Transportation in Sri Lanka
With our local agency, you are taken care of in a private air-conditioned vehicle with a chauffeur-guide, as soon as you arrive at the airport. The private vehicle is the fastest and by far the most comfortable means of transportation for a tour in Sri Lanka. Taking into account that there are only two highways in the country (from the airport to Colombo and from Colombo to Galle, Matara and Hambantota), we can estimate the average speed of travel at 50 km / h over long distances.
Sri Lanka by bus
The buses in Sri Lanka are very numerous and offer unbeatable rates. However, they can be very uncomfortable and very slow. In fact, not only are the seat spaces narrow but having one is a rare chance, many travelers are forced to travel standing for hours. Also, many buses stop as soon as a person is at the edge of the road which makes trips extremely long due to the large number of stops and the time lost to slow down and accelerate. If you are still taking a bus, use private buses and minibuses whenever possible. The only "advantage" to take a bus to Sri Lanka will be the change of scenery, people standing tighter than in the Paris metro at rush hour and Bollywood music at the top of their voices will make you smile and think.
Sri Lanka by train
The train is a mythical transport form in Sri Lanka and offers an inescapable experience. The portion between Nuwara Eliya and Ella, in the heart of the mountains and tea plantations, is by far the most incredible. However, like buses, trains are relatively slow and seats are not always guaranteed if you do not have a reservation. Finally, we must know that (as in France?!) the trains lack punctuality. We can easily incorporate this adventure into your tour and try to book for you a seat in an air-conditioned wagon. Sometimes we can not have reservations for numbered seats in high season, however it is always possible to get on a train. You just have to be patient and hope that a seat is released at one of the many stops of the train.
Domestic flights in Sri Lanka
Domestic flights are also available and can be added to your itinerary. There are small capacity planes or helicopters. The Helitours operator managed by the army offers attractive rates. Another company named Cinnamon Air offers more expensive connections. Both companies offer different routes and complement each other. However, flights are not daily, so depending on the route, we may not be able to guarantee an internal flight.
If you need a tuk-tuk (3 wheeled buggy) in Sri Lanka, or if you just want to experience this means of tranportation, remember to always negotiate the price in advance. Most tuk-tuk do not have meters. However, you will find many tuk-tuks with meter in Colombo. Each kilometer traveled costs about 40 rupees, 60 rupees the first kilometer even if you only travel for 600 meters.
We can also add a tuk-tuk safari to your itinerary. You can take a trip to the heart of the tea region and visit Lipton's Seat. This is a superb point of view known to be the place where Baron Sir Thomas Lipton came to contemplate his lands.
It is also possible to take a tuk-tuk tour of Colombo accompanied by an English-speaking guide. This is an opportunity to discover all the secrets of the capital while tasting many local specialties.
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