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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Things to do in Bentota
Joanna James Joanna James
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Things to do in Bentota

Bentota is one of the most popular of the coastal towns of Sri Lanka, and one that is also quite developed, offering natural beauty as well as catering to modern day needs.


Visit the Beach

Bentota's beach is one of the most well-kept on the island, and the waters are for the most part calm, creating a perfect atmosphere for some relaxed fun. If you're seeking something a bit more exciting on a beach visit, you can also embark on a jet-ski or banana-boat ride. You can easily find these at any resort Bentota has to offer such as AVANI Bentota Resort & Spa.


Check out the Colossal Buddha Statue

Although this is not technically in Bentota, but located a very short distance away in the adjacent town of Aluthgama. Located in the temple known as Kande Viharaya, is the tallest sitting Buddha statue in existence, with a total height of 160ft. This temple is as a result considered highly sacred and plays a significant role in the lives of the island populace on any given day. Thousands can visit the temple to take part in prayer or meditation.


Embark on a Bentota River Safari

One of the most essential experiences to be had in Bentota is the river safari. This iconic river is abundant with life, ranging from birds to water-dwelling creatures. Bentota is especially popular with bird-watchers due to the wide range of exotic species to be glimpsed along the river. If you're lucky you might even see a crocodile during your boat ride. The lush mangrove forests along the river are very well known and are one of the main reasons that there are so much wildlife to be seen. There's even an ancient temple you can visit during your river safari. The Bentota ride is probably the most frequented and popular of all the attractions available at this iconic locale.


Drop by the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery

There are only seven species of sea turtle in existence on Earth, and they are all endangered. Astoundingly, five of these species can be found in Sri Lanka, and within the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery, there's a good chance you'll get to see most of them during a visit. In addition to monitoring and tracking turtles, the volunteer-run organisation specialises in protecting nesting sites and taking care of the eggs until the hatchlings emerge. If you check with them beforehand, you might be able to visit them during a release day where the hatchlings are introduced to the sea. This is surely an experience not to be missed.


Visit the renowned Benthara Galapatha Raja Maha Vihara

This iconic temple was built during the 12th century but received major damage at the hands of the Dutch. The temple has since been rebuilt with a new look, and is considered highly sacred due to the presence of a sacred relic, belonging to the third disciple of the Buddha. The entrance to the temple is striking, since it contains an arc composed of two massive arched monoliths, elaborately decorated with carvings depicting a 'Nari Latha', a mythological creeper-plant whose blossoming flowers portray dancing girls.

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