We are happy to help you plan your whole Sri Lanka holiday, free of charge. Much of the advice online is unrealistic and leads to visitors spending most of their time travelling rather than holidaying.
We give local, reliable advice – just ask us questions or send us your planned itinerary for comments.
If you want us to go further then, with enough notice, we can book accommodation and transport for you though we charge a fee of 10% onto the total cost for organising this. Please also be aware that we do not carry insurance as tour operators. This is a service for our own guests only.
Jungle Tide is 12km (30 minutes) from the centre of Kandy and about 300 metres higher up near the very top of the huge Hanthana tea plantation.
The road from Kandy through Uduwela village to Galaha has now been completely upgraded and resurfaced, which has cut a lot off the journey time and made the trip more comfortable. The last 600 metres is still on an unsurfaced tea plantation road. Almost any vehicle can manage this but you have to drive slowly and it’s much easier if you can arrive before dark. The views are spectacular and if you have your own driver he will find the last short rough stretch much easier in the daylight.
We strongly recommend staying at least two nights at Jungle Tide to get the best value from all that we offer. But if you can only manage one night then you MUST check in no later than 5pm so you can use the pool, or watch the birds and the sunset, and relax before it gets dark. If you have a driver please make sure he is aware of this.
If you plan to come with your own driver or self-drive, please read the sections below.
We are able to arrange pickups from Katanaiyake airport, central Kandy or anywhere else in the island and this is how we recommend you come to Jungle Tide as we use reliable drivers who can be trusted not to take you on detours to places where they receive commission.
From Kandy Bus or Train Station
RS1,800/– for up to 6 people. Less if you can get into a tuk-tuk!
From Colombo (Katanaiyake) Airport
RS10,500/- for up to 6 people inclusive of airport charges and highway tolls
Journey Time approx 3.5 hours.
From anywhere else in Sri Lanka we can arrange pickups. Please enquire for prices.
We will provide you with directions to pass on to your driver. Please ensure he follows them and in particular checks if using Google Maps or similar as this may send you on a shorter route but one which most vehicles find impassable! Make sure he is OK with driving 600 metres on an unsurfaced road. If your driver is not completely happy with this it is best if you arrange for him to drop you in Kandy and we will send a vehicle to pick you up from there. But of course we will have to charge for that.
Drivers will often suggest places to visit on your way. This is part of their job. But don’t feel that just because your driver suggests a detour or a stop you have to obey! You will certainly get the most from Jungle Tide if you arrive well before dark.
A few of our guests (who are braver than us) self-drive. We have even had guests who have hired and driven their own three-wheelers and motorcycles. Self-drive in Sri Lanka is not for the faint-hearted but if you feel confident and have driven in similar countries before then do it.
If you self-drive please make sure you do not follow Google maps or similar to reach Jungle Tide. It will show you a shorter route but will not explain that this route is impassable for most vehicles! Please get directions from us before you set off.
You can also take the local bus (#655 to Uduwela from the main bus stand in Kandy by the Clock Tower) and walk the last kilometre or so. This is very cheap! But it does mean a walk with your luggage and the bus tends to be very overcrowded. Although it has a timetable in theory, in practice you may have a very long wait for a bus. Also the last bus leaves Kandy around 4pm – usually! We do not recommend this unless you are young and fit and travelling light – though using the bus to go into Kandy while you’re at Jungle Tide can be fun.
We can arrange transport for you from Jungle Tide to wherever you have next booked to stay, or a drop-off to the airport. We maintain an ever-growing document of suggestions from past guests about places to visit, places to stay, restaurants etc. around the island which we can send you if you want. And we are always happy to give free advice and comment on your planned itineraries if you want to send them to us in advance of your stay. If you want us to arrange all your holiday transport with trusted drivers and companies, and/or book accommodation for you we will also do this for a 10% arrangement fee provided we have enough notice. Please get in touch to discuss your requirements.
The Hanthana Mountain Range is great for hiking – whether it’s just a stroll around the village or a day-long trek into the mountains. We have several self-guided walks mapped out for guests and we can arrange guided treks with a trekking and birding expert if booked in advance. Or you can just head off and explore in your own way.
We can arrange all your transport needs while you are at Jungle Tide, hiring three-wheelers or larger vans depending on what you need. For local trips we make no additional charge for doing this. For longer day trips we charge a small arrangement fee (10%) but since we have deals with local companies this is probably the same price you would pay if you did the organising yourself. Please note that if we arrange your transport you should pay us and not the driver, except for tuk-tuks (three wheelers), as we have contracts with the van hire companies we use.
We do suggest that you spend some of your time just relaxing at Jungle Tide. The longer people stay here the more pleasure they have, and we get so many guests who leave wishing they had booked for a day or two more. But we also offer some special days out to lovely places away from the tourist crowds (and usually cheaper). Please ask us for suggestions and tell us the things you are most interested in. And of course we can arrange day trips to the well-known places such as Pinnawella, Peradeniya Gardens, Ramboda Falls, Kitulgala, Dambulla and Sigiriya as well as Kandy itself. Dambulla and Sigiriya can be done together in a single day but it means an early start and late return.
You don’t have to be mad about railways to appreciate the delights of train travel in Sri Lanka. Although it’s slow and very bumpy, can be a bit dirty and crowded, and routes and services are very limited, we think no-one should visit the island without at least once experiencing a train ride. The last part of the trip from Colombo to Kandy is pretty spectacular, but pales by comparison with the real hill country train from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya, Ella and Badulla. And of course it’s cheap.
But there are drawbacks. Unless you’re prepared to stand in a crowded carriage for many hours you’ll need to book seats online in advance. And on the famous hill country line these sell out as soon as they go on sale, especially at the most popular times of the year – mid-December to April and July/August. You can still travel without a reserved seat but being crushed into a carriage rather spoils the view, which after all is the main point of the journey. Especially if you’re a child or not very tall. If you want any help or advice with train travel contact us. We may be able to book train tickets for guests through an agency we use – priced $US12 per person second class on the train from Kandy to Ella. But we cannot guarantee availability. Contact us.
And if you are a true railway enthusiast, the national railway museum is less than an hour away from Jungle Tide.
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