Horton Plains National Park is an amazing park located in the highlands of Sri Lanka. It’s an incredible place with diverse landscapes, rich wildlife, and very good hiking opportunities. Horton Plains is a must-visit when in Sri Lanka. In 2010, it was declared a Unesco World Heritage site. If you follow our 3-week travel itinerary for Sri Lanka you won’t miss this beautiful place. With its beautiful waterfall, diverse nature, and breathtaking vantage points Horton Plains is one of our favorite places to visit in Sri Lanka. Read along to get all the information you need for your visit to the Horton Plains National Park.
Everything you need to know before visiting Horton Plains
Before visiting Horton Plains National Park there are some things, which are good to know. Therefore, we collected everything you need to know before your visit right here.
Where is Horton Plains in Sri Lanka
Horton Plains National Park is situated in the south-central part of Sri Lanka. That means that the park is located West of Ella and south of Nuwara Eliya. You will not be able to find any accommodation inside the park. Therefore, you will need to stay outside in one of the smaller towns situated close to the park. It’s possible to find a hotel nearby but they are literally in the middle of nowhere. We would recommend you stay in Nuwara Eliya. It’s a very cozy but small town known as Little England.
Getting to Horton Plains
We would recommend you find an accommodation where it’s possible to arrange transportation to Horton Plains National Park. We were so lucky that we stayed at a guesthouse, where our host was so kind to drive us to the park as well as stay (all the hours) and drive us back to the guest house.
It’s also possible to arrange for a private driver or a taxi. But we would definitely recommend you arrange for your driver to stay at the park. That way you have your transportation back to the town secured. The drive from Nuwara Eliya is about 1 hour.
Horton Plains National Park is open to the public every day from 6:00 to 18:00.
The entrance fee for a (foreign) adult is 15 USD which is around 3000 LKR. And the fee for (foreign) children is 8 USD which is around 1550 LKR.
What to bring to Horton Plains National Park
When trekking in Horton Plains some things are a must to bring. Below we have made a list of the things you should bring with you when visiting Horton Plains National Park.
- You are not allowed to bring any plastic. The park has eco-friendly rules and therefore, all plastics will be confiscated at the entrance of the park.
- Bring a backpack for all your belongings.
- Drinking water and snacks
- Sunscreen and maybe a cap (even though it may a bit clouded the sun can still burn you)
- A sweater or other warm clothing for the chilly mornings.
- Good shoes for walking
- Camera (and maybe binoculars)
Trekking in Horton Plains
The Horton Plains trek is about 10 kilometers. This will take you from the visitor center/entrance to some extraordinary landscapes and back again. During your trek, you will visit Little World’s End, World’s End, incredible grassland, forests, and Baker’s Fall.
Depending on your trekking skills we would recommend you set aside 4-5 hours for your visit to Horton Plains National Park. We spent about 5 hours on our trek in Horton Plains. During those 5 hours, we had time to take pauses, gaze at the beautiful landscapes, take pictures and absorb the quietness. As well as we weren’t used to trekking – therefore we took our time. Because of that, we weren’t as fast as other visitors, but Horton Plains is not a place to hurry. So, take your time when you visit.
In total, we spent about 7 hours, including transportation back and forth to Nuwara Eliya, for our visit to Horton Plains National Park.
Bonus tip: Take a picture of the map of the park at the entrance. That way it’s easier not to get lost.
What to see in Hortons Plains
During your hike in Horton Plains National Park, you will discover a diverse nature with grasslands, a beautiful waterfall, incredible rock formations, forests, and breathtaking vantage points. If you are lucky you may even spot some of the wildlife inside the park. Sambar deer, different birds, and monkeys live wild in the national park.
Little World’s End
On your hike to World’s End, you will meet Little World’s End – a vantage point with a 300-meter drop and incredible view. From there it’s possible to hike towards World’s End.
World’s End is an amazing vantage point in the Horton Plains National Park. Standing at World’s End is an incredible experience. World’s End is a cliff with a 1200-meter drop. The view of tea plantation villages is beautiful. And if you are lucky and it’s a clear day it may be possible to see the ocean which is 80 kilometers away.
Baker’s Falls is a wide waterfall hidden inside the forest of Horton Plains National Park. It has a 20-meter drop and it’s possible to get very close. To stand so close to a waterfall and hear its roar is amazing.
Chimney Pool is a beautiful pool in the middle of the grasslands of Horton Plains National Park. The beautiful surroundings and the sound from the small waterfall make it a perfect place for a little break during the Horton Plains trek.
Best time to visit Horton Plains
The best time to visit Horton Plains National Park is in the early morning. In the morning, you have the best possibilities to overlook the area at the different vantage points. Because after a few hours (around 9 AM) the clouds are hanging low over Horton Plains and that creates fog. Therefore, you should visit the park as early as possible before the fog steals the beautiful views.
Another plus of visiting in the morning is the grazing Sambar deer which are often spotted in the area close to the entrance/visitor center. As well as the sunrise – which makes the national park bathed in a magical light.