The Best Treehouses in Sri Lanka

The Ark Treehouse
The Ark Treehouse | © The Ark
Photo of Emma Sparks
21 April 2021

In Sri Lanka, a watch hut is an elevated room or living area built on stilts or up a tree, often to give a privileged view of the fields and to stay clear of elephants and other wildlife. So having a treehouse hotel room is nothing new to Sri Lanka, but the trend continues to grow. From private treehouses with infinity pools to original watch huts overlooking elephant grass, there are plenty of treehouse options on the island. Read on to discover the best treehouses in Sri Lanka – they’re all bookable on Culture Trip.

TheTreeHouse, Ginigathena

Map View
Courtesy of Tree Houses by Jungle Rive /

The three cosy huts at TheTreeHouse are wrapped around towering pines – the trunks shoot straight through the middle of your room. Accessed via a wobbly hanging bridge, they include a tiny bathroom and a balcony overlooking jungled hills – the perfect spot to sip tea and bird spot. Ask friendly host Raj to help you arrange river-rafting tours and a trip to Aberdeen Waterfall. Cultural hotspot Kandy is an hour-and-a-half away.

Saraii Village

Cottages, Eco-Lodge, Treehouse
Map View
Courtesy of Saraii Village /
If you want to immerse yourself in nature, Saraii Village is for you. Not only are three national parks under an hour’s drive away (including Yala), but there’s a wildlife sanctuary on your doorstep, and you’ll be roused from your treehouse slumber by the sound of tropical birds. Accommodation is rustic – think ladder access, shared outdoor bathrooms and unavoidable bugs – but that’s part of the charm.

Back of Beyond – Pidurangala

Map View
Courtesy of Back of Beyond /
Bug spray at the ready? Then you’re all set for a back-to-nature retreat at Back of Beyond Pidurangala, where you’ll find two lofty treehouses and a cluster of cottages. Early birds will love the location in the verdant foothills of Pidurangala Rock – the trail starts close by, so you’ll be able to get a head start on the popular sunrise hike.

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  • Back of Beyond – Dehigaha Ela

    Map View
    Back of Beyond – Dehigaha Ela /
    If your idea of heaven is to immerse yourself in the Sri Lankan wilderness, make a beeline for Back of Beyond Dehigaha Ela. Set within a small forest clearing 8km (5mi) from Sigiriya, here you can spend your days spotting tropical birds, wandering jungle trails, and having your toes nibbled by fish in the crystal-clear stream. Take your pick of three open-sided solar-powered treehouses – or, if heights aren’t your thing, opt for a cottage on terra firma.

    Huma Terra Lodge

    Map View
    Courtesy of HUMA TERRA Green Lodge /
    The small cluster of solar-powered stilted huts and treehouses at Huma Terra Lodge have thatched roofs and rattan furniture, and overlook a working rice paddy. As well as your affable French hosts Solange and Jean-Loup, you’ll meet their free-roaming menagerie of rescue donkeys, dogs, horses and ducks. Craving a dip in the Indian Ocean? Hikkaduwa Beach is a 15-minute drive away.

    The Ark

    Map View

    The Ark, near Mathugama, is a far cry from the rickety, organic-looking treehouse you might envisage; the buttressed roof and cantilevered deck make it a fine example of modern engineering, and the polished interiors are akin to those of a boutique hotel. You’ll have exclusive use of the three-bedroom property, which comes with a private chef, so you can wake above the clouds, admire the outstanding jungle views from the infinity pool, and eat dinner under the stars in sweet seclusion.

    Orana Velarde contributed additional reporting to this article.

    These recommendations were updated on April 21, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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