Sri Lanka is a great country for doing all types of hikes with amazing jaw-dropping views, World’s End being one of them!
When it came to Horton plains (also known as The World’s End), I hesitated and wondered if I should go.
First, I was a solo traveler and going to Horton Plains National Park would mean I needed to find somebody to share a van with me (the only way to get to the national park).
Second, even if I did find a companion, it is still not that cheap (I will give you the price breakdown below).
I tried to ask people I met on the way in other locations in Sri Lanka, but everybody was either going another direction, or had already done it.
UPDATE: Check out the new article about the Best 10 Days Itinerary in Sri Lanka!
So, in the end I decided I would go to the closest city (Nuwara Eliya), explore it for a day, and if I didn’t find anybody, would move on.
And you can’t imagine how surprised I was, when after just an hour in the city, a Swiss couple approached me on the street and asked me if I would like to go to Horton Plains and share the cost of hiring a van with them. That was a sign! The next morning we were visiting the only national park in Sri Lanka, where you are allowed to walk, around instead of being inside a jeep.
If you are planning your trip to Sri Lanka or are just curious how it all works there, read on. I am going to share some useful tips with you in this post!
Where to stay
A good choice would be to stay in Nuwara Eliya, like I did. It is located 32 km. away from the plains. Accommodation prices vary. For example, a nice brand new hotel with a great mountain view was 2000 rupees per room. It is called “Chez Allen” if interested.
Other choices to stay in Nuwara Eliya:
- Luxury – Stafford Bungalow is great for those searching for a secluded luxury experience. Along with outstanding 5 star service and beautiful decor, you will also get bicycles and a tea plantation excursion included for all guests of the hotel.
- Middle budget – Holiday home Lemon Court offers a terrace, views of the mountains and has great room décor but book in advance! In the very heart of the city, at Villa Cassandra you will find a garden, barbecue facilities, a terrace and hospitable staff.
- Budget accommodation – Mount Mary Inn is located in Nuwara Eliya, 2 km from Gregory Lake. Mount Mary Inn features free WiFi access and free private parking. The Fern Inn is even cheaper, has amazing reviews and clean rooms, but it is a bit farther from the center.
You can also stay in Ohiya. It is closer to the park (just 8 km), but not as nice as Nuwara Eliya in my opinion.
Please remember, that when in Sri Lanka, the prices for hotels are never fixed. Unless you have a booking, you should always bargain. They give you a high price just to see, maybe you will agree, who knows? But you have to be insistent and not give up. 🙂 🙂
How to get to Horton Plains
If there are two of you, you can get to Horton plains from Nuwara Elia by tuk-tuk (from 3000 rupees). If you are 3 or more it is more convenient to go with a van (from 3500 rupees).
When to go there
My Swiss friends and I started at 5:30 in the morning from Nuwara Eliya. With all the stops we got to the entrance in 2 hours, so by 7:30 a.m.
Note: It is really important to get to The World’s End before 10:oo a.m. After that time it will be cloudy and you will not see anything.
We were quite lucky, only one cloud blocked the view for a while, and then it was clear. Here are the pictures for the comparison, so that you can see and understand how important it is to wake up early!
The entrance fee is very complicated to calculate, here is a picture of the information they provide.
But in fact, you never actually calculate that. Your van driver just tells you the approximate price. For us 5 the entrance was 3000 rupees per person. It was probably more than we had to pay, but well, whatever…
My final price was around 4000 rupees everything included. That is around $30 or 25€.
When inside the national park
Beyond an outstanding view, you will also the chance to enjoy the local flora and fauna. All the important info is written in English, so you can get to know information without needing a local guide.
There are many bird species and our driver said there are leopards, too. I don’t know about that, but I definitely saw this cute deer; it was such a nice experience!
You should also know that the staff cares about the environment. Thus, you won’t be allowed inside with plastic bags. But don’t worry, they will give you a paper substitute instead.
The trail itself is very easy, it can be done with close to no physical effort. When you begin, you will have a choice of 2 directions- right and left. The trail is circular, so it actually doesn’t really matter which one you choose. I’d recommend taking the right path because this way you will not follow the crowd and you will be on your own.
Whatever route you choose, don’t miss out on Baker’s Falls; it is also very beautiful.
And of course, the main point of all this- you will get to see 2 amazing view points: the World’s End (870 m (2800 ft. drop), and the Little World’s end (270 m. (890 ft.). If it is clear, you will be able to see all the way to Adam’s Peak.
Additionally, people usually miss a small museum that is located right before the main entrance near the toilets. Check it out on the way out, it is nice and it is included in the price.
How long it will take
Not long, all together with all the stops around 2-2.5 hours. The walk itself is not challenging at all; it’s definitely not like hiking Adam’s peak.
Where to go after
Because you alrdeay have a driver, and you are flexible, he can drop you off at the train station for you to continue your journey with the famous scenic train. In this case, you should take your luggage with you. Tell your van driver to drop you off at a train station called Pattipola (the most elevated train station in Sri Lanka!).
Whichever direction you take, the ride is extremely beautiful!
I took my train to Ella. All about it in the next post.
Is it really worth it?
Honestly, if you are traveling on budget – I would say not really.
There are so many other stunning places to visit absolutely for free! I would say. Little Adam’s Peak in Ella is amazing, and it is also not that hard to climb. Lipton Seat is called Little World’s End sometimes and free of charge…
Besides, there is no guarantee you will get to see the view at World’s End even if you wake up at 5:00 in the morning. The weather in this part of Sri Lanka is very tricky and you never know what to expect. In fact, none of my friends who went there were lucky, only me.
Nevertheless if you are ok spending $30-$40 per person, the walk itself to the World’s End in Sri Lanka is very nice and enjoyable. Almost no physical effort is required! It is definitely not as challenging as Adam’s peak!
In this case, I would say – try your luck!
Thanks for reading
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