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Updated by Joanna James on Jul 13, 2023
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Top 5 Things to Do in Negombo - Discover the beach town splendour!

Negombo is a unique holiday spot in that it captures all aspects of the Sri Lankan experience, especially if this is your first visit. These are the top 5 things you could do in the coastal city in order to have a splendid time.

1

Explore the waters

Embark on a boat ride to admire the beauty of the Negombo lagoon and its emerald waters. The lagoon holds significant historical value, especially as a remnant of the Dutch colonisation era. You can find several boat tour options catalogued for your choosing.

During your boat ride, enjoy the beautiful scenery, observe the diverse number of birds flocking around, and learn a few fun facts to impress your friends back home! You can even stop at a tiny island situated in the middle of the lagoon and refresh yourself with a king coconut.

Crave an activity that takes you beyond the realm of the lagoon. Head out to the deep blue for a fishing expedition, and spend an afternoon catching all kinds of fish. Be sure to have an experienced fisherman accompany you on your travels, as they will know the best spots and techniques to capture the most amount of fish. Closer to the coast, you can see groupers and even some snapper emperors. Venture out further and you might even get hold of a shark!

2

Cruise through the Hamilton Canal along the Muthurajawela Marsh

Located along the southern region of the Negombo Lagoon, the unique ecosystem of the "Royal Treasure" marsh makes it a major tourist attraction. The marsh is Sri Lanka's largest peat bogland along a saline coast and you can veer through it along the Hamilton Canal. The marsh is an absolute dream for bird watchers, as it is home to 102 different migratory bird species, along with 209 species of fauna and 192 flora species!

Additionally, the Hamilton Canal itself, stretching for 14.5 km, is one of immense architectural beauty, and there is plenty to learn about the inner structure of the canal, and how it has passed the test of time reasonably well.

3

Walk for miles along the Negombo Coast

Is it really a Sri Lankan vacation if long, sandy beaches aren't involved? The Negombo Beach in particular is quite popular among tourists, and you can spend hours leisurely roaming along the pristine land. Most of the 5-star hotels in Negombo are located along the beach, the famous Lewis place home to prestigious resorts such as Heritance Negombo. Spend your evenings taking in the breathtaking scenery, especially the gorgeous sunset!

4

Explore the famous churches of Negombo

The majority of Negombo is of Catholic belief; therefore, it comes as no surprise that the city is full of beautiful churches. In fact, one of the largest cathedrals in Sri Lanka, St Mary's Church, is situated in Negombo. Drop in to admire its beauty, or join the locals at the church for Sunday Mass.

Another stunning church in Negombo is the St Sebastian Church, a gothic piece of architecture built in 1946, modelled after the Reims Cathedral in France. The church is in Wellaweediya, a 15-minute ride from the city of Negombo. While it may look quite intimidating, it oozes a calming presence and has quite a serene atmosphere, and is welcoming to everyone.

5

Walk through the ruins of the Dutch Fort

This is a short, but memorable visit, as the Dutch Fort is quite small and in a ruined state. The Dutch made effective use of the strategic coastal locations to set up their fortresses as strongholds, but now, all that remains is a half-filled tunnel and a weathered-out clock tower, beautifully constructed out of stone and coral. Ahead of the tunnel lies a tiny church with a charming outlook. Travel there with a guide so as to get the historical context of the fort, as it will add greatly to the experience.

  • 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.

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