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Bentota | ©Hafiz Issadeen/Flickr
Bentota | ©Hafiz Issadeen/Flickr

The Top 10 Things to Do in Bentota, Sri Lanka

Picture of Jayani Senanayake
Updated: 30 April 2017
A laid back coastal town on Sri Lanka‘s south coast, Bentota embodies the charm of island living. With easy-going fishermen, the age-old cinnamon trade and isolated beaches, Bentota captures the heart of all those who visit. There’s no shortage of things to do here, either. Here are our top 10 picks.

Water Sports

The turquoise waters beckon! Jet skiing, wake boarding, wind surfing, mono skiing, banana boat rides and canyoning can be done by the adventurous, active traveler.

WatersportsWatersports | © Amila Tennakoon/Flickr

Visit the Brief Garden

The Brief Garden was designed by Bevis Bawa, a well-known Sri Lankan artist who is also the brother of renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa. The Brief Garden is laid out over five acres, and includes a profusion of tropical trees, structures and sculptures.

Brief Garden Kalawila Village, Beruwala, +94

Madu Ganga River Safari

Cruise through the mangroves and explore the islands that dot the river. The Madu Ganga River safari is a must-do for nature lovers. With over 111 bird species, the Madu River is not only a bird lovers’ paradise but also a wonderland for biologists and ecologists, with a rich condensation of wildlife and plant life thriving within these shady mangroves.

Captain’s Boat House  provides comprehensive boat rides and tours along the river for you to explore the intense depths with local tour guides.

Madu river safari | © Amila Tennakoon/FlickrMadu River safari | © Amila Tennakoon/Flickr

Kosgoda Turtle Conservation Project

Avoid the hatcheries and head for the Kosgoda Turtle Conservation Project. You can experience these majestic creatures in their natural habitat, and maybe even  witness them laying eggs in the sand.

Kosgoda Turtle Conservation Project, No. 13/A, Galle Road, Mahapalena, Kosgoda, +94

The Beach

Bentota Beach | © Amila Tennakoon/Flickr

Pristine golden beaches and stunning sea views are all yours. Bentota is one of the most beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka, an idyllic place to soak up the sun or swim in the waves.

Visit Kande Viharaya

A temple dating from the 1700s, the Kande Viharaya is a great place to gobble up some history while observing local life. A pioneer centre for Buddhist education in Sri Lanka, Kande Viharaya has a number of ancient sculptures, statues and colorful frescoes dating back to the Kandyan era (15th-19th century).

Kande Viharaya, Beruwala

Kande Viharaya

Kande Viharaya | © Hafiz Issadeen/Flickr

Explore the Galle Dutch Fort

About 50 kms south of Bentota is the Galle Dutch Fort, a centuries-old fortification that has been beautifully preserved. Sprawling across 87 acres, it houses ancient churches, museums and is a cultural hot spot where many art and literary festivals take place.

Galle Dutch Fort

Galle Fort | © calflier/WikiCommons


Explore the home of renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa, exquisitely designed with an array of rare flora. Bawa is credited as the pioneer of the architectural theory today known as “tropical modernism”, and Lunuganga is a magnificent example of his work.

Lunuganga Garden, Dedduwa, Haburugala, Bentota, +94

Go Diving

Bentota is a popular diving spot. Head over to Canoe Rock, South Reef and Hundirangala to witness vibrant corals and large schools of fish, including Lion Fish and Porcupine Fish. If you need guidance or are a newbie to the sport, Sunshine Diving is a good place to start.

Visit Cinnamon Island

A cinnamon plantation dating back to the early 1900s, Cinnamon Island is located on a tiny, enchanting island. Visitors can witness the processing of cinnamon and learn about all of cinnamon’s uses. It’s a great excursion for an hour.

Cinnamon Island