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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Things to do in Balapitiya - Explore the Local Attractions
Joanna James Joanna James
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Things to do in Balapitiya - Explore the Local Attractions

The coastal town of Balapitiya is a mere 80 km from Sri Lanka's capital. Located between the sea and Madu Ganga river, this quiet town offers ample opportunities to escape city life.


Visit Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery

The Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery is home to the country's foremost conservation programmes. As sea turtles are endangered, the hatchery staff relocates turtle eggs to the hatchery and return newborn turtles to the sea once they hatch. The hatchery not only focuses on protecting the eggs but it also treats injured and disabled turtles. Hotels, such as The River House, are located close to the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery. If the timing is right, visitors can even participate in releasing newborn turtles to the sea; a truly unforgettable experience!


Tour the Ariyapala Mask Museum

The Ariyapala Mask Museum is a mask crafting centre that showcases traditional wooden masks that are worn during Sri Lankan folk dances and dramas. A visit to the mask museum is a great way to learn about the complex and colourful history behind the masks. Visitors can see demonstrations of mask carving from balsa wood and painting. The good news is that entrance is free and if you enjoy your visit, you can make a donation. There is also a sales outlet so you can purchase high quality masks that have been painstakingly carved by hand to take home a slice of Sri Lankan tradition.


Explore the Sri Vijayarama Viharaya

The easily accessible Sri Vijayarama Viharaya holds a wide range of well sculpted wooden Buddha statues. Considering the region's fame for wooden mask carving, it is no surprise that the carved statues are breathtaking. This scenic Buddhist temple is a hidden gem for photographers and those interested in the wooden carving culture in the region. The temple complex is also reported to have the largest wooden Buddha statue in South Asia.


Embark on a River Safari

River safaris are available for those who are interested in exploring the Madhu Ganga River. While the itinerary varies according to the safari provider, most river safaris cover the mangroves and the commercial islands in the area. One such island is Cinnamon Island, where the inhabitants make their living by peeling and drying cinnamon. There are also opportunities to see traditional prawn farming techniques. Nature lovers will also enjoy the biodiversity in the Madhu Ganga area; including birds, crocodiles and blue jellyfish. Staff at accommodation in Balapitiya will be more than happy to recommend a reputed river safari in the area.


Relax at Balapitiya Beach

Once you tire of exploring the area, you can kick back and relax on the kilometres of sandy white beach in Balapitiya. Balapitiya has not seen the same level of commercial tourism as other popular tourist destinations so the coconut tree fringed beach is relatively untouched. There are local restaurants close to the beach which serve some of the freshest seafood around.
Regardless of whether you have come to Balapitiya to explore nature or immerse yourself in the unique culture in the area, Balapitiya guarantees a memorable trip from start to finish!

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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