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Bentota Tourism And Travel Guide
25.5° C / 77.9° F
December to April
2 to 3 Days
Bandaranaike International Airport (80 kms)
Aluthgama Railway Station (3.5 kms)
The gorgeous beach town of Bentota lies on the south western coast of Sri Lanka, about 60 to 65 kilometres from the capital city of Colombo. Though most of Bentota is of a rural set up, the government has made special effort to make Bentota tourist friendly. The establishment of the Bentota National Holiday Complex, to cater to the needs of tourists, is a testimony of this. Although the island country of Sri Lanka has many water sport friendly beaches, Bentota is unique, in that, its river - the Bentota Ganga, flows into the sea forming a long lagoon and an estuary. The waters of the lagoon are so calm that it creates the best conditions for all sorts of water sports. It is no wonder then, that tourism in Bentota is flourishing and that it is often known as the water sports capital of Sri Lanka. To create the best possible coastal holiday experience for you, here is a concise travel guide to Bentota.
How To Reach
Like most other places in Sri Lanka, the best way to reach Bentota would be to fly to Colombo first, after which there are a number of ways to reach Bentota. The most convenient way to reach Bentota from Colombo would be via taxi.
The Bandaranaike International Airport of Colombo is the closest airport to Bentota. The Airport is connected to almost all major cities around the world through flights that either land directly or may make a single stop, usually in India. There are bus and taxi services that will take you from the airport to either the city of Colombo or to Bentota, depending on your requirement.
To access the trains, you will have to first reach Colombo, from where all trains to other cities in Sri Lanka begin. The train stops at Aluthgama, about 3 km away from Bentota. Despite this minor inconvenience, a lot of people opt for the train because of the scenic beauty of the coastal lands the train passes through. Additionally, this is the most cost effective way of travelling.
The A2 Highway is one of the main routes connecting a number of coastal cities south of Colombo. This is also the route to take to get to Bentota. You can easily find buses and taxi’s heading to Bentota from Colombo on a daily basis.
Weather and Best Time to Visit
The temperature of Bentota, like the rest of Coastal Sri Lanka, remains fairly constant and usually average between 27°C to 30°C. The major deciding factor for the climate is the monsoon season. Two monsoon seasons are prominent here, bringing along with it copious amounts of rain. Hence the dry season, from December to April, is usually more popular among the tourists.
Northeast Monsoon Season (December to February):
These winds rarely affect the southern coasts and the months are characterized by dry winds and sometimes cooler than usual temperature. The sea is also at its best condition during these months making it perfect for indulging in Bentota’s famous water sports.
First Inter-Monsoon Season (March to April):
These months are usually quite hot and humid, yet the fact that it doesn’t rain as much during these months makes it a popular time amongst tourists. Also, if you are planning to dive into the cool waters of Bentota then what better time can there be?
The South West Monsoon Season (May to September):
This is the season that sees the most amount of rain. The climate is not suitable for water sports, however if you want to experience rural Sri Lanka and enjoy some rain at discounted prices then this is the season for you.
Second Inter-Monsoon Season (October to November):
Though the monsoon winds have passed, the rain still continues through these months because of depressions in the sea. Torrential rain is a common sight during these months and the unpredictability of the rain make it unattractive among tourists. However if you are ready to gamble, this could be your season.
Things To Do
Bentota is one of the closest coastal escapes from Colombo and is best known for the wide variety of water sports that one can enjoy.
Though the town is known mostly for the lovely coasts, there are a couple of places worth the visit. The famous architect Geoffrey Bawa’s estate, the Lunuganga, is an interesting place for architecture lovers. His brother Bevis Bawa also left behind a gorgeous estate with a garden so beautiful that people visit the estate just to stroll through it. The Kande Vihara Temple is one of the most prominent Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka. As the devotees and other visitors arrive, they are greeted by the largest Buddha statue in Sri Lanka, welcoming them serenely into the temple complex. A much ancient Buddhist temple in the region is the Raja Maha Vihara that was built as early as the 12th century. Though it was redone in the 16th century, the architecture and inscriptions remind one of an early time.
Wave and Wind Surfing:
Coming to the adventure sports part of the holiday, Bentota is best known for surfing, especially for beginners. The sandy beaches and calm water makes for the perfect surfing experience. A number of sports centres offer a beginners course. They also provide the board and other necessary equipment at hourly or daily rates.
Scuba Diving and Snorkelling:
Off the coasts of Bentota are some great diving sites. Rich in corals and home to a great variety of colourful fishes, diving here is such a wonderful experience that it will leave you wanting more. Canoe Rock is the most famous dive site in the region, the valley is so large it will take a number of trips before you can fully explore it. There are a number of PADI certified diving centres in Bentota.
Boating, Jet Skiing and more:
Almost all the water sports centres dotting the beaches of Bentota offer some sort of boating options. The most popular rides include jet skiing, water skiing, banana boat ride and a number of other creative rides. The lagoon offers the best water conditions for such rides so they are often conducted here. Canoeing is one of the sports that ventures into the sea all the way from the river; this is the perfect opportunity to experience the different landscapes of Bentota.
Bentota is a comparatively small place but you will not find it difficult to locate some eatery serving lip smacking Sri Lankan Cuisine. There are a number of beautifully constructed cafes and restaurants by the beaches where you can eat from a range of brilliant sea food and regional food to international cuisines.
The major shops and shopping centres can be found at the Bentota National Holiday Resort amidst clusters of hotels, restaurants and other facilities. Things to look out for in Bentota include handicrafts, traditional clothes, jewellery, masks and other fascinating items.