Colombo to Arugam Bay Bus


As of May 2017 there are 2 luxury night buses with ac and 3-4 regular non-ac buses operating between Colombo and Pottuvil. The road is bumpy and has many sharp bends so only the very tired will sleep. You can expect two 20 minute stops on the way for food, drink and to use a bathroom.


The price for a regular bus ticket is about 500LKR and double that for the luxury bus, about 1000LKR.

Bus Times

For the latest Colombo to Arugam Bay bus times and info on how to book tickets in advance see Latest News. This journey will take about 7 hours by night and 10 hours by day.

Luggage Storage

The luxury Colombo to Pottuvil buses have storage available for surfboards and luggage. However, the regular buses are limited in space. Small items of luggage can be stored overhead in the luggage racks. See the many comments below for first-hand experiences!


Day or Night

All direct buses travel through the night, but if you want to travel by day then there is an option to take the number 98-2 bus to Monaragala (some of these are ac), and then take the number 303-1 bus to Pottuvil or Panama. This journey will take considerably longer as there is much more traffic during the day. In addition it is possible to take any number 98 bus as they all route through Monaragala before turning north. In fact some will take you as far as Siyambalanduwa which is the next town from Monaragala. From here there are local buses to Pottuvil and Panama. The last bus from Monaragala to Pottuvil leaves at 17:30.

Pottuvil or Arugam Bay

If the bus goes to Panama then it will stop in Arugam Bay and you will not need to get off in Pottuvil. If you are unsure of this then when you arrive in Pottuvil simply wait to see if all the locals leave the bus. Many tuk tuk drivers will come on the bus and offer you an inflated price to Arugam Bay and tell you that the bus does not go there. If the conductor does not tell you to get off then the bus is going to Arugam Bay.

Arriving in Arugam Bay

There are four stops on the main road arriving in Arugam Bay from Pottuvil, shown on the map below.

Bus Stop Map Arriving Arugam Bay

After you cross the lagoon bridge from Pottuvil at the top of the map it will take the bus approximately 1 minute to reach Bus Stop 1, a distance of 1km. From there, the bus stops are about 30 seconds apart. The bus stops for taking the bus to Pottuvil or Monaragala are shown on the Leaving Here page.

If the Colombo to Arugam Bay bus stops in Pottuvil then a tuk tuk to Arugam Bay will be between 200 and 300LKR depending on which end of the town you need.

Quick Links

Please read this page, all comments and the page Updated Bus Times before asking a question. Thanks 🙂

Searching for a Hotel? Read the Ultimate Guide to Arugam Bay Accommodation 2018

Leave a Reply


I was travelling to A-Bay last weekend. There is a CTB leaving at 5am from Pettah to Syambalanduwa. From there another CTB can be taken directly to Arugam Bay and you reach there around 3:30pm.
The journey is however really exhausting.
For our return journey we took the CTB to Monaragala, and from Monaragala took the intercity bus (AC Bus) to Colombo.
Both journeys took about 8-9 hours.
So going through Monaragala using an intercity AC bus is probably the best option as it makes the longest part of the journeu quite comfortable.
Hope this helps all bus travellers 🙂 .


Hey Anushika, where can I find the details for these buses, thanks Sam 🙂


Is it possible to get to Arugam Bay with a surfboard, but avoiding the expense of a taxi? I notice you say that there is not room in the luggage compartment of the bus for surfboards.


How do I know I booked a luxury Bus ? I took tickets from the website busbooking
And my bus leave at 10:00pm (Colombo – ArugamBay)


Ok, then it is not a luxury bus.
I asked for surfboards, and they replied :

“Reservation is only for passenger seat and a one hand luggage per seat. The bus staff will additionally charge you for the extra luggages as they dont have a dedicated space for other cargo”

Do you know what could be the price of additional charge ?


We are two people arriving Colombo on the 21st not until 11.00 pm. Are there any options for us to take a bus that same night to arugam bay?


I am landing at 5:20 am morning at colombo airport.
I am considering to travel to arugam bay during the day.
Could you give me info from where i should take the first bus in colombo and how many transfers i have to make, in which cities?


thank you! i will let you know how it went 🙂 travelling in july