If you’re spending a few days in Nuwara Eliya, then it’s worth making the trip out to Horton’s Plains National Park and exploring World’s End Sri Lanka. We’ve spent time in Nuwara Eliya twice now and visited Horton’s Plains on our first trip to Sri Lanka. Horton’s Plains National Park is about an hour by car from Nuwara Eliya and it is not particularly close to anywhere else, so you’ll need to stay here to visit. Here’s our guide to visiting Worlds End Sri Lanka and to hiking Horton Plains National Park.
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There’s no public transport to get to World’s End, which is inside Horton Plains National Park, so you’ll need to arrange transport, either a tuk-tuk, a car, or a tour. Your accommodation will be able to help, or you can book a tour to World’s End from Nuwara Eliya here.
The World’s End & Hortons Plain Hike
The central highlands of Sri Lanka is a UNESCO-designated site for outstanding natural beauty. You’ll find dramatic landscapes, untouched lands, and a sense of peace here. There’s wildlife here – birds, monkeys, and sambar deer on an easy 9.5-kilometer (6 miles) hike that takes you from the entrance to the National Park to World’s End, and then back via Baker Falls to the entrance.
How to Get to Horton Plains National Park
You’ll need transport from Nuwara Eliya, as there are no buses that go here. So either check the PickMe app for a tuk-tuk or car, book a tour, or ask at your accommodation. You’re going to want to leave early (before dawn), as the views are definitely best in the morning. It tends to get cloudy, misty, or fogged in later in the day.
Entrance Fees for Horton Plain’s National Park
You need to pay to enter Horton Plain’s National Park. There’s a fee for each visitor and there’s also a fee to pay for any vehicle that you’re in to get into the park. Back when we visited it was 2,500 LKR for a foreign visitor. The van we were in cost 6,000 LKR (and we shared it between the four of us who were traveling). You can check the current entrance fees for Horton’s Plains National Park with the Sri Lankan government here, but in 2023 it is priced at US$25 per foreign adult visitor plus other fees and charges.
What it’s like to hike to Worlds End Sri Lanka
We’d arrived in Nuwara Eliya on our first visit a few days earlier, (on the glorious train from Ella to Nuwara Eliya) it was our first stop in Hill Country. We were here to hike Horton’s Plain National Park see World’s End and take some tea. So we found ourselves in a minivan with a German couple.
A 5 a.m. start held the promise of a sunrise en route to the park, but the early morning fog put paid to that.
We could see Adam’s Peak in the distance (read our guide to hiking Adam’s Peak here), and then the fog cleared for a glorious day.
We paid our entrance fees and herein lies the disappointment. The entrance for four foreigners to Horton’s Plains was 2,500 LKR each. Plus it cost us 1,500 LKR each for the minivan. Today the cost is US$15, or whatever rate the Sri Lankan Government has decided. It’s not as expensive as going on a Yala National Park Safari, even though that was actually really good value!
Whereas our hike to Ella Rock and Little Adam’s Peak and our hike up to Adam’s Peak itself were all free, this hike and visit cost us 4,000 LKR each. Don’t get me wrong the views are stunning, and the walk is easy and pleasant, but there’s not a huge amount more.
There are few animals to see here, we spotted sambar deer, but that’s about it.
We hiked from the entrance to “mini-worlds end”, then to “World’s End”, then to the Bakers Fall waterfall, and back. It’s a circular route of around 9 kilometers that takes around 3 hours.
Some of the route is through the trees, some along tracks that are well maintained, and others that are not.
Other parts of the route are on open grassland.
Little World’s End is a cliff that drops off for a view of the valley below.
World’s End is a bigger cliff (an 880 meter drop – 2887 feet) with a view of the valley and “as far as the ocean on a clear day”.
However. It’s not a long hike and you’ll be back in Nuwara Eliya in time for a good cup of tea and lunch.
Key Tips on Hiking World’s End & Hortons Plain
If you’re thinking of visiting World’s End and hiking Horton’s Plain National Park in Sri Lanka, then here’s the key information that you’ll need to prepare for this Sri Lanka day hike.
How long does it take to hike World’s End & Hortons Plain?
It takes about 3-4 hours to hike the circular route, depending on how long you stop at the viewpoints and the waterfalls. It’s about an hour to go from Nuwara Eliya to the National Park.
What should you wear to hike World’s End & Hortons Plain?
We hiked in t-shirts, with a fleece for the morning, until it warmed up. I wore shorts and my regular Merrells. I took sunglasses and a sunhat.
Do you need Hiking Poles to trek to World’s End & Hortons Plain?
No. Going to Horton Plain’s National Park and hiking World’s End Sri Lanka is an easy circular hike on mostly well-made tracks. There are very few – if any – inclines and downhill sections. It’s all very flat.
What’s the trail like to World’s End & Hortons Plain?
The trail to World’s End Sri Lanka is well-made and reasonably well-maintained. It’s not a difficult hike at all and taking 3 hours to do this hike is a leisurely day out.
How hard is it to hike World’s End & Hortons Plain?
This is an easy hike, more of a walk really. It’s a circular trail. There are a few rolling hills, but nothing particularly difficult.
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Final Words on Visiting World’s End Sri Lanka
Horton’s Plain National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site in Sri Lanka’s Central Highlands. It’s located at an elevation of just over 2,100 meters ( 6,900 feet) and you’ll find grasslands and cloud forests here. The park was named after the British Governor of Ceylon, Sir Robert Wilmot-Horton. The most famous part of the park is the World’s End cliffs, where on a clear day you can see all the way to the Indian Ocean.
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