Horton Plains National Park

Horton Plains-3621

Horton Plains national park is a beautiful, silent, strange world with some excellent hikes in the shadows of Sri Lanka’s second and third highest mountains, Kirigalpotta (2395m) and Thotapola (2359m). The ‘plains’ themselves for man undulating plateau over 2000m high, covered by wild grasslands and interspersed with patches of thick forest, rocky outcrops, filigree waterfalls and misty lakes. The surprising diversity of the landscape is matched by the wide variety of wildlife.Horton-Plains-3621

The plateau comes to a sudden end at World’s End, a stunning escarpment that plunges 880m. Unless you get there early the view from World’s End is often obscured by mist, particularly during the rainy season from April to September. The early morning is the best time to visit, before the clouds roll in. That’s when you’ll spy toy town tea plantation villages in the valley below, and an unencumbered view south towards the coast. In the evening and early morning you’ll need long trousers and a sweater, but the plains warm up quickly, so take a hat for sun protection. The weather is clearest January to March.
World’s End

This is the only national park in Sri Lanka where visitors are permitted to walk on their own (on designated trails only). The walk to World’s End is 4km, but the trail loops back to Baker’s Falls (2km) and continues back to the entrance (another 3.5km). The round trip is 9.5km and takes a leisurely three hours. Note that around 9am to 10am the mist usually comes down. All you can expect to see from World’s End after this time is a swirling white wall. If you aim for a 5.30am to 6am departure from Nuwara Eliya or Haputale and get to World’s End around 7am, you’ll have a good chance of spectacular views.

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