The hilly town of Ella, in the Badulla District of Sri Lanka, is an ideal destination for people trying to break the routine of the warm and humid climate of the coastal Sri Lanka. Ella, situated in the middle of a beautiful green countryside, is situated at 1,041 meter above the sea level and is surrounded by even higher mountains.
Wildly known as a backpackers’ paradise; Ella offers a variety of accommodation options to fit every travellers’ needs. This town has a nice laid-back feel to it and offers good variety of local restaurants and activities. Due to its elevation, Ella experiences an average temperature ranging from 22 to 28 degree Celsius which makes it an ideal all year-round destination. Ella has plenty to offer ranging from mountains, tea-plantations and cascading waterfalls to spectacular scenery and landscape, making it a perfect destination for morning and evening walks around the town. It makes an ideal base for people who want to explore the magnificent green valleys of Sri Lanka. Ella has something for every kind of a traveller. Climb up little Adam’s peak or walk along the railroads on the Nine Arch Bridge. Enjoy the endless tea plantations or get a shower under the Ravana waterfall or hike up the trail leading to the Ella Rock to enjoy the awe-inspiring view of the endless valleys. For the adrenaline junkie in you, Ella offers a choice of sports activities like paragliding, canoeing, camping, rock climbing, fishing, mountain biking, caving, train tours and wildlife safaris. For someone who wants to learn about the local community, Ella gives you a chance to understand the lifestyle of Sri Lankan locals whose main occupation is agriculture and farming. Walk thought the town and set out to explore Ella’s agricultural zone, where you will see paddy grown on mountain terraces similar to what you have seen in the postcards.
Essential travel information and Ella tips for your visit
- Time zone: Sri Lanka Standard Time Zone (UTC+5:30) Summer (DST): UTC+6
- Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee
- Electricity and Internet: The standard voltage is 230 V. 4G/LTE Broadband is available in Sri Lanka while most hotels provide Wi-Fi.
- Languages: Sinhala, Tamil, English
- Pick pockets and Safes: If you are planning to carry the valuables and important documents along, make sure to hold them in front of your body, so as to avoid any mishap. If you are planning to leave it behind, make sure you keep it safe at the Hotel lockers. Check with the Hotel if they provide any such facility before you book.
- Tipping: Tipping is part of the culture, and you are under an unspoken obligation to follow it. Round up to the nearest LKR 50 or LKR 100.
- What to Wear: While hiking in Ella, cover yourself modestly, and don’t forget to pack few warm clothes and a raincoat. It will save you from the changing weather, and unwanted stares from the locals, as Sri Lanka is a conservative country. Avoid wearing flip-flops and shorts as there are many leaches found due to the thick vegetation. In case of a leach bite, stay calm and do not try to forcefully remove the leach as it may lead to further infection and try to get assistance as soon as possible.
- Touts: Beware of the touts claiming to help you as they will undoubtedly lead you to shops/ sellers wherein they can earn more commission off you. Be firm in saying “No, thank you” and be polite always. When in doubt, always ask your guide and/or driver, and they will be able to help you.
- Bargaining: Do not get into bargaining at small shops if you have no intention of purchasing the good. It is frowned upon by the locals, and is considered rude.
- Hygiene and Precaution: Use only bottled water at all times. Avoid eating any raw food outside of the hotels, such as salad. There are very few public washrooms along the way, bear this in mind when planning a long journey.
- Bugs: Make sure to pack an insect repellent cream or spray along.
Here's how much it will cost to shop in Ella
Local calling per minute on Prepaid mobile 0.01 USD
International Movie per seat 2.76 USD
Summer clothing in a chain store 19.37 USD
Pair of Basic Nike Shoes 35.82 USD
Pair of Basic Levis Jeans 23.42 USD
*Stats and figures mentioned are crowd-sourced and subjected to change without notice.