Things to do in Bentota
With the best coastline known as the golden mile and a wealth of creeks and coves, the Sri Lanka west coast beach is known as Bentota beach, is an excellent selection for a Sri Lanka beach holiday. Fantastic beach restaurants offering delicious seafood, creeks and hidden coves, wildlife galore and unforgettable surfing experience are some of the reasons to visit Sri Lanka this west coast towns.
What are the things to do in Bentota? if you are wondering what are the things to do in Bentota, here is the list of activities for you.
Exploring pristine beaches of Bentota
Exploring mangrove forest of Madu
Lunu Ganga, the Beautiful Garden of Geoffrey Bawa
visiting Sea Turtle conservation centre
visiting Mask Museum of Ambalangoda
Exploring Sinharaja Rain Forest
Visiting Galle Fort
Visiting Kande Vihara Buddhist temple
Doing water sports
Visiting Kachchimale mosque
Things to do in Bentota-Exploring colourful Beaches
Light blue, translucent, warm salty waters of the Indian Ocean are the essence of Bentota beach holidays, on the west coast. Bentota beach is a strip of land Surrounded by crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean and the less salty water of Bentota River. The Bentota beach of Sri Lanka is simply stunning, and fabulous-whale watching, restaurants with delicious sea-food are plenty. Along with exploring the beaches, which is one of the best things to do in Bentota, there are so many other things to do in Bentota like rainforest exploration, visiting wildlife reserves, visiting cultural and historical sites, boating.. and many other things.
Sri Lanka is a popular beach holiday destination and beaches on the island can be used for year-round beach holidays but depending on the time of the year you travel, it could be either south-west coast, West coast or East best suited for your holiday. Beach lovers particularly flock to Bentota beach and other beaches in the west and southern coast seeking for sun, sea and sand during the winter season in the northern hemisphere. Beaches of east coast such as Nilaveli, Passikudah come into fore as a destination for beach holidays, from April to November, when it has a dry climate with less rainy days.
Bentota beach, located in Sri Lanka west coast is a heaven for nature lovers, where they can experience rich bio-diversity, coral reefs, dolphins, whales, turtles, mangroves, iguanas, an immense array of tropical bird species. Bentota beach had spurred a huge development in the past and it had become a full-blown beach holiday destination in the country.
Today Bentota beach attracts a large number of foreign tourists and capable of serving any type of budget. Bentota beach shows a noteworthy contrast as a beach holiday destination against Hikkaduwa and Unawatuna. Simply because Bentota beach popular as a luxury beach holiday destination and most hotels in Bentota serves the rich clientele.
Things to do in Bentota for Nature lovers-exploring mangrove forest of Madu
Madu river estuary located just south of Bentota beach and just before the sleepy town of Ambalangoda is Sri Lanka’s most popular wetland complex. The waterways are running through the many dozens of island, which are in the range of few square feet to many hundreds of square kilometres. The big islands are inhabited by a large number of families. The largest island is occupied by 200 hundred families. Rich plant life in the wetland shows a huge diversity and the mangroves dominate the flora scene here.
Koggala beach, more than two miles of sandy beach near the town of Galle, is backed by Madolduwa estuary, which is one of the largest lakes with a patch of forest in it. Boating is the only way to reach this creepy island, where the visitors can see a large number of Flora species as well as many avian fauna species.
Lunu Ganga, the Beautiful Garden of Geoffrey Bawa
Lunu Ganga is Located about 6 km from Bentota on Bentota-Elpitiya main road, this 15-acre expanse of landscaped garden and beautifully manicured lawns created by the world-renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa. The garden is incorporated with artistic displays and sculptures that take visitors by surprise. The park is a hidden secret and a fantastic escape from the beach areas, unlike other tourist attractions such as Sigiriya, Dambulla and Kandy you do not encounter hordes of tourists here.
This romantic private garden shows the traditional formal garden style combined with innovative ideas of veteran architect Geoffrey Bawa. Although this comparatively small garden does not have huge expanses of lawns and fountains like in many other parks, the underlining intimacy it has with the immediate surrounding is priceless. The garden is given a classic artistic twist with the addition of numerous sculptures; the Garden of Geoffrey bawa orientates around 3 themes of nature, architecture, and artifice. A considerable part of the garden is set bordering the Bentota River, allowing you to sit on the shores and spot the passing by aquatic bird species.
The garden was once occupied by Mr Bawa and it was elaborated to please his personal taste. The centrepiece of the garden is the house of Mr Bawa, the garden has a unique layout and atmosphere among the gardens of Sri Lanka. Co-existing and complimenting the nearby river, this amazing garden truly lives up to its name. The garden entices you to have a compelling and impressive walk amidst the green foliage while taking a glimpse of the architectural works of Mr Bawa.
Simply taking a stroll in the garden enlightens visitors on why this beautiful garden deserves one’s attention. Perhaps the most distinct aspect of this expanse of greenery is its isolation from the hustle and bustle of the city. The garden of Bawa is truly an asset for the west coast beach resort. This hidden gem allows for a fantastic beach resort to be the leading beach holiday destination, while also providing a relaxing spot for its visitors to unwind.
Things to do in Bentota for wildlife lovers -visiting Bentota Turtle sanctuary
Sea turtle farm is one of the many interesting places to visit in Bentota and a large number of travellers, who are relaxing in Bentota beach resort, are not forgetting to drop into one of the sea turtle farms. Sri Lanka is visited by several species of sea turtles, especially from November to April. Sea turtles are heading to the west coast beaches of Sri Lanka for laying eggs in the night. Sri Lankan beaches are visited by 5 different species of endangered turtle species. Some people in the area have the habit of consuming these eggs. Therefore many organizations have established turtle hatcheries and by those eggs from the people and release the babies to the sea. One can visit these hatcheries and see the turtles that are of different ages.
Sea turtle is one of the most attractive endangered marine creatures listed on the IUCN red list. Sri Lanka marine conservation centres are actively engaged in protecting this animal. Most of these conservation centres are located along the west coast of Sri Lanka near the beach resorts such as Bentota, Kalutara, Hikkaduwa and Galle. The visitors are welcome in these conservation centres and should pay a nominal fee for the entrance. The entrance fee and donations of the visitors are the main sources of fund of these conservation centres. Usually, the Sri Lanka road trips include several sites along the west and southern coast and sea turtle farm is one of them.
There are seven Marine Turtle species recorded in the world and Sri Lanka is the home for five of the seven species. Green turtles, leatherback sea turtle, olive ridley turtle, Hawksbills and Loggerheads marine turtles are the five species come to the beaches of Sri Lanka for nesting. Marine turtle species mainly recorded in the areas of south and south-east part of the island, where the most marine turtle conservation centres are located. A vast area of seagrass beds and coral reefs in this region provide important nesting and foraging grounds to Sea turtle.
Even though that all marine turtle are declared as protected animals in Sri Lanka, under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance (FFPO, 1938 amended in 1972) still the exploitation of meat, eggs and other products of turtles have recorded some parts of the island. It is an offence to capture, kill, injure or possess marine turtles or their eggs. Declining sea turtle populations is a major concern for conservation biologists at the moment and today even though the marine turtles are protected globally. Banning the international trade of sea turtle products from the local government resulted in a considerable decline in slaughtering the marine turtles, but still, the marine turtles and their eggs continue to be exploited in some parts of the country without any hindrance.
Turtle eggs are still eaten or sold by the local community in some areas while the incidental capture of marine turtles in various fisheries along the northwestern, western and southwestern coast of Sri Lanka has been reported. This is widely recognized as an important issue in the conservation and the recovery of these threatened and endangered species.
Action Plan for Sri Lanka was prepared in 2005 as part of a comprehensive, concerted and integrated effort at a national level and it highlights the socio-economic benefits of sea turtle conservation. According to the Action Plan, the involvement of the local community in sea turtle conservation, providing alternatives to the coastal communities through developing their talents and increasing awareness in the sustainable use of natural resources has been increased in Sri Lanka. This study was conducted to assess the knowledge of villagers about marine turtles, their attitude towards conservation of marine turtles and the prevalence of consumptive use among the villagers in six villages along the northwestern, western, southwestern and southern coast of Sri Lanka.
In addition to in-situ conservation programs in the selected areas, long-term turtle awareness programs are being conducted in and around these high nesting villages by non-governmental organizations such as TCP in collaboration with the Department of Wildlife (DWL), Sri Lanka.
With awareness programs, conservation programs, and strict enforcement of laws prohibiting consumptive use along the coastline, specifically in villages in the western and northwestern areas, has reduced the exploitation of marine turtles. However, it is important to recognize that the majority of the coastal community is poor and the level of education is low.
Considering the poverty of the community involved in sea turtle exploitation, it becomes critical shifting conservation efforts towards these local communities, particularly the Fishers in some parts of the country, who are often in the position to make choices directly impacting the fate of marine. Many proposed protection measures in the Action Plan are associated with highlighting the socioeconomic benefits of conservation and of sustainable use of natural resources, as well as initiatives providing viable, sustainable livelihoods.
Mask Museum of Ambalangoda
Ambalangoda is located several kilometres from Bentota and it is the centre of mask carving in Sri Lanka. Visiting mask museum is one of the best things to do in Bentota if you have a cultural and historical buff. The history of mask carving in Ambalangoda is going back to several centuries; even today it is the most important city for the mask carving. There are several museums in Ambalangoda showcasing traditional masks of Sri Lanka and handicrafts. The museum has a large collection of masks dating back many thousands of years and some of the exhibits are not to be found anywhere else in the world. Ambalangoda mask museum offers the best opportunity for people who look for traditional Sri Lankan masks.
Exploring Sinharaja Rain Forest
Sinharaja is the last remaining rain forest of Sri Lanka and a most valuable patch of forest in the island. The forest is declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO due to its importance for nature. A Seerendipity tour organizes community-based environmentally friendly tour itineraries to explore the undisturbed fragile eco-system around the rainforest with the participation of local people. These tours consist of canoeing, trekking, a walk through the buffer zone of the forest and a home-cooked traditional local meal for lunch.
Visiting Galle Fort- one of the best things to do in Bentota
In the beautiful coastal town of Galle majestically stands the cobblestoned old Dutch fort. It has welcomed many chic boutiques, hotels, motels, museums, galleries and had become the heart of the tourist traffic in southern Sri Lanka. Don’t forget to explore this fascinating UNESCO world heritage site if you choose Bentota as your beach holiday destination.
Visiting Kande Vihara Buddhist temple
Kande Vihara is a Buddhist temple and one of the beautiful temples and important places to visit on the west coast. Kande Vihara is one of the most popular Buddhist temples on the west coast of Sri Lanka and located very close to Bentota beach. This historical temple is dating back to the Kandyan period (18000s). It is believed to be constructed by King Rajadhi Rajasinghe. Main attractions of the temple are the Bo-tree, Dagoba, Shiva Devala, Relic house and the Image house. Kande Vihara is popular for its historical wall paintings and they are dating back to several centuries.
Things to do in Bentota for Adventure enthusiasts
Choose you’re favourite from scuba diving, snorkelling, deep-sea fishing, canoeing, whale watching, jungle tours, trekking, hiking, and boating. The list of adventure sports goes on and on. It’s adventures do not sound good for you, get an arrack cocktail and make it your adventure of the day. Away from Bentota beach, towards the interior of the country travellers can find secluded mountains, patches of forests, jungle-clad mountains, a cascading waterfall, hidden water streams, caves, tea, rubber and coconut plantations.
Visiting Kachchimale mosque
Beruwala is the oldest Moorish settlement on the island and it is located only 5 km from Bentota. Beruwala became the first Muslim settlement in 8th century AD with the arrival of a group of merchants from Arab. The believed to have started the mosque, therefore Kachchimale mosque is considered as one of the important religious places to visit in Bentota. Today Beruwala is the location for the oldest mosque in the country, which is called “Kachchimale” mosque. Hundreds of thousands of Muslim devotees flock into the mosque at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan in order to pay their homage to the grave of sheikh Ashareth.