Getting to Arugam Bay

At present, the only way to get to Sri Lanka is by air, arriving at Bandaranaika Airport which is a short distance north of Colombo.Sri Lanka Airlines, the national airline, operates daily direct flights from London, and regular flights from a number of other European, Middle and Far Eastern Cities
Srilankan’s Website

Other airlines offering direct flights include Emirates and Gulf Air

There is now one direct bus a day from Colombo to Pottuvil.This bus leaves the Pettah Bus Stand in Colombo at 04.45 AM and arrives in Pottuvil at aproximately 14.30 PM. It is bus number 98 – Pottuvil Route. The price each way is 400 RS – plus 150 RS for each large piece of luggage. (130 RS is around $1 USD)

(The Pettah Bus Stand is the main Bus Stand in Colombo)

• Cost: 550 RS (plus luggage)

• Journey time: Approx 09 Hours

• Comfort: Quite a stressful journey – but very cheap!

This is certainly the cheapest way to get from Colombo to Arugam Bay

If you are arriving by air, tell us your flight number and arrival date, and we will arrange for a taxi to meet you and drive you directly to Arugam Bay.

If you are in Colombo already, call us and we will arrange for a taxi to collect you from your hotel.

The taxi will be a small minibus, so a party of four people with luggage (and surfboards) can be accomodated comfortably.

The cost of a one way journey by private taxi from Colombo itself to Arugam Bay is US$ 157. From the airport (slightly further) the charge is US$ 167.

The journey will take 7 or 8 hours

You can travel about two thirds of the way by train, and then continue onwards by bus or private taxi

If you are not in a great hurry you should certainly consider this, as it is one of the world’s great railway journeys, mostly high in the mountains, with spectacular views most of the time.

The train leaves Colombo for Badulla, via Kandy at 05.55 AM every weekday morning – you should confirm the time and if possible book or buy your ticket in advance.

You can either travel all the way to Badulla, or leave the train at Ella or Haputale (both high in the hill country). You will arrive in the late afternoon, so should stay overnight where you leave the train, and then travel onward to Pottuvil the following morning.

The fare will be about 120 RS (second class) or 350 RS (first class – observation car)