What to do in Hikkadu when it's monsoon weather..? Get even wetter at the beautiful Duli Ella Waterfall we decided! Last week we took our guests there to explore...
It took us a while to get there-longer than usual as the roads had experienced some small landslides from the heavy monsoon rains and often along the way-on the more rural roads-there was partial blockage and teams with diggers trying to clear the way. It was a beautiful journey anyway-with incredible views across the surrounding tea plantations.
This waterfall Duli Ella was named after its dust-like spray (Duli means dust in Sinhala) but on the day we visited, it definitely deserved a more spectacular name! The heavy rainfall previously meant that huge ammouts of water were thundering down the falls, so we could see them at their best!
Duli Ella is on the border of the Sinharaja forest reserve, which was designated a Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site by UNESCO. According to UNESCO's site, "Sinharaja is the country's last viable area of primary tropical rainforest. More than 60% of the trees are endemic and many of them are considered rare. There is much endemic wildlife, especially birds, but the reserve is also home to over 50% of Sri Lanka's endemic species of mammals and butterflies, as well as many kinds of insects, reptiles and rare amphibians." so it's an undeniably important area to protect.
Once we parked, we bought our tickets and then began smearing our feet in Siddhalepa Ayurvedic balm to ward off leeches (Something to be prepared with when entering any rainforest area!) This also had the benefit of smelling amazing!
A nice thing about the falls is that they are very accessible for walkers with strong steps most of the way up and handrails, without them looking too out of place. Once you get to each part of the falls though it starts getting slippy, we had our hearts in our mouths every time a guest stepped close to the falls-this is somewhere to take extra care!
The final part of the ascent to the top was off the path, into the jungle and through the water at the top. This is definitely worthwhile as it opens up into a stunning leafy green space and has a pool at the top that's safe for swimming..our guests also enjoyed an added extra in the form of a fish massage! Lots of small fish cluster around your feet if you stand in the water for a little while, and start nibbling your feet.
On the way down, we had the chance to experience the amazing views across from the water falls. It was hugely atmospheric with the sound of the water crashing behind us and the mist swirling across the hills.
If you don't make it to the very top, or would prefer somewhere still to swim, there is a pool at the bottom of the falls that's perfect to cool off in (or if you're like us and our guests, and have it to yourselves, make a big splash!) This is ideal if you were to bring children and want to enjoy the water with them.
This journey can be done in 2 hours from Hikkaduwa in normal conditions, and you need maybe 1.5 hours there so it's an ideal day trip-if you set out early you can easily be back on the coast to enjoy the sunset. There are also tea plantations and factories you can visit along the way if you don't get the chance to visit any inland.
For more information on tours like this (or adventure tours-our specialty!) You can contact us HERE.