Best Hikes in Sri Lanka: Adam’s Peak in the Low Season

Published by tavernatravels on

Hiking Adam's Peak Sri Lanka

Before attempting the climb to Adam’s Peak I heard a lot of mixed reviews on whether or not the hike is worth it during the rainy season. My opinion? Absolutely! Hiking to the summit of Adam’s Peak has been one of the highlights of my trip to Sri Lanka. Read on find out everything you need to know about hiking during the rainy season!

The Best Sri Lanka Itinerary: Sunrise at Adam's Peak

The Basics

Name: Adam’s Peak (Sri Pada)
Location: Central Sri Lanka (Nallathanniya)
Popular Route: Hatton-Nallathanni
Height: 2,243 meters
Difficulty Level: Medium-Hard
Duration: ~ 5 hours
Cost: Free

Adam's Peak Hike

Where to Stay

The easiest way to access the trail to Adam’s Peak is through a town called Dalhousie (Nallathannyia). While there is not much to see in this area it provides an excellent starting point for the hike as the hotels are all walking distance. It is important, however, that you do NOT stay in Hatton. Many hotels in this area advertise close proximity to the hike, however you will need to drive 1.5 hours before starting your climb. We stayed at the Grand Adam’s Peak. With rooms starting at 18 USD/night it is basic while still providing everything that you need for your hike. The views are absolutely incredible! You will be able to reach the start of the climb within 10 minutes on foot. If you are traveling during the low season then you can often bargain with the hotels for cheaper rates.

Hiking Adam's Peak - Sri Lanka

Adam's Peak - Sri Lanka Hikes

What to Pack

It is important that you pack all of the essentials when attempting this hike. We were extremely lucky as we had very good weather, however since Sri Lanka’s low season is often accompanied by a lot of rain it is important you pack properly. This means making sure to pack raincoats, waterproof pants (if possible), and some sort of waterproof bag (a plastic baggie in my case) in order to keep your electronics safe. It is also important that you pack a warm jacket as the summit gets extremely cold. Although many hikers arrived to the top in tank tops and t-shirts, they quickly added heavy layers, some even putting on winter hats and gloves.

Packing List:
– Proper walking shoes (hiking boots are not necessary but helpful)
– Raincoat/poncho, waterproof pants, waterproof bag
– Warm jacket
– Snacks (most guesthouses will pack you breakfast on request)
– Money (for donations and/or tea or coffee)
– Flashlight (you will be starting in the middle of the night)
– Camera (the views are just incredible)

Adam's Peak - Sri Lanka Hikes Best Hikes in Sri Lanka - Adam's Peak

Looking for more Sri Lanka inspiration? Check out my photo guide here!

What to Expect

Reaching the summit of Adam’s Peak is definitely a challenging hike, however it is more than worth it for the views! Most hikers start their ascent at 2:00am in order to reach the summit by sunrise. If you are staying in Nallathanniya then you will be taking the Hatton Road (make sure to take the same trail back down). The average climb takes approximately 3 hours, with faster hikers reaching it in 2 hours and those going at a slower pace requiring closer to 4 hours.

The path starts out rather flat and becomes increasingly steeper as you go on. There are quite a few steps (276 flights according to an app on my phone) so be prepared for a proper butt workout haha! There are some stops along the way, however if you are traveling during the off season you will find that most of these shops are closed. Approximately 30 minutes from the top, and right before the steepest part of the climb, you will come across a small shop selling snacks, water, coffee, and tea.

While hiking during the rainy season does mean that rain is more likely, it also means that you will find far fewer hikers on the trail. Unfortunately it also means that the temple on the top will not be open, however the incredible sunrise views more than make up for it. For the most part the trail is well marked, as you follow along one path, however you will come to a fork in the road early on in the trail. When you come to the fork make sure to take the left path.

Looking for more things to do in Sri Lanka? Check out my full guide here!

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10 Comments

faith · October 28, 2017 at 12:56 pm

Wow what a spectacular hike, not something I could manage anymore but it is lovely to hike vicariously through your great photos.

Karin · October 28, 2017 at 1:21 pm

Gorgeous photos! I would definitely like to hike this one when I make it to Sri Lanka one day! Glad to see it is also possible in the rainy season.

Christina · October 28, 2017 at 2:01 pm

Beautiful guide!! I’ve been wanting to visit Sri Lanka since forever, and this post certainly didn’t help haha 😉 That photo of the sun peeking behind the mountain is so stunning. I’d love to do this hike one day. Thanks for the inspo! <3

Taylor · October 28, 2017 at 5:38 pm

Love the awesome pictures!

Taylor · October 28, 2017 at 6:17 pm

Love the awesome pictures! I pinned a few of them. I’ve never been a crazy hiker but I think I would have to take on the Adam’s peak. Look absolutely stunning at the top!

Caroline · October 28, 2017 at 6:46 pm

Wow this looks like such an epic hikes, especially with those sunrise views! Definitely looks like it was worth that tough hike. Gorgeous photos!!

Michael · October 28, 2017 at 7:37 pm

Sunrise hikes are always the best, anywhere in the world. Your photos inspire a visit to Adams Peak as well. 😉

Amy · October 28, 2017 at 11:43 pm

Oh my goodness! Adam’s Peak is now on my bucket list. Great pictures!

Frances · October 30, 2017 at 11:53 am

What a beautiful hike!! I would love to do this, thanks so much for putting it on my radar for when we visit Sri Lanka!

Kim Bui · November 1, 2017 at 3:23 am

Adam’s Peak is such an epic hike! What stunning views to be rewarded with at the summit. Would love to visit Sri Lanka one day, adding this hike to the list!

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