Hunas Falls is an hour's ride into the Knuckles Range from Kandy, a bone-jarring trip that is well worth the effort. The falls are on the property of Hunas Falls Resort by Amaya, carved into the steep hillsides of an abandoned tea plantation.
My husband and I spent an afternoon learning about native plants, such as Sri Lanka's national tree, Ceylon ironwood. The wood is used only for construction of Buddhist temples; the trees we saw were "flushing" pink under the hot sun of this year's unusually dry winter season. Nearby, untended tea trees soared toward the forest canopy, and the majestic roots of screw pines reminded us a bit of coastal mangroves.
Trained naturalist Bandara is passionate about the flora and fauna of Sri Lanka, and delights in sharing his knowledge with travelers. His bird walks offer an opportunity to see about half of all bird species endemic to Sri Lanka. Bandara also leads guests through the ex-plantation's spice garden, and on challenging hikes high above the falls. Throughout our walk, peregrine falcons and sea eagles soared overhead in the updrafts from the valley below.