Places to visit in Bentota
Are you planning a trip to Sri Lanka and looking for an idyllic destination that offers a perfect blend of sun, sand, and culture? Look no further than Bentota, a picturesque coastal town located just 64 kilometres south of Colombo. Known for its pristine beaches, stunning natural landscapes, and rich cultural heritage, Bentota is a must-visit destination for any traveller exploring Sri Lanka. There are plenty of places to visit in Bentota that will leave you enchanted and amazed. From the white sand beaches of Bentota Beach to the lush gardens and sculptures of Brief Garden, Bentota has something to offer everyone. For nature lovers, a boat ride down the Bentota River is a must-try to explore the mangroves and wildlife of the region. For those interested in history and culture, the Kande Viharaya and the Galapata Viharaya offer a glimpse into Sri Lanka’s ancient Buddhist heritage. Visitors can also witness Sri Lanka’s conservation efforts for sea turtles at the Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project. To complete your Sri Lankan experience, do not miss trying the fresh seafood at the Beruwala Fishing Harbour. So pack your bags and get ready to explore this stunning destination just a short drive away from Colombo.
1. Bentota Beach
Bentota Beach is a hidden gem on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, known for its crystal-clear waters, pristine white sand, and stunning natural landscapes. It’s a must-visit destination for any traveller exploring Sri Lanka, offering a perfect blend of sun, sand, and culture. The beach is located in the heart of Bentota town, making it easily accessible to visitors staying in the area. It’s a popular spot for water sports enthusiasts, with a range of activities available such as jet skiing, windsurfing, snorkelling, and scuba diving. The warm waters of the Indian Ocean are perfect for swimming, and the beach is lined with sun loungers and umbrellas for a comfortable and relaxing day in the sun. One of the highlights of Bentota Beach is its stunning natural beauty, with lush greenery and palm trees fringing the beach. Overall, Bentota Beach is one of the top places to visit in Bentota, offering a perfect combination of sun, sand, and adventure. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach or explore the natural wonders of Sri Lanka, Bentota Beach is the perfect destination for an unforgettable trip.
2. Brief Garden
If you’re looking for a peaceful escape from bustling city life, then Brief Garden should be on your list of places to visit in Bentota. This enchanting garden, located just a short distance from the town centre, offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the serene beauty of nature. Brief Garden is an expansive estate, covering around five acres of lush greenery and stunning landscapes. It was once the home of the famous Sri Lankan artist Bevis Bawa, who spent over 50 years cultivating the garden into the masterpiece it is today. The garden is home to a vast array of sculptures, water features, and hidden pathways that lead to secluded spots perfect for meditation or quiet contemplation. One of the highlights of the Brief Garden is the stunning water features, which include a series of interconnected ponds and cascading waterfalls that create a soothing and peaceful ambience. Visitors to Brief Garden can take a guided tour of the garden, where they can learn about the history and significance of each sculpture and art installation. The garden also has a gift shop where visitors can purchase souvenirs and handcrafted items made by local artisans.
3. Bentota River
The Bentota River is one of the most popular places to visit in Bentota. This picturesque river offers visitors an opportunity to explore the beautiful landscape of Sri Lanka and enjoy a variety of water activities. The Bentota River is approximately 170 km long and is the largest river in the Galle district. The river flows through lush mangrove forests, picturesque countryside, and charming villages, providing visitors with a unique glimpse into the natural beauty and culture of Sri Lanka. A boat ride down the Bentota River is a must-do activity, offering a chance to see monitor lizards, water birds, and crocodiles in their natural habitat. The river is also great for fishing, with freshwater fish such as catfish and tilapia readily available. For those seeking adventure, there are plenty of water sports to enjoy, including jet skiing, water skiing, and banana boating. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing boat ride or an exciting water sports adventure, the Bentota River has something to offer everyone. If you’re planning a trip to Bentota, don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit this stunning river.
4. Kande Viharaya
Kande Viharaya is a popular Buddhist temple located in the town of Aluthgama, just a short drive away from Bentota. The temple is situated on a hill, and visitors can climb a series of stairs to reach the top. Along the way, visitors will encounter several impressive statues and intricate carvings, including a large statue of Buddha at the entrance to the temple. The temple itself is decorated with beautiful frescoes and intricate designs, making it a truly awe-inspiring sight. One of the most interesting features of Kande Viharaya is the giant Buddha statue, which stands an impressive 48 meters tall. The statue is made of concrete, making it a relatively new addition to the temple. Another highlight of Kande Viharaya is the temple museum, which houses a fascinating collection of religious artefacts and historical objects. Visitors can learn about the history of the temple and its importance in Sri Lankan culture, as well as view ancient manuscripts, sculptures, and other works of art. Whether you’re a religious pilgrim or simply a curious traveller, this temple is well worth a visit when exploring the places to visit in Bentota.
5. Beruwela Fishing Harbour
Beruwela Fishing Harbour is a vibrant and bustling hub of activity located near Bentota. It is an important centre for the local fishing industry and offers visitors a unique glimpse into the daily lives of the fishermen who call this area home. The harbour is home to a colourful array of fishing boats, which can be seen bobbing up and down in the water as the fishermen set out to sea in search of their catch of the day. Visitors can watch as the fishermen unload their hauls of fish, prawns, and other seafood, which are then sold at the bustling fish market located nearby. For those interested in learning more about the fishing industry in Sri Lanka, the harbour offers guided tours where visitors can witness firsthand the traditional fishing methods that have been passed down through generations. This is a great opportunity to learn about the culture and traditions of the local people and gain a deeper understanding of their way of life. A visit to the Beruwela Fishing Harbour is a must when exploring the places to visit in Bentota, and a great way to experience the rich culture and traditions of Sri Lanka.
6. Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project
Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project is a must-visit place for those who want to experience the beauty of nature and do their part in conserving it. Located just a short drive away from Bentota, this project is a sanctuary for sea turtles. The conservation project focuses on the preservation of five different species of sea turtles that are native to Sri Lanka. These include the Olive Ridley, Green Turtle, Leatherback, Loggerhead, and Hawksbill. The main goal of the project is to protect and conserve these species by creating a safe and conducive environment for them to nest and hatch. You can even witness the release of the baby turtles into the ocean, which is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project also has a hatchery where they collect and incubate eggs until they are ready to hatch. This helps to ensure the survival rate of sea turtles and increase their population. Apart from the conservation efforts, the project also provides education on the importance of preserving the environment and the role that we can all play in protecting it. So, make sure to add the Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project to your list of places to visit in Bentota and experience the wonder of these amazing creatures.
7. Barberyn Island Lighthouse
Barberyn Island Lighthouse, also known as Beruwela Lighthouse, is a famous landmark located in Beruwela, just a short drive away from Bentota. Built-in 1920, the lighthouse served as an important navigational aid for ships sailing in the Indian Ocean. The lighthouse stands tall at a height of 34 meters and is visible from miles away. It is perched on top of Barberyn Island, which is accessible only by boat. Visitors can take a boat ride to the island and climb up to the lighthouse to enjoy panoramic views of the coastline and the Indian Ocean. The lighthouse itself is a marvel of architecture and engineering, with a cylindrical tower made of red and white bricks. The tower is adorned with a spiral staircase leading to the top of the lighthouse. Apart from its historical and architectural significance, the Barberyn Island Lighthouse also holds immense cultural importance for the local community. Visitors can interact with the locals, learn about their culture, and even try their hand at fishing. The Barberyn Island Lighthouse is a unique and fascinating destination that is not to be missed when exploring the many places to visit in Bentota.
8. Galapata Viharaya
Galapata Viharaya is a historic Buddhist temple located near the popular tourist destination of Bentota. It is an important religious site that is steeped in history and culture, making it a must-visit destination for travellers interested in exploring the country’s rich heritage. The temple is known for its unique architecture, which combines elements of traditional Sinhalese and South Indian styles. Visitors can admire the intricate carvings and sculptures that adorn the temple’s exterior, which tell stories of the Buddha’s life and teachings. One of the most fascinating features of Galapata Viharaya is the ancient rock inscriptions that can be found on the temple grounds. These inscriptions date back to the 2nd century BC and provide valuable insight into Sri Lanka’s early history. The temple also boasts a peaceful meditation hall, where visitors can relax and reflect in a tranquil environment. Here, one can experience the profound spiritual energy that pervades the temple and connect with the rich cultural heritage of Sri Lanka. Whether you’re a history buff, a spiritual seeker, or simply a curious traveller, a visit to this temple is a must when exploring the places to visit in Bentota.
9. Moragalla Beach
Moragalla Beach is a stunning stretch of golden sand that lies just a few kilometres south of Bentota. As one of the less crowded beaches in the area, it’s the perfect spot to unwind and relax in a tranquil atmosphere. The beach is clean, and the water is warm, making it a great place to swim. There are also plenty of water sports activities available, such as snorkelling and surfing. The beach is also ideal for sunbathing, and there are plenty of beach umbrellas and sun loungers available to rent. One of the most alluring features of Moragalla Beach is its incredible natural beauty. It’s surrounded by lush greenery and is home to a wide variety of exotic bird species, making it a perfect spot for birdwatching enthusiasts. Apart from the beach itself, there are also several restaurants and cafes dotted along the coastline. You can enjoy fresh seafood or try out some of the delicious local cuisines while taking in the breathtaking view of the Indian Ocean. Moragalla Beach is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Bentota and is perfect for nature lovers, beach enthusiasts and anyone looking for a relaxing getaway.
10. Bentota Bazaar
Bentota Bazaar is a vibrant and bustling market located in the heart of Bentota. It is a great place to visit for those who want to experience the local culture and shop for souvenirs. The bazaar is filled with small shops and vendors selling a wide variety of items, from handmade jewellery and clothing to spices and local produce. One of the highlights of the Bentota Bazaar is the opportunity to interact with the local vendors and learn about their craft. You can watch skilled artisans weaving baskets or creating intricate wood carvings. The vendors are friendly and often willing to share the history and significance behind their products. The market is open daily from early morning until late at night, so visitors can easily plan a visit to fit into their itinerary. Whether you’re looking for unique souvenirs or just want to experience the vibrant atmosphere of a local market, Bentota Bazaar is a must-visit destination on your list of places to visit in Bentota. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon and soak up the vibrant atmosphere of this charming Sri Lankan town.