Colombo to Arugam Bay Bus

Bus Times

For the latest Colombo to Arugam Bay bus times see Latest News. This journey will take about 7 hours by night and 10 hours by day.


There is no ac option on the direct night buses although day intercity buses from Colombo to Monaragala now have ac. The seats are not particularly comfortable, and the road has many sharp bends, so only the very tired will be able to sleep. You can expect two 20 minute stops on the way for food, drink and to use a bathroom.

Luxury AC Night Bus

There is now a luxury ac night bus which goes from Colombo to Akkaraipattu 50km from Arugam Bay. For more information see this page.

Luggage Storage

The Colombo to Arugam Bay bus has limited space for the storage of luggage but not for surfboards. Small items of luggage can be stored overhead in the luggage racks.


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, 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.

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  1. Anushika

    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 🙂 .

    1. Admin

      Hey Anushika, this is great information. Thanks for sharing! It is good that at least there is now an ac bus running between Monaragala and Colombo. Maybe next year it will go all the way to Arugam Bay once more!

    2. Sam

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

    3. Admin

      Hi Sam, I think this website is currently the only place giving information on these buses. One day the Sri Lankan authorities will organise themselves and produce a website! What other information do you need?

  2. Charlotte

    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.

    1. Admin

      Hi Charlotte, most buses have a storage area in the back, so if that is empty and you have a shortboard it should be ok. No guarantee though. Let us know how it goes if you try. Good luck!

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