Climbing Little Adam’s Peak Sri Lanka with kids
Hello friends! We recently visited Ella, a lovely tourist town in the hills of Sri Lanka, and we had a blast (see our complete family friendly guide to Ella here). One of the things we loved about Ella was the abundance of free things to do such as climbing Little Adam’s Peak Sri Lanka; as a full time traveling family on a tight budget we don’t generally like to pay out for day trips and tours, so nature-based activities are something we really enjoy.
Along with visiting a tea factory and attempting to climb Ella Rock, we took on the challenge of climbing Little Adam’s Peak with our 3 kids aged 2, 5 and 7. Named after its considerably bigger (2243 metres) brother (Adam’s Peak, also known as Sri Pada) in Nallathanniya, Little Adam’s Peak in Ella stands at 1141 metres. Our kids like to wander about the countryside and really enjoyed hiking the Balinese rice fields so we decided to give it a go. After all, if it ended in meltdowns (ours or theirs) we could just hop in a tuk-tuk and come home.
Well, it was a roaring success. The climb up and down took around 2 and a half hours, taking into account that we went at the kids’ pace which was really set by our independent 2 year old who climbed all 300 steps at the top by herself.
How to get to Little Adam’s Peak Sri Lanka
From Ella, grab a tuk-tuk for a quick 5-10 minute journey to the bottom of Little Adam’s Peak (or half-way up if you want to take it easy and don’t mind a bumpy ride!). The simply head upwards- there are always lots of tourists around so it’s impossible to get lost (believe me, if it was possible I would have done it).
What to expect from the climb at Little Adam’s Peak Sri Lanka
The first half of the climb is up a wide path, which varies between rock and dust with some stone areas. It is a wide path and this bit is easily do-able for most abilities including kids. You will be able to see tea growing on the side of the mountain and will probably bump into a few tea-pickers with their baskets, who live in the village (mainly corrugated iron shack-style houses) on the hill.
Some tea-pickers pose for photos with tourists; please give them some money for this as they earn less than £5 a day so extra cash is much needed.
There are also often kids selling fruit for 100-200 LKR (50p-£1) and it was really nice for our kids to buy some from them and enjoy a sweet and refreshing snack halfway through the climb. We bought some things that looked like grapes but tasted like sour, spicy pickles- a bit of a shock for the kids!
Towards the top of the peak there are 300 stone steps and the path gets considerably narrower. If you are climbing with young children just keep an eye/hand on them and they should be fine, our 3 managed it no problem. We found the other tourists to be considerate and we took turns at stepping to the side of the path to let people through when the path narrowed.
Right at the top- probably the last 20 metres- you have to scramble up a steep dirt path. This was tricky with the three kids but we had one adult go up first and then the other helped push the kids up. If you have an under-2 and you want to get right to the top, a baby carrier is probably a good idea so you can have your hands free.
This is of course where my phone died so I didn’t get a picture of the scramble bit, but as long as you’re not worried about getting dusty, you’ll make it even with little kids 😉
The view at sunset is gorgeous, but it does get a little chilly so perhaps bring a hoodie or something if your little ones are prone to feeling the cold. We would thoroughly recommend climbing Little Adam’s Peak Sri Lanka with kids; it is a lovely half-day in beautiful nature, a great bit of exercise and some fab memory making time.
Where to stay in Ella, Sri Lanka
Ella is positively set up for tourists and manages to meet everyone’s needs while not being overdeveloped. There are loads of guesthouses and hotels for every budget; here are our top picks (we stayed in Summer Villa guesthouse and visited several hotels to check them out and to drink/eat there):
Budget (under £15 per night):
£6/night – Freedom Camp is a campsite for those adventurous souls who want to get close to nature. For £6 per night you’ll get a cosy futon bed inside a tarp-covered tent, with access to a hot shower and a campfire each evening. The owner is very friendly and will give insider info on what to see and the best ways to see it! Click here to see available dates.
£12/night- Beauty Mount Tourist Inn is a quiet, clean hostel with spacious rooms in a great location, near to the the main strip of Ella but up some steps for a quieter atmosphere. There is a garden, shared lounge and luggage storage facilities. Beauty Mount Tourist Inn is highly commended for its friendly and flexible staff. Click here to see available dates.
£15/night- Holiday Homes Guest Inn is 600m from the centre of Ella and has an on-site restaurant. Rooms are clean and have access to free WiFi as well as private bathrooms, a dining table, work desk and ironing facilities for those who like to look their best while scrambling through woods and tea plantations. Click here to see available dates.
Mid-range (up to £60 per night):
£30/night- Raveena Guest House has incredible views of Ella’s hills and forests with extremely attentive staff. Rooms have complimentary toiletries and balconies and the outdoor dining area has hammocks to relax in. Raveena Guest House is just 1km from the Nine Arches Bridge and 1.5km from Little Adam’s Peak. Click here to see available dates.
£35+/night- Ella’s Edge Resort provides spacious rooms with a desk, wardrobe and other conveniences as well as modern private bathrooms. There is a large balcony dining area with spectacular views and the extensive breakfast buffet offers traditional Sri Lankan food and drinks as well as western fare. Click here to see available dates.
£50/night- Rock Side Inn offers amazing views from room balconies as well as a shared outdoor lounge area with hammocks for guests to relax in. The private bathrooms have complimentary toiletries and reviewers say that it is a great family-run place ideal for those traveling with small children. Click here to see available dates.
Luxury (£100+ per night)
£150/night- Zion View Ella is a gorgeous property on the hillside of Ella with incredible views and plenty of communal lounge areas to enjoy. There is a well-equipped shaded play area and sandpit for little ones and board games in the restaurant lobby. The complimentary WiFi is excellent and rooms have spacious balconies with furniture so guests can watch the sun go down. Click here to see available dates.
£150/night- Ravana Heights offers huge rooms and suites and views of the famous Ella Rock and surrounding mountains. The staff are exceptional and have plenty of stories to tell about the local area and advice on how to make the most of your stay. Sri Lankan, Thai and international cuisine is available in the restaurant. Click here to see available dates.
£450/night- 98 Acres Resort & Spa is the resort that we drooled over from the other side of the hill. It has the only swimming pools in Ella (infinity pools overlooking the emerald-green hills) and each room is more like an apartment, with seating and dining areas, kitchenettes and luxurious bathrooms with complimentary toiletries. There is a gym on-site and dinner can be served in the restaurant or on your private balcony or terrace. Click here to see available dates.
Over the last two months our full time traveling family has completed a loop of the bottom half of Sri Lanka, visiting Negombo, Colombo, Unawatuna, Galle, Mirissa, Tangalle, Udawalewe national park, Ella and Kandy. We blogged our first impressions of Sri Lanka, swam with sea turtles, found out why we shouldn’t visit the hatcheries and had epic meltdowns. Before that we visited Bali and Thailand on our travel adventures- follow us on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube to see what we’re up to and follow the best and worst of our nomadic lifestyle!
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