Travel cost in Sri Lanka

For unknown reason a lot of people think Sri Lanka is much more expensive then India. I am not sure where that comes from. May be because Srilanka is less traveled and there are less information about this country. Here are all travel expenses during my short trip to Sri Lanka. Everything is in Sri Lankan rupees(LKR) if stated otherwise.

LKR
Transport ~11000
Car rent with driver. 6/7 seat van USD40/day including 125km/day allowance, extra kms at the rate of USD 0.27 per km. This cost also is inclusive of fuel, driver meals, driver’s accommodation, all taxes and insurance.
USD80/person
Accommodation* ~6000
Sigyriya x 1 night
1200
Dambula x 1 night
800
Nuwara Eliya x 1 night 1320
Tissamaharama x 1 night 1700
Mirissa x 1 night 900
Food
~4000
Sightseeing
~16500
Sigiriya (Lion’s rock) USD30
Polonnaruwa USD25
Dambulla Cave temple 1300
The Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic 1000
Nuwara Eliya botanic garden 200
Safari at Yala National Park ~USD40
Mulkirigala Rock historical temple 200
Turtles hatchery 300
Train trip in observation car
750
Total
~37500

* the prices are per person, you need to double it to get room price.

At the time of writing this post the USD1 was worth LKR133, so my visit to Sri Lanka cost approximately USD280.

Just want to add some remarks to above number.
I was traveling in the group of 5 people, so we split total cost of car rental of USD400 (including tips).

You can’t save much on sightseeing, though you can pay even more for safari to Yala NP if only couple people are booking it.

The quality and the price of accommodation depends on location.  By looking to above table you could see I paid almost the same price in Dambulla and Mirrisa beach, but you can’t compare these two places. Here is what we got in Dambulla:

Guest house in Dambulla, Sri Lanka

Guest house in Dambulla, Sri Lanka

Unfortunately I don’t have picture of the hotel in Mirrisa beach because my camera was stolen in India couple days latter, but I can assure what guest house in Mirrisa was like paradise comparing with this one in Dambulla. Cost additionally only USD1 per person and was 400 meters (1/4 mile) away from perfect beach:

Mirissa Beach, Sri Lanka

Mirissa Beach, Sri Lanka

I didn’t book any hotels/guest houses in advance because of intensive plan I had I didn’t know where I end up that night. But you can check Agoda accommodation booking site if you know your schedule and want to book hotels in advance as usually they have good deals with 50-60% discount for same places.

 I paid (USD)  Agoda price (USD)
Sigyriya/Dambula  14-20  25-30
Nuwara Eliya  22  35
Tissamaharama  29  30
Mirissa  15  23-30

The prices are for double room and online you can get better rooms for similar price especially in Sigyriya/Dambula area. Of course prices are tend to change.

Food price depends on what do you eat and where do you eat. Breakfast (Sri Lankan or American/English) and lunch will cost about 250-400 rupees, dinner can start at 300 rupees and can go to 1000-1200 rupees if you order fresh sea food plate at the beach cafe. So everything depends on you.