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a VirtualTourist member

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka with tour or independently?

Hello, hope everyone is well!
I’ve wanted to go visit Sri Lanka for many years but haven’t been able to do so because of the political instability. Now that everything is better, I would like to finally make the trip to Sri Lanka. Would it be better to plan on my own or go with a tour group? What are the must see of Sri Lanka?

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

10 Answers

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Amsterdam

Hi there,

It's all personal taste. Better first check which group tours are available for Lanka from your country (local operators don't offer these directly) and then compare with the cost of a personal car-driver. Probably no major cost difference due to the relatively low salaries. Then see whether the group schedule fits; if yes and you like groups why don't do it, if it does not fit get a custom made tour with personal driver.

All the best,

& [Sandya]

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Shanghai

What erikdr says is correct, it is a matter of taste. If you want someone else making all the arrangements for you, try to go with a tour group - they will get to all the standard must-sees. If you have your own ideas about what you want to see, or want some flexibility, hiring a private driver is better. You'll have to take a more active role in planning, but you'll be able to get more off the beaten path than if you go with a tour. I went to Sri Lanka several times, always with a private driver, who also helped out with finding places to sleep and great local restaurants en route.

You can start your research on VT's travel guide to Sri Lanka: [original VT link]. Scroll down to see the regional guides on the right-hand side, it's a little more manageable. It will be helpful if you have some ideas about what you like to see and do - wildlife? temples? beaches? sea turtles? Sri Lanka has so much packed into a small area, it's possible to see and do a wide variety of things in a fairly short time.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member


I think you must book local tour company is good.

I just returned my country after lovely tour in Sri Lanka. I booked local tour company and Indika (my driver/guide) given me a good support. They managed everything and provided nice hotels. actually charges were reasonable. He introduced me to his former client. I also would like to introduced him to you. You can contact him via his e-mail. [email] and talk with him. He will provide a good budget package.
have a nice journey!

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Tumby Bay

I went with 2 other ladies and booked with an Australian company called Excotic Lanka Holidays, a company that I found on the internet. Our Aust contact Damitha allowed us to vary the the tour to suit our interests eg we did an elephant safari that was not on the original programme and cancelled one of the temple days.We were met at the airport by our personal local driver, all accomodation and tours were pre booked but because we had the vehicle and knowledgeable driver to ourselves for the entire trip we could still be flexible. This worked well for us, we found some of the roads in poor condition so travel took longer than we expected, we would have struggled planning our own itinerary.Going with a large group would not have given us the freedom we were able to enjoy so I though we made a good choice.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member

Thanks for all your replies. Since a couple of you mentioned that local operators don't offer group tours, maybe it be better to find one within my country first. I think from the response, going with a tour group and maybe adding a couple of days with private driver (so I can see the less known areas) would be beneficial. Just wondering, how did the personal driver work? Was there a fee for the whole day or could you hire them by the hour? Thanks again!

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Fredericia

The usual model for round trips is LKR 45-50/km with a daily minimum of 100-150 km. For one-way hire it is LKR 70-75/km.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member

My driver charge 40 LKR/km for round tour.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Bryanskaya Oblast'

Hi! My husband and I traveled alone to Sri Lanka a year ago. My answer to your question only themselves, no tours. By the way, you can take your personal car-driver at any time. You need to read more about the country, to make the right route, and go on their own. It is much more interesting. We did not book anything in advance, find gesthouses on the spot. Everything was good. There are some points which you have to be ready if you are traveling alone on Sri Lanka.

answered by
a VirtualTourist member

Hi, Best advise is to get quotes from local tour operators where ever you are in and check on different number of durations such as 4day/3night - 7day/6night etc.. compare the prices and see, after you get the basic idea on the special interests places in Sri Lanka then you try with recommended tour operators in Sri Lanka for there quotes you may find them more cheaper and competitive. You will find lots of recommendations through accurate forums such as VT...

Don't forget to include Nuwaraeliya (Known as "Little England" ) on your tour Itinerary, I enjoyed that fascinating hill station a lot..

Good luck to you!

answered by
a VirtualTourist member from Bryanskaya Oblast'

Absolutly agreed!

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