Is it possible to stay here as a base and travel out inland to the various southern tourist sites we want to see? Such as Kandy, Ella Bridge, Yala NP, Galle.
If so, how? Can the hotel organise trips/taxis, do any tour groups pick up from the hotel or can you easily sort public/local transport.
If you can, how about northern sites? Such as Sigiriya Rock
Many thanks in advance!
Greetings from Anantara Kalutara Resort!
Yes it is possible to travel to Galle in a private vehicle or taxi as you can go through the highway, and it will take two hours in public transportation which you can find very easily.
Apart from Galle It will take more than 4 hours (Day trips) for the other tours. And yes , we do arrange tours/taxis if you are willing to visit other cities.
You can travel to Sigiriya and it is also a day trip.
Anantara Kalutara Resort Team
We asked about visiting another island, but it was difficult getting transportation. In the end, we paid 300 USD for a 2 hour trip. Worth it as it confirmed we would have not enjoyed a holiday at the other island
The hotel is too far away from the various sites you mention. You can't expect to drive (or better to be driven) faster than 35 to 40 km/h on Sri Lanka roads: too many tuk-tuks !!
So better to choose several hotels close to your destinations.
And be ready for long queues at Sigiriya, especially to get back from the top of the rock !
Enjoy nevertheless !!
Sorry I meant to say Sigiriya is about 5h away, not 4h 30m.
You need to realise that roads in Sri Lanka are not always the best. To get to Kandy (which is not south) would take about 4h 30m, even though it’s only 165km away. Sigiriya is further, and would be about 4h 30m. Yala would be about 4h 30m from Kalutara as well. I do not know how reliable public transport would be in any of these cases (we didn’t hear good reports though, slow and unreliable), but the hotel has very good vehicles (Mercedes, Mitsubishi Outlander) for you to book. I’m not sure of costs, since our tours were arranged through the travel company, Quintessential Travel, and were included in the total cost. I think we were told that a trip from the hotel to Udawala Elephant Sanctuary was around $280 so not cheap. You can probably arrange your own transport but I’ve no information on that. Galle, Handunugoda Tea Estate and Kosgoda sea turtle sanctuary are all within striking distance of the hotel and well worth a visit.
If you want to go to Yala, maybe consider splitting your stay as we did, between this hotel and Anantara Peacehaven in Tangalle. Much closer to Yala and again the hotel would arrange this.
For Kandy and Sigiriya I’d suggest staying further north maybe even in Kandy itself.
There are so many places to visit you will definitely want to go back!!
Hi we had a driver who stayed with us all the time while in Sri Lanka, as a family of 4 people this worked out best,not sure about public transport as we did not use any. The driver was very knowledgable about all the sites we visited some were 4 to 5 hours away but Sri Lanka is a beautiful warm friendly place and everyone will go out of their way to help you hope this helps
I would recommend you use Colombo as a base and travel out to the various locations you have mentioned from there, simply because it is a lot easier to organise transport from Colombo. For example if you stay at a hotel in Fort, (Colombo) you can easily take a taxi from the hotel to the train station in Fort to anywhere. Make sure you book either 1st or 2nd class seats because the 3rd class can get really crowded and the seats there aren't as comfortable. 2nd class isn't air conditioned, but this allows you to slide open the shutters and take in the sights, sounds and fragrances of the surroundings. The train ride from Fort to Ella is one not to be missed. Make sure to book the tickets in advance because though because they get picked up pretty fast. If you would prefer a private vehicle, this too, is easier to do from Colombo as there are more options. You could either use the taxi service from the hotel (which would be very comfortable but a little more expensive), get an Uber or Pickme (the local Uber - an App easily "downloadable" on your smart phone) or a private transport or a tour agencies' transport services All in all, since Colombo is the commercial capital of the country, it has many hotels (from 5 star to simple city hotels), restaurants (from quaint to swanky), bars, shops, malls etc which can be accessed easily, and more locals conversant in English, you would find it more convenient to base yourself there. It isn't that Kalutara can't work for you, but in my view, Colombo would be easier. Have a wonderful stay in our beautiful country and thanks for choosing us for your next holiday. :-)
This was actually what we did, Through the hotel, we arranged for a driver with a van who met us at the airport and stayed with us all the time. Hotel provides accommodation for him free of charge.
We visited Kandy and all the sites along the road. We also went all the way south to Galle.
We were coming back to the hotel every night and it worked well, but I don't think that was the best solution. The problem is very slow traffic in Sri Lanka. For example the trip to Kandy takes more than 4 hours although it is only 160 km.
Please contact Asya Tours Kalutara, They are really good tour operators
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