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Updated by Gabriel Anthony on Nov 22, 2015
Headline for Top Attractions in Negombo – West Coast Escapes
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Top Attractions in Negombo – West Coast Escapes

Nestled by sun drenched shores and featuring a rich colonial history, the seaside town of Negombo in Sri Lanka's West Coast offers unforgettable adventures. Here are a few "must visit" highlights.


Negombo Beach

"Golden sandy beaches" may be an overused phrase, but Negombo really does have this kind of shoreline for you to enjoy and it is little surprise that you can find many beach hotels in Sri Lanka around this coastal stretch. It is perfect for spending time with the kids building sand castles or just to lie back and work on that holiday tan. Snorkelling is an activity you can try here, while experienced divers can sign up for excursions to reefs further afield. Kite surfing is another popular water sport here, while at the end of the day, you can always take in spectacular sunsets.


Dutch Canal

Constructed by the Dutch, this canal was once a key hub, providing an easy way for goods to be transported. This impressive network of waterways reached far and wide and though not used for the purposes it was back then, it still offers a fascinating boat safari. This laidback journey will give you a chance to spot fishermen and those who stay along the canal going about their day to day activities, while you also have a good chance of spotting wildlife, including the many bird species that can be seen near these waters. An easy way to enjoy this experience is to stay at the nearby property belonging to Amagi Hotels since it organises boat safaris along the canal.


Roman Catholic Churches

Negombo is known as "Little Rome" for the simple reason that it is home to many Roman Catholic churches, some of which date back to the time of the Portuguese. Among the highlights worth visiting include St Mary's Church with its stunning religious imagery painted on the ceilings and various other statues, St Sebastian's Church with its gothic style design and Barbara Church which is home to a statue of St Fatima which dates back to the 16th century.


Angurukaramulla Temple

A popular Buddhist temple in Negombo, the Angurukaramulla Temple is well kwon for its reclining Buddha which spans 6 metres. The site has much more to offer as well and those exploring the inside of the temple will find a captivating collection of murals and imagery related to Buddhism. Make sure you look upwards too, since the ceilings are adorned with paintings, while at the site you will also find a stupa with bronze lions guarding the entrance.


Negombo Fish Market

A unique attraction that is very much a part of the local way of life, the Negombo Fish Market is an ideal place to see how the town's fishermen engage in selling their catch. The market is full of activity in the early hours of the morning once the fishermen arrive as they auction off what they have caught, be it at sea or from the lagoon which is well known for its crabs, prawns and lobsters.