Ella is the kind of place you arrive to and don’t want to leave. The small city center is lined with restaurants, cafes, and spas. It is surrounded by lush verdant hills filled with hiking trails.

We stayed above the town at Waterfall View Hotel which is right by the trailhead for the Ella Rock hike.

We booked into a cooking class our first night and got to learn about the simple complexity of Sri Lankan curries.

We woke to a downpour in the morning which squashed plans for the Ella Rock hike. This hike takes 5 hours and takes you across the iconic Ella train tracks that make up the first section of the hike. This will remain on our list of reasons to return to Ella. We spent a quiet morning reading from a hammock and watching the rainfall over the jungle below. Again, we could have spent days doing this!

As the rain cleared we took a tuk tuk into town and went for the shorter Little Adam’s Peak Hike. The hike is easily doable and takes about 30 minutes. The majority of it is a paved path, fifteen minutes in there’s a lady with a stand selling coconut and other juices.

We took ours to go and carried it up to the peak. The last section is a moderately steep 10 minute hike up. The path is clearly marked so be sure to look for the sign. We almost took a wrong turn done an unmarked path.

Having hiked both Adam’s Peak and Little Adam’s Peak- we felt that Little Adam’s Peak is the real winner. A much shorter and easier hike in return for a much better view. We also found the top quite desolate without the crowds we had at the top of Adam’s Peak. This may be because of monsoon season and the fact that we hiked up at noon when perhaps other tourists were at lunch.

The Nine Arches Bridge is another iconic Sri Lankan landmark that we literally “rainchecked” during our visit to Ella. It’s a short drive outside of town and in the opposite direction of our next destination. Due to our late start we decided to save it for our next trip to Ella. There are also several tea plantations in the surrounding area that are also on our list for next time.

We could easily see ourselves returning to Sri Lanka with the sole purpose of spending time in Ella. From Colombo it’s 5-6 hours by car and 7-8 hours by train. Regardless of mode of transportation we know we will be back.