Known for its beautiful landscapes, spectacular green tea estates, stunning soft sand beaches, flavoursome food, ancient temples, UNESCO world heritage sites and an amazing tropical climate, Sri Lanka should be on every traveller list!
I visited this piece of paradise last year for my mother’s 50th birhday and it was the best time we’ve ever had! After spending three nights in Kandy and four in Bentota I still didn’t wish to leave. If you’re visiting Kandy make sure to read my review here.
As for Bentota, it just stole my heart! This resort town located on the South West coast of Sri Lanka is an absolute must- visit! This gorgeous place captures the heart and soul of island living. For all those who visit Bentota and wonder what to do there, here are the top seven things you must see and do!
1) Visit the Turtle Hatchery
A visit to the turtle hatchery should be on every travellers list. It was one of the best experience I’ve ever had. Seeing a turtle hatch and swim for the first time is a sight to watch. The turtle hatchery/ turtle farm is an organisation which is maintained for the survival of sea turtles. In this sanctuary the staff patrols the beaches at night when the mother turtle comes to lay eggs. These eggs are then safely collected and rescued so that they hatch safely away from the predators and poachers. The baby turtles are then kept back for a short period before releasing them into the sea.
We spent a good time watching, learning and also got a chance to release a baby turtle into the sea. You can visit the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery, it’s well maintained and the staff is very kind with the visitors. (This is a 15 mins drive from Taj Bentota)
2) Madu Ganga River Safari
Located in Balapitiya, this river safari is one of the best ways to enjoy the natural beauty of Sri Lanka. It’s a relaxed ride that will cruise through the mangroves in a motor powered boat. The Maduganga wetlands is considered to be one of the last remaining tracts of mangrove forests. It is the best place to watch prawn farming and traditional fishing methods.
One of the stops in this ride is on the cinnamon island. You can get off the boat and your driver will take you to a spot where cinnamon is made. It’s amazing to watch the entire process and you can also buy the best cinnamon oil from there. Make sure to wear loads of sunscreen and a hat to avoid roasting. If you love being amidst nature this actiivity is a must! (This is a 30 min drive from Taj Bentota)
3) Enjoy a scenic tour on the Cycle Track
There are tons of cycling tours that take you through the paddy fields, the Dutch houses, around the fishing village and the coconut estates. If you have extra time on your hand then this is a great activity. Make sure to stop by the Bentota railway too!
4) Head to Bentota Beach and watch the sunset..
Sri Lanka is known for it’s stunning sunsets and one of the best beaches in Asia. Think of over-saturated coloured skies in hues of bleeding orange and flushing purples that merge with the golden sand into a shiny glowing sea. All you need to do is relax with a glass of bubbly and enjoy natures colourful display.
For all you adventure enthusiasts, Sri Lanka is an amazing diving destination. The waters are home to an incredible range of marine creatures and there are tons of ship wrecks that make a good diving spot.
6) Take a day trip to Galle!
Experience the colourful city of Galle for atleast a day. You can check out the Galle Fort and learn about its colonial history. If the past doesn’t interest you then make sure to book a whale watching tour. Enjoy and sit back while you enjoy the wonder of the blue whales, humpback whales, whale sharks and dolphins (Nov to April only)
7) Visit the Kande Viharaya Temple (Buddhist Temple)
Located in Aluthgama, this temple dates back to 1734 and has the tallest sitting Buddha statue in the world.
Where to stay: In case you are wondering where to stay, check out my article on the Vivanta by Taj Bentota here – Hotel Review
Location: Bentota is located 65 km south of Colombo and 56km north of Galle.
You can fly to Colombo International Airport and then drive to Bentota. From the airport it takes about 2 hours to reach the centre of the town.
Currency: The currency is the Sri Lankan Rupee. Check the conversion on www.xe.com
If you’re looking for a fun short getaway then Bentota is just where you need to head!