True to its English country style, Nuwara Eliya has parks and grounds that encourage indulgently long walks among colourful blooms; the Victoria Park and Hakgala Botanical Gardens are two such places. The former was named to commemorate the 60th Jubilee Coronation of Queen Victoria in the year 1897. This 27 acre park features many foreign flora and is home to rare species of birds. The Hakgala Gardens are a riot of colour, and is especially popular for its terraced rose garden. Legend has it that this was the pleasure garden of the Demon King Ravana. Although located a little away from Kandy, the 60 hectare Peradeniya Botanical Gardens is the most impressive in the country. Once reserved only for Kandyan royalty, it is now open to all. Its exquisite collection of Orchids and meticulous avenue of Royal Palms get special mention.
The neighbourhood mountainous region of Nuwara Eliya flaunts stunning waterfalls; some of them are even safe for bathing. Aberdeen Falls features 2 natural pools fit for a refreshing dip, and stands 322 feet high. Laxapana Falls is about a 1000 step climb away from here and is stunningly photogenic. Situated in the Horton Plains National Park, Bakers Falls is a rejuvenating stop in the middle of a 9.5 Km trek. Devon Falls is named after the pioneer English coffee planter Devon, whose plantation is situated nearby the falls. The gorgeous St. Clair’s Falls is one of the widest waterfalls in Sri Lanka and is commonly known as the “Little Niagara” of Sri Lanka. The 25m high Elgin Falls is located in the Elgin Tea Estate, and the 109m high Ramboda fall is one of the highest in the country.
The upcountry weather allows for pleasant trekking experiences, without the sun beating down and tiring hikers. Horton Plains National Park, Piduruthalagala, Knuckles Mountain Range, Kirigalpotha, Adam’s Peak, Belihuloya, Hunnasgiriya and Cloud Forest Trail are some of the adventures to embark upon. The first park is an undulating plateau over 2000m high, covered by wild grasslands; the famed World’s End plunging 880m can be found along this hike. Pidurutalagala, the tallest mountain in Sri Lanka, standing a 2524m, makes for a scenic drive, and is also home to the elusive Nuwara Eliya Leopard. Considered a place of pilgrimage, Adam’s Peak is believed to be the place where Adam first set foot after being cast out of paradise; Buddhists believe that Lord Buddha left his footprint behind on this peak, more poetically, it is also known as the mountains on which butterflies go to die. The dawning sun at Adam’s Peak is a sight not to be missed.
Nuwara Eliya is the heart of Sri Lanka’s tea trade. The fresh aroma of tea can be smelled wafting in the air. Tea factories in the region graciously allow visitors to take a walk around, learn about the process of tea manufacturing, and witness the fine art that is tea. Most factories even set up their own high tea services on meticulously landscaped lawns by their tea gardens. The Pedro Tea Factory, Labookale Tea Factory, Blue Field Tea Factory, Glenloch Tea Factory and Dambethanne Tea Factory are some located around the vicinity.
Our resident naturalist at Jetwing St. Andrew’s is always available to offer assistance to guests at Oatlansd by Jetwing too. The many Parks listed above are home to a variety of bird species in Nuwara Eliya. Some uncommon birds such as Velvet fronted Nuthatch, Grey cannery flycatcher, Bar tailed Flycatcher, Dull blue flycatcher, Pied and Scaly Thrush, Kashmir flycatcher, Indian blue robin, and Yellow Bulbul can be spotted here. The property also arranges tours to the Elephant Orphanage in Pinnawala. The orphanage is a nursery that hand raises wild Asian baby elephants. Pinnawala has the largest herd of captive elephants in the world, and was founded to care and protect the many abandoned, unweaned baby elephants found wandering in and near the forests of Sri Lanka.
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