Sri Lanka has a good network of metalled roads connecting all principal towns and places of Tourist interest. Your Tour Travel Agent will be able to arrange a good three or four seater car (air conditioned) with experienced chauffeur guide. Mini-buses and coaches for large groups are also available.
The Sri Lanka central transport board maintains an island-wide network of bus services. Express bus services are available to all principal towns. Seats could be booked in advance, except during certain festival seasons. For information : Central Transport Board, Tel : 2329604/5, Central Bus Station, Olcott Mawatha, Colombo – 11, Private Bus services operate to all major towns in the Island from the Private Bus Stand, Pettah. A/C Inter- City buses are also available from this stand. Tel : 3150916, 5852746.
The Sri Lanka Government Railway serves all important tourist destinations in the Island. Towns served from Colombo include Kandy, Nanu Oya (Nuwareliya), Bandarawela, Hikkaduwa, Galle, Matara, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Negombo, Bentota and Batticaloa.
Accommodation : Two classes – 2nd and 3rd – on long distance trains. 1st class – advance bookings – only on trains with sleeping berths, air conditioned coaches and observation saloons. For groups of 20 to 35 – a Diesel deluxe coach is available. Contact : For information and bookings – Rail Tours – Fort Railway Station, Colombo 01, Tel : 2435838. Open 0800 hrs to 1630 hrs daily (except 1200 hrs to 1300 hrs) Also, Station Superintendents, Fort Railway Station, Colombo, Tel : 2421281 – Ext. 462.
Deccan Aviation, The Landmark, 385, Galle Road, Colombo 03. Operated from Ratmalana with a fleet of bell Helicopters and fly to most parts of Sri Lanka including tourist destinations with just two hours of prior notice. They also operate Heli Tour packages to Adam’s Peak, Galle Fort, Sigiriya and to the Golf Courses. Inquiries : 0777703703.
Adventure Asia Int. operates hot air balloon flights based in Kandalama. They also offer a range of land and water based adventures. See www.ad-asia.com or E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
If you prefer to journey by car or coach please contact the Rent-A-Car companies who would provide Chauffeur driven or self drive (an adventure) cars. (Vehicle rates are subject to change owing to fluctuation of petrol rates.)
Cars / Vans with Driver
A/C cars could be hired at rates from US $ 80 + 15% VAT per to a minimum distance of 100 Kms per day. (Rates subject to change) www.casonsrentacar.com
Again depending on the capacity, make and condition of the Coach, the rates for AC coaches from Rs. 70/- and Rs. 90/- for mini Coaches of 26 seat capacity, from Rs.200/- onwards per km for bigger Coaches of 40 seat capacity. The Driver’s allowance ranges from Rs. 1,000/- to Rs. 1,500/- per day. (Rates subject to change)
Transfers from the International Airport to Colombo and Negombo are handled by approved transport and travel agents of following rates. Airport to Colombo – Rs. 3,200/-onwards A/C. this fare is for up to four persons travelling in one air- conditioned car. (Rates subject to change)
There are radio-controlled taxi services operating in Colombo and the suburbs. The prices are metered. A kilometer ranges from Ra. 68/- at present. There is no call up charge. These cabs could be hired for long distance travel too. (Rates subject to change)
Three – Wheelers
An interesting aspect of the street scenery in Colombo and suburbs, and many provincial towns an, is the three-wheeler scooter taxi. They take you quickly through traffic. Most three wheelers have no meters and it is strongly recommended to agree on the fare prior to commencing travel. However, a meter three wheeler service have been introduced recently where they charge Rs. 50/- for the 1st km and Rs. 30/- per km thereafter. The three- wheeler is a good guide for the more daring and adventurous! (Rates subject to change)
Self-drive cars with Drivers
Self-drive cars with Drivers are mode of transport for Tourist. Self drive AC cars should be hired at the rates ranging from US$ 25 to US$ 65 per day according to the make of the car and the number of days required. A refundable deposit ranges from US $ 25 up to US $ 85. Cars US $ 25, Standard Cars US $ 45 to US $ 60. SUV’s US $ 85 to US $ 130. Some Rent-A-Car companies do not charge a deposit. www.casonsrentacar.com
The Rent – A – Car Association, Sri Lanka
The Rent-A-Car Association Sri Lanka was registered in June 2008 by 10 Founder Members, mainly the leading Rent-A- Car Operators Sri Lanka. Relatively, it would be better to hire vehicles from the members of Rent–A–Car associations.
With the Rent-A-Car Association secretariat located at 177, R. A de Mel Mawatha, Colombo 03, Sri Lanka R.A.C.A objectives are as follows;
To represent and develop the motor vehicle rental industry in Sri Lanka by promoting union of interests well-being and ethics amongst its members whilst enhancing the image of the Industry by caring for the environment and always promoting safety and quality assured services to the public and acting always in a socially responsible manner.
To work in close co-operation with the Government of Sri Lanka and more particularly with the state Organizations like the Ceylon Tourist Board, Sri Lanka Tourist Board, The Registrar of Motor Vehicles, Sri Lanka Police and any other related Industry in the public sector and similarly to work with any private sector Organizations.
To take such steps as may be deemed necessary to further and to protect interests of the Members of the Association and the Rent-A-Car industry of Sri Lanka as a whole.
To lay down a code of conduct and ethics for maintaining discipline among its members.
To establish and maintain close and cordial relation and bong with other related sections of the local rent a car industry and also with international rent a car bodies and to further its objects to affiliate with appropriate international organizations if considered necessarily.
To do all such acts, deeds and things may be deemed necessary in pursuance of the above objects.
Information on import of vehicles under carnet, driving licenses, condition of roads etc. from Automobile association of Ceylon, 40, Sir Macan Markar Mawatha, Galle Face, Colombo 03. Tel : 2421528-9.
Road Motor Vehicle Registrar
No. 341, Elvitigala Mawatha, Colombo 05. Tel : 11 2694331 / 11 2694332
Cycling and Mountain Biking
If you prefer to get about on two wheels there are many interesting trails in the lowlands that take you through a beautiful landscape of tea, rubber and spice plantations. For those seeking more of a challenge, hill country locations such as the knuckles National Heritage and Wilderness area offer a number of steeper trails that are only suitable for more experienced cyclist. www.casonsrentacar.com / www.casonstravels.com