Ratnapura is a town in Sabaragamuwa Province, Sri Lanka.
Easiest way is to catch taxis. Airport to Ratnapura costs between Rs. 6000 to Rs. 11 000 (depending on vehicle. Nano taxis are cheap). Trip takes 2.5 hours to 3.5 hours depending on traffic.
You can catch public transport from Colombo Fort. Trip takes around 3 - 3.5 hours depending on traffic.
Route 122 Ratnapura - Only non air conditioned buses available (approximately Rs. 150.00)
Route 122 Embilipitiya - Both air conditioned buses (around Rs.400.00) and non air conditioned buses leave Pettah every hour on most days.
Route 99 Badulla - Both air conditioned and non air conditioned buses available. Please note that Air Conditioned buses sometimes may not take passengers only going to Ratnapura, therefore pay extra to purchase a ticket to Bandarawella and get off in Ratnapura. Non air conditioned buses will gladly take you but is less cofortable and makes more stops.
If you are coming down from down-south there are a few direct buses. Regular buses leave from Panadura.
Buses from Kandy, Kagalle, Galle, Matara are limited to a few buses a day.
Busses, tuk tuks, and cheap nano taxis are easily accessible.
- Adams Peak - 23.6 km from Ratnapura main bus stop- 1 hour drive. The traditional route up Adams Peak start at Palabaddala, Sirpagama. Regular buses leave to Siripagama bus station from the Ratnapura Central bus stand. The trip takes approximately 1 hour. The trek up to the peak resembles a wilderness trek and takes 3.5 to 7.5 hours one way (depending on fitness), as apposed to Hatton, Muskeliya route which is faster, yet too commercial. The Ratnapura route is recommended to pilgrims and travelers who prefer a more naturalistic and historical route to the peak,with out commercial intervention.
- Bopath Falls - 16 km from Ratnapura main bus stop - 30 minutes. This beautiful waterfall is located 30 minutes away in the Kuruwita area just a small detour from the Colombo - Batticaloa road. The waterfall resembles the bottom of a bodhi tree leaf. The locals believe the leaves washed down from mountain and rests on the riverbed has therapeutic properties. The waterfall trip is an ideal location to take a leisurely swim and have a picnic. Entry ticket costs Rs 100 for non-Sri Lankans. To Get here, catch a bus along the Colombo - Batticalo road to Kuruwita, and catch a tuk tuk to the waterfall.
- Induruwa Falls - 14 km from Ratnapura main bus stop - 40 mins. Located along the road to Adams peak, this is one of our favorite hidden treasures. The waterfall is not too tall but below the waterfall resembles a natural pool with a shower. Can get here by boarding the Siripagama Bus from the main bus stop.
- Ratnapura Gem Mines and Market - 3 minutes drive or 10 minute walk from Ratnapura main bus stop. Active gem mines can be seen in abudance in the Ratnapura area, usually nestled in quiet villages, or paddy fields. This is ideal for gem enthusiasts to witness the effort and traditional techniques needed to produce gem stones such as the world renowned Ceylon Blue Sapphire. You can also visit the gem market to witness and experience the gem buying and selling procedure.
- Sri Sumana Saman Devalaya - 5 minutes drive from Ratnapura main bus stop. This is an ancient shrine built to worship the deity Saman, who is the protected and god of the Sabaragamuwa and Sri Pada (Adam's Peak) area. The temple/devalaya attracts locals who partake daily in traditional fruit offerings to the gods. This is also the starting point of the Ratnapura Maha Saman Devala Perahara (Buddhist festival and pageant with dressed up elephants) which takes place in September.
- Poth Gul Viharaya - 15 minutes from Ratnapura main bus stop. This ancient cave temple is located up 800 steps and is a local secret with little to no tourists. The temple is ideal for a short trek in peaceful forest habitat and meditation.
- Swim in the many waterfalls in the mountains
- Visit the Gem market and gem mines and go down into a mine (Only for adventure seekers)
- Visit ancient temples and make a fruit offering at Sumana Saman Devalaya
- Climb Adams peak the way the kings did. The best non commercial way up there.
This is the best place to buy world renowned gem stones such as Blue sapphire, spinel, tourmaline and many more. It is advised that you visit a reputable gem supplier because it is easy to be sold a fake synthetic gem.
Busses leave every 30 minutes to Colombo and other areas.