Looking for a super unique and completely off the beaten path experience in Sri Lanka? Explore the untouched east coast of Sri Lanka by car! Since the civil war ended years ago, the full east coast has opened its door to tourism. Places like Trincomalee, Nilaveli, and Pasikuda have done some huge developments and are seeing little tourists growth over the last few years. Self-drive through Sri Lanka and have a whole new experience of the country.
Road Trip East Sri Lanka
The best way is to rent a Jeep and drive 250 kilometers along the coast split over two days. This is an incredible way to stop and drive where ever you would like, met super friendly locals who barely see tourists and maybe spot some elephants while driving.
Day 1: Sri Lanka Road Trip
Rent a Jeep and start your trip from Trincomalee. Driving on the East Coast of Sri Lanka is quite easy, the roads are good, enough gas stations and traveling at a slow pace. Don’t drive any faster than 60 km/h. In the cities just go with the flow of the traffic and place watch out for those crazy bus drivers.
From Trincomalee, head down south towards Pasikudah or Batticaloa to stay for the night. The route is a 3-hour drive and pretty much straight roads following the coast. These roads are good. Locals will be surprised seeing a tourist driving and everyone will be waving.
Take your time to pull over and see the wild animals like monkeys, buffalos and many more.
Spend the night at Pasikudah Beach or Batticaloa. We spend our night at Sunrise by Jetwing which is located at the beach.
➳ Find all: Hotels in Pasikudah
Day 2: Incredible ride to Arugam Bay
Day two is the most beautiful part of the trip. This 4-hour drive you will pass national parks, rice fields, beautiful palm landscapes and untouched beaches. The route will end in Arugam Bay. This is the hotspot on the Sri Lankan east coast.
➳ Read about: 9 Things To Do in Arugam Bay
Near Arugam Bay, there is a chance to spot wild elephants on the side of the road. Do leave them alone, drive, keep a distance and admire their beauty.
During the two days of driving, there will be enough gas stations and supermarkets to recharge. Fuel prices are as low as the price for water haha 🙂
Jeep Rental Sri Lanka
Rent a Jeep via Sha Lanka Tours for just $40 a day. Have all freedom of stopping whenever while driving by yourself.
The route can also be done by Tuk Tuk or rental car but you can’t go offroad with them and a Jeep is way cooler, right?
Driver License Sri Lanka
You need an International drivers license in Sri Lanka to be able to drive a car. We were told you also need to get an additional license from an office in Colombo. Though, the police checked our papers multiple times without any trouble.