Things to do in Bentota

Our most recommended things to do in Bentota

Bentota: Yala National Park Safari Jeep Tour

1. Bentota: Yala National Park Safari Jeep Tour

Head off on a wildlife and nature adventure on a Jeep safari tour in Yala National Park. Keep an eye out for indigenous animals, including sloth bears, jackals, and more. Learn about Sri Lanka's most-visited park from your local guide. After your hotel pickup in Bentota, sit back and relax in your car as you make your way to Yala National Park. The park is Sri Lanka's second-largest wildlife park and an important nature reserve for around 50 butterfly species and many bird species. Upon arrival, embark on your safari drive by Jeep, keeping an eye out for local leopards and elephants in their natural habitat. Spot other indigenous animals, such as sloth bears, jackals, mongoose, axis deer, buffalos, wild boars, sambar deer, and hares. After the safari, journey back to Bentota to be dropped off back at your accommodation.

From Bentota: Elephant Transit Camp and Udawalawe Safari

2. From Bentota: Elephant Transit Camp and Udawalawe Safari

See many dozens of wild elephants at close proximate to your safari jeep on the Udawalawe safari. You will never get so close to wild elephant-like in Udawalawe. Udawalawe national park is a haven for wildlife lovers, and it is one of the best places for watching elephants, crocodiles, monkeys, buffaloes, deer, and many other creatures. On your return journey visit the Elephant transit camp, where dozens of orphan elephants gather for feeding. Take a walk along the cobbled stone alleys of Galle Fort and discover medieval-period Dutch-styled constructions. Most buildings in this medieval city are now converted into restaurants, galleries, museums, hotels, and shops. Later stroll along the south coast beach and enjoy the refreshing sea breeze while taking a glimpse of endangered sea turtles. Round out the day with a visit to one of the island’s most famous mask-making cities, and learn about exquisite Sri Lankan masks for an activity-filled, full-day tour. Be picked up from your hotel in Bentota or Kalutara in the early morning and drive for around 3.5-hours to Udawalawe National Park. Get up close to spectacular wildlife as you spend 3-hours on a 4x4 jeep safari tour spotting a large array of wild animals in this animal sanctuary. Sightings include wild elephants, crocodiles, jackals, deer, buffalo, and sloth bears. The next stop is Galle Fort, a Dutch fortification and UNESCO World Heritage site. Explore the houses, palaces, galleries, restaurants, cafes, and shops in this historically rich town. Take some time to look at the local stores and find typical Sri Lankan handmade products and souvenirs. From here, head to Unawatuna Beach. Enjoy a swim in the warm water or relax on the beach. Discover the cultural heritage of the island at Ambalangoda, a coastal town famous for its mask-making. Visit a mask museum and learn about the meaning of these colorful works of art and their role in traditional dance rituals and festivals. Pass by local fishing villages, harbors, and fish markets and be dropped off at your hotel between 5:00 PM - 5:30 PM.

West coast Beach, River Mangroves lagoon, Wildlife boat Tour

3. West coast Beach, River Mangroves lagoon, Wildlife boat Tour

The tour starts from your hotel in Colombo or the west coast beach resort. You will be traveling along the beautiful west coast beaches while passing coconut plantations, fishing villages, and towns. You will be stopping at a few places at regular intervals. Your first stop will be at the sea turtle conservation center, where, you witness the sick and handicapped sea turtles are been treated. Later stop at Madu river for the mangrove lagoon tour. Mangroves Mangrove is one of the most important and fragile ecosystems in the world and they grow only in tropical countries such as Sri Lanka. This valuable forest cover is depleting all around the world, including in Sri Lanka, due to many factors such as climate change and human activities. Madu River estuary is a "RAMSAR wetland" and is declared a protected riverine forest. Boat safari Madu Ganga is one of the most important natural assets of Sri Lanka. It is located 70km south of Colombo on the Colombo-Galle main road. Madu Ganga is the second-largest wetland on the island, consisting of 28 islands. The number of families living on the islands is estimated to be around 250. Madu Ganga spreads over 915 hectares of wetland and harbors vast biodiversity and ecosystem. Madu Ganga wetland is fed by seven tributaries and forms the body of the wetland. The water runs through a course of land that spans 2300 hectares. It was declared a national sanctuary in 2006. A cruise on a modern motorboat is the best way to explore the natural wealth of Madu Ganga, the islands in the wetland are largely inaccessible by road. The inhabitants are also using boats and more often paddle boats as the means of transport. This tour offers a particularly appealing boat trip around Madu Ganga. The Ramsa Wetland is one of the most visited natural attractions of Sri Lanka’s west coast, with riverscapes amongst quiet thick grown islands and mangrove forests with sites of immense natural interest. There are plenty of opportunities to spot fascinating wildlife in the aquatic environment, throughout the tour. The most important asset of the fragile ecosystem of Madu Ganga is its mangrove forests. These mangrove forests provide protection for a large number of aquatic bird, animal, and plant species. The ecosystem in Madu Ganga is the home of many different kinds of aquatic plants, crabs, shrimp, fish, insects, amphibians, and other animal life including crocodiles. While on the boat tour you'll visit one of the oldest temples on the west coast of Sri Lanka, located on a secluded island. You will also get a chance to visit the mask museum and see hundreds of ancient masks and learn about their history, folklore, and use in rituals. You'll also visit a sea turtle conservation center run by volunteers. Learn about why Sri Lanka is a prime turtle nesting site and how important it is for turtle conservation. Before your tour is over, you'll get to enjoy a leisurely stroll on Bentota beach, one of the nicest beaches on the west coast. Buddhist temple, Bentota beach, spice herbal garden, Mask museum After the mangrove lagoon tour, you will be visiting the mask museum and mask carving center. Later visit Bentota beach spice and herbal garden and your tour ends with a visit to one of the most sacred Buddhist temples on the west coast.

From Colombo-Negombo-Bentota-Kalutara: Sinharaja Hike

4. From Colombo-Negombo-Bentota-Kalutara: Sinharaja Hike

Explore Sri Lanka's last remaining virgin rainforest with this private tour with pick up from cities in the Western province such at Colombo, Negombo, Bentota and Kalutara. Benefit from the flexibility of having a personal guide throughout the day that can provide your with facinating cultural information. Relax with a convenient pickup and drop-off service in a climate-controlled vehicle. Get a taste of the land with a local lunch. Spend 4 hours in the rainforest while visiting spectacular waterfalls, summiting Sinharaja's tallest peak, and hiking through the lush rainforest. Admire the jungle trees, orchids, and a large array of bird species.

Bentota Water Sports and Galle City Tour from Colombo

5. Bentota Water Sports and Galle City Tour from Colombo

Bentota is situated along the southwest coast of the country, 65 Km south of Colombo. Take a jet ski out on the ocean at super high speeds. Have a great view of the ocean and the beach as you speed through the waves. After, jump onto a tube or banana boat for more thrilling rides. Discover Galle, a city also on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka. It is known for Galle Fort, the fortified city founded by Portuguese colonists in the 16th-century. Stone sea walls, expanded by the Dutch, encircle car-free streets with architecture reflecting the Portuguese, Dutch, and British rule. Notable buildings include the 18th-century Dutch Reformed Church. See Galle lighthouse standing on the fort’s southeast tip.

Lunuganga, Kosgoda and Balapitiya Day-Tour from Negombo

6. Lunuganga, Kosgoda and Balapitiya Day-Tour from Negombo

Start your day of adventure with a pickup bright and early at 7:00 AM when your chauffeur arrives to pick you up at your accommodation. After a scenic car ride (2.5-hours) you will reach the destination of Bentota. The first location you will visit whilst in Bentota is the Bawa estate in Lunuganga. While visiting the estate you will get to see the beautifully designed gardens that are now open to the public. Some of the buildings of the estate are also now a country house hotel. The tour of the estate takes 2-hours, during which, you will learn of the fascinating history behind this place.  Continue on your travels to Kosgoda for your visit to the Turtle Hatchery. Whilst here, you will get to spend 30 to 40-minutes learning about sea turtles and their conservation. One of people's favourite parts of the hatchery is the touch pools, deep tubs of seawater with baby sea turtles swimming in them. Visitors are allowed to pickup and handle them under supervision. There are also fully matured sea turtles of different kinds, receiving treatment for various ailments or wounds. Once you leave the Turtle Hatchery behind, you will venture to Balapitiva for your chance to go on a lovely Boat Safari in Madu River. Balapitiya is a little southern town lying in marshy wetlands. The area is a high bio-diversity zone that relies on the lagoon created by Madu River as it flows into the Indian Ocean. Your safari will take you on a ride down the river. You will get to see the dense mangrove forest that grows along the marshy banks of the river and the forms of wildlife that call the roots home. Your guide will also take you to some of the larger free standing islands on Madu River. On one such island you will find an old Buddhist monastery.  During the safari, you will also get to try a very popular attraction, the fish massage. This ‘massage parlor’ is a hut standing on stilts in the middle of the river. A netted-in area contains the ‘massage fish’. You will be sitting on the deck of the hut with your feet in the water, while the fish work their magic. After this relaxing boat tour, you will return to Negombo around 2:30 PM. You will arrive back at your hotel at 6:00 PM for an evening of rest and relaxation after a long day of adventure.

From Negombo: Bentota Full-Day Tour

7. From Negombo: Bentota Full-Day Tour

Begin your day at 8:00 AM at Madu River in Balapitiya for a boat safari. For one-hour, journey through the primitive depths of the mangrove marshes. Traverse the dark and dangerous caverns, formed by the thick mangrove forests, interspersed with stretches of bright open water.  The next destination is the Kothduwa Temple. This Buddhist temple is located on the island and is known as the Kothduwa Raja Maha Viharaya. The island is within the Madu Ganga Estuary. Madu Ganga is an archipelago of fifteen different islands and a lagoon. It is believed that a Relic of Lord Buddha was once sheltered in the Kothduwa temple circa 340CE.  Enjoy lunch then visit the Lunuganga Garden. Geoffrey Bawa was one of Asia's finest architects. He passed away in 2003. Lunuganga was Bawa’s country home. It sits in an enchanting atmosphere with glorious views. It is now managed by the Lunuganga Trust. Admire the home’s features and blissfulness. It is now run as a country hotel and the proceeds go to Negombo.

From Colombo: Galle and Bentota Full-Day All-Inclusive Tour

8. From Colombo: Galle and Bentota Full-Day All-Inclusive Tour

You'll be picked up from your hotel in Negombo, Colombo, or Mount Lavinia at 7:30 AM to drive to Galle and visit the Dutch fort. The fort is a historical, archaeological, and architectural heritage monument. Even after more than 400 years, it remains intact and well maintained thanks to the extensive reconstruction work done by Sri Lanka's archaeological department. Next, you'll visit Ambalangoda, known for its exquisite collection of native masks. Many generations of artisans have carved these beautiful artifacts. Afterwards, drive on to Balaptiva for lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, you'll take a boat trip on the Madu Ganga River. Discover the unspoiled beauty of the Madu Ganga estuary, a wetland ecosystem that opens to the Indian Ocean. Finally, you'll visit a turtle hatchery in Kosgoda before heading back to your hotel. Visitors can see the newborn turtles and even be a part of the process of releasing them into the sea!  

From Bentota: Day Trip to Sigiriya and Dambulla Temple

9. From Bentota: Day Trip to Sigiriya and Dambulla Temple

After getting picked up from your hotel in Bentota or Kalutara, begin the 3-hour journey to the Sigirya rock fortress. Here you will discover the historical and cultural values of ancient Sri Lanka and get to witness the engineering skills and artistic capabilities of Sri Lankan artisans and engineers. Wander through this vast complex and admire the various palaces, pools, gardens, and paintings. Later, head to the Dambulla Royal Cave Temple, which is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in the world. Marvel at the beautiful Buddhist paintings and statues housed in this cave and see for yourself why it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Finally, visit a spice garden where you can soak up the aromas of the various traditional spices grown here such as cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg. Head back to your hotel in the evening, just in time for dinner.

Bentota beach, River Mangroves lagoon, Wildlife Tour

10. Bentota beach, River Mangroves lagoon, Wildlife Tour

Take a safari adventure on the Bentota river with this tour from Bentota beach in Colombo. Explore the lush habitats of the river in a powerboat. Learn about your surroundings from a local guide.  Meet your guide at the beach and hop aboard a powerboat. Capture stunning pictures of Bentota beach as you leave the shore. Follow the river through mangroves that provide a rich natural habitat for local wildlife and which help smaller fishing communities to thrive.  Keep an eye out for giant crocodiles, sea eagles, monkeys, snakes, monitor lizards, and graceful egret herons. Relax and connect with this natural setting and immerse yourself in the biodiversity of this unique eco-system. Return to Bentota beach.

Other Sightseeing Options in Bentota

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What people are saying about Bentota

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 22 reviews

A great tour! I was lucky enough to be there outside of mass tourism, as there is currently a travel warning. On site, however, the situation is completely relaxed. The tour was absolutely fantastic and was great fun!

Mr.Kosala is a good man and skillful driver. Also, a big thank you to Miss Nirmani for her coordination and effective communication with regards to the arrangement and it's process before the arrival to airport.

We had a private trip to the South coast including Hangunagoda tea plantation and Galle, our guide Ranjitha was knowledgeable and courteous throughout. I would recommend this trip.

The driver Chandana Kurera is a really nice and helpful driver. Highly recommended!

Great praise, the driver was very nice and the tour was very interesting