A Hike To World’s End And Back
After our first few hikes up Sigiriya Rock and Adams Peak, we thought what more could this tiny island in the Indian Ocean have to offer? It really does amaze me how diverse and amazing Sri Lanka truly is. The Hill Country was certainly a great place to start our month long Sri Lanka adventure. Next up was a hike through Horton Plains National Park, to the famous Worlds End.
Where To Stay
The majority of people who go Horton Plains will stay in Nuwara Eliya, due to its proximity to the national park and ease to travel to, with the town having its own train station. It’s around 35km away, which takes around an hour to drive in a tuk-tuk.
In my opinion, there are quite slim pickings when it comes to nice budget accommodation in Nuwara Eliya. However, there are a couple of not too bad places to stay around the town.
Blue Wing Inn – 2900Rs. Double, en-suite room. Good location.
Blue Moon Hotel – 3250Rs. Double, en-suite room. Good location.
None of the recommended accommodation come with A/C, but it isn’t necessary to have in Nuwara Eliya due to the mild weather. You’ll probably be thankful for the extra blanket on the bed like we were!
How To Get To World’s End
Like I mentioned it’s easy enough to reach Nuwara Eliya with the town having a train station. We caught a train from Hatton, costing us 60Rs for a ticket in 2nd class unreserved.
Once you are in Nuwara Eliya you will need to find a method of transport to Horton Plains. If you are in a group of 3 or more, your best bet is to find a taxi or van to take you. For the two of us, our cheapest mode of transport was a tuk-tuk. Our driver who took us to our guesthouse from the train station offered us a ride there and back for 2500Rs. We were unsure of the prices at this time so we said we would think about it. Everyone else that we asked after that wouldn’t budge from 3000Rs. Luckily we took this tuk-tuk driver’s number and gave him a call later and arranged for him to pick us up at 5:00 am from our guesthouse.
0725673224 – that’s his number just in case you are struggling to find a driver who’ll take you for 2500Rs. Unfortunately, he’s saved as ‘tuk-tuk’ in my phone book and I can’t remember his name, sorry.
How Long Does It Take
Once you are at the beginning of the trail to World’s End it shouldn’t take you longer than 2-2.5 hours to do the walk itself. With spending time in awe of the view at Worlds End factored into that, you should be back in your tuk-tuk or taxi in around 2.5-3 hours.
Our driver picked us up at 5:00 am from our guesthouse. The drive to the entrance of Horton Plains National Park took around 1 hour, so we arrived there at 6:00 am. Once we were at the entrance, we had to queue up for our tickets. Finally, once we had purchased our tickets we had to drive into the park to the start of the trail, so we actually began our walk at 6:45 am, 1 hour 45 minutes from being collected from our guesthouse in Nuwara Eliya.
The walk then took us 2.5 hours altogether. Getting back to our tuk-tuk at 9:15.
We then drove back to the guesthouse, arriving back at 10:30 (the extra 15 minutes on the way back factors in the drive from the start of the trail to the ticket entrance of the national park).
Altogether, from being picked up at your guesthouse, to being dropped back off, should take around 5.5 hours.
How Much Does It Cost
The ticket cost us 5853.70Rs. This included two foreign adult entry fees, one local adult (tuk-tuk driver), a service charge and VAT (breakdown of pricing on the image below).
The tuk-tuk driver charged us 2500Rs for the return journey from Nuwara Eliya to Horton Plains.
In total, the trip cost us 8353.70Rs, but that was split between two of us, so the total cost per person was 4176.85Rs
Once again, as with most other tourist hot spots in Sri Lanka, the price is very excessive. Obviously, it is up to yourself whether you would want to pay this much to visit World’s End when you are on a budget. One thing I would mention though, although the cost is high, my budget did recover and even itself out in less expensive places.
The Hike To World’s End And Back
After the 5:00 am pickup and the bleary-eyed, 1-hour journey to Horton Plains. We arrived at the main entrance to the national park, where tickets must be purchased on arrival. We hopped out of our tuk-tuk into the mist, where you could barely see a metre in front of you and headed to the ticket queue with a brisk walk (mainly because it was freezing, but also so we didn’t have to wait there longer than we had to). It was a good job I had my woolly hat, a jumper and a coat because it was bitterly cold while we were stood in the queue.
Finally, we purchased our tickets and we could get moving again (see ‘How Much Does It Cost’ for ticket cost). We jumped back into our tuk-tuk to make the 5km journey from the National Park entrance to the start of the walking trail to Worlds End.
5 minutes later, it was time to step out of the tuk-tuk again. Thankfully it wasn’t to stand still shivering in the cold mist, it was to start our hike to Worlds End. To begin with, we had to pass the ticket checkpoint at the entrance to the trail. It’s worth taking note that they check your bag at the checkpoint. We had to ditch a plastic bag, a polystyrene container, drinks cartons and they took the plastic film off around our water bottles. With all our prohibited items in the bin, we showed them our ticket, signed in and strolled up the misty path to begin our hike to Worlds End.
The path which you start on stays straight for a few hundred metres, then it forks off into two separate paths. Both of the paths meet at Worlds End. The pathway to the left leads towards Mini Worlds End and then onto Worlds End. The pathway on the right leads towards Bakers Falls and then to Worlds End. The majority of people who I saw, start the walk to Worlds End by taking the pathway which leads left, walking back on the pathway on the right. We decided to go the opposite way to the majority and took the pathway on the left. On the way to Worlds End for around an hour of our journey, the path was pretty much clear of people apart from ourselves and a couple of others.
After climbing all those steps at Adams Peak, this walk to Worlds End was a walk in the park (literally as well as figuratively). The trail was mostly flat and the walk was easy. There were a few sections of the path where we had to put a slight bit of effort in. One part we had to clamber down tree roots, but to be honest that’s as difficult as it got, which was not very difficult at all.
The walk to Worlds End, if you take the path to the right, will take around 1 hour 15 minutes. All through that walk, we could literally only see around a metre in front of us, we were well and truly engulfed in mist. All I could think was that we would get to Worlds End and it would like a wall of low lying cloud in front of us and this whole thing would be a waste of time and money. Luckily and thankfully, the mist finally started clearing up after around an hour of walking. We could finally see the grassy green hills of Horton Plains all around us.
15 minutes later, the path leads upwards slightly and as I clambered up and could see what was ahead, it was at the moment I could truly witness how incredible Worlds End is and I understood all the hype surrounding it. I walked forward along the path towards the edge and I was taken aback by the scale of the drop from the cliff. The dusty stone path, surrounded by rich green grassland suddenly drops 4000 feet with no warning. I daren’t get too close to the edge, but for some reason, I couldn’t resist. I had to see what lay below. The huge valley carved in between where I was stood and the next mountain, is home to tea plant plantation, which looks too small to be true from the 4000 feet up. Looking straight ahead, you see mountain after mountain fading into the distance. Then to the right, you get the pleasure of expansive views towards the south and when clear, you can even see the Indian Ocean, 81km away.
After around 20 minutes of standing in awe and sheer amazement of the views from Worlds End and a quick break while we ate our breakfast made for us at the guesthouse, we made our way back down the opposite path to where we came from. The walk back, following the opposite trail, was quicker than the walk towards Worlds End. With the walk there taking 1 hour 15 minutes and walk back only taking around 45 minutes. This path was pretty much the same as the previous one we had walked on, near enough level, with a few ups and downs, but all in all another easy walk. Which I once again say, was very much welcomed after Adams Peak!!
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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments section
If you’ve been to Worlds End before, what did you think? Did you think it was worth the cost?