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Bus

Buses leave from Main Street, from stops just south of the Passara Rd turn-off. Schedules change fairly often, so ask for an update at the Curd Shop. No buses originate in Ella and many are full (standing room only) by the time they pass through.

  • Regular buses go to Badulla (Rs 48, 45 minutes), Bandarawela (Rs 36, 30 minutes) and Wellawaya (Rs 67, one hour).
  • For Kandy, you must change in Badulla.
  • There are five direct buses to Matara (Rs 270, five hours), the last at 2.30pm; or you can always catch a bus to Wellawaya and change there for a service to the south coast or for Monaragala (for Arugam Bay).
  • A bus heads to Galle every morning at 8am (Rs 340, seven hours).

Train

Ella is an hour or so from Haputale and Badulla on the Colombo–Badulla line. The stretch from Haputale (through Bandarawela) has particularly lovely scenery. Roughly 10km north of Ella, at Demodara, the line performs a complete loop around a hillside and tunnels under itself at a level 30m lower.

Ella’s pretty train station is so quaint it has won the 'Best Kept Station' award. It's like Thomas the Tank Engine come to life. Station manager, Mr Ashendria Disanayake, deserves mention for winning the 'Most Helpful Station Manager' award.

Fares and timetables are well posted. Observation class is Rs 1000 for anywhere between Nanu Oya and Badulla and Rs 1250 to Kandy and Colombo. A 2nd-class advance reservation is Rs 600 to any of the following destinations.

Badulla

Fare (2nd/3rd Class)

Rs 40/20

Duration

1hr

Frequency (Daily)

5

Bandarawela

Fare (2nd/3rd Class)

Rs 30/15

Duration

35min

Frequency (Daily)

5

Colombo

Fare (2nd/3rd Class)

Rs 350/190

Duration

9hr

Frequency (Daily)

4

Haputale

Fare (2nd/3rd Class)

Rs 50/25

Duration

1-1½hr

Frequency (Daily)

5

Kandy

Fare (2nd/3rd Class)

Rs 240/130

Duration

6-10hr

Frequency (Daily)

5

Nanu Oya (for Nuwara Eliya)

Fare (2nd/3rd Class)

Rs 110/60

Duration

2½-3hr

Frequency (Daily)

5

Ohiya

Fare (2nd/3rd Class)

Rs 70/40

Duration

2hr

Frequency (Daily)

5

Taxi

Private minibus taxis gather on the roadside close to the Dream Café and charge the following rates:

Colombo

Price

Rs 16,000

Galle

Price

Rs 14,000

Horton Plains

Price

Rs 8500

Mirissa

Price

Rs 12,000

Nuwara Eliya

Price

Rs 7500

Tangalla

Price

Rs 10,000

Tissamaharama

Price

Rs 6500