Counting days for a wonderful beach holiday? If so, let us assure you that the tropical weather, coupled with the blue waves by the white sandy stretches on this splendid island of Sri Lanka, is to offer you the perfect beach holiday that you have been always longing for. The coastal areas around the country provide amazing views of the dazzling Indian ocean. This is why many tourists choose to go straight to the beaches as they land on this island. However, there are several gorgeous coastal areas in Sri Lanka that you can choose from. One such beautiful place is Bentota. In fact, it is a small tourist paradise that you shouldn’t miss in Sri Lanka. Hence, we thought of sharing with you about this wonderful location. Continue reading!
Why Visit Bentota?
If you are looking for a coastal village in Sri Lanka to have a fun and unforgettable vacation, then Bentota is simply the best. You can feel the warm sun on your face while spending perfect beach days in the tropics. This picture-perfect beach has so much to offer for any type of tourist. However, you may need some days to explore this coastal beauty to the fullest. Here’s a list of the top 20 things that you can try out in Bentota.
- Take a Walk in Bentota Beach
- Visit the Moragolla Beach
- Get Relaxed at a Spa
- Explore the Bentota Village
- Go Cycling
- Try a Water Sport
- Go on a Whale Watching Tour
- Enjoy at the Dedduwa Lake
- Visit the Lunuganga Estate
- Explore the Brief Garden by Beris Bava
- Look in on Kande Viharaya
- Go on a Trip to Cinnamon Islands
- Enjoy a Boat Safari in the Bentota River
- Go on a Boat Safari in Madu Ganga
- Visit the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery
- Catch Sight of Beruwala LightHouse
- Pay a Visit to Ambalangoda
- Set off to Balapitiya
- Go on a Day Tour to Galle Fort
Keep reading and choose your favorite things to do in Bentota!
1. Take a Walk in Bentota Beach
Bentota is blessed with some of the most spell-binding sceneries of the country. Thus, if you just want to unwind and have a relaxing day, then you should certainly visit Bentota.
This beach is not crowded all the time with tourists. So, it’s very calm there with the rhythmic sounds of the ocean waves. The golden sandy beach is at a long stretch. It is perfect to have a long walk in the evening leaving all your worries behind. It will be such a therapeutic experience to walk amidst the postcard-worthy scenery. You can also take a dip in the ocean but be very careful as sometimes the waves get quite rough.
Besides, the Bentota beach is well maintained and clean for you to have a spectacular beach experience. The coconut tree line around the coast frames the whole picture so beautifully. You can sit under the coconut tree shade watching the serene ocean views. Hence, this won’t be just another beach you have visited.
Also, there are many big hotel chains and restaurants nearby for accommodation facilities. You can also have a delicious seafood meal from such places. Obviously, the best time to visit the Bentota beach is at sunrise and sunset as those times promise the finest views. Simply, the Bentota beach is the highlight of the whole Bentota area.
2. Visit the Moragolla Beach
Moragolla beach is another picturesque destination which is just 6 kilometers away from Bentota. The spacious beach welcomes the Bentota river (also known as the Bentara river) to the Indian ocean at its estuary in its neighborhood. The nearby Bentota panhandle looks like a tiny island from the Moragolla beach. Altogether, the views create such a marvelous picture.
Besides, Moragolla beach is like a hidden gem in the area. So, there aren’t many tourists at the beach. But, believe us, the yellowish sandy shore and the crystal clear waters won’t disappoint you for sure.
The ocean here is surprisingly shallow and it’s like a pool due to the adjacent coral reef wall. Therefore, it is safe to have a swim in the warm waters. It is also ideal to try out water sports like snorkeling, windsurfing, diving, and paragliding. Also, you can hire an instructor from a service provider to engage in water sports in a fun and safe manner.
The tranquil environment and the calm, relaxing vibe will add so much to your experience at the Moragolla beach. If you are looking forward to having some alone time at a pretty beach, then this is the place for you. But it is better if you don’t visit the beach at night time as it gets quite secluded there. Besides, there are small chique restaurants in the surrounding area to have an amazing meal at the beautiful seashore.
3. Get Relaxed at a Spa
Are you tired of the usual spa sessions and pedicures? Do you like to try something new and even better? Then you should certainly experience a spa session at Bentota!
There are several luxury beach hotels that consist of a highly reputed spa service. They also offer several therapeutic treatments in those spas, such as fish spa, hot stone therapy, aromatherapy, reflexology, deep tissue massages, and beauty treatments. All these treatments are performed by professionals and are enriched with Ayurveda which is a local medicinal practice in Sri Lanka.
Most of these spas feature such spectacular views in the surrounding area and you can have a very comfortable time out there. A vacation at this coastal paradise is certainly a refreshing experience on its own. But the luxury spa treatments will rejuvenate your body and mind too. It will ensure a fulfilling experience during your vacation in Bentota. Here, the best item would be the fish spa as it will probably be a brand new experience for you. So don’t forget to give a much-needed treat to your mind and body at these spas in Bentota.
4. Explore the Bentota Village
There are so many tourist destinations in the Bentota area. So, if you don’t roam around the Bentota village, then you’ll be missing a lot.
As you might already know, Bentota is a small resort town in the Southern province. Many people in this village depend on the tourism industry. Most of them make their living out of the fishing industry and agriculture too. Anyway, the lifestyles of these people in the Sri Lankan coastal areas are unique and interesting. So, roam around the town and take a look at how they spend their daily lives. Meanwhile, you can visit the harbor, coconut plantations, paddy fields, and stylish boutiques in Bentota as well. Also, don’t forget to buy a handcrafted souvenir to immortalize your trip to Bentota.
Due to the colonization period, buildings in the Bentota town have a colonial touch. This western classical look amidst the greenery in the town by the ocean is such a vibe. There are many star-class hotels and restaurants in Bentota. In fact, there are various kinds of hotels that you can choose according to your budget. When in Bentota, make sure to take a delicious Sri Lankan meal enriched with the best spices and fresh seafood. All these things will help you take a look at the countryside life and culture during your vacation.
5. Go Cycling at Bentota
Now, if you want to travel around the beautiful countryside, there are several transportation methods that you can try. However, you will love a bike tour to travel in the chique town, feeling the ocean breeze under the shade of trees. While exploring the stunning views of the countryside on a bike ride, you can also understand the geographical features of the area too.
The bike route around the Bentota area is about 15 kilometers. After all, cycling is the most budget-friendly and environment-friendly transportation method. There are many service providers in Bentota to rent a high-quality bike along with all the necessary equipment. You can also take a professional tour guide for you to have an informative bike tour in Bentota.
6. Try a Water Sport
Bentota is well known for its wide variety of water sports. Anyway, what’s the point of a vacation in Bentota without trying a water sport? If you are a professional, then you will feel at home in the surreal ocean. But there’s nothing to worry about if you are new to water sports too. You can take beginner-level training before hitting the water. Furthermore, there are also family-friendly water sports where kids can have fun. So, here are some water sports that you can try in the ocean paradise of Bentota.
- Snorkeling and diving
- Water skiing
- Banana boat and tube rides
- Kite surfing
- Speed boat ride
- Seaplane ride
- Lagoon fishing
- Kayaking ride
As you can see, Bentota creates opportunities for a wide array of water sports that you can choose from according to your interests. Hence, if you are looking for fun and adventure on your vacation in Sri Lanka, then you are going to fall in love with this charming coastal town.
However, it is better to hit the water under proper guidance and safety measures. Still, you have nothing to worry about, because there are many sports centers in Bentota to buy and rent the necessary equipment and to take training sessions.
7. Go on a Whale Watching Tour at Bentota
Have you ever seen a whale? If so, you might surely know the delight of observing these majestic creatures of the ocean jumping and playing in the water. And yes, it is an amazing experience that you can get in Bentota.
On a whale watching tour in Bentota, you will be able to see many kinds of whales such as blue whales, Bryde’s whales, sperm whales, spin whales, and killer whales. In addition, you will be able to spot dolphins such as normal dolphins, Risso’s dolphins, spinner dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, and striped dolphins. You don’t have to keep any doubts as there is a 95% chance of seeing many whales in the peak season.
The time period between April to November is considered the best time for whale watching in Bentota. This time period is also called the ‘Blue whale highway’ as hundreds of whales migrate through the Bentota oceans in these months. It is recommended to get the boat ride in the evening as the sun rays are softer at that time. There are different kinds of boats that you can hire according to your needs. Whale watching tours are organized to ensure your safety and also the safety of marine life. However, it is not safe to dive or swim in the deep oceans. Also, make sure not to throw any litter in the ocean during your tour.
8. Enjoy the Nature of Dedduwa Lake
If you love to observe beautiful natural sceneries, then Dedduwa lake is an ideal place for you to visit. This eye-catching location is in the east of Bentota.
Dedduwa lake is widely known for its picturesque water bodies and marshy lands. The surrounding area of the Dedduwa lake is a beautiful green garden. There are stylish villas in these gardens where you can relax and enjoy the scenic surroundings. The Geoffrey Bawa Trust maintains this area really well. The calm and quiet vibe amidst the brackish water bodies and the greenery will heal your mind. You can take a long walk, try kayaking, or a boat ride to enjoy this beauty.
Besides, the Dedduwa lake area is a safe haven for a wide variety of flora and fauna. This is a perfect location for bird watching too. Then, if you are a passionate photographer, you will be mesmerized by this picture-perfect place. Apart from the sounds of fishermen and the occasional boat rides, you can travel around with the sound of bird songs. With all these fascinations, Dedduwa lake is sure to be an unforgettable location for your Bentota trip.
9. Visit the Lunuganga Estate
This is the country home that was created by and belonged to Sri Lanka’s renowned architect, Geoffrey Bawa. He created a masterpiece in a land that used to be a rubber estate. This is situated in the neighborhood of Dedduwa lake. Geoffrey Bawa’s magical vision came to life as a unique home with a slightly quirky touch. This architectural marvel stands in a luscious green field with a water garden. The whole landscape is an enthralling piece of nature.
The specialty of this Bawa’s creation is that it has elements from different architectural traditions such as Italian renaissance gardens, English landscaping, Japanese garden art, and Sri Lanka water gardens. Owing to these reasons, there is nothing wrong in mentioning that the Lunuganga estate portrays Sri Lankan architecture at its best.
This is not just a typical hotel experience as this is one of a kind of estate that won’t be second to any. The serene nature and the cool, relaxing atmosphere add so much to the experience. All this makes the Lunuganga estate the perfect place to have a peaceful vacation. It looks like a little dreamland of nature in Bentota.
Also, don’t forget to spend an hour exploring the garden as well. You can get more information about this wonder from the friendly staff there.
10. Explore the Brief Garden by Bevis Bawa
If you loved the concept of the Lunuganga estate, then there’s another such landscape situated just 20 minutes away from Bentota, in the Beruwala area. It is none other than the brief garden, and it is a landscape garden and a former home designed by the reputed horticulturist and landscape gardener, Bevis Bawa.
The garden got its name as Bawa’s father, Benjamin bought the land with a legal brief. This fascinating landscape is bedecked with wonderful sculptures, exotic flora, and a stunning bungalow. It is just amazing to see how Bevis Bawa has brought his imagination to life. This is private property but visitors are allowed to stroll around and take a look at the beauty. This is a very calm environment where you can have some peaceful hours appreciating the delightful nature.
The verdant landscape here is widely popular for photography. And yes, there are so many gorgeous and vintage backdrops for your photoshoots out there as well. You can also get a few ideas on maintaining your garden as you explore this land of charms.
After all, it is a magnificent creation with an incredible history. So, if you love nature and architecture, the Brief garden is a must-visit in the Bentota area. There’s an entrance fee to the garden. Yet, the opportunity you get to walk around the garden and take a peek at Bevis Bawa’s artistry is simply worth it!
11. Look in on Kande Vihara
Kande Vihara is one of the biggest Buddhist temples in the Kalutara district situated just 10 minutes away from Bentota. This temple is also identified as an important architectural site.
‘Kande Vihara’ means the ‘mountain temple’ and the temple got this name as it is located in a mountainous area in Aluthgama. The highlight of the whole temple complex is the 48 meters tall giant Buddha statue. This statue is one of the largest Buddha statues in the world. The Buddha statue is such a spectacular sight even from afar. In addition, there’s a bell-shaped stupa, a relic chamber, a 300 years old Bo tree, an attractive image house, a meditation hall, and four great temples within the temple premises.
The ancient temple is more beautiful with its recent reconstructions. So many tourists and devotees visit the Kande vihara especially on weekends and poya days. If you want to avoid the crowd, it’s better to visit during a weekday. There are many historical and religious features to observe in this temple. There’s a great view of the surrounding from the temple. It is located in an easy-to-reach location with ample parking space as well. Remember to dress and behave respectfully as this is a place of worship.
12. Go on a Trip to Cinnamon Island
Needless to say, Sri Lankan spices are world-famous for their rich and diverse flavor. Most of these spices are exotic and expensive. Among these spices, Sri Lanka produces the highest-grade pure cinnamon. Do you want to see how this flavorful and aromatic spice is made? If so, if you visit Bentota, make sure to visit the cinnamon island. It is a gorgeous island where you can see for yourself how cinnamon spice is made in Sri Lanka.
This small island is located 20 kilometers away from Bentota in the Koggala area. This island is well known for cinnamon production which runs by a single-family. In the cinnamon island, you can see the process of Cinnamon making, from the cinnamon tree to cinnamon powder. The process includes several steps such as harvesting, peeling, oiling, and rolling.
As you explore this place, you can also get to know more about the cinnamon spice, its uses, and its health benefits. Don’t forget to buy a unique souvenir like some quality cinnamon sticks, cinnamon oil, or cinnamon powder as well. This is an interesting experience that a tourist can get in the Bentota area. And why not? After going through the cinnamon-making process, you can enjoy the stunning sceneries of the garden and try a water sport as well.
13. Enjoy a Boat Safari in Bentota River
Bentota river, also known as the Bentara river flows a few kilometers away from Bentota. This river is a rich ecosystem with unique flora and fauna and a mangrove system.
It is an attractive environment where you can traverse with a small boat. And yes, after a great beach holiday, it will be great to travel through the freshwaters. The highlight of the Bentota River is its dense mangrove tunnels.
While enjoying this ecosystem, you can see a wide variety of fauna. Besides, the Bentota River is home to different animal species such as crocodiles, water monitors, land monitors, monkeys, and avifauna. The river is not crowded with tourist boats. So, you can witness an amazing biosphere at its best. Of course, this is one of the best boat safaris that one can experience in Sri Lanka. Thus, this is a relaxed yet extraordinary experience that tourists can get in the Bentota area.
14. Go on a Boat Safari in Madu Ganga
Another popular river safari that you can experience in the Bentota area is the Madu Ganga safari. Madu River is located 17 kilometers away from Bentota. The location of this river is very important as it flows through a swampy marshland covered in mangrove forests.
These mangrove trees protect the river banks while adding such a beautiful and gloomy vibe to a river safari. This river system provides shelter to over 300 species including endemic species as well. While Bentota river is more popular for its fauna, the Madu river is much sought after for its flora. A boat safari is a great way to explore this natural treasure. A boat ride through this amazing wetland usually takes around 2 hours. If you are an adventure lover who likes an escapade to nature, you will find this to be a wonderful experience.
15. Trekking at Bentota
A little bit away from the Bentota town, there are villages where you can witness the pleasant countryside life. In such areas, there are paddy fields, ancient Buddhist temples, and an eco-friendly lifestyle. Many tourists opt for eco-friendliness when traveling too. So what’s more eco-friendly than trekking?
Evenings are better for trekking due to the soothing weather and also to seeing the sunset in the countryside. You can trek through the region with a tour guide. It will be such a refreshing experience to walk through these remote villages away from the usual city life. Furthermore, you can experience the well-known Sri Lankan hospitality as well. Hence, trekking is another popular tourist activity in the Bentota area.
16. Visit the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery
Five out of the seven types of sea turtles can be seen in Sri Lanka and unfortunately, all of them have made it to the endangered list. So, the purpose of the Kosgoda turtle hatchery is to conserve the sea turtles by increasing the rate of hatching, protecting baby turtles, treating the injured turtles, and releasing them to the ocean.
This is one of the 18 turtle hatcheries on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. It is located 20 minutes away from Bentota town. You can also visit the hatchery to learn about these precious sea creatures. Meanwhile, you can also volunteer in helping to take care of the turtles. There are so many threats to marine life today and it is our responsibility to be aware of and support them. Therefore, this is a perfect opportunity for you to spare some time for a good cause too when enjoying yourself on Bentota shores.
17. Catch Sight of Beruwala Lighthouse
There are only four international lighthouses in Sri Lanka and one of them is in the Barberyn island in Beruwala. The 100-foot tall lighthouse is located 8 kilometers away from Bentota. According to history, the Barberyn lighthouse was built in 1889 by the British colonists on a small island, which only consists of 8 acres.
Up to date, the lighthouse is still operating and shows the safe path to thousands of sea vessels. Even though visitors are not permitted to enter the lighthouse, you can meet up with a lighthouse keeper to learn more about it. The lighthouse is highly popular for its picture-perfect view. You can capture the iconic lighthouse in its scenic background. Then, the surrounding area is ideal for a picnic too. You will love spending some time in this beautiful location.
18. Pay a Visit to Ambalangoda
Ambalangoda is another popular tourist destination on the southern coast. This coastal town is 40 minutes away from Bentota town.
Ambalangoda is a highlight with regard to the Sri Lankan traditional arts and crafts, as it is widely known as the home for Sri Lanka’s unique devil masks. In the Ariyapala mask museum, there are so many of these traditional masks that can only be seen in Sri Lanka.
Besides, Ambalangoda is also blessed with a lovely white beach where you can spend a perfect beach evening. You can try out various water sports in Ambalangoda too. If you like to visit religious places, there is an attractive Buddhist temple called the Sri Vijayarama Viharaya in Ambalangoda. As such, Ambalangoda is popular for its cultural and religious heritage and of course for the endless ocean views. So why not pay a visit to Ambalangoda as well?
19. Set Off to Balapitiya
Balapitiya is also a small coastal town situated in the Southern province of Sri Lanka. It is located 35 minutes away from Bentota. Unlike many other coastal towns on the southern coast, Balapitiya still remains untouched by mass tourism. Instead, many of the locals out there depend on the fishing industry for livelihood. Therefore, this is an ideal location to get a glimpse of the lifestyle of the local fishermen. On the other hand, there are beautiful beaches where you can relax and have an amazing beach day. Beaches won’t be that crowded like the other popular beaches in the area. So, a visit to Balapitiya is sure to magnify the delight of your Bentota visit.
20. Go on a Day Tour to Galle Fort
Last but not the least, make sure to visit the iconic Galle Fort which is situated in the main city of the southern province, Galle. You have to take about a 1-hour drive to reach the Galle fort from Bentota.
Galle Fort is an architectural wonder built by the Portuguese and later renovated by the Dutch and the British. Today, the fort stands majestically in Galle showing the Sri Lankan town in a different light. In fact, it is a must-visit in the Galle town.
UNESCO has identified the fort as a world heritage site too. You can enjoy and capture the best views of the Galle city and the Indian ocean from the Galle fort. There are stylish boutiques and trendy restaurants inside the Galle fort for you to rest a bit as you roam around this wonderful place as well. So, this is well worth a visit while you are visiting Bentota.
How to Reach Bentota?
Bentota is located 80 kilometers away from Colombo, the commercial capital of Sri Lanka. So, if you are traveling to Bentota from Colombo, the easiest option is to take the train as the journey will only take about 1 hour. You can take the train from the Fort station to the Aluthgama station. If not, you can also take a bus to Aluthgama from the Colombo Bastian Mawatha bus terminal. This will take about 2 hours.
There is a 177 kilometers distance between Kandy and Bentota. If you are traveling from Kandy, you can take a train to the Fort station and then to Aluthgama station. If not, take a bus to Colombo from the Kandy good shed bus station and then to Bentota. However, if you do not prefer using public transportation, you can easily book a taxi or hire a car as well.
Weather and Climate in Bentota
Since Bentota is a coastal town, it has a hot and windy climate throughout the year. Hence, the temperature usually ranges between 28°C and 30°C. May is the warmest month while February is the coldest month. Bentota receives the most rainfall during October and the least rainfall in February. The tropical climate makes it suitable for traveling throughout the year. Still, the best time to visit Bentota to get the most out of your vacation is during the months from November to April. The weather is at a settling state in that time period.
The Bottom Line
Usually, we plan a vacation to get away from the daily hustle-bustle and to try brand new experiences while relaxing the mind and the body. So, with the ample of wonderful things for you to do in Bentota, it is obvious that this coastal town is sort of the all-in-one package. Simply, there is an activity for all in Bentota. Therefore, Bentota must certainly be on the bucket list for your vacation in Sri Lanka. Bentota welcomes you to have an extremely delightful experience in tropical bliss. Happy and safe traveling!