Sri Lanka has an abundance of waterfalls – and Diyaluma is one of the highest waterfalls in Sri Lanka. It is also amongst the coolest and most accessible ones, with a 220-meter drop, natural pools to swim in, and a stunning view of the Sri Lankan highlands. It is located about an hour and a half from Ella, making it an ideal day trip during your stay in Ella. Because the geographical area is slightly out of the way, many people tend to skip this waterfall but those who do choose to experience its astonishing views and the natural infinity pools will indeed realize that it was absolutely worth it to dedicate a day to this exciting adventure.
Below is a useful Diyaluma Falls guide with essential things you must know about the second tallest waterfall in Sri Lanka.
Where is Diyaluma Falls?
Located in Sri Lanka’s Badulla District in the central highlands, the closest town to Diyaluma Falls is Koslanda. Once you get to the popular town of Ella, the Falls are about 35kms away, which is about a one-and-a-half-hour drive.
How do you get there?
You could drive directly to Diyaluma Falls in your privately hired transport, or you could use public transport such as the train to get to Ella, which is an absolutely scenic journey. Once you get to Ella, you could hire a tuk-tuk driver or a self-drive scooter and drive to the town of Koslanda. From there, Diyaluma Falls is just about 6kms away.
Where you stop your vehicle depends on whether you want to begin the hike at the bottom of the falls and work your way up, or begin at the top and then hike down. One hike is a tough and steep one, the other is a short and easy one. Most people start at the bottom of the falls so lookout for a small village called Poonagala, which is where you will find the starting point of the hiking to Diyaluma Falls.
Tip: If you are driving there yourself, make sure you’ve loaded your Google Maps location when in an area of Wi-Fi because the drive to the falls includes patches of no signal areas.
What is the best time to visit Diyaluma Falls?
January to May is the best time to visit Diyaluma Falls as this is the dry season in the area. The rainy season comes in from September to December during which the high levels of water and slippery trail make it a dangerous venture.
Be sure to begin your journey from Ella in the morning because it’ll take 90 minutes at least to get to the starting point, and you would want to spend a good 3-4 hours there enjoying the natural infinity pools and the breathtaking view. Then you want to have some daylight left to hike back to your vehicle and drive safely to your hotel in Ella.
The Experience at Diyaluma Falls
Once you get to the starting point of the waterfall hike, it takes about 25 minutes of medium-paced walking to get to the first set of natural pools – which are actually the most impressive ones. Cascading towards the edge of the cliff, they reach the edge and fall into one big pool which is ideal for bathing and experiencing a natural waterfall massage. The water from this big pool crashes further below at a height of 191 meters which is impossible to see unless you peek over the edge – but be careful!
Continue further upwards for another 10-15 minutes to hike to the top of the falls. You will be passing water all along so if you get tired, just stop for a few minutes to splash some water to refresh yourself. Also known as Diyaluma upper falls, this area is suitable for jumping as well because the pool is deep enough and there are no rocks in the water.
You can opt to begin the waterfall experience from the lower falls – just where the 220 meters drop is located. This is a completely different and gorgeous sight in itself – the natural pools near the cliff, ending with a gushing waterfall, while at the same time looking out over a jungle landscape on all sides! You can swim at the edge of the pool but be very careful and do avoid if the water is wild.
The natural pools at Diyaluma Falls are surrounded by soft cliffs that are ideal for a picnic or to just chill before you reach the top again. You could also stop at pools on the higher levels to chill if you like, but on a sunny day, the lower-level pools are preferred.
Is a guide required for this hike?
If you choose the shorter hike – from Poonagala and the upper falls trek, and if you do it in the daytime with someone accompanying you, it is alright to go on your own. But if you are looking to explore the area further by taking a longer hike, and if you are going alone, hiring a guide to visit Sri Lanka’s second tallest waterfall is advisable. Especially because there are active wild elephants in the area. The cost of a guide is not much – approximately 03 USD, so might as well be safer than sorry.
Things to note when visiting Diyaluma Falls Sri Lanka
- You’ll be getting wet – so be sure to bring a swimming suit.
- You will also need enough food and/or snacks to keep you going throughout the day.
- Carry enough drinking water to keep you hydrated.
- Comfortable, water-friendly footwear is required to be able to do the trek.
- Bring along some sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful rays of the sun.
- Check the weather forecast; it is best to avoid the Diyaluma Falls excursion on a rainy day.
- When swimming in the natural pools and under the waterfall, be aware that there are no safety barriers. Don’t go too close to the edge, don’t swim when it is raining, avoid strong currents, and always be careful!
Where to stay when visiting Diyaluma Falls
Ella is the best place to base yourself when planning an adventure to Diyaluma Falls as it is just 1.5 hours away from there. Ella is a very relaxed and tourist-friendly holiday destination in Sri Lanka where the iconic nine-arch bridge is located, along with other attractions such as the Ravana Falls and activities such as zip-lining. In Ella, you can find plenty of budgeted and high-end accommodation options. From Ella Inn at LKR 7000 per night to 98 Acres Resort and Spa at LKR 30,000 per night, whatever your budget is, hotel options are available.
There’s also a lovely boutique hotel in Koslanda – Living Heritage Koslanda, where you can choose to spend a night or two and plan your Diyaluma Falls excursion from there as it is just a few minutes away from Koslanda.
This combination of multiple waterfalls and scenic natural pools at Diyaluma Falls Sri Lanka is an adventure that requires an entire day if you want to properly enjoy the beauty of nature. So be sure to include it in your Sri Lanka holiday itinerary during your stay in Ella, Sri Lanka.