites, Charnockites and granitic gneisses. The soil type is of the red-yellow podsolic group and the surface layer is covered with decayed organic matter.
More information available here
Recommended review time for sightseeing: 6 h
juliefong [TA], , Melbourne, Australia
Wonderful experience. Not a difficult walk either being reasonably flat. We saw lots of birds & deer. Started our walk at 7 am & headed straight to worlds end first before the mist came in & then continued onto Bakers waterfall. Beautiful natural environment. We took our time & finished at 12noon. 5 hour walk in total. Highly recommended. Worth the money.
Daniela C [TA], , Malta, Europe
great walk. get there by early morning. we left hotel at about 6.30 and got there at about 8. there is a 7 km walk which we did in about 3 hours. didn't see any animals here except 1 deer. The bakers fall and world's end are amazing. if you are in sri lanka, do not skip horton plains.
Madro27 [TA], , London, United Kingdom
We arrived at the entrance just as the park was opening (6.30) and caught the sunrise on the way there. The entrance is quite pricey but actually worth it. They say the walk takes 3 hours, but if your taking your time and stopping for the waterfall we were there for about 5 hours. The views are lovely and the park is kept well. Was nice to see how strict they were with what you took in (no plastic, lighters etc) the waterfall is lovely and we got their early enough that they weren't too many people there. We didn't see any animals as we were walking around but on the drive up we did pass a beautiful large deer that's famous there, hidden in the trees, which was rather special. Definitely worth a visit but allow time and take water!
Wandering... [TA], , Geneva, Switzerland
Horton's Plain was a beautiful area, the hike not too steep, the views lovely. It was a very peaceful walk (we got there for opening at 6am to avoid too many people and to try to see the view - which mostly worked). There were lots of deer just outside the entry but besides bird and lizards there are no real other animals in the park. We asked our driver and he told us he'd seen leopards but only outside the park. He said the park was now too busy and all the animals lived where no one hiked (except to cross the road on occasion). The view at World's End was ok and the waterfall pretty. We still very much enjoyed the walk though.
SarahYu [TA], , Hong Kong, China
It's about 3.5 hour hike including photo shooting time. You would need to get there early in the morning say 5-6 am to enjoy the quietness and fabulous untouched view. The morning breeze is refreshing. Love the samba deer in the sunlight. Definitely worth a visit if you are fit and willing to get up early.
DonPacket... [TA], , Johannesburg, South Africa
After reading all the great reviews on Tripadvisor we were very excited to visit Horton Plains but we were quite disappointed.
World's End was covered with mist and the trekking from one view-point to the next was non-eventful. There were a lot of large groups of disrespectful locals who were continually noisy throughout our walk, and we spotted so much waste along the paths like empty water bottles, which was extremely unpleasant.
We would have much rather spent our time hiking through the natural forests and tea plantations.
shuangz [TA], , Singapore
Breathtaking views! Just as we were about to arrive at the car park, the scenery right before my eyes completely blew me away. The vast grasslands with the peeking morning sunlight (plus the chilly weather) felt so surreal. Throughout the 9km hike, I went trigger-happy and tried my best to capture good shots worthy of the beauty of this national park. I loved the diversity of flora and fauna that this place offers. I loved the cool chilly weather that accompanied us for the initial part of the hike till the sun was up.
This certainly isn't an easy peasy walk in the park but it definitely is very manageable.
Tips: 1) Wearing good appropriate footwear (sports shoes would suffice) and attire would make your walk a pleasant one. 2) Start early in the morning! i.e. before 7.30 a.m. There's a segment of the walk where you will find yourself in an area which does not provide any cover - the heat from the scorching sun is no joke. Would be advisable to slap on some sunscreen too.
Waking up at 3+ a.m. to make our way from Ramboda to the Horton Plains National Park was well worth every bit of effort. :)
Mimi J [TA], , Paris, France
We really enjoyed our walk in the Horton Plains. It is truly a beautiful place but we found the place expensive and we couldn't pay with our visa (see pictures of the rates April 2014). We would recommend to wear good shoes and bring something to drink for the 3 hours walk to get to the world's end.
Abhishek... [TA], , New Delhi, India
A 10km trek in one of the finest locations I have ever been to. Though the entry fee was quite steep, the surroundings and the breathtaking views more than make up for it. We started off the trek with World's end which is a cliff location 3.5kms into it. Clouds in between mountains and the beauty of it all. Then we headed off to Baker's fall which was a waterfall after another 3 kms. Brilliant. It was the highlight of my Sri Lanka trip and a definite recommendation to everyone.
Johny_dan... [TA], , Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
We left our hotel at 5am and got to the park at about 6am. It's worth it to get here early as a little later in the day most of wildlife is hidden deep inside. At 6am we saw a herd of sambhar deers and quite a few different birds. By the time we finished, around noon time, there was no wildlife in sight.
The walk is leisurely for the most part, except the walk down to the waterfall. Carry enough water and some snacks and enjoy the great views on offer at World's End.
Foreigners are charged more ..approx SL Rs. 3000 each
Sweetmemo... [TA], , Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
29/8/2012 at 9.00am, we arrived Horton Plains National Park. Weather was very cold, windy and misty . Our Guide had warned us to be prepared for the unpredictable changes of weather. Some parts of the trails can be very cold and windy . The walk was not easy but interesting, with scenery changing, we past hills covered with wet low evergreen forest and trees, rivers and waterfalls. After an hour walk we got to 'World's End'. We cant see anything due to thick clouds. We decided to wait patiently for the weather to lift and it did, after 20 minutes of waiting, the cloud began to clear but only for a few minutes. We were able to see the beautiful view from the peak of World's End. A bonus for our cameras! Later we walked further up to find Baker's fall, a nature beauty!. We didnt see any animals along the trail but as we drove out from Horton National Park, somewhere along the road we were surprised by a sambur deer who came and peeped into the van's window. It seems so tame and friendly. Oh well, this is one of the best walk we had in Sri Lanka.
Rene L [TA], , Assen, Drenthe, Netherlands
We went there with three persons , as a foreigner of course you have to pay about 100 times the account of a inhabitant. It was 25 dollars p.p. the walk is three ours and to do with normal shoes , but ........it is not easy! The view is good if you have good wheater.
rehana h [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka
its really awesome to have a place like this in my own country< i though i was in abroad when i pass through it , its really amazing and lovely
Harrythek... [TA], , Tupper Lake, New York
Hiking to World's End is fun and interesting. If you go later in the day you have a better chance at seeing wildlife. I do NOT like the Sri Lankan tourism habit of charging much higher admission rates for foreign visitors.
kaakalee... [TA], , singapore
Its amazing walk and the superb views. but bit expensive for the entrance.
Richard G [TA], , Leeds
Well worth the early rise and the walk, the view is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. Also saw loads of wildlife, the highlight being a dragonfly being caught by a lizard as we were trying to photograph it.
mikekwd [TA], , Lisburn, United Kingdom
Stunning views, beautiful walk and great possibilities of seeing stags etc
Olddownbo... [TA], , bristol
An unusual place but make sure you get there really early to see the views from Worlds end. If you're interested in the natural history get a good naturalist to show you around, they will point out loads of things you would miss.
Alina_Mts [TA], , cyprus
It was nice walk but comparatively its expensive.
Also we couldnt see the world's End it was misty and rainy.
during rains it hard to walk too.But it was a different experience with the beautiful landscape .
LannaAdve... [TA], , Chiang Rai, Thailand
Compared to world class national parks in the U.S., this is nice but very overpriced (for foreign visitors.) The walk was ok but there are other places with great views and more wildlife and fewer tourists. (Try the Lipton Seat, Little Adams Peak, Ella Rock, etc.) If you go specially to see the endemic flora and fauna it is probably a great place but if you just go for the view, I don't think it is worth it.
sedreq [TA], , Kandy, null, Sri Lanka
very good place,dears and few animals ,birds and some snakes.
nice water falls,Raine forest , good mist
mscahill [TA], , London
A great walk and brilliant views. We were lucky and saw wild boars. Be careful at worlds end, stand back and take in the view.
Mariel R [TA], , Tel Aviv, Israel
Not an easy walk, but the "end of the world" view makes up for it.
Arthur K [TA], , Toronto, Canada
Beautiful all green nature all around, very vast. Pleasant to drive through and relaxing.
Himantha... [TA], , Lanka
If I were to name one must to visit place in the hill country Horton Plains, is the place for any traveler.
The scenic views, the atmosphere, wildlife, fauna and flora all add up to give one the ultimate nature scent.
It's one of the best preserved places of nature in Sri Lanka. As it situated far away from civilization.
There are certain drawbacks such as overnight accommodation being limited.
The locals are the culprits when it comes to carrying plastic into the vicinity.
It's a mystic place at dawn and dusk so make sure you visit at these times.
onon123 [TA], , Hong Kong
The hiking route to the World's End in Horton Plains National Park is easy and amazing, especially you can see the beautiful scene in the early and cool morning with lots of frost on the plants and fields. We started from Nuwara Eliya by a jeep (drive 45 mins). It takes you only 3.5hours to finish the trek and suitable for everyone. It is highly recommended to all travellers who loved nature and don't miss it!
starlova [TA], , Singapore, Singapore
While in the car ride there, my group managed to catch glimpses of the animals around. We couldn't really get that close to them of course. After which, we went on the trekking route.
All in all it was a good workout together with friends and we managed to catch the scenery at the peak just before the mist started drifting in (~9am).
Traveling... [TA], , Singapore, Singapore
If you're going to visit, come early in the day to avoid rushing through the walk like we did. There are a few hikes you can take, with various distances. The longest is around 10km, and the shortest 5km. The vegetation is interestingly different than what you find at lower altitudes, and if you keep still and quiet, the silence will make your ears ring.
misha b [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka
was a nice day out from Kandy ...1 day trip....just amazing to see sri lanka to be so different than what i knew.
xixili [TA], , Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Whilst the view was breath-taking, the hike was not as easy as it sounded. In fact, I sprained my ankle during the trek and it spoilt my whole trip after that.
be careful when walking along the path as there are many rocks and it is easy to trip.
if you are completely out of shape (like me), please think twice before attempting Horton Plains.
James C [TA], , Hong Kong, China
Went there by Tuktuk from Nuwara Eliya early in the morning. By the time we arrive (07:30) the sun has gone up high and the temperature rose quite fast. Very good scenery up there. The trail is a easy one. Don't miss the waterfall.
miktangoo... [TA], , Dublin, Ireland
Coolest thing we did on our trip, early start from Nuwarya eliya. oh and we went to the right at the first turn... going against the guidebook direction and have to say it was a better way to go.
larinetou... [TA], , Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Liked the views and the nature disliked the less resources for Hotels
Staffsmar... [TA], , Staffordshire
Fabulous place with stunning views and excellent wildlife
EnzoRSA [TA], , Johannesburg, South Africa
Loved the nature, really different from the Sri Lankan Jungle
Ewingston [TA], , Humbie,Scotland
A pleasant hike to the World's End which was worth the effort. Not sure if it would be worth being there at dawn despite the guide book recommendations especially if the chattering masses were there as well.
JandD681 [TA], , Kidderminster, United Kingdom
Had to start the day at 4.30 a.m. to get into Nuwara Eliya to pick up a jeep and had an hour journey from there to Horton Plains on very bad roads but it was all worth it. We walked from the visitor centre to World's End for a great view and then on the the waterfalls which was a tiring 10km circular walk in hot weather so very tiring but great for walking off all those calories from Sri Lankan curry buffets! Saw some good birds and lots of Sambur deer but the purple-faced monkeys were hiding from us that day.
Chan W [TA], , Colombo, Sri Lanka
Please go early to see all the beauty of this one of a kind place in Sri Lanka. Be prepared to do a full 14KM walk.
utas2010 [TA], , New Delhi, India
This was the best part of our trip. You will get up very early, to get there before the mid-day mists block the fantastic panorama from the viewpoints - World's End and Mini World's End. Bring your warm clothes, we had frost everywhere when we entered the park.
There is a nice circular walk that takes you to breathtaking viewpoints and a nice waterfall. Finally a place where we are still treated as adults and the view is not obstructed by fat rails to keep you from falling over the edge. Which of course means you have to be careful, but you also get a much better panorama.
amooafshi... [TA], , Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
You should see Horton Plains National Park if you like advanture trips.
tarekpare... [TA], , Melbourne, Australia
I liked it, but I'm not 100% sure that the 9km walk, beginning at 5am was worth it for the views which are nice, but not mind-blowing.
Eric D [TA], , Vercorin
Do the round trip to World's End but, if possible, early in the morning before the clouds roll in. The scenery is just fabulous, a must-see!
Ashwin D [TA], , Pune
The World's end is one of the best scapes you will see in your lifetime
welsht0ny [TA], , esher
It was a long walk, on a hot day, with little of interest to see other than some stunning views at World's End and Little World's End. We saw very little woildlife,and the trek down to teh Falls was very difficult (as was the return climb!).
James1503 [TA], , Manama, Bahrain
A great walk to worlds end and bakers fall but make sure you get to World's end before 9am
flyboy65 [TA], , Netherlands
Starting 07.00 AM we were the first to start the hike.
It was nice and cool the first 2 hours but after the sun came through it heated up fast.
The scenery is just great and the walk is not to demanding.
A lot of animals and worlds end is a great reward when you reach it and the sky is clear.
We saw a big pike hovering over worlds end searching for prey.
JoLondonU... [TA], , London, UK
This area includes Bakers Falls, End of the World and Mini End of the World, It's about 10km all told, and generally easy conditions. There are some slippery rocky areas and to get to the waterfall you have to climb down some very steep rocks. That said, it is a beautiful place, well worth the visit and you can just bypass the waterfall climb and carry on on the path. NB - there are no loos on the way round, only at the starting/finishing point and the paths are quite restricted so you can't really hop off to go on teh way!
1nilan [TA], , Kandy, Sri Lanka
Horton plains was my best camping expierience i ever had...even though the forest officers did'nt give us permission to go inside the woods,we still enjoyed it.....the cold climate & breathtaking landscapes made us feel in heaven......I love to go there again.