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Pekoe Trail – The First Long-Distance Hiking Trail in Sri Lanka

The Pekoe Trail in Sri Lanka

The 300+km walking trail, known as the Pekoe Trail, winds through the central highlands of Sri Lanka. This trail is the first of many created with the aim of allowing visitors to experience the diverse terrain, rich history, vibrant culture, tantalising food, and welcoming local communities of Sri Lanka on foot.

The Pekoe trail, as the inaugural long-distance hiking trail in Sri Lanka, is divided into 22 stages. Visitors have the flexibility to complete these stages in short sections or embark on a multi-day adventure, immersing themselves in a captivating journey that showcases a blend of picturesque hill-towns, lush tea plantations, quaint remote villages, serene sanctuaries, breathtaking viewpoints, pristine forests, and fascinating cultural and historical sites.

This trail promotes sustainable travel whilst beautifully showcasing the island’s remarkable diversity. Moreover, it creates economic opportunities for rural communities, fostering a more comprehensive and fulfilling travel experience that embraces adventure, nature, wellness, and sustainability.

Stages of the Pekoe Trail

StageFromToDistance (Km)Elevation Gain (m)Avg Time to Complete
1HanthanaGalaha12.84923 h 52 min
2GalahaLoolkandura14.697714 h 41 min
3LoolkanduraThawalantenna17.236735 h 50 min
4ThawalantennaKumbaloluwa9.54453 h 28 min
5KumbaloluwaWatagoda11.856863 h 47 min
6WatagodaKotagala14.864144 h 15 min
7KotagalaNorwood15.54424 h 37 min
8NorwoodBogawantalawa15.856554 h 40 min
9BogawantalawaDayagama16.466725 h 3 min
10DayagamaHorton Plains14.888894 h 31 min
11Horton PlainsUdaweriya13.123264 h 2 min
12UdaweriyaHaputale14.764844 h 54 min
13HaputaleSt. Catherine’s Seat13.487354 h 11 min
14St. Catherine’s SeatMakulella9.381303 h 12 min
15MakulellaElla10.122612 h 56 min
16EllaDemodara8.752992 h 50 min
17DemodaraHali-Ela12.995314 h 20 min
18Hali-ElaEtampitiya13.967184 h 9 min
19EtampitiyaLoonuwatte18.66695 h 50 min
20LoonuwatteUda Pussellawa12.376364 h 2 min
21Uda PussellawaKandapola16.711,0525 h 30 min
22KandapolaNuwara Eliya10.813003 h 2 min
The 22 stages of the Pekoe Trail

Explore the Trail

Discover the Pekoe Trail, conceptualised and developed by Miguel Cunat and Serendipity Trails, as part of the EU-funded Tourism Resilience Project. You can access this incredible trail through the following hiking apps.

What you will need on the Hike

  • Hiking Shoes / Boots
  • Leech Socks
  • Insect repellent
  • Trekking Poles
  • A Hat / Cap
  • Water

Best time of the Year to Hike

Although the trail is enjoyable all year round, it is advisable to visit during the dry season from January to April. During this time, the weather is mild and perfect for outdoor exploration.

Accommodation

A variety of accommodations, including boutique guesthouses and luxury tea bungalows, are available for those seeking a peaceful getaway surrounded by tea gardens. These retreats provide the perfect opportunity to relax and enjoy the serene atmosphere of Sri Lanka’s hill country.

Mode of Transport

Renting a car, either for self-driving or with a chauffeur, provides the convenience and flexibility to explore the region at your own pace. In addition to discovering hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path attractions on foot, having your own vehicle allows you to experience some of the most scenic drives that Sri Lanka has to offer.

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