Ultimate Guide to Climbing Adam’s Peak

Renamed Adam’s Peak during Britain’s colonial invasion, the 2,243 m mountain is still referred to by its former name, Sri Pada “sacred footprint”. It’s origins vary depending on who you ask. In Buddhism for example, the footprint is believed to have been left by the Buddha, whilst Hindu’s believe it to be that of Lord Shiva and Christian’s consider it to be the first place Adam stepped foot after being exiled from Eden.

With such a dense legendary past, it’s clear why the mountain top remains a sacred site for locals and an impressive attraction for tourists. Read on to find out more.

This blog post covers:

  • My experience
  • When to go
  • How to get there
  • Top Tips for the climb
  • Where to stay
  • Where to eat

My experience:

I climbed Adam’s Peak two weeks ago now, on the 22nd of September, during their off-season. I saw a total of maybe fifteen people, whilst climbing up and down the mountain, and I enjoyed the tranquillity. However, due to the unpredictable weather conditions I was not rewarded with a clear view at the top. Luckily, I was prepared for this outcome, and so hadn’t started the challenging climb until 8:30 in the morning, choosing to avoid the 2am start, and save my energy. The climb itself took me 5 hours and 30 minutes in total, with 3 hours climbing up and 2 and a half coming down. This is very much in keeping with what the locals had said, with completion times ranging from 5-7 hours. Overall, I’m so glad I did it, despite the cloudy peak. The views all the way up the mountain were amazing, and kept you motivated whilst stepping. Spotting the different waterfalls cascading down the surrounding mountains and the monkeys swinging across your path made the whole experience worth the following days of aching muscles.

When to go:

If you are keen for that sunrise view, I suggest heading to Adam’s peak during the high season, which starts in December and lasts through to May. Although there may be crowds, at least you get to experience the climb with other like-minded individuals and share the same satisfaction when you reach the top. Be prepared to get an early start – I know most guides encourage people to begin the climb at 2:30 am so they can get there in time to see the sunrise, and a clear view of the mountain tops.

Getting there:

The beginning of the trail up to Adam’s Peak starts in an area called Nallathanniya. To get there, I suggest getting the train to Hatton Railway Station, and then busing it to Delhouse bus stop. A second class train ticket costs around 150 LKR (66p), and a similar price for the bus (I had to get two).

The total cost I paid to get from Kandy to Adam’s Peak = 300 LKR (£1.32). Pretty good if you ask me!

Top Tips:

  • The climb is hard but not impossible, it’s basically just lots and lots of steps (so don’t worry, there will be no climbing on your hands and knees). Take it slow, have regular breaks and most importantly go at your own pace
  • Buy some water and snacks before you climb. There are a few stop off points along the way, but there’s more choice in the village
  • Bring layers and sun cream. If you do reach the top in good time it will be cooler up there, especially before the sun rises, so bring a jumper. When the sun does come out, don’t underestimate it, wear sun cream
  • Wear comfortable shoes. You don’t need any technical hiking gear, but comfortable shoes are a must. I wore my Nike trainers, and they did just fine

Where to Stay:

  • White House Adam’s Peak – This is where I stayed during my trip. Great if you’re on a budget. Rooms are clean and spacious, but simple. The only thing I would comment on is the bugs that seemed to get into our room. All in all though, good value for money. £9 a night.
  • Singh Bro’s – Good middle-ground option, with ensuite bathroom and breakfast included. £12.50 a night.
  • Hugging Clouds Guest House – If you want a little more comfort, this place has been rated ‘Superb!’ on booking.com, offering spacious modern rooms with good views. £24 a night.

Where to eat:

  • Water Side Cafeteria – the only place we ate during our time in Nallathanniya. Run by a lovely local couple who are incredibly friendly and helpful, serving the best traditional Sri Lankan food for a reasonable price. No need to look anywhere else.

And that’s it! I hope this blog post has been helpful and motivates you to make the pilgrimage up to the infamous peak. If you do have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me via social media.

Good luck!

Bri xxx