Bentota, Sri Lanka

Bentota is not only an ordinary Sri Lankan town made up of a tropical lagoon and a river; it is also one of the country’s major water sports hubs. Unlike other secluded beach towns in Sri Lanka, Bentota is more organized when it comes to tourism. It has a modern infrastructure to professionally accommodate visitors. Most of the 5-star hotels and large upscale resort in the area are found Bentota. Thus, this is an excellent spot to unwind, splurge and be pampered to your heart’s desire.

Gifted with a picturesque view of the Indian Ocean, people come to Bentota not just to relax but to engage in adrenaline pumping activities like jet skiing, parasailing and surfing. Swimming is a tourist staple in the area, and there are also diving opportunities. But if you just want to slow it down and enjoy the scenery, there is always the river safari cruise to entice you.


At Maadu River, there are a number of boat trips that are conducted every day. The trips often involve visiting temples, estates, and a small sanctuary. The dry land surrounding the river is considered to be a preserved wildlife sanctuary. So if you do not want to go on a cruise, you can always go for some hiking and wildlife watching.

One of the most prominent Buddhist temples not only in the town by all throughout the country is the Kande Vihare Temple. A visit here gives you the opportunity to see the Gautama Buddha, the tallest statue in Sri Lanka. The temple is also home to ancient artifacts, four sacred Maha Devalas and a Bo Tree.


It is always a good decision to visit Bentota if you are a beach lover. The town’s main beach has a wide curve shape and features charming palm trees and glistening golden sand that meet the Indian Ocean. Just a short walking distance from the main beach are several nice restaurant choices. Another lovely beach worth visiting lies just south of Bentota. This beach, which is called Induruwa, has become a favorite swimming spot for tourists and locals

The Bentota Lagoon is one of the premier attractions in town. The lagoon is formed as a result of the water flowing from the Bentara River to one end of the beach. The lagoon is a regular host to a number of water sports. Do you have soft spot for turtles? If the answer is yes, then make sure to visit the turtle conservation site called Kosgoda turtle hatchery. This turtle conservation project is supported by the Sri Lanka Wildlife Department. Here, you can find different kinds of turtle trying to hatch their eggs.


Just 8 kilometers outside of Bentota likes the gorgeous Brief Garden, which houses both colonial and Japanese-style gardens, and is highly regarded for its exquisite landscape. Cinnamon Island is also one of the most popular attractions in this resort town. The island is named after the cinnamon plantation that has been family run for many years. It is possible to tour around the island to learn more about how cinnamon is processed to produce commercial products. This tour is an eye-opener, and is a must do experience if you are visiting the Bentota area.

About Author:

Arie Boris has extensive travel industry experience, including business and sales development for commercial aviation, the International emergency assistance & travel insurance industry and a national association of travel agents. He was a contributing editor to several print and Internet travel publications, including Fieldings’ Worldwide Cruise Guide and was part of the start up team for CruiseCritic. He has written over 400 cruise ship reviews. Arie also produces and hosts Cruise Gourmet Voyages, a variety of fundraising & theme group cruises for various charitable and arts organizations. He has produced theme cruises for a variety of special interest groups including opera, comedy, spiritual retreats and fan clubs for TV shows like Dark Shadows and Dancing with the Stars!