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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Joanna James Joanna James
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Things to Do in Bentota Sri Lanka – Most Popular Beach Resort to Visit

Close to Galle on the south coastal belt of the island, Bentota is a well-established and exceedingly popular resort. Water sports, nightlife and loads of thrilling inland adventures await you there.


Bentota River Safari

To enjoy the best of Bentota one does not have to stay within the bustling resort; you could opt to enjoy a less crowded town such as the historical city of Galle for example and travel to the resort for the highlights. For instance, a day trip from Galle to Bentota is an excellent idea especially since Galle hotels are just an hour's drive away. A safari on the Bentota River is quite a treat; head into the verdant mangrove forests, explore the 800 year old Wanawasala Buddhist shrine and cuddle a baby crocodile at the crocodile farm located up the river.


Check Out Kande Viharaya Temple

One of the world's tallest sitting Buddha statue is located at this Buddhist temple. It is found in Aluthgama, the resort adjoining Bentota. The building was first started in 1734 by a Buddhist monk; the place is today a revered pilgrimage site to which many devotees travel on a daily basis. The region is quite tranquil and beautiful; ideal for a day calm exploration the temple premises promise to relax and soothe mind, body and soul.


Explore the Brief Gardens

Marvel at the talents of architect Bevis Bawa, brother of Sri Lanka's renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa who was responsible for designing the country's present parliament. The once rubber estate has been magically transformed into an enchanting garden dotted with winding pathways, hidden nooks and garden sculptures. The gardens located in Lunuganga are five acres in extent and was landscaped by Bevis Bawa way back in 1929; as such it is marvellous to witness designing skills and styles of a bygone era. Consisting of various themes the estate comprises of a Japanese water garden as well. Enjoy the Old Dutch furniture, sculptures and artwork; reminiscent of Sri Lanka's colonial days. Of course, more colonial splendours await you at the Old Dutch Fort in Galle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site just 9 minutes from Jetwing Lighthouse and right smack in the centre of town.


Try Your Hand at Toddy Tapping

Toddy or tapped and fermented palm sap is a famous alcoholic beverage that's obtained by tapping the sap of coconut and Palmyra palm trees. The abundance of coconut palms along the south coastal stretch means there is plenty of toddy to be tapped around Bentota. A must try for a unique taste of local alcoholic beverages toddy is generally tapped in the early hours before the brew ferments too much. You can visit one of the toddy taverns and try the drink as well as watch the skilled tappers climb the tall coconut palms and even walk across the tightrope from one tree to the other; the adventurous are always encouraged to have a go; safety gear in place of course.


Visit a Turtle Farm

A few minutes from Bentota and much closer to Galle the turtle hatcheries around Koggala are quite an eye opener. Turtles of all ages are kept within the sanctuary and available for viewing. Eggs are carefully gathered and hatched; the baby turtles are nurtured and kept until old enough to be released to sea while permanent residents consist of maimed and injured adult turtles incapable of surviving alone at sea.

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