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Modified: December 28, 2023

by Gwynne Carney



Welcome to the tropical paradise of Bentota Beach! Located on the southwestern coast of Sri Lanka, this stunning coastal town is a haven for beach lovers and adventure enthusiasts alike. With its pristine golden sands, crystal-clear waters, and lush greenery, Bentota Beach offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.


With a rich history, vibrant culture, and a wide range of activities and attractions, Bentota Beach has something for everyone. Whether you’re seeking relaxation or adventure, this picturesque destination will surely captivate your heart.


As you step foot on the shores of Bentota Beach, you’ll be greeted by gentle sea breezes and the rhythmic sounds of crashing waves. The tranquil ambiance and serene surroundings create an idyllic setting, perfect for unwinding and rejuvenating your senses.


Stretching along the coastline, the beach offers ample space for sunbathing, leisurely walks, or simply enjoying a refreshing dip in the azure waters. Soak up the sun on a beach towel, listen to the soothing sounds of the ocean, and let your worries drift away.


The warm and inviting waters of the Indian Ocean are not only ideal for swimming but also offer an array of exciting water sports activities. Dive beneath the surface and discover a vibrant underwater world filled with colorful corals and tropical fish. Snorkeling and scuba diving are popular choices for those looking to explore the fascinating marine life.


Don’t miss the chance to embark on a thrilling wildlife safari. Just a short distance from Bentota Beach, the Madu River estuary and the surrounding mangrove forests are home to a wide variety of exotic flora and fauna. Hop on a boat and meander through the serene waterways, spotting crocodiles, monkeys, and a myriad of bird species along the way.


In addition to the natural wonders, Bentota Beach is also steeped in history. Explore the area’s rich heritage by visiting ancient temples and historical sites, such as the Galapata Vihara, a Buddhist temple dating back to the 12th century, or the Brief Garden, a unique landscaped garden created by renowned Sri Lankan architect Bevis Bawa.


When it comes to accommodation, Bentota Beach offers a wide range of options to suit every budget and preference. From luxurious beachfront resorts to cozy guesthouses, you’ll find the perfect place to relax and unwind after a day of exploration.


Indulge your taste buds with a variety of culinary delights at the local restaurants and street food stalls. From fresh seafood dishes to traditional Sri Lankan curries, the flavors of Bentota Beach will leave you craving for more.


No visit to Bentota Beach is complete without some retail therapy. The town boasts a vibrant shopping scene, with a plethora of boutiques, handicraft stores, and markets offering souvenirs, spices, and traditional Sri Lankan artifacts.


With its charm, natural beauty, and plethora of activities, Bentota Beach is not to be missed. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, adventure, or a cultural experience, this coastal gem has it all. Plan your visit today and create unforgettable memories at Bentota Beach.



Bentota Beach is nestled on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, approximately 64 kilometers south of the capital city, Colombo. It is easily accessible by road, making it a popular destination for both locals and tourists alike.


The town is situated in the Galle District of the Southern Province, and its beautiful beach stretches for several kilometers. Surrounded by lush greenery, palm trees, and the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, Bentota Beach offers a tropical paradise for visitors to enjoy.


Not only is Bentota Beach known for its stunning coastline, but it is also blessed with an enchanting location. The town is situated at the mouth of the Bentota River, which gracefully flows into the Indian Ocean. This natural estuary provides a picturesque backdrop and adds to the overall beauty of the area.


Set amidst serene surroundings, Bentota Beach offers a sense of seclusion and tranquility, yet still provides easy access to other popular tourist destinations. The town serves as the gateway to the southern coastal region, allowing travelers to explore nearby attractions such as Galle, Hikkaduwa, and Mirissa.


Whether you’re arriving from Colombo or traveling from other parts of Sri Lanka, reaching Bentota Beach is convenient. The Southern Expressway connects Colombo with Galle and beyond, and the Bentota exit takes you directly to the town.


If you prefer a more scenic route, you can take the coastal road, which offers breathtaking views of the ocean and picturesque landscapes along the way. Public buses, trains, and private taxis are also available, providing various transportation options for both budget-conscious travelers and those seeking more comfort and convenience.


Once you arrive in Bentota Beach, you’ll immediately feel immersed in its natural beauty and relaxed atmosphere. The stunning location, with its golden sands, clear waters, and verdant surroundings, perfectly showcases the best of Sri Lanka’s coastal charm.


So, whether you’re looking for a peaceful getaway, a romantic escape, or an outdoor adventure, Bentota Beach’s idyllic location makes it the perfect destination to explore all that the southern coast of Sri Lanka has to offer.


Beach Activities

Bentota Beach offers a plethora of activities to keep visitors entertained and make the most of their beachside getaway. From relaxing sunbathing sessions to thrilling water sports, there is something for everyone to enjoy along the beautiful shores.


One of the most popular activities is simply lounging on the golden sands and soaking up the warm Sri Lankan sun. Spread out your beach towel, grab a good book, and unwind as you listen to the gentle sounds of the waves crashing on the shore. The tranquil atmosphere of Bentota Beach provides the perfect backdrop for relaxation and rejuvenation.


If you’re feeling more adventurous, take a dip in the crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean. The calm and inviting seas of Bentota Beach are ideal for swimming and cooling off on hot days. Feel the refreshing embrace of the waves as you take a leisurely swim or splash around with your loved ones.


Bentota Beach also offers a wide range of water sports activities for thrill-seekers. Try your hand at jet skiing and feel the rush of adrenaline as you speed across the water. Or hop on a banana boat for a fun-filled ride that’s sure to bring laughter and excitement.


For those looking to explore the underwater world, snorkeling and scuba diving are popular choices. Strap on your mask and snorkel to discover the vibrant coral reefs teeming with colorful fish and other marine life. If you’re a certified diver, join a diving excursion to explore deeper waters and uncover hidden treasures beneath the surface.


In addition to water-based activities, Bentota Beach also offers opportunities for land-based fun. Take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline and enjoy the breathtaking views of the ocean. Build sandcastles with your family or engage in a friendly game of beach volleyball with fellow visitors.


For a more serene experience, try yoga or meditation on the beach. The calming ambiance and scenic surroundings create the perfect setting to find inner peace and harmony. Join a yoga class or simply find a quiet spot to practice your own mindfulness exercises.


As the day winds down and the sun prepares to set, indulge in a picturesque sunset cruise along the enchanting Bentota River. Sip on a refreshing drink, admire the golden hues reflected on the water, and witness nature’s beauty in all its glory.


With its wide array of beach activities, Bentota Beach ensures that every visitor can find something to enjoy. Whether you seek relaxation, adventure, or simply a fun-filled day by the sea, this picturesque destination has it all.


Water Sports

For adrenaline junkies and adventure enthusiasts, Bentota Beach is a playground of thrilling water sports activities. With its pristine waters and abundant marine life, this tropical paradise offers the perfect backdrop for an exhilarating experience.


Jet skiing is a popular water sport that allows you to zoom across the waves, feeling the rush of the wind against your face. Hop on a jet ski and navigate the waters at high speeds, showcasing your skills as you maneuver through the waves. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned rider, jet skiing is an exciting way to explore the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean.


If you crave a more laid-back experience, kayaking and paddleboarding are excellent choices. Glide along the calm waters of the Bentota River or venture out into the open sea, taking in the stunning vistas and enjoying the tranquility of the surroundings. These activities are not only fun but also provide a great workout for your entire body.


Bentota Beach is also a haven for diving enthusiasts. The clear, warm waters are teeming with vibrant coral reefs, hidden caves, and diverse marine life. Whether you’re a beginner or a certified diver, there are diving centers and experienced instructors available to guide you through this unforgettable underwater adventure.


For those who prefer to stay on the surface, snorkeling is a fantastic way to explore the underwater world. Put on your mask and snorkel and dive into the crystal-clear waters to discover a myriad of colorful fish, fascinating coral formations, and other marine creatures. The shallow waters near the shore provide a safe and accessible spot for snorkeling enthusiasts of all skill levels.


If you’re looking for an adrenaline-pumping experience, try out kite surfing at Bentota Beach. Feel the excitement as you harness the power of the wind and glide across the water, performing daring tricks and jumps. With its strong winds and wide, open beaches, Bentota Beach is a renowned destination for kite surfing enthusiasts.


Parasailing is another thrilling water sport option. Get strapped into a harness, attached to a parachute, and get ready to soar high above the beach. From this vantage point, you’ll enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Bentota Beach, the azure ocean, and the lush surroundings. It’s an experience that combines thrill and tranquility for an unforgettable adventure.


Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced water sports enthusiast, Bentota Beach offers a range of activities to suit every level. With its warm waters, stunning scenery, and top-notch facilities, this coastal paradise is the perfect destination for an action-packed water sports experience.


Wildlife Safari

Embark on an unforgettable wildlife safari just a short distance from Bentota Beach and immerse yourself in the natural beauty and biodiversity of Sri Lanka. The region is home to a variety of unique flora and fauna, making it a paradise for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.


One of the most popular safari destinations near Bentota Beach is the Madu River estuary. Board a boat and meander through the serene waterways, surrounded by lush mangrove forests and vibrant vegetation. As you navigate the river, keep your eyes peeled for a glimpse of the diverse wildlife that calls this area home.


You may spot crocodiles basking in the sun along the river banks, monkeys swinging through the trees, and a wide array of bird species, including kingfishers, herons, and eagles. The knowledgeable boat guides will provide fascinating insights into the ecosystem, ensuring a memorable and educational experience.


If you’re interested in bird watching, Bentota Beach won’t disappoint. The area is a haven for bird lovers, with numerous species residing in the mangrove forests and wetlands. Grab your binoculars and discover the beauty of colorful feathers and melodic birdcalls as you explore the natural habitats of these feathered creatures.


For a truly unique wildlife encounter, head to the nearby Kanneliya Rainforest Reserve. This protected area is home to a diverse range of plant and animal species, including several endemic and endangered species. Join a guided tour and immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and scents of the lush rainforest, keeping an eye out for rare birds, reptiles, and mammals.


Another must-visit safari destination near Bentota Beach is the Lunuganga Estate. This historic site was the former home of renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa, who transformed the property into a mesmerizing tropical garden. Explore the beautifully landscaped gardens, adorned with exotic plants, statues, and water features. The estate is a paradise for plant enthusiasts and offers a tranquil retreat from the hustle and bustle of the beach.


During your wildlife safari near Bentota Beach, it’s essential to respect the natural habitats and follow the guidance of experienced guides. The proximity to these diverse ecosystems provides a unique opportunity to connect with nature and witness the rich biodiversity that Sri Lanka has to offer.


Whether you choose to explore the enchanting riverbanks, discover rare bird species, or venture into the rainforest, a wildlife safari near Bentota Beach is a captivating experience that will leave you with lasting memories of Sri Lanka’s natural wonders.


Historical Sites

Bentota Beach is not only blessed with natural beauty but also rich in history and cultural heritage. Explore the region’s fascinating past by visiting its historical sites, which offer insights into Sri Lanka’s diverse and ancient civilizations.


One of the must-visit historical sites near Bentota Beach is the Galapata Vihara. This ancient rock temple dates back to the 12th century and is known for its well-preserved stone carvings and intricate architecture. Marvel at the intricately carved statues and murals that depict scenes from Buddhist mythology, and soak in the spiritual ambiance of the temple.


Take a stroll through the enchanting Brief Garden, a unique creation of renowned Sri Lankan architect Bevis Bawa. The garden is filled with exotic plants, sculptures, and art installations. The property was once the home of Bevis Bawa, and it showcases his artistic vision and passion for landscape design. Explore the tranquil paths, enjoy breathtaking views, and learn about the life and works of this talented artist.


The nearby city of Galle, just a short distance from Bentota Beach, is famous for its UNESCO World Heritage-listed Galle Fort. Built by the Portuguese in the 16th century and later expanded by the Dutch, the fort is a well-preserved example of European colonial architecture in Asia. Take a walk along the fort’s ramparts and explore the narrow streets lined with charming colonial-era buildings, boutique shops, and quaint cafes. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Galle Fort Lighthouse, which offers panoramic views of the ocean and the fort itself.


To delve further into Sri Lanka’s history, visit the Richmond Castle in Kalutara, a short drive from Bentota Beach. This magnificent mansion was built during the British colonial period and showcases a blend of British and Indian architectural styles. Tour the grand halls, admire the elegant interiors, and learn about the history of this colonial gem.


Another fascinating historical site to explore is the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery. This conservation project aims to protect sea turtles and their eggs, providing a safe environment for hatching and releasing baby turtles back into the ocean. Learn about the conservation efforts, watch the turtles being fed, and even have the opportunity to release hatchlings into the sea.


As you meander through Bentota Beach and its surroundings, you’ll uncover a wealth of historical sites, each with its own story to tell. By visiting these sites, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the region’s vibrant history and cultural heritage.


Accommodation Options

When it comes to accommodation, Bentota Beach offers a wide range of options to suit every traveler’s needs and preferences. Whether you’re seeking luxurious beachfront resorts or cozy guesthouses, you’ll find the perfect place to relax and unwind after a day of exploration.


For those looking for the ultimate in luxury and relaxation, there are several high-end resorts along Bentota Beach that offer top-notch amenities and world-class service. These beachfront properties boast spacious rooms or suites, private balconies with stunning ocean views, and access to private pools and pristine gardens. Indulge in a spa treatment, savor gourmet cuisine at on-site restaurants, and experience the epitome of luxury in this tropical paradise.


If you prefer a more intimate and cozy atmosphere, there are charming boutique hotels and guesthouses scattered throughout the area. These accommodations offer personalized service and a homely ambiance. Enjoy the warmth and hospitality of the staff, relax in comfortable rooms adorned with local artwork, and savor delicious home-cooked meals made from fresh, local ingredients.


For budget-conscious travelers, there are also plenty of options available. Stay at affordable guesthouses or hostels, which offer clean and comfortable rooms at a fraction of the price. Take advantage of communal spaces and shared facilities, where you can meet fellow travelers and exchange stories of your adventures.


Many accommodations in Bentota Beach are located within close proximity to the beach, allowing guests to easily access the golden sands and captivating ocean views. Some properties even offer direct beach access, so you can step out of your room and onto the soft sand within moments.


Aside from beachfront properties, there are also accommodations nestled within the lush greenery and tranquility of the surrounding landscapes. Stay in eco-resorts or boutique hotels tucked away in the tropical gardens, providing a serene and peaceful setting for your stay.


Whether you choose a luxurious resort or a cozy guesthouse, the accommodations in Bentota Beach strive to provide comfort and relaxation for their guests. With their warm hospitality, convenient locations, and a variety of amenities, you’re sure to find the perfect place to call home during your stay in this coastal paradise.


Dining Options

When it comes to dining, Bentota Beach offers a wide array of culinary delights to satisfy every palate. From fresh seafood dishes to traditional Sri Lankan curries, the dining options in this paradise by the sea will tantalize your taste buds and leave you craving for more.


Seafood lovers will be in for a treat as Bentota Beach is renowned for its delectable seafood offerings. Visit beachside restaurants and indulge in mouthwatering grilled prawns, succulent lobster, and flavorful fish curries. Enjoy the catch of the day, brought in by local fishermen, which guarantees the freshest ingredients and the most authentic flavors.


A trip to Sri Lanka wouldn’t be complete without experiencing the country’s unique and aromatic cuisine. Explore the local eateries and restaurants in Bentota Beach to sample the array of Sri Lankan flavors. Try staple dishes such as rice and curry, hoppers (a bowl-shaped pancake made from fermented rice flour), and string hoppers (thin rice noodles) served with a variety of flavorful curries and sambols (spicy condiments).


For those seeking international cuisines, Bentota Beach also offers a range of options. Explore Italian trattorias, Indian restaurants, and Chinese eateries, all offering their own twist on beloved international favorites. Indulge in wood-fired pizzas, fragrant biryanis, or savor the delicate flavors of dim sum.


If you’re looking for a more casual and laid-back dining experience, head to the beachside shacks or street food stalls. These local establishments offer a variety of snacks and finger foods that are perfect for a quick bite. Try out kottu roti, a popular street food made with roti (flatbread) mixed with vegetables, spices, and your choice of meat or seafood.


For those seeking a more elegant dining experience, some of the resorts and hotels in Bentota Beach boast fine dining restaurants. Enjoy an exquisite meal prepared by talented chefs, featuring a fusion of international and local flavors. Pair your meal with a selection of fine wines or tropical cocktails for a truly memorable dining experience.


Don’t forget to end your meal with a sweet treat. Sri Lanka is known for its delicious desserts, such as wattalappam (a rich and creamy coconut custard) and kiribath (a milk rice pudding). Don’t miss the opportunity to satisfy your sweet tooth with these delightful delicacies.


With its diverse dining scene, Bentota Beach ensures that every visitor can find the perfect culinary experience to suit their preferences. From local Sri Lankan flavors to international cuisines, this coastal destination offers an enticing gastronomic journey that will leave you craving for more.


Shopping Opportunities

When it comes to shopping, Bentota Beach offers a range of options for visitors to indulge in retail therapy and take home a piece of Sri Lanka’s rich culture and craftsmanship. From handicrafts to spices, the shopping opportunities in this coastal town are plentiful and diverse.


One of the best places to browse for unique souvenirs and local crafts is the Bentota Beach Market. Located near the beach, this bustling market is a treasure trove of handmade goods and trinkets. Explore the stalls and shops, where you can find intricate wood carvings, traditional masks, intricate batik clothing, and colorful handwoven textiles.


If you’re looking for a wide variety of goods, head to the bustling city of Colombo, located within proximity to Bentota Beach. The city offers an array of shopping malls, department stores, and street markets where you can find everything from high-end designer brands to affordable fashion items. Don’t miss out on exploring the famous Pettah Market, where you can haggle for spices, textiles, and other affordable goods.


For those interested in Ayurvedic products and traditional remedies, Bentota Beach is an excellent place to shop. Ayurveda is deeply rooted in Sri Lankan culture, and you’ll find numerous shops offering herbal oils, medicinal spices, natural beauty products, and even Ayurvedic treatments. Bring home a piece of Sri Lanka’s age-old healing traditions and experience the benefits of Ayurveda in your own home.


Food lovers will also find shopping opportunities in Bentota Beach. Explore the local markets to purchase spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, and saffron, which are widely used in Sri Lankan cuisine. These aromatic spices not only add flavor to your dishes but also make for a thoughtful gift.


Additionally, Bentota Beach is known for its gemstone trade. Sri Lanka is famous for its precious and semi-precious gemstones, such as sapphires, garnets, and topaz. Take a trip to a reputable jeweler and peruse their stunning collections, from exquisite loose gemstones to beautifully crafted jewelry pieces. Whether you’re looking for a sparkling souvenir or a special gift, you’re sure to find something that catches your eye.


When shopping in Bentota Beach, it’s always a good idea to practice your bargaining skills. Many vendors in the markets and local shops are open to negotiation, so don’t be afraid to haggle for the best price. Remember to approach the shopping experience with an open mind and enjoy the opportunity to discover unique items and support local businesses.


With its vibrant markets and unique shopping opportunities, Bentota Beach offers a chance to bring a piece of Sri Lanka back home with you. Whether it’s a handcrafted souvenir, a bag of aromatic spices, or a beautiful gemstone, the shopping experiences in Bentota Beach will leave you with cherished memories and special keepsakes.


Nearby Attractions

While Bentota Beach offers a plethora of activities and attractions, there are also several nearby destinations that are worth exploring during your visit. These attractions provide a glimpse into the diverse beauty and cultural heritage of Sri Lanka’s southwestern coast.


Just a short distance from Bentota Beach is the charming city of Galle. Known for its well-preserved Dutch colonial architecture, Galle is a UNESCO World Heritage site that is steeped in history. Explore the iconic Galle Fort, visit museums and art galleries, and stroll along the cobblestone streets lined with boutique shops and cafes. Galle’s unique blend of old-world charm and modern flair makes it a must-visit destination.


If you’re a wildlife enthusiast, a visit to the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery is a must. Located along the coast, this conservation project aims to protect sea turtles and their eggs. Learn about the different species of sea turtles, observe hatchlings, and even have the opportunity to release baby turtles back into the ocean. It’s a magical experience that allows you to contribute to the preservation of these incredible creatures.


For those seeking a spiritual experience, a visit to the Kande Viharaya Temple is highly recommended. Perched on a hilltop near Bentota Beach, this iconic Buddhist temple offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding area. Admire the intricate architecture, explore the serene meditation halls, and immerse yourself in the peaceful ambiance of this sacred sanctuary. Don’t forget to pay your respects to the towering Buddha statue that stands majestically within the temple grounds.


If you’re intrigued by Sri Lanka’s colonial past, a visit to the Richmond Castle is a must. Located in Kalutara, just a short drive from Bentota Beach, this magnificent mansion showcases a fusion of British and Indian architectural styles. Explore the beautifully preserved interiors, stroll through the lush gardens, and learn about the history of this colonial gem.


For nature enthusiasts, a visit to the Lunuganga Estate is highly recommended. This breathtaking property was the former home of renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa and is now open to the public. Discover the beautifully landscaped gardens, adorned with sculptures, water features, and rare flora. Explore the distinct architectural spaces and immerse yourself in the captivating beauty of the estate.


Last but not least, the Madu River estuary offers a tranquil escape into nature. Hop on a boat and cruise through the serene waterways, surrounded by lush mangrove forests and diverse wildlife. Observe crocodiles, monkeys, and a variety of bird species as you navigate the gentle tides. The Madu River is a nature lover’s paradise that provides a unique and peaceful experience close to Bentota Beach.


With its proximity to these nearby attractions, Bentota Beach serves as an excellent base to explore the natural beauty, cultural heritage, and history of Sri Lanka’s southwestern coast. Take time to venture beyond the beach to discover the enchanting wonders that await in these captivating destinations.



Bentota Beach is a captivating destination that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, adventure, history, and relaxation. With its pristine golden sands, crystal-clear waters, and lush greenery, it is a coastal paradise that beckons travelers from around the world.


From lazing on the beach and enjoying water sports activities to exploring historical sites and embarking on wildlife safaris, Bentota Beach has something to offer every type of traveler. Whether you seek relaxation, adventure, or cultural experiences, this coastal gem has it all.


Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Sri Lanka by trying the local cuisine, exploring nearby attractions, and shopping for unique souvenirs. Indulge in the variety of dining options, from fresh seafood delicacies to fragrant Sri Lankan curries. Shop for handicrafts, spices, and gemstones, taking a piece of this enchanting destination back home with you.


Bentota Beach also serves as a gateway to nearby attractions, such as the historic city of Galle, the Kande Viharaya Temple, and the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery. Explore the rich heritage that surrounds Bentota Beach, uncovering the diverse beauty and cultural treasures that await.


With its warm hospitality, stunning landscapes, and a range of accommodation options, Bentota Beach ensures a memorable and enjoyable stay for every visitor. Retreat to luxurious beachfront resorts or cozy guesthouses, where you can relax and rejuvenate after a day of exploration.


Whether you’re seeking a romantic escape, a thrilling adventure, or a tranquil retreat, Bentota Beach will captivate your senses and leave you with unforgettable memories. The idyllic location, the plethora of activities, and the rich cultural experiences combine to create a truly remarkable destination.


Come and discover the magic of Bentota Beach for yourself. Whether you’re diving into the azure waters, exploring ancient temples, or simply lounging on the golden sands, this tropical paradise promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you yearning to return again and again.