Updated Colombo to Arugam Bay Bus Times May 2017

There are now 5-6 buses running between Pottuvil and Colombo, all travelling through the night and taking about 7 hours. Two of these are luxury ac buses and the rest are regular non-ac buses. It appears that one of the non-ac private buses can be prebooked at busbooking.lk (see the comment below).

Approximate departure times (usually to within 15 minutes):

Leaving Pottuvil to Colombo

  • 7.00pm (private bus that can be prebooked at busbooking.lk).
  • 8:30pm (private luxury bus with ac).
  • 8:45pm (government bus).
  • 9:30pm (government bus).
  • 9:30pm (private luxury bus with ac that can be booked in advance for 1300LKR at the Taxi Owners Society Office in Pottuvil (opens in Google Maps)).

Leaving Colombo to Pottuvil / Arugam Bay

  • 7:30pm (two private luxury buses with ac leave from the Bismallah Lodge (opens in Google Maps) see note below).
  • 8:45pm (government bus from central bus stand).
  • 9:00pm (government bus from central bus stand).
  • 9:30pm (government bus from central bus stand).
  • 10:15pm (private bus from the private bus stand that can be prebooked at busbooking.lk).

Note: You can buy tickets for the luxury ac bus at the Bismallah Lodge in Colombo. The final destination of this bus is Akkaraipattu and there are only 10 reservable seats for Pottuvil. The Lodge is located behind the buildings on the main road. To find it enter the unmarked side road next to the pink building in the photo.

Please read this page, all comments and the page Colombo to Arugam Bay by Bus before asking a question. Thanks 🙂

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62 Comments on "Updated Colombo to Arugam Bay Bus Times May 2017"


Whereabouts in Pottuvil do we buy tickets for the private bus to Colombo – thankyou

michael giovine

Hi, Arrive 5:40 pm at airport, will i get to Bismallah Lodge in time for the 7.30 pm bus & if so better to take taxi or does a bus go from airport?


Hi guys, awesome info, I arrive in colombo tomorrow at 10.30pm will stay the night and then catch a night bus to Abay the next day, I’m going to make a travel video of this. Hopefully it will help some people out to see it done, I can send you the link when it’s finished 🙂

Brayden Hunt


Me and my partner were looking to leave Arugam Bay in a few days and are thinking of catching a bus to Colombo.

I’m assuming the government buses are the red buses, and the private buses are the blue buses, but what are the ‘private luxury buses’?

Are these a step up from the blue private buses and how much would it cost to get from AB to Colombo on one of these.

Thank you!



Do you know if any buses leave from Potuvil or Panama directly to Colombo in the day? And if they are luxury, private or government?

Thanks, Sally


Curious to know if anyone who has taken an overnight luxury ac bus from AB to Columbo has been a solo female, and if so, whether they found traveling the overnight bus was a comfortable experience on their own. I’m hoping to take one of these bus options next weekend when I depart.