Colombo to Arugam Bay Bus

Overview

As of August 2018 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.

Cost

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!

Colombo-Arugam-Bay-Bus

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 2019

38
Leave a Reply

newest oldest
Dilshan

Can I get off at Buttala on this bus pls let me know I am a regular traveller who will use the service twice every week

Youn

The way I used to come to arugam bay from colombo with a night bus in Nov 2017. So there are two websites that you can book a seat through online! 1. Busbooking.lk 2. Busseat.lk I used the second one, reserved a seat through the website and went to pay cash at foodcity (anywhere) where they handle easycash. My journey was from colombo 10 bus stand at 9:30pm to akkaribatu (I arrived around 5:30?am) then a local bus to pottuvil which runs from 6 am. It takes about one hour to get and then one more 10 mins tuk tuk… Read more »

Nele

I wanted to share my latest experience how to get from Colombo airport to Arugambay with two surfboards by public transport and we payed in total ridiculous 620 Rupies per person, about 4 USD. (Please note that English is not my first language). From the airport we took the public bus for 130 Rs, there we had to place our surfboard at hand luggage above the heads, it was half-safe but went fine. When we arrived at the bus central station, we went to something like an information desk in the middle of the area, there we got instructed to… Read more »

Nele

You’re welcome! Yes, it was such a red government bus. But more important: I have to thank you, because without your website we would have never found our way like this to Arugambay 😉

Jemima

Hello,
Can anybody please tell me if I can take a surfboard on the 10.15pm bus to A-Bay?
If it costs extra that is fine, I just want to know if it will fit?

Thank you 🙂