If you are looking to get out of Colombo but cannot afford more than one day to spend it on, then the perfect destination is Dickoya estate in Nuwaraeliya District.
We took a trip to Dickoya in the middle of September this year and taking the route through Gampola, Kandy it took us around five hours to reach the estate, although we have to mention that the internet somehow claims that you are able to get to Dickoya in two-and-a-half hours, but we still have no idea how that is actually possible.
Considering for once in our lives we had our own private vehicle to drive us around, we were able to maximise our experiences in this trip, but it is important to note that even if you are relying on public transport much of this is really quite possible to be done within the day; it will just be slightly more tiring.
Our main objective in Dickoya was to hike the estate. However, given that we left Colombo quite early in the morning, our hike took us an easy two to three hours. After the hike we had some time to roam the town and one of the shopkeepers shared with us that if we would like, we can visit Dunsinane Falls, which is situated in Pundaluoya village. The village was not too far away from where we were – just about an hour-and-a-half drive.
We decided to spend just a bit more time in Dickoya visiting the Glencairn Bungalow, which is a must if you head that way. Glencairn Bungalow is a planter’s bungalow which has now been restored into a holiday home. The stone building is placed at the centre of a tea estate, and you can get a stunning view of Adam’s Peak in the distance.
Heading over to Pundaluoya village, we were able to get up close and personal with Dunsinane Falls; you’ve most certainly run into this waterfall on your way to the hill country at some point and you can’t miss it – it is an incredible sight. Standing at 100 metres, the waterfall was thankfully not crowded, but unfortunately, we were not at all prepared to get into the water. However, if you wish to get in the water, it is great and there is a safe area for people to bathe. The waterfall is created by Pundalu Oya, which is a tributary of Kotmale Oya.
At this point, if you are not feeling too tired, then there is the option of driving up to Ramboda Falls which is about 20 km from Pundaluoya village. We decided to take the drive, but this would have been where we stopped had we been relying on public transport that day, as the distance, which is essentially a one-hour drive, would’ve taken us some time on the bus.
Luckily, our circumstances made it so that we were able to visit Ramboda Falls, the 11th highest waterfall in Sri Lanka. Having never visited the falls before, we were quite desperate to make sure we made it before nightfall and thankfully, we were able to reach the site before the sun set and the sight that greeted us was truly incredible. Even if you don’t want to make the round-trip across Dickoya, at least make the trip to see Ramboda Falls – it’s an experience we definitely recommend.
Overall, we were able to cover quite a considerable portion of the Nuwara Eliya District in one day, and if you too are looking to get out of Colombo and into the hills, maybe consider taking a trip up to Dickoya.