Copy of – How to Climb Adam's Peak in Sri Lanka

You dont need technical climbing experience to summit Adams Peak, but the hike can take up to four hours
You don't need technical climbing experience to summit Adam's Peak, but the hike can take up to four hours | © Paul Springett C / Alamy
Jayani Senanayake

Looking for an adventure while backpacking through Sri Lanka? Consider climbing the picturesque and historic Adam’s Peak. Read our guide to climbing the mountain, and learn when to go and what to bring.

For more natural beauty, book an exclusive experience with Culture Trip to see the very best of Sri Lanka’s colourful wildlife and spectacular historical landmarks.

What is Adam’s Peak?

Adam’s Peak, also known as Sri Pada (sacred footstep) and Samanala Kanda (butterfly mountain), is a conical mountain standing 2,243m (7,359ft) tall in the central highlands of Sri Lanka. Trekking up the mountain is popular with both tourists and locals, who are allured by its mystery as well as the enchanting beauty they are rewarded with at the top.
The mountain is named for a point near the summit that is sacred to several faiths: it is a place of worship for Buddhists, who believe the Buddha’s footprint is located here; Hindus believe the footprint belongs to Shiva; Christians and Muslims believe it is Adam’s first step after being exiled from the Garden of Eden. The mountain is also known for the spectacular sight of thousands of beautiful butterflies gracing the area annually.

Adam’s Peak is sacred to four religions in Sri Lanka

Climbing Adam’s Peak

There are between 5,000 and 6,000 steps to the top of Adam’s Peak

What to bring
Because it’s not a complex climb, a small backpack with bare necessities – water, snacks, a raincoat– will be enough, and a dry sweater will be useful for waiting for the sunrise once at the top. And don’t forget a camera.
Come prepared for hunger pangs. The only options for food along the way are wadeis (deep-fried local delicacy), rotis and chickpeas – so bring your own food if you adhere to a particular diet.

There’s a small Buddha shrine at the top of the mountain, plus gawp-worthy views

Layer your clothing and protect your feet
Although the climb up will be hot and sweaty, the atmosphere near the top is chilly. Follow the locals’ example and wear long trousers. Bring your hats, gloves and sweaters for the climb down.
The long, arduous climb up will be difficult without comfortable footwear, so prepare accordingly. Those with knee pain should also remember to bring trekking poles or, at least, find a stick to lean on.

If you’re thinking of climbing Adam’s Peak, wear comfy shoes
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Winter Sale Offers on Our Trips

Incredible Savings

Edit article