Lover’s Leap Waterfall is a must see on your trip to Sri Lanka. This little known gem of a natural beauty spot is tucked away in Nuwara Eliya’s pretty countryside and makes for a perfect half day visit.
Arriving from your hot, dusty tuk tuk ride into the fresh, manicured streets of Nuwara Eliya, you can see why people rave about one of Sri Lankas favourite destinations. But not many people leave the pretty little town and explore the surrounding countryside, making it the perfect place to get away from the crowds and off the beaten track.
When we visited Lover’s Leap Waterfall there were only a handful of other people there, all local. We felt as though we had really stumbled across something special that was off the beaten track.
Where Is Lover’s Leap Waterfall?
Just outside the beautiful colonial town of Nuwara Eliya you will find Lover’s Leap Waterfall. When you ask people about Sri Lanka’s ‘must go’ destinations, Nuwara Eliya is always top of peoples list. If you are craving some western home comforts after a long time away then I imagine this would seem like heaven.
Old colonial hotels offer cocktails at (near) Sri Lankan prices and you can sit sipping them at pretty umbrella clad tables looking out onto pristine lawns and refreshing fountains. Lover’s Leap Waterfall is a short tuk tuk ride away from the main town, opposite Pedro Tea Estate (why not combine the two!?)
How To Get To Lover’s Leap Waterfall
Get a taxi or tuk tuk to drop you off outside the entrance to Pedro Tea Estate and ask for the start of the walk to the waterfalls. There is a small signpost to mark it. Your driver will point out the path opposite, and if they are unsure then it is literally the only route up into the hills opposite the Tea Estate entrance. You can’t really miss it!
We grabbed a tuk tuk from the centre of town to the Pedro Tea Estate for Rs300. Alternatively, you could catch a Ragalla-bound bus (Rs 15) from the main bus station in Nuwara Eliya. In our opinion the bus journeys were always an experience in themselves but we planned our trip on the day of a local festival and the buses were not running as normal.
The best way to see the Lover’s Leap Waterfall is to walk to it. It is up a gravelly path and through some pretty, rural countryside, so walking pace is perfect to take it all in. The uphill path isn’t too steep or strenuous and should take around 40 minutes.
Hire a bike from town (there are several obvious bike hire shops) and cycle there. You will have to cycle along a main (ish) road for some of the journey, and the gravelly path up to the waterfall may make the cycle a little tricky at times, but you will certainly get there faster than walking.
If you aren’t feeling energetic then it’s possible for a tuk tuk to take you further along the path until you reach the very entrance of the waterfall. You will miss out on a lot of the pretty countryside though, so only do this if you’re short on time.
What’s Lover’s Leap Waterfall like?
The road to Lover’s Leap Waterfall took us through beautiful tea plantations and past little houses nestled in the hill. It was a casual hours walk to the waterfall and although uphill, not too strenuous.
The walk was worth it. The waterfall was stunning and we were pleased we had ignored the tuk tuk drivers who tried to convince us it would be dry for various reasons so they could take us to another location. Even if you get unlucky and arrive to no waterfall I recommend adding on the walk/climb I have described below, where the views across Nuwara Eliya and beyond are breathtaking.
Underneath the Lover’s Leap Waterfall you can relax, enjoy the cool spray from the gushing water or even take a dip. Be careful when scrambling over the rocks as they are pretty slippy. Although the waterfall obviously attracts visitors, it was very quiet compared to lots of spots in Sri Lanka and was really nice to have somewhere a little less well known to relax in.
Climb To The Top Of Lover’s Leap Waterfall
Before we relaxed by the waterfall our curiosity got the better of us and we followed one of the many tracks off into the woodland. Keep heading up and you will come across a path heading up the side of the waterfall. It was a bit of a clamber (you’ll want to be wearing leggings and sturdy shoes!) Not being a fan of clambering up high I had a few nervous moments and I was pleased I had Adam with me to help and encourage me, but for those of you who are more sure footed and mountain experienced I think it would be an easy scramble up to the top of the waterfall.
I was thrilled I made it up there as the views were incredible. There is a big rocky area to explore, sit and eat lunch and take in the surroundings. And the best bit-it seems little known or little attempted so we had the whole place to ourselves (for those that have been to Sri Lanka you will know how rare this is at tourist spots!)
The Legend Of Lover’s Leap Waterfall
Lover’s Leap Waterfall gets its name from old legend. Once upon a time a royal prince went hunting in the jungle. On his way there he met a beautiful girl from the local village and they fell head over heels in love. The Eliya king and queen opposed the marriage and refused to allow it. In their despair at being forced apart they jumped from the top of the waterfall to their watery deaths below, where in death they could be united forever.
- Wear something you can scramble around in if you want to make it to the top.
- Bring the obvious….water, sun cream, snacks, a mini first aid kit if you’re clumsy like me!
- We didn’t see any leeches but some sites say there are. Bring dettol to dab on your shoes if you’re worried. Salt also works to wipe them off, or apparently a lime (I’ve never tried this!)
- Bring some stickers or stationary for the kids playing outside in the local village. It’s nice to make others smile!
- Be careful on the rocks beneath the Lover’s Leap Waterfall, they were pretty slippy!
The trek in total only took about 3 hours, with time included for a leisurely lunch. It was perfect for an afternoons explore and an escape from the rest of the world. If you’re looking for a more intrepid and adventurous trek head to the Knuckles Range Mountains near Kandy. Check out our experience of this beautiful 2 day trek.
Pedro Tea Estate Opposite Lover’s Leap Waterfall
Having never visited a tea plantation before, and being a huge lover of tea (obviously, I am English!), we decided to give Pedro Tea Estate a try as it was just opposite Lover’s Leap Waterfall. We weren’t actually going to bother visiting a tea plantation but I’m really glad we did.
If you want to visit the Pedro Tea Estate while you’re there check the opening times here. We got very mixed information from the locals!
What To Do In Nuwara Eliya
If you’re anything like us then you’ll want to get out into the countryside and explore places like Lover’s Leap Waterfall, but it would be more than possible to while away your days in Nuwara Eliya playing golf, walking the beautiful gardens or goggling at the colonial style houses and hotels (it is here that English and Scottish pioneers of the Sri Lankan tea plantation industry came to relax). We recommend a visit to The Grand Hotel, where you can sip cocktails on the terrace or enjoy a cream tea in the luxurious lounge.
For a more in depth guide to Nuwara Eliya, check out our post on the top things to do in Nuwara Eliya here.
Staying in Sri Lanka for longer? Check out our detailed guides on some of Sri Lanka’s top destinations below.
2 weeks in Sri Lanka-The ultimate itinerary for a holiday in Sri Lanka.
5 days in Sri Lanka-What to do on a shorter trip to this incredible country.
How to travel on Sri Lanka’s most beautiful railways.
Things to do in Sigiriya-A guide to Sri Lanka’s famous rocky destination!
Whale watching in Mirissa
The famous Horton Plains trek, an ideal next stop after Nuwara Eliya.
Lipton’s Seat trek-Don’t miss this trek through beautiful tea plantations.
We hope this was useful. Let us know if there is anything you think we’ve missed from this guide to Lover’s Leap Waterfall in Nuwara Eliya in the comments below!