If you need a long-awaited post-lockdown holiday where you can finally soak up the sun and enjoy chilled-out beach vibes, then make Bentota your destination of choice! This charming coastal town on Sri Lanka’s south coast has much to offer for a truly fun-filled holiday.
01. Water Sports
Some consider Bentota the water sports capital of Sri Lanka and those who have enjoyed the thrilling activities available here are bound to agree! The town’s location beside the ocean and a river mean there are some great options available be it out at sea or amidst more tranquil waters. Thrill-seekers can look to try jet skiing, water skiing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, banana boat or donut rides and canoeing. You will find waves for novice surfers here, while further out in the ocean you can try some deep-sea fishing and diving too.
02. Sublime Shoreline
One of the primary draws for both locals and tourists is the sun-drenched shoreline in Bentota where plenty of fun in the sand and surf awaits. The beach area is a great spot to unwind, work on your tan, catch a sunset or go for a lazy swim in the azure waters of the Indian Ocean. Not surprisingly, you will find some key luxury hotels in Sri Lanka along the shoreline; if you are looking to escape from the crowds, however, consider Bentota hotels that can be found at places like the fishing village of Aruruwella where more secluded beachside bliss awaits.
03. Local Discoveries
Bentota is also an ideal place to explore and experience the authentic local culture as part of some captivating adventures. Hotels the likes of Saman Villas organise both walking and cycling tours which are ideal for such excursions that provide some great cardio too! Amongst the sites one can visit are the Katukoliha Temple which is said to be over 120 years old, the Mullegoda Temple as well as Dutch-style houses and idyllic paddy fields.
04. Fun Sightseeing
One of the key attractions in Bentota is Lunuganga which was the former home of famed architect, Geoffrey Bawa; here you will find some truly enchanting landscapes with diverse inspirations be it from Italian Renaissance gardens or Sri Lankan traditional water gardens. Within easy reach of the town is Brief Garden built by Bevis Bawa (the brother of Geoffrey Bawa) which is equally captivating. Those looking for more sightseeing options within easy reach can plan a visit to the Galapatha Rajamaha Viharaya or Kande Viharaya which are sacred Buddhist temples or the Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project.
05. River Safaris
The Bentota River is an ideal place for a safari tour which lets you enjoy the beauty of nature as well as spot some local wildlife. As part of the adventure, you will explore thriving mangroves which form a sort of canopy for the boat to pass under. On this journey, you have a chance to spot water monitors, crocodiles, various bird species and bats too. Those looking for more boat-based excursions can look to plan a trip to nearby Cinnamon Island and learn about the traditional art of pr