In general, prices and costs are comparable with other popular tropical destinations in Asia and South East Asia. Many ‘essential items’ including certain foodstuffs, fuel and medicines are price-controlled and/or subsidized by the government. Items the government deems ‘luxury items’ including many imported foods, wines and spirits, household electrical goods and vehicles, are comparable to, or more expensive than in Australia, Europe or North America.
Please refer our guide table and the commentary on cost in Lonely Planet and Rough Guide (links enclosed).
Catalina’s clubhouse convenience store stocks several essentials for those little domestic ‘emergencies’. Our concierge service can also arrange for your shopping to be done at a supermarket once a week, for a nominal fee. The nearest town, Habaraduwa (15 minutes) has a small supermarket and a fresh produce market, while the nearest city, Galle (20 minutes away), offers a large choice of well stocked supermarkets, bakeries, pharmacies and fresh produce markets, including a weekly organic food market.
Things to do
Staples including rice, flour and products made from these, fresh local fruit, vegetables, meat and fish are significantly cheaper than in Australia, Europe or North America. Local beer, wine and spirits are significantly cheaper, but imported products are comparably priced, or at a premium to prices in Australia, Europe or North America.
Fuel, particularly diesel, is price-controlled and subsidized by the government, so the cost of hired transportation is much lower than in developed countries. Vehicle purchases are extremely expensive, due to government taxes and regular foreign exchange rate-related price adjustments by vehicle dealers.
Generally, it is far more economical to do short term hires or long term leases. Chauffeured hires are only marginally more expensive than self-drive and considering the convenience and insurance aspects, this is our recommended option. Catalina’s concierge service would be happy to make arrangements for residents who need these services.
Most medication is price-regulated by the government and generally cheaper than in Australia, Europe or North America. Some specialized medication may be hard to obtain, and/or are more expensive in Sri Lanka. Residents may be better off stocking up on these overseas, or making arrangements to have these brought across through family or friends.
The cost of medical treatment is generally cheaper than Australia, Europe or North America and accessibility to specialist treatment is generally faster, with much shorter waiting lists.
Residents with access to overseas government-funded or subsidized healthcare may find that Sri Lanka offers cost benefits and easier access, for many comparable products and services. At the very least, such residents have a choice of accessing these in-country, or in Sri Lanka.
Residents with private health insurance may enjoy further advantages, in getting their treatment in Sri Lanka reimbursed - please check with your insurance provider.
Leading private hospitals such as those operated by the Hemas group and the large government-run, University-affiliated Teaching Hospitals offer a high standard of quality healthcare, with modern medical equipment and experienced healthcare professionals. They are both in Galle, within 25 minutes drive from Catalina.