Attractions in Sri Lanka’s Hill Country

The ‘Hill Country’ or ‘Up Country’ region in Sri Lanka broadly refers to the mountainous regions in the central part of the island. With large green mountains standing proudly, expanses of lush green tea plantations and a mist-ridden climate of cool temperatures, this region is a blend of natural scenic beauty and prime historical and cultural importance. Visitors to this unique part of Sri Lanka will certainly have no shortage of sites to see.

Adam’s Peak

Standing at 2243 metres, Adam’s Peak is the fifth largest mountain in the country. The Peak is a popular site for Sinhalese pilgrims owing to a unique imprint on the bare rock’s summit which is believed to be a footprint left by the Buddha on one of his visits to the island. The intense climb is usually done during the pilgrim season at night time (January to April).

Horton Plains

Horton Plains National Park in Sri Lanka | Image by Prasadtharanga via Wikimedia Commons,CC BY-SA 4.0

The Horton Plains forms an undulating plateau of over 2000 metres high nestled next to Kirigalpotta and Totapola, Sri Lanka’s second and third-largest mountains. It is a popular hiking spot, with the most popular trail being the 9 km trip to World’s End – a stunning point at which the cliffs suddenly fall away giving trekkers a jaw-dropping view. This makes it one of the best tourist places in Sri Lanka. Tourists staying at the nearest of the Heritance Hotels & Resorts can arrange a trip to visit the Horton Plains for the trek of a lifetime.

Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic

The historic city of Kandy lies on the outskirts of the Hill Country and is definitely worth visiting for those interested in Sri Lanka’s cultural heritage. While there, it is worth visiting the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic which houses a tooth of the Buddha, considered to be one of the country’s most important relics. Visitors can also explore a series of smaller shrines and museums that contain more information about Sri Lanka’s Buddhist history.

Udawalawe National Park

This is one of the country’s finest parks and is home to elephant herds, buffalo, spotted deer, sambars, giant squirrels, water monitor lizards, jackals, crocodiles and leopards. It also has over 200 bird species and 30 varieties of snakes. The park is centred on the Uda Walawe Reservoir and its light vegetation makes game-watching and observing animals fairly easy.

Peradeniya Botanical Gardens

Once reserved for Kandyan royalty, these stunning gardens of 60 hectares are now open to the public. Visitors will have plenty to marvel at from a beautiful collection of orchids, an avenue of royal palms, the giant Cannonball fruit tree, and the massive Javan fig tree. In total, the garden features more than 4000 plant species including spices and medicinal plants. The Gardens are also home to fruit bats and monkeys.


The Buduruwagala temple is another popular attraction in the hill country, featuring several intricately carved statues of figures from the Mahayana school of Buddhist tradition and thought. The most noteworthy of the statues is the 15-metre tall standing Buddhist statue which is the largest statue on the island. This magnificent figure is accompanied by 6 other statues, three on its left and right. Those with a fascination for religious history and culture will find their trip to Buduruwagala worthwhile.