I’m going to Sri Lanka early next month and taking a two week organised group tour of the main tourist attractions: Cultural Triangle; Kandy; Adams Peak/World’s End; Uda Walawa National Park; and Galle. When the organised tour concludes, I can spend up to two weeks travelling wherever I choose, before moving on to India. I would like to spend time meeting local people and learning about the culture. How should I best spend this time?
The beaches of the South, particularly Mirissa, are already on my tentative itinerary, but I also like train travel, so the train trip which goes to Nuwara Eliya and then on to Ella, on the Badulla line looks very interesting. How long does that trip take?
How feasible is it to arrange for a car and driver to meet me at Ella and then head south by car to the coast?
When would it be best to arrange a car and driver: before I arrive in Sri Lanka; before I catch the train; or at the end of the train journey? How much should I expect to pay for a car and driver?
If possible, I would also like to stay with Sri Lankan families for a few days on my journey; how is it best to arrange this?