Knuckles Trekking

The Knuckles range, or Dumbara Kanduvetiya (Mist-Laden Mountain Range) in Sinhalese, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers some of the most pristine and biodiverse treks in Sri Lanka. From rural jungle villages to tea plantations to alpine peaks, trekking in the Knuckles Range gives visitors the opportunity to explore the heart and heights of Sri Lanka.

Why trek with us?

Welikande Villas and Trekking Center encourages you to customise treks based on your fitness level and specific needs. You can meet with your guide beforehand in order to discuss your preferences and work together to design an itinerary that suits you. The meeting point for the Knuckles Mountains treks is Udissaputtawa, a few minutes away from the hotel. All transport to and from the treks are arranged for you.

Our treks all have:

  • - Expert local certified guides
  • - Day or overnight hikes available
  • - Free pick up and drop off from the trek start and finish locations
  • - Lunch and drinks included – BBQ dinner for overnight treks
  • - Equipment provided (including: raincoats, leech socks etc.)
  • - Raised campsites (includes tents and bedding)

Knuckles Mountains Treks

High Knuckles

Distance: 18 km

Time: 8 hours

Grade: Difficult

There are two options for this trek either you can go all the way to the top off the highest knuckle (1964 m) which in total is 18 km and takes 8 hours or you can go to a beautiful waterfall, which is an easier trek, only 10 km around 5 hours of moderate trekking (see below).

Both treks start from basecamp. After breakfast, you head up through tea plantations on a nice easy road for the first 30 minutes. The climb then goes through tea picker paths and heads into a low forest. Once you have trekked for around 2 hours you reach an opening in the forest. It is here that you choose whether you would like to carry on up to the top, or go to the waterfall.

To the top – 18 km (8 hours): This is a hard trek, where there are many very steep climbs towards the end. If you are pretty fit and like challenges this is a great trek, and an amazing experience to get to the top. On clear days you can see all the way to Adams Peak. On the way you also go past “leopard’s rock”, a rock where leopards are said to often visit. The evidence in the form of leopard excrement and a deer skeleton are there. When you get to the top, lunch is provided before you begin the descent.

Cost $60 per person


Distance: 10 km

Time: 5 hours

Grade: Medium

This is a more moderate trek, but still requires you to be pretty fit. To get to the waterfall you have to follow a steep and narrow path for approximately 1 km.

The waterfall is well worth the effort, it is a beautiful big waterfall, high up in the mountainside. Here you can enjoy your lunch over-looking the valley, and have a nice swim before heading back down the mountain.

After the trek you can choose either to sleep at the base camp, or go back to Welikande Villas for the night.

Cost $60 per person

Knuckles Mountain Range Waterfall

Helloya Trek

Distance: 15 km

Time: 6 hours

Grade: Easy

The Helloya trek goes through beautiful rice terraces where you can see the local farmers working. There is a great variety of birds, flowers, plants and trees along the way as the scenery changes from rice terraces, to forest ending in tea plantations. This is a beautiful trek that can be enjoyed by all.

This trek is mainly on nice paths and has few steep climbs. It starts a few km from Welikande Villas, which only takes 10 minutes in a tuk tuk. After about an hour of walking there is a very small local tea shop, here you can have a cup of tea and also get to taste some local fruit and sweets.

After the break you walk on through the rice terraces for another 3-4 hours until you reach a beautiful waterfall where you have lunch and can go for a nice swim. From the waterfall there is an hour walk to Base Camp where you can spend the night if you wish to trek on the next day, or get a ride back to Welikande Villas.

Base Camp is a raised site where you sleep in tents on mats under shelters. In the evening the dinner is barbecued, and there is a fire with singing and dancing. There is no electricity or hot water, but lots of atmosphere and fun.

Costs $50 per person