Climbing Adam’s Peak is a must add adventure to any itinerary if you are planning to go to Sri Lanka. At 2,230M high in the central hill country and over 5500 steps to get there, it is an exciting adventure you don’t want to miss. It is also a meaningful location to many different religions and has a lot of spiritual significance to those that visit it. How do you get there though, should you go for sunrise, and where do you stay? These are all things I will cover in this guide with photos on Climbing Adam’s Peak.
How to Get to Adam’s Peak
Getting to Adam’s Peak isn’t too difficult and can manage it by train or bus. It should only take a few hours and shouldn’t cost too much money.
To get to Dalhousie (the main base for climbing Adam’s Peak), you first would want to get to Hatton. Hatton is easily reached by Bus or Train from major towns in Sri Lanka like Kandy and Colombo.
Once in Hatton, you can take a bus to Dalhousie for less than $1 and will take about 1.5 hours. As of writing this, these buses leave roughly every 10 minutes.
You can’t get to Dalhousie by train, however, Hatton is easily reached by train from Colombo and from the famous Kandy to Ella train. You can search up train times from the Sri Lanka Railways Website.
Once you arrive in Hatton, you can either take a Tuk-Tuk which should take around 1 hour and be around $10, or you can take the bus as I wrote above, which is much cheaper but takes a bit longer.
Climbing Adam’s Peak
The climb up Adam’s Peak is difficult, however, it’s a climb that almost anyone can do. When I was there, there were even old grandmothers who were climbing it.
Most people when climbing, will go for Sunrise on Adam’s Peak. This means getting up well before dawn and starting up the mountain. As long as you are there in peak season, they have lights along the way, so you don’t need to bother bringing a torch or headlamp. However, if you are going in the off season, you definitely need to have a headlamp or torch with you to see the way. There are toilets along the way, however they aren’t the cleanest.
If you are hungry and thirsty or want to buy some small souvenirs or things to give as an offering when you reach the top, there are stalls along the route that are set up. I’m unsure if these run during the off season, however, during the peak season, there were plenty of them offering coffee and other items to those climbing.
In total, the climb up should take between 2-4 hours depending on your fitness and 1-2 hours for the way down. Your knees will not be happy though on the way down as it’s a lot of steps. Take your time though, and you should be fine.
If you are going for sunrise, be sure to check the time of sunrise before going up and get there around 20-30 minutes before actual sunrise to get the best colors. In peak season, it gets very crowded at the top and you don’t want to miss out on a beautiful sunrise because you are trying to find a spot amongst the crowds. In the when to go section below, I’ll let you know when to avoid, if you want to stay away from the largest crowds.
Religious Significance of Adam’s Peak
As I mentioned earlier in the post, climbing Adam’s Peak (locally known as Sri Pada) has a lot of significance to many religions because of a rock that has a footprint that is on top of the mountain. So here is how each religion views that rock:
Christians and Muslims believe it to be the footprint of Adam after being exhiled from the Garden of Eden. Thus the name Adam’s Peak.
Buddhists believe it to be the foot print from the left foot of Buddha
Hindus believe it to be the footprint of Lord Shiva
Whatever you believe, this mountain has a lot of significance to a large group of people and because of that, it is a Holy site and one that is visited by a large number of pilgrims on a journey to see the footprint.
Best time to climb Adam’s Peak
January to May is the best time to climb Adam’s Peak. This is the time when they will likely have the lights on leading up to the top and also when the weather is most likely to be the best. I went in December and they had the path lit, however, weather was quite cloudy which made for just an alright sunrise.
As I wrote above, a lot of pilgrims come to the site, and especially on full moons, the route up to Adam’s peak will become extremely crowded. So it’s best to avoid full moons and also the week of Sri Lanka New Year (Middle of April). Weekends can be crowded as well, but not as much as the times above. Ideally, if you can climb during the middle of the week and not at full moon, you will have the best experience.
Where to Stay at Adam’s Peak
If you are going to Adam’s Peak for sunrise, I highly recommend staying in Dalhousie. This is the base for Adam’s Peak and from the hotels and lodges in Dalhousie, you can easily walk to the start of the trail early in the morning.
If you aren’t going for sunrise, you could stay in Hatton where there are a larger variety of hotels, however, it will still take you an hour to 1.5 hours to reach the start of the trail from there.
*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links through booking.com, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.
Hotel Hugging Clouds – I highly recommend staying at this hotel near the base of Adams Peak. I stayed here and had a wonderful stay. The owners were really friendly and gave lots of good advice for the climb. The rooms have modern decor and great views out the window. For dinner I had a delicious Curry and for breakfast an amazing energy giving meal after climbing Adam’s Peak.
If you would like to search for other hotels in the area though, please use the form below:
Other Tips for Climbing Adam’s Peak
- Because it’s a religious site at the top, you are required to take off your shoes if you want to enter.
- Take a jacket, because it can be cold at the top.
- Wear proper footwear. Sneakers will work, sandals would be a bit more difficult, but could be do-able.
- Be patient when climbing up. In busy season, you may have to stop every once in a while and wait in line. You will reach the top eventually.
- Post sunrise, if you go to the opposite side, you may be able to see the triangular shadow of Adam’s Peak. Sadly, when I went, it was too cloudy, but on clear days, seeing this shadow looks pretty amazing.
I hope this guide was helpful to you and if you have any specific questions, please let us know in the comments below.