One of Sri Lanka’s most popular places is Ella’s backpacker village. Until I told you, I was afraid Ella would be too touristy for us. This turned out to be totally unfounded as Ella is still a simple, charming and particularly small-scale village in Sri Lanka’s interior. In Ella itself, there’s not much to do, but in the field around it. I would like to ask you why, during your trip through Sri Lanka, you really should stay in Ella for a few days.
The Ravana Waterfalls is one of Ella’s best known must do. These waterfalls are situated outside the village a few kilometers away and are used as a public bathroom by the locals. We rented a scooter and in less than half an hour we rode to the falls. We passed beautiful deep valleys and intense green mountains along the way. In this area, it is highly recommended to travel by scooter! It’s easy to put the scooter off at the waterfall and there are a variety of people who want to keep your helmet off. Really convenient, so when you leave, it’s nice to buy something as a thank you at their kiosk. Many people come to paddle, swim, or shower at the Ravana Waterfalls. I didn’t feel like I needed it.
Visit a tea factory
For decent honesty, you couldn’t have visited Sri Lanka without seeing inside a tea factory. Ella is in the heart of the tea plantations in Sri Lanka, and here you have more than enough chances to visit a tea factory. We chose the Halpewatte Tea Factory, a well-known factory. This turned out to be a good reason: we got a very extensive tour from a professional guide for a couple of euros. He explained all about making tea and we knew exactly how these green leaves end up as tea in our hot water after the trip. Unfortunately, taking pictures inside was prohibited.
Nine Arches Bridge
In the colonial period, the Nine Arches Bridge was built by the British. This was a masterpiece of architecture at the time, and it is still admired the design of this railway bridge. We stayed outside of Ella in a homestay and our host told us we could quickly get to the bridge through a short inner lane. This turned out to be quite an adventure, where several times we lost the path. This was all worth it in the end, as suddenly the Nine Arches Bridge appeared in the thick forest. Immediately, after a brisk walk through a completely green landscape, it was very surprising to see the bridge. On the bridge itself, there’s nothing to do, you’re just coming here for the spectacular view.
First: don’t get the title fooled. You can’t enter this conventional temple. The Temple of Buduruwagala is a stone in which various figures of Buddha are carved. It’s about 16 kilometers below Ella, making a scooter trip a perfect goal. It was said at our home that we would drive to get there for hours. It turned out to be just 2 hours later. It’s perfect! In this way, you can travel by peace for something to eat or drink or take a break in time. Around the base, the nature reserve is very beautiful and serene. A romantic environment was created by herons, water lilies and beautiful trees. I felt like I was in a fairy tale. The great thing about and around Buduruwagala.
Scooter tour through the Hill Country
Ella is in the middle of what is known as the Hill Country. This is the core of tea production in Sri Lanka. North of Ella, as far as the eye can see, you’ll find tea plantation after tea plantation. In the afternoon we were driving inland with our scooter and it was really beautiful. Most of the tea plantations are against the hills, so you’re driving through a rolling landscape full of intensely green plants. Everywhere you see people picking tea on their backs with large baskets. Keep an eye on that! They want a fee for this if you take pictures up close. Logical, but useful to know beforehand. You will also find several tea factories here, of course. Normally, however, these are not ready for.
I lived in Ella at Rustle Hill Homestay. This was one of my favorite homes ever. The owners are so sweet and with everything, they try to help you. Highly recommended!
There’s plenty to do around Ella, as you can see, to keep you entertained for a few days. You can enjoy good food and drink in the village itself, so you can have a great time here, even if you want to rest a day. Tip: if you don’t want to do anything for a day, go to Café Chill. This place is beautifully decorated and there are bean bags and a lounge corner on the roof terrace. All in all, Ella is a fun place to spend a couple of days.