Located in Sri Lanka’s central highlands, the Horton Plains National Park is a protected area. The plateau lies at an altitude of between 6,900 to 7,500 feet, and was once mined for gems and iron. The park spans an area of over three thousand hectares, and was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in December, 1969. It was upgraded to national park status in 1988, owing to its rich biodiversity. In 2010, the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka, to which the Horton Plains National Park, the Knuckles Mountain Range and the Peak Wilderness Sanctuary are all a part of, was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Horton Plains contains the largest expanse of cloud forests in the island. The park hosts a rich variety of wildlife, most of which are endemic to the island nation. Three of the island’s major rivers, the Kelani, Mahaweli and the Walawe, originate here, and one can find many waterfalls and pools inside the grounds. Although the Sri Lankan elephant can no longer be found here, there are plenty of other large mammals in this sanctuary. The park contains large numbers of Sambar Deer, and visitors are almost sure to spot one when they visit. Those who are lucky may even spot Sri Lankan leopards, Kelaart’s long-clawed shrews, Sri Lankan spotted chevrotains, grizzled giant squirrels and wild boars.

The plains also have a large bird population which includes mountain hawk-eagles, Sri Lanka blue magpies, Sri Lanka junglefowl and the Sri Lanka whistling-thrush. Most of the birds are endemic to the island, and some of them are found only at Horton Plains. One of the key attractions here are World’s End, a sheer cliff found along the park’s southern boundary. There is also another smaller cliff called Lesser World’s End. Baker’s Fall’s is another park landmark that should not be missed. The park is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country.

Horton Plains is easily accessible from Nuwara Eliya which is roughly thirty two kilometres away. Tourists looking for exceptional and well placed Sri Lanka hotels in Nuwara Eliya should try Jetwing Warwick Gardens. Offering luxury Nuwara Eliya bungalows, the hotel is located amidst lush flora and provides breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.