- Sri Lanka
Situated 40 miles south of Colombo, Bentota is located in an idyllic spot and, as a result, has become a popular destination for those visiting Sri Lanka. Bentota offers some of the best beaches in the whole country and with excellent facilities found both in the local hotels and the town, it is little wonder that is has become such a popular destination for repeat travellers.
Sri Lanka has a typically tropical climate, so the temperature and humidity (approx. 70%) remains high all year round. Given its location on the coast, Bentota benefits from a light coastal breeze which makes the heat more comfortable.
Rainfall is highest in May, and in October to November. The south-western coast has higher rainfall than the rest of the country, although many people find this a refreshing break. The lowest rainfall occurs in February (69mm). There is an average of 6-8 hours of sunshine per day, all year round.
The Bentota Beach Festival is one worth keeping an eye out for. It is held (generally) in March, attracting artists and DJs for a huge beach party that also includes beach sports and activities, drinking and, of course, dancing the night away.
Of the more laidback variety, Bentota is home to exotic forestry and stunning landscape, and therein you can find a huge collection of wildlife. For a truly life-changing experience, head to Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery, where there’s a chance you’ll be permitted to release new-born turtles into the sea.
The beach at Bentota is one of the biggest draws of the entire town. This broad ribbon of golden sand contrasts wonderfully with the luscious green backdrop and surrounding coconut trees. It’s also a great spot for surfing, if that happens to be your thing.
Bentota has a selection of restaurants and bars to enjoy during the evenings. The upmarket hotels dotted along the shoreline provide a wide range of fine dining options and international cuisine. There is also, as you would expect, a wide selection of establishments offering a taste of the local dishes. And, this being a coastal town, we’d highly recommend you try some of the many seafood venues.
Less than a couple of miles from Bentota is the 12th Century Galapata Temple, which houses what is said to be the tooth relic of one of Buddha’s main disciples, making it one of the most important Buddhist relics in the country, and one of the more important Buddhist temples, too.
Running through Bentota is the Bentota River (or Ganga) which has created a fantastic lagoon whose placid waters are perfect for those interested in swimming. There are also plenty of other water sports readily available, including water skiing and windsurfing, both of which are hugely popular in Sri Lanka.
Bentota is also popular with nature lovers with turtle hatcheries, as well as a host of lagoon-based wildlife to be seen.
Alternatively, visits to the local markets and Bazaars are definitely worthwhile.
The local transportation is provided mostly via the numerous tuk tuks available on many streets, and these will serve the purpose for distances that are a little too far to walk. For longer journeys – visiting nearby sights or other towns, for example – there are buses which connect the towns that are quite inexpensive.