Tucked away in the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka, Riverston is a place of breathtaking beauty that often goes unnoticed by tourists. This hidden gem is located near the town of Matale, in the Matale District, approximately 30 kilometers from the city of Kandy. Its relative obscurity has helped preserve its natural charm, making it a paradise for nature lovers, hikers, and adventure seekers.
How to reach Riverston:
You can reach Riverston Peak by traveling about 30 km from Matale town. The road is not well maintained but manageable. Do not worry there is no problem going by car.
However, Your journey to Riverston starts with a scenic drive that takes you through winding roads and picturesque landscapes. As you ascend into the highlands, the air becomes cooler, and the lush greenery becomes more abundant. Along the way, you’ll pass through small villages, and tea plantations, providing a glimpse of rural life in Sri Lanka.
Places to visit at Knuckles mountain range.
- Riverston Tower the trekking path and the gusty wind gap.
- Bambarakiri Ella.
- Pitawala Pathana and Mini World’s End.
- Sera Ella Waterfall.
Riverston Tower the trekking path and the gusty wind gap.
Riverston’s main attraction is undoubtedly the hike to Riverston Peak. The trek takes you through a variety of landscapes, from dense forests to open grasslands, and along the way, you’ll be greeted by numerous little streams and waterfalls. The diversity of flora and fauna in this region is astounding, with many endemic and rare species of plants and animals.
The highlight of the hike is reaching the top of Riverston Peak, where you’ll find awe-inspiring panoramic views of the surrounding hills and valleys. You can see the Knuckles Mountain Range, named for its resemblance to a clenched fist, from this vantage point. Along the way to the top, you can also witness the Riverstone Gap, particularly an area with lots of gusty winds that make you feel like they are carrying you away. The Knuckles Range is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is renowned for its unique terrain, biodiversity, and rugged beauty.
It is another beautiful location situated on the way to Riverston, close to Raththota town. A rope bridge spans across the waterfall, and there is an instruction not to jump into the water as the water level increases suddenly.
Pitawala Pathana and Mini World’s End.
Another must-visit spot in Riverston is the Mini World’s End. Similar to the more famous World’s End in Horton Plains National Park, this viewpoint offers stunning views of the Knuckles Range. The mist-covered mountains, deep valleys, and lush forests below create a surreal and serene atmosphere.
Not to mention, the “Pitawala Pathana” area. It is a huge and unique grassland spread over a large area. As the name states, it is a huge plateau area. Also, it has a great ecological value which is located by the side of Raththota-Illukkumbura road.
There are some restrooms, a canteen and nice and tidy washrooms for visitors. Most people used to have their lunch in this place.
Sera Ella Waterfall.
Riverston is also home to the beautiful Sera Ella Waterfall, a hidden cascade that flows through the jungle. The waterfall is reached by a short hike, and you can take a refreshing dip in its cool waters.
This waterfall located in Dumbara forest near Laggala town. And also, a few Kilometers away from Pitawala pathana. Some say that the name derives from the waterfall’s beauty, which resembles the leaves of a Sera tree (Lemongrass) hanging down.
The fall is at its fullest during the monsoon season from November to March.
Riverston Practical Information
- Best Time to Visit: The best time to visit Riverston is during the dry season, from December to March, when the weather is more predictable, and the trails are less muddy.
- Permits: You may need to obtain permits to enter certain areas. Check in advance or with a local guide for specific requirements.
- Guides: Hiring a local guide is highly recommended. They can help you navigate the trails and provide insights into the area’s flora, fauna, and history.
- Accommodation: While Riverston doesn’t have a lot of accommodation options, you can stay in Matale or nearby guesthouses.
Riverston is a place that seems frozen in time, untouched by the hustle and bustle of modern life. Its untouched beauty and serene landscapes offer an ideal escape for those seeking a peaceful retreat into nature. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a hiker, or simply a traveler looking to discover lesser-known destinations, Riverston is a true gem in Sri Lanka’s crown. It’s a place where you can connect with nature, find tranquility, and experience the unspoiled beauty of this tropical paradise.