Bentota is a beautiful resort town located in the southwest part of Sri Lanka. With its green landscapes, tall palm trees, exotic beach and rich flora and fauna, Bentota gives a glimpse of the spectacular rural Sri Lanka. The calm weather of this place further adds to its charm, making it a perfect romantic holiday destination. Here is a list of top 5 things you must do on your trip to Bentota.
1. Bentota Beach
Bentota is known for the serenity of its pristine white sand beach bordering the vibrant waters of the mighty Indian Ocean. The sight of the high-end grassroots and towering palm trees that perfectly outlines the beach is a visual treat. Play with the waves, click pictures, or simply relax on the beach to soak the serene vibes. The beach also offers mesmerising views of the sunrise and sunset.
2. Madu Ganga Boat Safari
Madu Ganga Boat Safari experience provides you an insight into the rural life of Sri Lanka. As the motor boat cruises on the river, you get glimpses of a number of birds, reptiles and monkeys. Madu Ganga River is a home to over one hundred and eleven bird species. Also, there are 32 islands within this extensive wetlands complex. You’ll spot an 800-years old Murugan Temple on the smallest Island in the middle of the river.
The safari goes through the mangrove tree forests and natural caves formed by the branches of the trees, offering eye soothing views of the greenery around. The first stop is the Cinnamon Island. Here, you’ll get down from the boat to explore the surroundings.
Your hosts will explain the process of extracting cinnamon from the trees and making various products out of it. These products include, cinnamon tea, cinnamon incense sticks, cinnamon spice sticks, cinnamon oil and so on. They will explain the use and benefits of all these products. A complimentary cinnamon tea is a part of this tour. The tea is very healthy and delicious.
We got to know that cinnamon incense sticks are used to ward away mosquitos. Cinnamon oil is used to treat cough and common cold. Cinnamon tea has numerous health benefits.
If you like any of their products, you can buy them. There’s no compulsion though and no one forces you for that. I bought cinnamon oil, cinnamon spice sticks and cinnamon tea.
The next stop is a 200-year old Buddha Temple located on an isolated Island in Madu Ganga River. There is another white statue of Buddha in the middle of the river. The boat optionally stops at a point where you can opt for fish pedicure.
Overall, it’s an experience well worth your time and money.
3. Ahungalla Turtle Conservatory
Ahungalla Turtle Conservatory endeavours to protect the sea turtle eggs and increase their hatching rate. The process includes protecting the mother turtle during the nesting process and relocating the eggs to the hatchery to avoid threats that endanger the eggs in their original nesting locations. When the eggs are hatched, baby turtles are released in the sea.
The conservatory also houses some adult turtles, who were found injured on the beach. They receive the much needed treatment in the Ahungalla Turtle Conservatory. Once they recover their health and are ready to swim again, they are released back in the sea. The species include Green Turtle and critically endangered Hawksbill Turtle.
We saw these lovely creatures in close proximity and also released a few baby turtles in the sea. It was such an exhilarating experience. Holding those tiny babies in my hands was so overwhelming that the feeling can’t be described in words. The way they used their tiny feet to reach the ocean was simply heart-melting. There’s life all around us, existing just for the love of existence!
4. Galle Fort And Lighthouse
Take a day trip from Bentota to the Galle city and explore the beautiful Galle fort and lighthouse. Located in the extreme southwest coast of Sri Lanka, Galle Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This 16th century fortress was originally built by Portuguese to defend the Galle city. It was later extensively fortified by the Dutch in the 17th century. With its colourful history, the fort is s a beautiful blend of European architecture and South Asian traditions.
Since it’s built on a small rocky peninsula, the Fort offers expansive views of the Galle city and the vast Indian Ocean at the backdrop. You will also get a nice view of the Galle International Cricket Stadium from the fort. It is known to be the most beautiful stadium in Sri Lanka, as well as the most picturesque cricket grounds in the world.
As you walk a little uphill, you’ll be greeted by a spectacular white structure – an 87 feet high lighthouse. Lined with palm trees around it, it is one of the best photo spots in Galle. The fort area has a number of historic churches, buddhist temples and mosques, as well as various commercial and government buildings.
The southernmost part of the fort is a Flag Rock Bastion, from where you get jaw dropping views of the mighty Indian Ocean, along with the cool sea breeze brushing through your hair. You may also spot some ships sailing at a distance.
5. Water Sports in Bentota
If you are an adventure seeker, indulging in some water sports here is what completes your trip. The still waters of Bentota lagoon invite a variety of adrenaline-pumping activities throughout the year. These water sports include water skiing, windsurfing, banana ride, jet-skiing, tube rides, snorkelling and surfing.
Whether you’re looking for a serene or a romantic holiday, or a rejuvenating break from your daily routines, Bentota makes up for a perfect getaway.
Bonus Tip: If you’re looking for a party place in Bentota, head to Hikkaduwa Beach, which is famous for its nightlife and beach parties.