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Hiring A Guide In Sri Lanka: Pros & Cons

Moritz L.

by GoWithGuide travel specialist:Moritz L.

Last updated : Jun 05, 202413 min read

Travel Tips

Sri Lanka Tour Guide


Imagine the comforting breeze after climbing the central highlands of Kandy, with the delicious smell of Sri Lankan tea filling your nose. Relaxation kicks in…but then the train abruptly stops, and your daydream ends. 


Your Sri Lankan journey will start soon, and I'm sure excitement fills your heart whenever you think about it! However, if you're here, there’s one crucial thing you haven’t decided yet. Should you hire a Sri Lanka tour guide to make your trip as relaxing as you have imagined, or should you travel alone? 


Well, if you’re still indecisive about your future adventure, let us provide you with an attempt at objectivity when hiring a guide. 


Spoiler Alert: It’s definitely a good idea, but it also depends on who you are! After reading this page, you will know if a private guide will be your thing or not. Ready?



The Pros Of Hiring A Guide

There are a multitude of benefits when hiring a guide. These are the most important ones: 


  1. Knowledge is Power - No YouTube Video, Blog Post, or Podcast will offer you the same glimpses of the country’s rich past, present, and future as an extensive chat with a local guide. Want to know more about Sri Lanka’s oldest planted tree in the world, or why Lipton tea is so famous in the country? Your local guide will have an answer, guaranteed!
  2. Saving Precious Time - As much as we don’t like to accept it: vacation time is limited. So not knowing which direction to head towards, having trouble getting around due to difficult driving conditions, or being stressed out about finishing your bucket list in time will turn your trip into much more work than you’d like. Save time (and stress) with a guide who knows the ins and outs of the island.
  3. Providing Safety - Due to a recent economic crisis, income shortages, and lasting protests, it is important to exercise safety in the country. A guide will know what places to avoid, and give you priceless travel tips that ensure a stress-free vacation. 
  4. Local Vibes - If you don’t want to fall into tourist pitfalls like not drinking your Sri Lankan tea properly, or making essential mistakes like disrespecting a Buddha statue, a guide will help you a) feel more like a local and b) skip unnecessary social hurdles. 
  5. Lost in Translation - Yes, English is still widely spoken on the island, however, it definitely has a contradicting position in Sri Lankan society, and is less common in rural areas. Therefore, a guide will bridge the gap between you and locals by setting the ball rolling for some unique travel encounters. 



Skip The Guide If... Cons 



  1. you like a solo experience - Every detour, every mashup, every spontaneous idea, or “wrong” decision can be the opportunity for a deep conversation, a new friendship, or an unexpected adventure. If you’re counting yourself as a solo, free-plan traveler, a guide may reduce these chance encounters. 
  2. … you're scared of getting the wrong guide - Let’s face it: if you book a guided tour, you will probably spend a significant amount of time with the guide. If the vibe is not correct, that could definitely ruin a trip. 


Travel tip : This is why you are able to talk to our guides beforehand to see if it’s love on the first click. Simply head over to our local guides and shoot them a question. We’ll explain how to approach a guide further down. 



Not A Guide Person? No Problem 

Endless waiting, detached experiences, over-commercialized sights…if these are your initial thoughts towards guided tours, we can’t blame you. This is where GoWithGuide tours come into play! 


Tailor-made for you, say Ayubowan (Goodbye) to overcrowded, impersonal, and packed tours and Paiḷaigaænaīmae (Welcome) to tailor-made tours that fit your needs only. How do our guides differ from conventional tours? Let’s make a comparison


A Typical Guided Tour Is Often...

  1. …too big in size - In these tours, you’re just one of many. Neither can you really ask personal questions, because the guide is too busy holding the group together or rushing from site to site. The sheer amount of people will surely destroy any magical travel moment. 
  2. …more of the same - If you’re tired of seeing the same tourist spots over and over (and over) again, then you’re (unfortunately) at the correct address of a typical tour.
  3. …a time-eater - Most tours take time. Lots of time. And often, the tours come at the most inconvenient times (like when your blankets are the most comfortable). 
  4. …static - Strict time limits and no alternatives mostly leave traditional tour guides chopping off venues instead of extensively touring them with you.


A GWG Tour On The Other Hand...

  1. …keeps it personal - No large groups, guides screaming in microphones, or hustle and bustle. With our private tours, you decide how large the group will be.
  2. …lets you choose - Is there a place on the island you are dying to see that you can’t find on any tour? Send our guide a message, and they will find a way to incorporate it into your visit. 
  3. …likely fits your schedule - With our private tour guides, you have the upper hand on how long you’ll stay at each place (or stay in bed). Need a moment to take everything in and absorb it all? Our tour guide will wait. 
  4. …is flexible - Come across an incredible site you didn’t know about before? Rescheduling and adding elements within our private tours creates a loose framework you can shape to your liking.


How To Find A Guide In 3 Easy Steps 

Getting a GWG guide sounds pretty convincing, right? Well, now you only have to reach out to one and let the magic happen. How do you do that? We got you covered!


Step 1: Decide what's best for you - Here is a quick overview of things you should consider before booking: 

  • Is the price reasonable? Some tour guide offerings will increase your budget, so keep that in mind.
  • Is the guide available? You absolutely love the guide, and the tour sounds phenomenal… then you see that the guide’s already booked out. Always check if the guide is available during that time to save you from disappointment. 
  • Is the guide local? The best guides are the ones who actually live in this place. So when you’re reading their introduction paragraph, pay attention to their heritage and expertise. 

Step 2: Head over to our local guides page. Click on a profile, and then click “Message”. Let them know when you would like to go, what places you’d like to see, and what kind of adventure you have in mind!

Step 3: Start chatting and unleash the Guide Magic!



Dos & Don'ts When Hiring A Guide 

Not sure about the proper etiquette when hanging with a guide? No problem! We’ve put together a small list to give you an overview of how to behave (and how not to)



Can We Skip To The Good Part... The Tours! 

Suppose you've decided to make a guided tour a reality. In that case, these are some phenomenal tours to get excited about. Sounds sweet to you? Then hit up a local Sri Lanka tour guide to make Sri Lanka the trip of a lifetime!


  • From The Capital Colombo To The Misty Mountains Of Kandy: A blend between tradition and modernity, a trip from the former capital of Sri Lanka towards the spiritual Temple of Tooth in Kandy perfectly highlights the blend of urban bustle with well-preserved heritage and natural beauty.
  • Classical Round Trip Sri Lanka: If everything sounds marvelous in Sri Lanka, and you don't know what to choose from, a round trip that covers all the fantastic sites, natural gems, and cultural charmers will be perfect for you!
  • Dive Into The Natural Coastlines Of Mirissa: Enchant yourself by witnessing white whales in the deep blue sea, and golden beaches that (quite literally) let you ride a wave of relaxation. 
  • Flavors Of Sri Lanka: Learn more about century-long Sri Lankan tea production and taste the country’s culture firsthand.
  • Sigiriya - A UNESCO World Heritage Site, touring the Lion Fortress is a must if you visit The Teardrop of India.
  • Galle Port - As a historical tapestry with maritime heritage, a tour through this picturesque coastline (another UNESCO World Heritage Site, by the way!) will be a magical encounter!



If you’ve come to the bottom of the page, nothing stands between you and your guided adventure. So, what are you waiting for? Head over to our Sri Lanka tour guides page and explore the island to your liking!

Colombo Tour Guide - Prebu F.

Prebu F.

5.00 / 5
(3 reviews)
Sri Lanka

Hi, there, Ayubowan and Welcome to Sri Lanka! Prebu offers high quality personalized and customised private tour guide and driver tours from a full- day trip to a trip lasting several weeks of Sri Lanka. From pure unspoiled nature to varied cultures and religions, dramatic high country and fantastic beaches, you can explore everything our wonderful country Sri Lanka has to offer. My name is Prebu and I've been working as a private tour guide and driver for many years and look forward to showcasing our great country to inquisitive travelers like yourself. It will be a journey of life time. Book your beautiful Sri Lanka holiday and make your holiday unforgettable.                                                                                                                                 

Galle Tour Guide - Wolley D.

Wolley D.

Sri Lanka

Hello Everyone welcome come to srilanka! I'm wolley offers high quality personalized private tour guide and drive tours from day trip to multiple days tours in srilanka from pure unspoiled nature to varied cultures and religious Dramatic high country and fantastic beaches you can explore everything in srilanka. years experience driver guide around srilanka. Live 03 years in England. Love sports and walking hiking.                                                                                                                                  

Kandy Tour Guide - Duminda A.

Duminda A.

Sri Lanka

I'm Duminda, your dedicated guide to the beautiful landscapes and rich history of Sri Lanka. As a licensed tour guide and lecturer, I specialize in providing immersive experiences and insightful narratives that bring our culture to life. With my reliable transportation services, I ensure a comfortable journey as you explore the wonders of this island. Let's embark on a memorable adventure together!"                                                                                                                                 

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