SRI LANKATop 5 things to do in Ella
TOP 5 THINGS TO DO IN ELLA
1. NINE ARCHES BRIDGE & BEST PHOTO SPOTS
The top thing to do here may not come as a surpirse, the Nine Arches Bridge. It is just as beautiful in real life as all the pictures you’ve been seeing online. We spent about 3 hours at this lovely place. A tip I believe anyone would appreciate is that you should come here just after the 9.25 or 10.56 train has departed. Most of the people will leave the area and you will see it without hoards of people along the tracks and the tea fields. Take the pictures that don’t include the train in this time and then find your perfect spot for photographing the train (the one in our pictures is the 12.00 train). Bring plenty of water and some snacks – we forgot those and regretted it quite a lot.
Below you will find a very detailed guide to the best photo spots. Each marked in the sequence we have taken pics in and the example pics from these spots.
X1: This view is from the path leading down to the bridge.
X2: Once you reach the tracks go to the right side (the opposite side of the tunnel) and go down the tea fields. It is not the easiest terrain, so be careful when you make your way down between the bushes.
X3: Walking on train tracks away from the tunnel. Be cautious.
X4: Walking on the tracks towards turned towards the tunnel. Be cautious!
X5: Sitting on the bridge. Please be cautious when doing this.
X6: Turn your back to the tunnel and you will have a good view of X2 as well.
X7: Take a little path on the side of tracks to go above the tunnel.
X8: Go up the path into the forest and find a good view of the bridge.
2. HIKE LITTLE ADAM’S PEAK
Little Adam’s Peak is an easy-intermediate hike (according to me) and it takes about 20-30 minutes to reach the top. We started our hike after having lunch at 98 Acres Resort & Spa as the path leads straight from there. This hike is esily done without a guide and as long as it’s not dark out, you can come here anytime. We skipped Ella Rock due to time and don’t have any regrets about it.
98 Acres Resort & Spa.
3. EAT AT 360 ELLA
Even though it looks like a ‘proper’ tourist restaurant, you will not regret eating here. We returned to 360 Ella 3 times in two days. We LOVED their kotu roti and dare to say it was the best Sri Lankan dish we had during our entire 2 week stay.
I would also like to add here that if you plan to eat at Cafe Chill (literally everyone will recommend you this place) – don’t. The crowds, the service, the food and the cocktails were awful when we were there and it felt like the biggest tourist trap in entire Sri Lanka. We disliked it so much, we went to 360 Ella after eating at Chill, just so we can end the night with a good vibe and some live music.
TIP: bring a deck of cards when in Ella and take it with you everywhere. Especially to cafes!
360 Ella live music.
4. RAVANA FALLS
On our way from Udawalawe we luckily drove past Ravana Falls. It was a beautiful sight to see even with the huge amounts of tourists. The waterfall is just by the road – I wish we had our swimsuits ready though, it would be perfect to take a little swim in one of the pools. I would add that if we had the time we would probably pay a visit to the Diyaluma Falls – it looked magical on the pictures we saw. But if you are on a tight schedule and in a mood to take a swim in cenral Sri Lanka – this is it!
5. TAKE THE BLUE TRAIN FROM ELLA TO KANDY
Leave Ella in style and take the blue train to Kandy. With beautiful views of tea fields and Sri Lankan nature you will definitely be happy you didn’t opt for a private driver.
TIP: this ride is more and more popular and if you want to make sure you will get a seat, pre-buy your tickets. We bought ours at the train station two days before the departure and the train was already almost fully booked.
Ella to Kandy train ride.
Ella to Kandy on a blue train.