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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2023
Joanna James Joanna James
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Things to do in Bentota - More than just a sunny beach

Set in the glorious Galle District, Bentota is a quaint little beach town that offers much to enjoy and explore for the adventurous. So when in Bentota, here's what to do.


Water Sports

The warm, clear waters of Bentota are the ideal base for some fun on the waves. From snorkelling to surfing there is a wide variety of water sports to try out here. With the Barberyn Reef situated very close to the Bentota Beach, snorkelling and diving are a popular activity here. There are many diving centres by the beach but make sure that you choose one that is PADI-certified. If you're still not sure, better to book with a reputed resort in Bentota the likes of the AVANI Bentota Resort & Spa; so that you are assured of a safe trip under the waters. If you have more than a day's time in Bentota, you can also try out deep sea fishing in Bentota. A fishing expedition would take an average of 3-4 hours and instead of going to sea, you can also opt to go fishing in the lagoon.


Maduganga River Safari

The Madu Ganga which forms the Madu Ganga Wetland has a high biological, ecological and aesthetic significance. The lush mangrove ecosystem you find here includes a staggering amount of 14 of the 24 species of mangroves. The wetland is home to an extraordinary collection of wildlife which included many species of mammals such as the wild boar and purple-faced langurs; as well as 31 types of reptiles featuring the giant monitor lizard and crocodiles. Madu Ganga is also popular as a bird watching destination as there are over a whopping 111 bird species.


Brief Gardens

Just 20 minutes away from the Bentota Beach, the Brief Gardens are a true delight for those who love both nature and architecture. The gardens are part of the former residence of the world-famous Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa who is considered as the creator of the concept known globally as "tropical modernism". The gardens feature intricate pathways wound around lush evergreens, stunning archways and rather intriguing sculptures.


Kande Viharaya

A mere 10 minutes away from the town is one of the most ancient and revered temples in the South Coast of Sri Lanka. The Kande Viharaya, literally translated to the temple in the hills, dates as far back as 1734. The highlights of the temple include the Bo Tree, the Stupa, Image House, Relic Chamber and the Buddha statue. The Bo Tree at the Kande Viharaya is said to be about 300 years old and surrounding it is an intricately decorated square formation is a wall that was built in 1731. This wall is adorned with sculptures that depicting the historic tale of how the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi Bo Tree was brought down to Sri Lanka.

The stupa is built in a rather interesting shape of a bell that is standing within an octagonal shelter. The Buddha statue depicts the Lord Gautama Buddha in the Bhoomisparsha Mudra and is at a staggering 160 feet.