Transportation in Sri Lanka doesn’t come without its challenges. This is a diverse and still underdeveloped country that meanders through jungle, forest and more; meaning that travel via public transport takes longer, and is a less direct route often requiring changes or stops in remote areas. Below is listed the range of options available to you for reaching your home in Sri Lanka at The Spice Trail in Arugam Bay.
OPTION 1: Private Taxi
The quickest but most expensive option. You can travel directly from Colombo to Arugam Bay in the comfort of an air-conditioned and quiet vehicle. If you take this option at night you can sleep and wake up in paradise! It is usually a 6 hour journey and costs 150USD. Contact Surf n Tours for a reputable transfer service.
OPTION 2: Local Bus from Colombo – Pottuvil
This is your cheapest option, but for good reason. The buses here can only be described as whacky in design, fast and very noisy. There isn’t a lot of legroom at all, and they love to play loud jingly music throughout the entire journey (which usually takes 10 hours, depending on the number of stops). The number 98 bus departs twice a day from the Main Bus Terminal at 5am and 8pm. The cost is $3 – $5 USD for the bus, and an extra 300 rupees for a 10 minute tuk-tuk to Arugam Bay.
OPTION 3 – Direct A/C Bus
There is a direct AC bus that departs daily from Maradana Zahira College (opposite Maradana Train Station) at 8pm and arrives at Pottuvil Bus Station at around 3:45am. The cost is 12 USD plus $3 for extra luggage. It gets booked up quickly so reserve your seat in advance. Contact number: 0711923997.
OPTION 4 – Panama Bus
This bus departs from Colombo Main Bus Station at 7:30pm, and will pass through Arugam Bay with the final stop being Panama. Arrival in A-bay will be around 5:30am.
Alternative Travel Options
Ella to Arugam Bay:
Private van: cost around $80 and journey time 3-4 hours.
Local bus: Ella to Wellawaya, then Wellawaya – Pottuvil and tuk-tuk from there to A-bay.
Trincomalee to Arugam Bay:
Taxi is the easiest way for this. The cost is approximately 17000 rupees.