Ratnapura is a town in Sri Lanka that is known around the world as the City of Gems. It is rich in deposits of precious stones and is the site of many gem mines. The city has a number of hostels around it because of the many tourists who visit the mines and nearby Adam’s Peak. If you are looking for a hostel here, try to arrive sometime between the months of April and October, as these are prime times for a visit.
There is a lot to do in Ratnapura. Take a trip to the gem museum in town, which holds some of the best samples ever dug up in the city. The town is known for some of the most famous stones in the world, including the Blue Belle of Asia that was once a British Crown Jewel, and the Star of India, a stone on display at the Museum of Natural History in New York City.
From your hostel, pack a lunch and embark on a trek up Adam’s Peak, a mountain that stretches up two kilometers. The four main religions of the world all have pilgrimages to this site. It is thought to be the location of the footprint of Lord Buddha, Lord Shiva, Adam, and Thomas the Apostle, depending on the religion. If you do not want to deal with the crowds climbing the mountain, avoid the season between December and April, which is when the pilgrimages begin.
If you are a fan of nature, you can also visit the Sinharaja Rainforest, a massive UNESCO World Heritage Site that covers 11000 hectares near Ratnapura. It is a very dense forest with many species of rare plants and animals. You can visit here and hike through the forest with a tour guide or on your own. It is thought to have plants within it that can cure a number of today’s diseases.
Hi, I'm Jakob Lombardi,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Ratnapura hostels. Welcome.