The Pekoe Trail is a 300+km, 22-stage long distance walking trail in the central highlands of Sri Lanka, connecting diverse communities and ecosystems and providing lasting and wide-ranging benefits for people and the environment.
With stages ranging right across the central highlands, you can access the trail from Ella, Kandy, Hatton, Nuwaya Eliya and Haputale and take on as much or as little as you like. The stages average around 14km or 4-6 hours walking, so we recommend short trips to cover 1 or 2 stages, but longer walking holidays can be arranged upon request.
In total the trial pases through 80 villages, 24 tea estates, 4 nature reserves and 2 national parks, affording spectacular views and numerous photo opportunities. It also gives you the chance to discover Sri Lanka’s rich heritage, history and authentic culture first-hand as you interact with local communities, many of whom have not met any tourists before.
The recommended age for the hike is 10-70 years old and is especially recommended for those with an interest in nature and wildlife (especially birding), hiking, wellness, community-centric travel and those who want to get off the beaten track.
The Pekoe Trail was created to encourage positive tourism that supports nature, cultural heritage and communities in seldom-visited areas of the highlands. Walking is a low carbon and unobtrusive way to explore the numerous ecosystems of this biodiversity hotspot, which includes many endemic and protected species of birds, trees primates, butterflies and amphibians. Leopards are found in patches of jungle along the trail as well although mostly active at night.
It also helps to preserve cultural heritage by connecting visitors directly to the island’s rich tapestry of stories and historical places, from mythological to colonial times. Even more importantly, the project prioritises meaningful and impactful tourism that is careful, non-destructive and aims to provide benefit to local communities.
The communities along the trail comprise many ethnicities, religions and cultures but are all friendly, uncommercialised and welcoming. Join their relaxed mutual curiosity and you might find yourself spontaneously sipping tea at someone’s home or playing a game of checkers with the children of a small shop owner. These encounters are precious and organic and it is crucial to respect their trust and wellbeing when allowed this rare opportunity.