Getting to Jungle Tide
Jungle Tide is 12km (35 minutes) from the centre of Kandy and about 300 metres higher up at the very top of the huge Hanthana tea estate. We think that getting there is part of the fun and most of our guests would agree, but we don’t deny that the last stretch is a bit bumpy! 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. But the last 800 metres is on an unsurfaced tea estate 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 drivers find the last short rough stretch much easier in the daylight.
If you are coming by train or bus we can pick you up in Kandy if you let us have details. If you have booked direct with us the pickup is free. Rs1,800/- if you have booked via any agency.
Airport pickups cost Rs10,500/- and the journey takes about three and a half hours.
We can arrange pickups from anywhere else in the island, please enquire for prices.
We can also organise whole tours for you, please let us know your itinerary and we can do the rest.
However if you have hired your own driver and vehicle we advise that he drops you in Kandy and we send a vehicle to pick you up from there, unless you are sure he is OK with driving 800 metres on an unsurfaced road. Sadly, too many Sri Lankan drivers these days tend to care more about risking slight damage to their vehicles than they do about getting their customers to where they have booked.
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 or have hired your own driver please make sure you/he does 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 (no 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. And 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 6pm – usually!
Getting around while you’re here
The Hanthana Range is great for walking – 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, using our own small vehicle, 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.
Moving on from Jungle Tide
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.
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 up to Kandy is pretty spectacular, but pales by comparison with the real hill country route up from Peradeniya 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 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.