The Pekoe Trail: Stage 14

St. Catherine ⇌ Makulella
A moderate hike through one of The Pekoe Trail's most scenic routes

STAGE IS CLOSED – Stage is officially closed due to safety or entrance restrictions.
STAGE NOT YET OFFICIALLY LAUNCHED – not fully audited for signage and trail conditions, not actively maintained.
STAGE IS OPEN – signage in place and trail conditions actively monitored.

This trail begins at St. Catherine, a tea plantation workers' village sitting high up on a plateau. The area is well known because of the nearby Lipton’s Seat - a vantage point from where Sir Thomas Lipton, widely known as the father of Ceylon tea, liked to survey his tea empire.

On this hike, you will pass colourful vegetable plots, a patch of Eucalyptus forest, and walk along the edge of a plateau through village homes, cultivations, and tea. Soon you will approach one of the most spectacular locations on the entire Pekoe Trail. From here try to spot one of Sri Lanka’s highest mountains, Namunukula, which means "Nine Peaks" in Sinhala. According to Wikipedia during the Ming treasure voyages of the 15th century, the Chinese fleet led by Admiral Zheng made use of this geographical feature in their navigation to Sri Lanka, as the mountain is the first visible landmark of Sri Lanka after departing Sumatra.

Key Points
  • Mountain villages

  • Places of worship

  • Tea plantations

  • Farms

  • Historic bungalows

  • Breathtaking views

The descent of this stage takes you on old British-planter engineered estate roads. You pass the old Balagala Tea Planters Bungalow and walk through the Balagala village with an impressive and enormous Hindu Kovil. There are lovely forested areas here, which finally lead to the Buddhist Temple in Makulella that marks the end of the stage.

Top attractions along Stage 14 of The Pekoe Trail

Explore the best attractions and points of interest from St. Catherine (Lipton Seat) to Makulella

Immersive experiences around St. Catherine and Makulella

Go off the beaten path with these unique experiences visiting tea factories, a mountain peak, and Hindu temples.

Other Stages to Explore

Hill Towns and Cities along The Pekoe Trail

The Pekoe Trail winds its way across some of the most spectacular towns and cities in Sri Lanka’s central highlands. Make a pit stop in the tea country and explore these charming tea country towns each with their own unique landscape, attractions, and experiences.