Haputale is a hidden gem amidst the stunning hills of Sri Lanka's highlands. This charming Town is a visual spectacle of sprawling tea plantations, breathtaking scenery, and a peaceful ambiance that casts a hypnotic spell over every traveler. In this detailed travel guide, we'll delve deeper into all this charming town has to offer.
Attractions and things to do
During your trip to Haputale, there are several amazing places that you can visit.
Lipton's Seat, one of Sri Lanka's most iconic viewpoints, is the favorite among tourists visiting Haputale. Named after Sir Thomas Lipton, a businessman who greatly improved Sri Lanka's tea industry, Lipton's Seat offers otherworldly views of the central highlands of Sri Lanka. This magical place is situated on top of the Poonagala Hills, just 16km from Haputale. For the best experience, we recommend you start the journey early in the morning, as Lipton's Seat offers the best views during sunrise.
Tea Plantations and Factory Tours
Being at the heart of Sri Lanka's tea country, Haputale offers you a firsthand experience of the tea-making process. You can visit the Dambatenne Tea Factory, founded by Sir Thomas Lipton himself. The guided tour takes you through the tea-making process, from plucking the fresh leaves from meticulously manicured tea bushes to the final packaging. Learn the art of withering, rolling, fermenting, and drying the leaves to create the distinctive flavors and aromas of Ceylon tea. As you walk through the factory, the air is filled with the fragrance of freshly processed tea, and you can witness the skilled workers meticulously handling the leaves. Wrap up the tour with a delightful tea-tasting session, where you can enjoy a range of teas.
Adisham Monastery is a magnificent stone mansion that lies amidst the picturesque beauty of Haputale. This monastery was built in the style of an English country house and exudes an old-world charm. Surrounded by orchards and manicured gardens, it offers a serene escape where you can slow down and relax. As you explore the monastery, you can lose yourself in the beauty of nature and take in the peaceful ambiance. Remember to visit the small museum within the premises, which displays a collection of artifacts and photographs showcasing the history and heritage of the monastery. To enhance your experience, sample the monastery's homemade products, such as delicious jams made from the freshest fruits grown on-site and delicate wines that carry the essence of the surrounding orchards.
Holding the record as the highest waterfall in Sri Lanka, the majestic Bambarakanda Falls stands at an impressive height of 263 meters. Tucked away in the wilderness, the beauty of this waterfall is relatively untouched, providing an exquisite view. The waterfall cascades down a steep cliff, plunging into a pool below. The mist created from the spray gives the area a magical and enchanting atmosphere. The waterfall is a popular destination for trekking enthusiasts as the trail leading to it winds through breathtaking landscapes, including pine forests and hill country pastures. The relatively easy hike will take you to the top of the waterfall, presenting an unparalleled view of the falls and the vast green valleys beyond.
Another stunning destination is the famous Diyaluma Falls. With a height of approximately 220 meters, it ranks second among the highest waterfalls in Sri Lanka. Its cascading waters create a mesmerizing sight as they plunge into a pool below. You can take a refreshing swim in the cool waters or simply marvel at the natural beauty of the surroundings. If you feel adventurous, you can even hike to the top of the waterfall for an even better view of the landscape.
While exploring the enchanting town of Haputale in Sri Lanka, make sure to include a visit to the nearby town of Ella in your itinerary. Located just a short distance away, Ella is an idyllic destination that perfectly complements your journey to or from Haputale.
A trip to Haputale isn't complete without indulging in the local cuisine. With its unique blend of flavors, spices, and textures, Sri Lankan cuisine is an absolute delight for the senses. The local eateries in Haputale serve a range of delicious Sri Lankan dishes like rice, string hoppers, chicken curry, dhal curry, and many more. Make sure you also try out some authentic Sri Lankan desserts such as curd with treacle or 'watalappan', a famous local dessert.
Whether you're a luxury traveler or a budget backpacker, Haputale has a range of accommodations to cater to your preferences. Experience a unique stay in a tea estate bungalow, where you wake up to the views of tea plantations and the aroma of fresh tea leaves wafting in the air. If you'd prefer to stay close to the town center, several guesthouses and hotels offer comfortable rooms with balconies or terraces. Many of these accommodations also offer guided tours of the nearby attractions and hiking trips.
How to get there
Traveling to Haputale is an adventure in itself. The town is well-connected with various parts of Sri Lanka, making it relatively easy for tourists to reach. One of the most scenic and popular ways to get to Haputale is by train, which takes about 7 hours. Haputale is one of the stops of the famous train ride to Ella, which is considered one of the most scenic train rides in the entire world. As the train meanders through the hills, past tea plantations and small villages, you'll get a firsthand glimpse of the charming countryside life of Sri Lanka. Alternatively, you could go by bus or car. The journey by road is also visually stunning and allows for stops at various points of interest.
Best Times to Visit
Choosing the right time to visit Haputale can enhance your travel experience. The best time to visit this highland paradise is during the dry season, which occurs from December to April. The weather is generally clear during this period, making it great for outdoor activities and sightseeing. The morning fog usually lifts by midday, revealing the splendid landscapes. May to July is the warmest period.
Tips and advice
While Haputale is generally a safe and welcoming destination, there are a few travel tips that can ensure your trip goes smoothly.
- Due to the town's high-altitude location, the weather can be quite unpredictable. Carrying warm clothing and rain gear is a good idea, regardless of when you visit.
- If you're planning a hike, hiring a local guide is advisable, especially for more challenging trails.
- Don't forget to sample the local cuisine and also buy some fresh tea leaves as souvenirs.
- Allocate a good amount of time for Haputale to truly appreciate its beauty.
Haputale is a destination that will capture your heart with its alluring natural beauty, fascinating culture, and the warm, welcoming nature of its residents. From the breathtaking landscapes to the fragrant tea plantations, and the delicious local cuisine, this small town offers a truly unforgettable travel experience.