8. 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.