Bentota is a small, old-fashioned town located on Sri Lanka’s Southern Coast. The charming and beautiful beaches and landscapes of Bentota keep both the local and foreign tourists engaged throughout the year.
Enjoy your time in Bentota by participating in different activities such as diving, snorkelling, paragliding, and fishing.
In addition to water sports, you will also experience some of the most amazing aquatic life species.
The friendly fishermen, historic spice trade and not to forget the amazing Bentota beaches make it worth a visit.
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- Where to stay in Bentota, Sri Lanka
- Things to do in Bentota, Sri Lanka
- 1. Visit Bentota Beach
- 2. Bentota river ride
- 3. Visit a turtle hatchery
- 4. Visit the Brief Garden
- 5. Take a river safari at Madu Ganga
- 6. Explore the Galle Dutch Fort
- 7. Cruise along Dedduwa Lake
- 8. Shop at Ambalangoda
- 9. Experience rejuvenating therapies at Saman Villas
- 10. Take a history lesson at Kande Vihara
- 11. Get your hike on
- Getting to Bentota, Sri Lanka
- Weather in Bentota, Sri Lanka
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Where to stay in Bentota, Sri Lanka
It is worth staying a couple of days in Bentota, especially after you go through this whole article! A good and nice environment for a stay over is a must to make the most of your vacation in Bentota.
I’ve compiled some of the popular and best hotels in Bentota, Sri Lanka below:
- Taj Bentota Resort & Spa
- Avani Bentota Resort
- Paradise Road The Villa Bentota
- Saman Villas Bentota
- EKHO Surf Bentota
- Eden Resort & Spa
Things to do in Bentota, Sri Lanka
There are many things to explore when visiting Bentota. Let’s have a look at some of the places to visit below.
1. Visit Bentota Beach
Bentota town is home to some of the most peaceful yet stunning beaches in Sri Lanka. Bentota beach is one of the most popular of all its beaches.
It welcomes tourists from all around the world and greets them with coconut trees and mesmerising landscapes. This also makes it one of the best places for nature enthusiasts. Furthermore, tourists can enjoy themselves through water sports such as diving, snorkelling, and swimming.
2. Bentota river ride
Bentota River is the third largest river in Sri Lanka and is famous for boat rides and cruises.
The Bentota river ride is a must if you’re touring Bentota, Sri Lanka. Choose either a full day cruise on the river or a short ride depending on your time availability. You will find many boat tour operators to serve you.
Experience the mangrove tunnels and the hanging roots while cruising through the river. It is home to 14 out of 24 mangrove species found in Sri Lanka.
You will also see fish farms along the way, and if you’re lucky, water monitor lizards and river birds. It is a rather relaxing affair cruising on the boat ride while you admire the surrounding lush green forest.
Some of the boat tours, like ours, also stop by a little island known as the Cinnamon island. The island is famous not just for cinnamon tea but is also home to various water sports.
Here, we disembarked and joined a couple of other tourists to watch a demonstration on how cinnamon is made and banana leaves are weaved.
We also had complimentary cinnamon tea while we watched.
I was rather bothered by the heat and humidity to really enjoy the presentation. At the end of it, we were offered to buy some of their homemade products.
On a random occasion, you might pass by a boatman who has a monkey for a pet like we did. It’s good to be aware that in exchange for some pictures and cuddling time with the domesticated (and overactive) monkey, you are expected to give a tip.
TIP: Bring along sun protection as depending on the boat you’re in, some are unsheltered so you’re exposed to the sun the entire duration of the boat ride.
3. Visit a turtle hatchery
Don’t miss a chance to visit the Kosgoda Turtle hatchery in Bentota, Sri Lanka. Kosgoda beach is famous for turtle conservation. Around 400 turtles lay their eggs on this beach every year. Located on the Southern coast of Sri Lanka, it has a total of 18 turtle hatcheries. The one we visited was Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery Turtle Conservation.
During the breeding season, female turtles dig holes to lay their eggs and then cover it with sand for protection. The eggs are incubated under the sand by the sun’s heat.
However, due to the threat of wild animals and humans on the beach, private organizations such as the Kosgoda Turtle hatchery have taken the task of collecting and burying these eggs in a sandpit within their facility until they hatch successfully. After the eggs are hatched, the baby turtles are moved to a tank for feeding.
Watching cute baby turtles around 1 to 4 days old is the highlight of the conservatory. The turtles are released into the wild after they come of age, in the most suitable way.
The turtle conservatory also takes care of injured and sick turtles. You will see different sea turtle species in different stages of lives in this Kosgoda turtle conservatory.
The conservatory runs on donations to maintain itself.
4. Visit the Brief Garden
Visiting the Brief Garden is another activity that should be on your to-do list in Bentota, Sri Lanka.
Designed by Bevis Bawa, a renowned Sri Lankan artist, the brief garden stretches over a land of 20 acres and is home to tropical tree structures and sculptures. Every landscape designer would forget time in this little oasis.
5. Take a river safari at Madu Ganga
The Madu Ganga river safari is an activity that will delight every nature lover.
It boasts 111 bird species and is a heaven for not just bird lovers but also biologists and ecologists, who love visiting it for experiencing the rich wild animal and plant life.
Many boat tours are available to give you an in-depth experience of the island.
6. Explore the Galle Dutch Fort
Galle Dutch fort lies 50 km South of Bentota. The fort is beautifully preserved and boasts of a century-old rich history, making it worth including it in your itinerary in Sri Lanka.
The famous Galle Dutch Fort stretches over an area of 87 acres and is home to ancient churches and museums. This makes it a cultural hot spot and a centre stage for holding art and literary festivals in Bentota, Sri Lanka.
7. Cruise along Dedduwa Lake
Dedduwa Lake lies to the East of Bentota. It is famous for its marshy land and beautiful water bodies.
Many boat houses and villas are present around the lake and you’ll be sure to relax and enjoy this tranquil and calm destination should you choose to stay a couple of days here.
8. Shop at Ambalangoda
After you’re done with all the sightseeing and water sports, plan your visit to Ambalangoda for an amazing shopping experience. Ambalangoda is a coastal town, located 24 km from Bentota city.
Famous for its ancient devil masks and dancers, you will find different antique shops selling unique yet fancy jewelry at the most affordable prices.
9. Experience rejuvenating therapies at Saman Villas
Head to the Saman Villas for a rejuvenating and refreshing mind and soul experience.
It is home to different therapeutic facilities such as fish spa, aromatherapy, reflexology, and hot stone therapy. Don’t forget to book your appointment in advance to avail these services at Saman Villas! Pampering yourself is one of the best things to do in Bentota.
10. Take a history lesson at Kande Vihara
If you want a history lesson about Bentota and its surroundings, then don’t forget to plan your visit to Kande Vihara. Kande Vihara is simply a treat for history enthusiasts. The unique thing about Kande Vihara is that it is owned and operated by the Government of India.
11. Get your hike on
Go trekking across the paddy fields of the Bentota-Aturwella area.
You will also see a shrine at Katukoliha Temple dating 125 years back. Several residential buildings with Dutch architecture are also seen in the temple surroundings.
The place is just ideal for enjoying the sunset and also serves as a breeding ground for migratory birds.
Getting to Bentota, Sri Lanka
Bentota lies 65 km South of Colombo and 56 km North of Galle. Book a flight to Colombo International Airport and then drive for 2 hours to reach the centre of the Bentota town.
Weather in Bentota, Sri Lanka
Bentota has tropical climatic conditions. It receives two monsoons per year. Other than the rain, the weather stays hot and humid around 30°C during the day.
Situated to the Southwest Coast of Sri Lanka, the island went through a major rehabilitation after the 2004 Tsunami destruction.
A trip to Bentota is surely going to freshen you with its picturesque beaches, historic sites, diverse aquatic and plant life. It is a must-visit for every traveller planning to tour Sri Lanka!