There is nothing better than spending the first or last day of your vacation in Sri Lanka in Negombo. Leaving from or arriving at Sri Lanka often goes hand in hand with sleepless hours before: getting up in middle of the night to arrive at the airport or after a long flight with exhaustion after endless hours on a plane. Negombo, a small town next to the airport offers something for everyone on every budget from nice hostel to 4-5 star luxury hotel.
You get to Negombo for only 20 $ and about a 20 minute taxi ride – with a lot less traffic than on route to Colombo. In Addition the hotels in Colombo are a lot more expensive and Negombo is situated directly at the beach – maybe not the best beach, but the town also offers last minute shopping for some souvenirs or relaxation at the pools. For those just arriving it is the perfect place to get acclimated and organized for the trip around the island i.e. to Kandy or towards Trincomalee along the east coast.
Rani, the owner of the little guest houst called New Rani Inn (one we can highly recommend with completely new rooms), has advice and even a driver to take you around the sights or wherever you would like to go. She also organizes your trip to and from the airport- especially for women travelling on their own we would certainly recommend that – as most of the arrivals and departures are at night.
And of course the delicious food Rani can offer makes it worth the trip – the guest’s wish is her command – whether it’s italian spaghetti or a spicy curry – everything is cooked freshly.
Most tours will start from Negombo around 6 am to get to the elephant feeding and bathing in Pinnawala near Kandy at the elephant orphanage around 10 am. For the brave ones among you another tip: If you want to take a bath with the elephants go ahead – for a small fee you can jump in with them so bring your bikini or swimming trunks (or better: already wear it). And don’t forget to wrap up your camera to protect it from the splashing water!