Did you know?
- Sri Lanka has the highest waterfall density in the world.
- The word “Ella” means ‘waterfall’ in Sinhalese.
With a record of 382 waterfalls in the country, it is indeed difficult to narrow them down to a list of must-visit waterfalls in Sri Lanka. It must be noted that only some of these picturesque waterfalls can be seen during your Sri Lanka tour because most of them are hidden inside dense forests and tea plantations. The most number of waterfalls are in the Ratnapura, Nuwara Eliya, and Kegalle Districts, out of which we have highlighted some of the most beautiful waterfall experiences in Sri Lanka.
1. Baker’s Waterfalls
During your holiday, do include a visit to Horton Plains National Park on your itinerary in Sri Lanka. This is a 9km nature trail with a stunning viewpoint known as World’s End. On this trail, you will come across the Bakers Falls, named after its discoverer – Sir Samuel Baker. Surrounded by gorgeous mountains making a beautiful backdrop, the icy water gushing down forms a curtain of mist around it.
2. Bambarakanda Ella
263m in height, the Bambarakanda Ella is the tallest in Sri Lanka and the 299th tallest in the world. It is a seasonal waterfall that is at its peak capacity from October to March and its remote location makes it slightly tough to access. Kalupahana is the exact location, and is in a forest glade, four miles away from the Colombo – Bandarawela road, but can be reached on the Haputale – Kalupahana Road, 22kms from Balangoda. Due to strong winds blowing across the falls, the entire stream sways to and fro and is a breathtaking view from the mountain top. Definitely something worth adding to the bucket list of experiences in Sri Lanka.
3. Bopath Ella
Bopath Ella is a popular tourist attraction due to its convenient location and easy accessibility. In the shape of a “Bo’ leaf at a 30m height, this heart-shaped falls tempts passersby to stop and spend some time. Bopath Ella is located in Devipahala, off Kuruwita – close to Ratnapura, on the A4 High-Level Road.
4. Ravana Ella
A popular location narrated in the Indian epic – Ramayana, the Ravana Ella is just in front of the Ravana Caves, which is where it is said that King Ravana held Sita captive. With just 25m in height, it has a uniquely wild charm of its own; thereby making it a renowned tourist hotspot. Located in the dry zone, just 6km from the Ella railway station, Ravana Ella serves as a water source for nearby villagers who cultivate the surrounding mountains.
5. Diyaluma Waterfall
6km from Koslanda, in the Badulla District, Diyaluma waterfall flows towards KirindiOya, below a bridge on the Beragala to Wellawaya highway. With a height of 220m, Diyaluma is the 2nd tallest waterfall in Sri Lanka, a beautiful cascade that flows forever in the wilderness. Translation of its name Diyaluma means ‘rapid flow of water’, and the Falls indeed lives up to this name. Also, if you are looking for unique camping experiences in Sri Lanka, the top of Diyaluma Falls is a must-try!
6. Aberdeen Falls
Situated in the Kehelgamuwa mountain range, Aberdeen Falls is a spectacular sight named after Aberdeenshire, the third-largest city in Scotland. The Falls is 98m high and forms part of the Kehelgamuwa River. Accessibility to Aberdeen Falls is most ideally on your route to Nuwara Eliya. From Ginigathena, proceed to the end of Ambatale road and walk about a kilometer. A downwards flight of stairs with a few hundred steps into the jungle and you will see a natural pool into which the waters of Aberdeen falls into. It is safe for adults to take a dip here or you could just stand on the small observation deck constructed here, attractively framed by rocked surfaces.
7. Laxapana Falls
Close to Aberdeen Falls, in the Maskeliya area of Nuwara Eliya district is the Laxapana Falls, the 8th highest in Sri Lanka (126m). Accessibility is at the end of a rugged road, but its outstanding beauty is a reward to the difficult pathway. When you get to the base pool, humans seem pretty minuscule in front of a 400-foot waterfall surrounded by mist but it can be a deep moment indeed. The Laxapana hydro-power plant is sourced with this waterfall, the story behind which the Falls gets its name – Laksha meaning 100,000, and Pahana meaning lamps – a reference to how water diverted from here is used to generate electricity.