Bentota – Sun and the Sand
Down 60-65 km from Colombo along the southward coastline lies tis beautiful beach infested city. Clusters of tourist lodges amidst star graded hotels afford the visitors ample choice of staying that are pampered by many water-sport cum leisure activities. To add lustre to the long stretch of a sandy shore is the lagoon and a river that runs almost parallel to the sea with only a thin strip of land separating them at one point. Thus the golden sandy beach is well exploited as a travellers’ haven. Being somewhere in the centre between the Metro Colombo and the southern city of Gale, the location virtually becomes the ideal midway transit to break journey even for a few hours.
The entire beach are could be safe for swimming and other recreation such as wind-surfing, diving, boating etc. They are tailored for entire families and not only for the daring. The Bentota River that ends as a Lagoon provide these thrills and that’s what makes the destination a much sought for tourists spot. Talking about scuba diving, this is one of the locations where a trained team of PADI (Professional Association of Trained Instructors) are in operation. They coach the visitors in this activity to make their stay proactive in water. Ever engaged in deep-sea fishing? If not, here it is for an adventurous ride in the calm waters off shore.
Boat rides too are a popular attraction as they take the visitors along the river and into the lagoon and back. Scenic ambience with coconut palms and clear blue sky above aided by a calm breeze enhance the experience that would linger for years in one’s mind. But then, what is a tour without sumptuous delicious meals? Being near the sea, Bentota revellers do find the seafood extravaganza at every stop be it a small restaurant or a super grade hotel. And they are well monitored for quality, healthy servings. Ayurvedic services are also available in many places in the whereabouts of Bentota and this completes a well-deserved holiday or leisure itinerary.
Not to be outdone by the Sun and the Sand, the lagoon is smart enough to offer its thrills in the form of small cruiser rides. Having come along the river, the travellers are treated to many small islets within the lagoon to view mangroves that host many aquatic birds such as herons and cormorants. Kingfishers with delightful colours too inhabit them while amphibians such as monitors and crocodiles mooch around. Beneath the water you could see large and long roots of trees. Cruises could be for between 3 to 5 hours to get the maximum.
Bentota is also reckoned for Turtle Hatcheries which are meant for conserving these endangered species and their eggs having salvaged from the fishermen who inadvertently catch them with fishes. Once weaned they are released back into the ocean and they virtually return to the beach for to lay their offspring, it is discovered. Hence, it is a great service towards ecology by the Bentota folk. It is thus noted that Bentota is no ordinary coastal city but much more for a tourist.