Choosing a Driver for Your Holiday in Sri Lanka

March 15, 2024

A car

Sri Lanka, a tropical paradise with a rich cultural heritage and breathtaking landscapes, is a sought-after destination for travelers. When planning your holiday in this diverse country, one of the key decisions you’ll need to make is selecting the right person to guide you through your exploration. Whether you prefer the expertise of an English-speaking chauffeur guide, the flexibility of a specialized language guide, or the assistance of a driver, Sri Lanka offers a variety of options to suit your travel needs. In this blog post, we’ll help you navigate the choices and provide tips on how to find the best person to take you around the country.

Guide Options

1. SLTDA Certified Guides

The Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) certifies guides, ensuring a certain level of professionalism and knowledge. These guides fall into two categories:

      a. National Tourist Guides:

They typically handle large groups and travel in tourist coaches with a dedicated driver.

      b. Chauffeur Tourist Guides:

These guides cater to small groups and parties of 1 to 7 people, conducting tours in air-conditioned microvans and semi-luxury cars, with the guide serving as the driver.

2. English Speaking Chauffeur Guides

English-speaking chauffeur guides are well-equipped to provide comprehensive services. They have completed the Chauffeur Guide course conducted by the SLTDA, allowing them to drive, guide at formal cultural sites, and offer a fluent English language experience. They also possess extensive knowledge of the country’s geography.

3. English Speaking Drivers

English-speaking drivers, while not certified guides, offer a flexible choice for travel. Proficiency in English may vary, and you can find both skilled and unskilled individuals. Some drivers go the extra mile to provide exceptional service.

4. Drivers

Drivers, who are not proficient in languages other than their mother tongue, often work alongside qualified guides to offer assistance to tourists.

5. Language Specialized Chauffeur Guides

Language specialized guides are proficient in languages other than English and the local language. They may either drive the vehicle themselves or travel with a driver. Due to the high demand for their services, their fees can be on the higher side.



How to Find the Best Person for Your Sri Lankan Adventure

Now that you’re aware of the options available, here’s how you can choose the best guide or driver for your Sri Lankan adventure:

1. Booking through a Travel Agent or DMC:

If you’re booking your trip through a travel agent or Destination Management Company (DMC), they will connect you with local guides who are experts in their regions. These professionals have established relationships with the company, ensuring a seamless experience.

2. Independent Travelers:

If you’re planning your tour independently, start by selecting the type of guide or driver you prefer. Then, do thorough research to find the right person. Look for online reviews on platforms like TripAdvisor and Google Reviews, or check out their social media profiles on Instagram and Facebook.

3. Recommendations:

Social media groups often recommend drivers and guides. Ensure that the recommendations come from trusted sources or reputable accounts to make an informed decision.


Choosing the right guide or driver is a crucial part of ensuring a memorable and enjoyable experience in Sri Lanka. Whether you opt for a certified guide, an English-speaking chauffeur guide, or a language specialist, carefully consider your needs and do your research. By following these tips, you’ll be well-prepared to embark on a journey filled with cultural richness, natural beauty, and unforgettable memories in Sri Lanka.