With so much to explore on the small island of Sri Lanka, one would think it's pretty simple to knock off a few POI in a short time. Not so. Don't let google maps fool you. Single lanes, windy roads and stop-start traffic can triple your travel time . So here's a list of the best ways to get around Sri Lanka (if that is possible).
Sri Lanka has an old but reliable railway that can get you most of the way for only a few dollars. From Colombo, the network spreads North, South and East effectively. Kandy, Galle and Badulla are all easily accessible. The rides are slow and often go overtime but if you can't spring for a driver they're a great option. Maps and schedules can be found at the official Sri Lankan Railway site and I recommend booking first class seats in advance.
Tuk-tuk (three wheel vehicle)
A perfect option for short trips, they are great for sight seeing around a city. Charging roughly 50c per kilometre, you have a great view of whats going on around you. If you're overloaded with luggage it's best to avoid tuk-tuks as there isn't much space.
Driver: CEYLON TOURS
My preference is to use a driver around Sri Lanka. It is one of the most reliable ways to get between towns. I used Ceylon Tours, Sri Lanka's oldest and most established tour company and they were flawless. Our driver Mervin was knowledgeable on all aspects of Sri Lanka from local affairs, religion, food and points of interest. The cars were new and clean and all requests along the way could be accommodated. They will let you know how long your drive is going to take and they wont underestimate. They are experts in knowing the unpredictability of Sri Lanka's roads. Ceylon Tours can also handle many other aspects of your stay in Sri Lanka from tours, accommodation and flights.