The best things to do in Ella come in many forms. Hiking on the trails and rock formations, as well as hanging out at waterfalls, are popular outdoor activities in and around this small town’s tourism attractions. While the streets of Colombo and Kandy may be hectic and frenetic at times, Ella offers a laid-back backpacker atmosphere that will let you unwind and de-stress after a long day of traveling in Sri Lanka.

little adams peak in ella

Little Adams Peak Ella

Ella Rock

Ella Rock

Ella Cooking Class

Cooking Demonstration in Ella

Ella 9-Arch Bridge

Ella Train Ride

Diyaluma Falls Sri Lanka

Diyaluma Falls 

Mountain Heaven Pool Ella

Mountain Heaven Pool Ella

Things to do in Ella – The Shortlist

  • Hike Little Adam’s Peak
  • Hike to Ella Rock
  • Attend a cooking class
  • A Udawalawe National Park day safari
  • Ride the scenic train to/from Kandy
  • Chill at the pool of Mountain Heavens
  • Swim and go canyoneering in Diyaluma Falls

The Seven Best Things to Do in Ella

Here are the seven coolest things to do in Ella, Sri Lanka, to get your vacation off to a flying start.

1. Hike Little Adam’s Peak

Little Adam’s Peak is a great option if you don’t feel up to climbing Adam’s Peak. Before dawn is the ideal time to begin your walk since the weather is still mild enough to witness a spectacular sunrise over the surrounding hills and mountain ranges. Hiking Little Adam’s Peak is one of the best things to do in Ella.

Ella’s town center is around 30 to 40 minutes away from the summit of Little Adam’s Peak. In addition, the path is well signposted and straightforward to follow. You’ll have no problem finding your way around. Because the mountains in the area are so high, the sun begins to rise, and the sky brightens up long before it passes through the mountains.

Because you won’t need to use flashlights, the walk will be much more enjoyable, and you’ll be able to see the dawn while doing it.

2. Best Things to Do in Ella: Hike Ella Rock

In Ella, you should also check out the Ella Rock Hike. It’s a little more difficult than Little Adams Peak, but the views from the top make it all worthwhile. It’s harder to find than Little Adams Peak since it’s unmarked. Even though the terrain is rather flat, the last stretch is very steep. Returning to the trailhead to complete the walk may take up to four hours.

Afternoons are ideal for heading out since the weather begins to the drop down. We recommend waiting for the sunset only if you’re prepared to go down in the dark, such as with headlamps and good hiking shoes.

The return is very steep, so avoid doing it at night. 

3. Attend a cooking class

Attending a cookery class is another one of the best things to do in Ella. This is an excellent chance to learn how to make traditional Sri Lankan rice and curry, a staple of the country’s cuisine.

Additionally, they’ll advise you about the ingredients utilized in Sri Lankan cuisine as well as the country’s history and culture as a whole. Ella has a slew of family-run eateries that provide cooking lessons for visitors. If you like the cuisine at a certain restaurant, we recommend asking the wait staff about it. You may book directly with them if they arrange culinary courses!

4. Udawalawe National Park day safari

Udawalawe National Park is about a two-hour drive from Ella, so plan on waking up early if you want to go on a safari at dawn. 

In the national park, expect to see a lot of elephants and other fascinating creatures like crocodiles and buffaloes lounging about in the sun. It’s possible to spot your first elephant even before entering the park. Those who go on the safari as a day excursion and then try other best things to do in Ella should be back in time for lunch if they want to do so.

5. Ride the scenic train to/from Kandy

Remember to take the train when it’s time to go Ella! The Kandy-to-Ella railway line is hailed as one of the world’s most scenic, and with good reason.

You’ll pass through beautiful mountain scenery and tea plantations on the way. If you don’t reserve a seat in advance, you risk having to stand the whole way.

Take the train like a native and take pictures of the whole train slithering behind you by booking a third-class seat. All of those online photos and videos can’t possibly capture the magnificent vista that awaits you on the train ride back to Kandy. While there are many things to do in Ella, the train ride is perhaps the most popular.

6. Chill at the pool of Mountain Heavens

There’s a reason it’s called “Mountain Heavens.” The Mountain Heavens Hotel’s pool is just 550 LKR for an hour.

When it’s hot and humid outside, this pool is the ideal respite. If you’re staying in a hotel without a pool, this is a great option for kicking back and relaxing. Views of Ella’s tea plantations and mountains may be had from the infinity pool. Consequently, many visitors consider it to be one of the best things to do in Ella. 

7. Swim and go canyoneering in Diyaluma Falls

Even though it’s further away, the Diyaluma Falls are much cooler. Locals will volunteer to guide you and transport you to Diyaluma Falls for 2000 LKR once you get to the parking area. However, a guide is highly recommended since the path isn’t signposted, and it’s impossible to locate the falls on your own without help.

It’s possible to swim in rock pools near the 220-meter edge of Diyaluma Falls’ peak. When you combine it with breath-taking vistas, you’ve got yourself a winner.