Horton Plains: A magical place in the clouds

Filed in Asia, Sri Lanka by on May 13, 2016 • views: 1532
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Visiting Horton Plains

If you plan on visiting Sri Lanka, make sure you put Horton Plains in your schedule.  This unusual place is not to be missed.  I have personally been here 5 times and always look forward to going back.  One can never get tired of its exotic breathtaking scenery.

Adam's Peak in the Distant at Sunrise from Horton Plains

Adam’s Peak in the Distant at Sunrise from Horton Plains

Getting There

It’s just an hour and-a-half drive from Nuwara Eliya and the views to the plateau are well worth it at sunrise!  Your hotel can arrange this for you. You can also take the train to Ohiya and get a ride from there.

Entrance Fees

Starting at around US$24 (2014 rates), you can hire a car and driver to take you up there and back. The entrance is US$15 per adult.

Why Go

As soon as you reach the plateau heading up from Nuwara Eliya which is about a 1.5 hours drive, one can see breathtaking views of the Knuckles Mountain Range. The exotic landscapes will make you feel like you have just stepped onto an uninhabited planet.  At this forest in the clouds there are around 188 plant species, of which 63 are native to Sri Lanka, 57 tree species, 101 plant-flowering species, 64 bird species, and 19 mammal species.  The friendly “welcome deer” will greet your arrival.

The "Welcome Deer" at Horton Plains

The “Welcome Deer” at Horton Plains

Exotic Plants at Horton Plains

Exotic Plants at Horton Plains

Exotic Flowers by the Reflecting Pond at Horton Plains

Exotic Flowers by the Reflecting Pond at Horton Plains

When to Go

You must start the World’s End, Baker’s Fall’s Loop Trail by 8am or you risk getting stuck in the fog and not being able to see the spectacular views.  The entire loop takes about 4 hours with lots of rest stops.  The trail is well paved and well-marked in some places, but in others, it is possible to get lost and the erosion can twist an ankle if you are not careful.  Make sure you bring water, snacks, warm clothes, and hiking boots.  The annual mean temperature is 13C and the driest months are usually November, December, January, February, and March. During this time, there is also frost at night. The annual mean rainfall is over 2,000mm so be prepared for sudden rain too. This is also the only national park in Sri Lanka where you are allowed to walk around on your own.  Why not take advantage of this and enjoy the scenery at your own pace?

Trekking Down Some Slippery Terran at Horton Plains

Trekking Down Some Slippery Terran at Horton Plains

"Big World's End" from a Higher Point at Horton Plains

“Big World’s End” from a Higher Point at Horton Plains

Trail to Baker's Falls at Horton Plains

Trail to Baker’s Falls at Horton Plains

Baker's Falls at Horton Plains

Baker’s Falls at Horton Plains

 

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About the Author ()

A global citizen who has spent 40 years traveling mostly through Africa and Asia. To date she has been to 81 countries on 7 continents and currently resides in Uijeongbu, South Korea where she writes about her travels around the world.

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