Idyllic, sandy beaches straight out of a dream, luxurious Ayurvedic spas and massage resorts, magical sunsets, ancient temples, elephant sanctuaries, and a steady stream of tourists – that is the charm of the coastal city of Bentota. Its proximity to the Sri Lankan capital makes Bentota one of the favourite tourist attractions in the country, perfect for a quick weekend getaway from Colombo. The palm fringed landscape, the quaint sights and sounds of this little beach resort can be explored solo, with a romantic partner, with family, or with friends. Here are some of the best ways to explore Bentota and make the best of your time there.
1. Family Time at the Beach
Ask around and Bentota is sure to feature among the top beach resorts in the country. The sprawling beach, clean long stretch of sand, and the endless opportunities for family fun are some of the reasons for this. From taking a long walk to biking on the sands and from swimming in the sea to enjoying a picnic – Bentota has just about everything you can want. The Yoho Bed Bentota accommodation you book will add to the charm of your stay here.
2. ‘Buddham Saranam Gacchami’
Bentota may be synonymous with fun and frolic but the serenity and the peace of the Buddhist temples in and around this town are a major draw. The Galapata Raja Temple, about 3 kilometres from Bentota, is a 12th century temple that is known for its architecture and for its divine aura. The Wanawasa Viharaya is another Buddhist temple that you will certainly not want to miss. The best is reserved for the end of the year when the Bentota Perahera Buddhist festival comes to town. From torch bearers to traditional dancers, from music displays to acrobats – it is an event worth witnessing.
3. Take a Spice Tour
Bentota is just as heady and as delightful as the famous spices that grow in its spice gardens. Nutmeg, pepper, cinnamon, mace, cardamom – visit a spice garden in Bentota to understand the traditional uses of spices and their importance in Sri Lankan life. Many of these spice gardens also offer Ayurvedic spa and massage services making use of the natural goodness of spices and essential oils. Soak in the indulgence, as the locals say. Do not miss the spectacular Brief Garden, the former home of Bevis Bawa.
4. Deep Water Adventure
One of the experiences that you will certainly not like to miss is a canoe trip around Bentota. The beach is beautiful but for the really breathtaking views you will need to venture out into the sea. Bentota offers splendid diving, snorkeling, and water skiing opportunities too, but it also is a great place to spend a long day out fishing.
5. Fall in Love with Wildlife
To fully satiate your hunger for wildlife spotting, you will need to travel inland from Bentota. A whale watching trip to Mirissa will be well worth the effort. Stay at the best Yoho Bed hotels in Mirissa and catch a glimpse of the elusive blue whale or head further up to Udawalawe if you are keen on an elephant safari. If you are a true wildlife enthusiast, you will certainly not be disappointed.