We started in Colombo, which you don’t need much time for. A day or two should be enough to visit historical sites.
Then we went to Bentota, a small village between the beach and the banks of a river. It was great for a short getaway, but if you plan on visiting, acknowledge my few recommendations.
We stayed at Villa Red, which is perfect for large, easy-going groups of friends and family. It’s a bridge cross away from Bentota beach, and the river deck connects directly to a water-sports centre next door. The dining room is in complete open air, so make sure you spray on some mosquito repellent!
We enjoyed jumping into our own tiny pool.
Exploring the nature.
Watching the magestic sunset.
Meditating at dawn.
Water-sports at dusk.
Eating away into the night.
Playing charades on our private deck.
There were lots of beach hotels such as The Surf with included facilities such as a funky karaoke bar, restaurants, and an outdoor Sheesha lounge.
We took a day trip down south of Bentota to go Whale Watching in Mirissa.
It does get very boring, being out on the sea for so long, but make sure you don’t try to read, or you will get horrifically sea sick, like I did.
However, it was definitely worth it, because in the end, we saw a BLUE WHALE. The largest mammal on earth. And it was magnificent.
On your way to or from Mirissa, be sure to visit the Galle fort, a UNESCO world heritage site with a Dutch Colonial feel.
Although the chances aren’t completely confirmed, i would highly suggest to try your luck at Whale Watching, and who knows – you might see some fin whales, dolphins, or even a killer whale!
At the beach, there are plenty of exhilarating water sports for you to try. Being much of an adventurist myself, i was in pure bliss as i water-skied, tubed, kayaked, banana boated, windsurfed, and jet skied along the Bentara river! Make sure you tell your instructor/guide to take you to the Mangrove on your jet-ski – its a cave of trees. You won’t regret it.Prices are fair, but make sure you don’t mind being thrown into the water!
Near mid-november is a perfect time to visit Bentota. The water isn’t to hot or cold, and the temperature is generally good all day long. Be aware of some rain, however!
Food in Bentota, if you aren’t prepared, can be a bit of an issue. We made the mistake of forgetting about our picky palettes and arriving without a clue of what to eat. Our staff were unfortunately not too accommodating to this, so if you do stay at Villa Red, make sure you tell them your culinary preferences in advance. Outside, try to avoid street food and stick to hotels. You know why.
But don’t forget to have a few coconuts! They’re so sweet and refreshing!
The sunsets in Bentota are amazing. Enjoy a boat ride at dusk to a lighthouse island near the coast for a beautiful panoramic view of the majestic sinking of our sun.
Located a few minutes away from Bentota, is the Lunuganga Estate, the famous country home of the renowned Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa. Also in the area is the garden of Geoffrey Bawa’s brother – Bevis Bawa. This beautiful property was once a rubber estate, and the garden is landscaped according to various themes and has been illuminated through Bevis Bawa’s creativity.
Bentota is also home to several turtle sanctuaries and hatcheries, where one can help protect turtles by personally releasing their own turtles into the sea. You can also view disabled turtles, and rare turtle species, and help to care for them. A must for animal lovers.
Bentota has several quaint little souvenir ships. I would greatly recommend to buy some gems and from Sri Lanka, as these shops are found nearly everywhere, selling genuine amethyst, ruby, and even emerald stones that are great to be made into jewellery back at home. I picked up a lovely pair of peridot earrings (my birthstone), and a blue sapphire pendant.
Relaxation is the key to any holiday, so make sure to pick up a massage or two to rejuvenate your senses. There are few affordable massage centres in Bentota, but one a comfortable 20 metre walk away from Villa Red! It might look slightly shady, but don’t worry! You’ll smell slightly of oil afterwards, so just keep that in mind when you plan your swims and dinners!
Sri Lanka also has some lovely Art, Postcards and Masks, so make sure to pick up a memoir of your hopefully fabulicios trip!