Once a sleepy fishing hamlet, the town of Negombo lies tucked away along the soft sandy shores of Sri Lanka’s West Coast. Here you will find an enchanting coastal getaway where having fun in the sun, sand and surf is a way of life amidst a laidback atmosphere. Before heading out and exploring this tropical slice of paradise ensure you find the right accommodation. Be it family or honeymoon hotels in Sri Lanka, Negombo has got it all and options such as Club Hotel Dolphin offers both families and couples the ideal base beside the azure waters of the Indian Ocean.
Being a coastal town means that one of the main draws in Negombo is its beach. Sundrenched soft sand awaits those who wander along this stretch of shoreline, ideal for working on that perfect holiday tan. Kite surfing is a popular activity here since the strong ocean breezes offer plenty of fast paced action on the water. Snorkelling is a great family activity, while those looking for some deeper marine exploration can always opt for scuba diving; around 12 miles from the shores of Negombo you will find some ideal dive sites home to a colourful array of marine species including stonefish, emperor angel fish, moray eels, blue triggerfish and sea cucumbers.
Negombo is also rich in culture and when you explore the town you will come across Colonial remnants and influences that are very much a part of its identity. Though now used as a prison, the Old Dutch Fort bears testament to the town’s former colonial rulers who also constructed the impressive Dutch Canal. Once used to facilitate the transport of goods to a variety of locations in the island through a carefully constructed network of waterways, the Dutch Canal today offers a fascinating place to take a boat ride amidst natural sceneries and town life. The Portuguese were also once the rulers of Negombo and their influence can be seen in the many Roman Catholic Churches built in and around the town that have earned it the nickname of “Little Rome.” Churches such as St. Mary’s Church, Katuwapitiya Church and Grand Street Church are among the popular sacred sites worth visiting.
Being a seaside town, fishing is one of the primary ways in which locals earn their livelihood. A visit to the local Fish Market will provide you with an enthralling experience amidst the hustle and bustle of fishermen trying to sell off their fresh catch.
You can always end the day back at the beach; being on the West Coast means Negombo is a perfect place to witness the grandeur of one of Mother Nature’s most spellbinding “shows”; the sun setting below the horizon as it paints the skies in fiery crimson.
Nigel Walters is a travel writer, who writes under the pen name, Fritzjames Stephen. His content is based on the myriad of experiences and indulgences that the world has to offer travellers across all walks of life.