Diyaluma Falls – a guide the second tallest waterfall in Sri Lanka

Diyaluma Falls has a 220-meter drop, natural pools to swim in, an astonishing view of the Sri Lankan highlands, and is located only 1,5 hours from Ella. I don’t think I need to say more to convince you that Diyaluma Falls is worth visiting. Here’s your guide to Sri Lanka’s second tallest waterfall. The guide includes detailed instructions on how to get there, what to do, and what to look out for.

Visiting Diyaluma Falls

Sri Lanka has a lot of waterfalls, but Diyaluma Falls is probably the coolest and most attainable one as it’s located only 1,5 hours from the popular mountain village Ella. This makes Diyaluma Falls the perfect day trip from Ella.

Diyaluma waterfall is a 220-meter-high waterfall and the second highest waterfall in Sri Lanka. The location is a little off the beaten track, which means many people miss it on their Sri Lanka itinerary. Diyaluma Falls offers astonishing views and some of the best natural infinity pools in the world. I’m incredibly happy I dedicated one day to this adventure, as it’s definitely one of my coolest experiences – and on top of my list of favorite things to do in Ella, right next to the iconic Nine Arch Bridge.

Where is Diyaluma Falls located?

Diyaluma Falls is located in Sri Lanka’s Badulla district, around 30 km south of Ella. The nearest town is called Koslanda.

How to get to Diyaluma Falls

Due to Diyaluma Falls growing popularity, many of the local tuk tuk drivers know exactly where to go. Either book a tuk tuk driver to take you there, or rent a scooter and drive yourself. What you should choose depends on how adventurous you are. We rented a scooter and drove ourselves, an experience I wouldn’t want to be without. But if you’re not comfortable with driving and navigating with Google maps, I suggest you book a tuk tuk driver.

There are two ways to get to the top of Diyaluma Falls. Most people start from the bottom of the waterfall and hike all the way up. This hike is rather exhausting, from what I have heard. We drove to a small village called Poonagala on top of the waterfall and only walked for approximately 20 minutes.

Below are details on the Poonagala alternative ⤵

Get to Diyaluma Falls via Poongala 

The drive from Ella town to the starting point in Poonagala takes about 1,5 hours. You will drive on small, bumpy roads through beautiful mountains surrounded by tea plantations. If you choose to go by tuk tuk, the ride should cost around LKR 3500 – 5000 (for a return ticket). Remember to tell your tuk tuk driver you wish to go to the upper Diyaluma Falls.

When you arrive at the starting point there’s a small area where you can park your vehicle. There might be some locals asking for a small parking fee.

The pathway to Diyaluma Falls, Diyaluma Upper Trek, is small and tucked away between high grass and bushes. The path has no signs but is fairly easy to follow. You’ll hear the sound of water rushing after a while – and you’ll know you’re almost there. The hike from the starting point to Diyaluma Falls won’t take you more than 20 minutes.

Tips! Load your Google maps map of the area with your hotel wi-fi before you go. Then you can see where you are even though you don’t have 4G.

Natural pools on different levels

At the top of Diyaluma Falls, before the 220-meter drop, you will face a series of natural pools where you can take a swim and even jump from one pool into another. This area is called Diyaluma upper falls.

We were too curious and chose to walk directly to the lower falls, where the 220-meter drop is located. Seeing the natural pools near the cliffside ending with a gushing 220-meter waterfall, and at the same time looking out over the jungle-like landscape, was an experience out of this world. It’s possible to go for a swim in the pool near the edge, but be extra careful there.

Note! If you’re visiting Diyaluma Falls during the wet season, the water flow might be heavy. Take precautions before diving in, and don’t swim if the water is too wild.

Chill on the surrounding cliffs

The natural pools are surrounded by soft cliffs perfect for a little picnic and chill time before heading back up again. On your way back you can stop at the higher level pools. On a sunny day, it may be necessary to cool down in the cold mountain water.

Make sure to bring enough water and food, because you can easily spend the whole day on top of this incredible waterfall.

Hiking with a guide or not?

If you ask the locals you should definitely not hike to Diyaluma Falls without a guide. This is just partly true. Elephants are active in the area, and if you choose to take a longer hike around the area I would say it might be worth bringing a guide. However, if you choose a shorter hike (like the one from Poongala and the upper trek) and you do the hike during the daytime with a friend, I would say it’s safe to go on your own.

Best time to visit Diyaluma Falls

The best time to visit this area is between January and May. During the rainy season (September – early December), the heavy water flow makes it too wild to swim.

Safety at Diyaluma Falls

There are no safety barriers at Diyaluma Falls. Be careful and don’t go too near the edge. Don’t swim in the falls during the rainy periods, as the currents are much more powerful.

Accommodation around Diyaluma Falls

Diyaluma Falls is located 1,5 hours away from Ella. I suggest visiting the waterfall during your time in Ella, and chose to stay in this relaxed town.

I can recommend two budget options:

More Sri Lanka travel tips

Sri Lanka has so much to offer. These travel guides might come to use as you plan your Sri Lanka trip:

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