The Kalpitiya peninsula, Kalpitiya Islands and Kalpitiya Beaches are a much visited tourist destination in Sri Lanka.
Bentota is located 64km south of Colombo in the South-western coastal belt of Sri Lanka. CMB Colombo Bandaranaike Airport at Katunayake – Negombo being 37km north of the city of Colombo, Bentota is approximately 101km south of the airport.
Bentota can be reached by the Colombo – Galle main road (A2) as well as the Colombo – Galle – Matara Southern Railway
line. While the railway line from Negombo to Colombo mostly runs through inland, the continuation of the track from Colombo to Matara passing Bentota, hugs the southern coast most of the time enabling you to enjoy the pristine tropical beaches that pop up in between.
Just across the Bentota Bridge over the River Bentara also called the ‘Bentota Ganga’ is the coastal town of Bentota. Bentota is a very pretty rural area: the greenery of the landscape needs a special mention. Most of the land is well shaded and sheltered by talltrees with coconut palm trees dominating the landscape.
Importance of Bentota
Bentota is famed as the prime beach resort of the south-western and southern coastal belts of Sri Lanka. South of the city of Colombo, the city of Kalutara with its fine beach is the gateway to south western and southern bay beaches. Kalutara is the next popular beach after Bentota. The Beruwala Bay Beach that is found just before reaching Aluthgama at the Bentota Bridge and Bentota Bay Beach just over the bridge are the most popular twin beaches along the coast. The coast towards the further South too is replete with lovely topical beaches making it ideal for a perfect beach holiday with the sun and sand.
The Kalpitiya peninsula, Kalpitiya Islands and Kalpitiya Beaches are a much visited tourist destination in Sri Lanka. Kalpitiya is located 130 km north of the Bandaranayke International Airport in Katunayake, while it is an exquisite coastal region located in the Western coastal belt, north of Colombo. Kalpitiya is a peninsula set in between the deep lagoon of Puttalam to the east and the magnificent Indian Ocean to the west. It is an unrivalled marine sanctuary with a diversity of habitats ranging from bar reefs, flat coastal plains, saltpans, mangrove swamps, salt marshes and vast sand dune beaches. The 14 islands of Battalangunduwa, Palliyawatta, Vellai I, Vellai II, Vellai III, Uchchamunai, Ippantivu, Periya Arichchalai, Sinna Arichchalai, Eramutivu, Sinna Eramutivu, Eramutivu West, Kakativu and Mutwal (Dutch Bay) together make up 1673 hectares of land which belongs to Kalpitiya. The Kalpitiya peninsula is 48 km long and 6-8 km wide while it is studded with fine sandy beaches which make you yearn for a beach holiday. In addition to the Kalpitiya peninsula, the 14 islands around it are encompassed in the Kalpitiya tourist development project which was envisaged in year 2008.
Kalpitiya, that affords the opportunity to view large pods of Dolphins, often numbers running to hundreds, is becoming a celebrated location in Sri Lanka of the lovers of Spinner Dolphins.
Kalpitiya, for its presence of Sperm Whales and an occasional Blue Whale alone is a world class attraction of marine life. Whales are regularly seen around the Kalpitiya Peninsula.
Interestingly it was only from around February 2010 that Kalpitiya was finally considered as a destination to catch sight of the majestic whale. Boat trips are regularly taken from the Kalpitiya Peninsula to an off-shore site away from the reef to catch sight of Sperm whales, who is also the largest toothed whale in the world. The Sperm Whale, in the hunt of Giant Squid, dives several hundred meters into the ocean. Kalpitiya Peninsula with its continental shelf provides an ideal habitat to the Sperm Whale.
The season to view Sperm Whale at Kalpitiya
The season to view the Sperm Whale at Kalpitiya Peninsula is between December and mid-April.
The sight of the magnificent Blue whale too could be possible occasionally.
The season for the beaches at Kalpitiya where you can enjoy the most memorable beach holiday is from October to May.
Bar Reef at Kalpitiya
Bar Reef, the largest coral reef (307 square km) in Sri Lanka, which can be reached by an hour’s boat trip from Kalpitiya, serves as the ideal sea for keen scuba divers and snorkelers. The beautiful reef, exceedingly rich in bio-diversity, is home to an incredible variety of tropical fish as well as offering sightings of manta rays, reef sharks and the occasional sea turtle.
The coastline at Kalpitiya
Boat rides up to the lagoon and canoe trips down the river are a pleasant way of exploring the coastline, whilst 4WD jeep rides along the deserted sand dunes between the ocean and the lagoon offer a unique way of watching the colourful evening sunsets.
Mount Lavinia – The town is largely a middle class and mostly residential suburb of Colombo that had until now escaped most of the damaging industrialisation of neighbouring cities and urban centres. Famed for its “Golden Mile” of beaches, Mount Lavinia has often been a hot spot for tourism and nightlife. It is one of the most liberal regions in Sri Lanka and also plays host to the island’s annual gay pride, including the famed Rainbow Kite Festival.
Mount Lavinia is steeped in history. The city’s name is built up around the original residence of Sir Thomas Maitland who was the Governor General of Ceylon from 1805-1811. At a welcoming party held in his honour on his arrival in the island he set his eyes upon Lovina, a local mestizo dancer, whose father was the Headman of the troupe. Sir Thomas was smitten by her smile and charms and soon found himself obsessed by her and took every measure possible to see more of her.As it was highly unconventional for an unmarried British Officer to be seen associating with a local dancing girl, Sir Thomas and his lover met in secret. Legend says she was smuggled into his mansion through a secret tunnel that led from her father’s well into a wine cellar in the house.
Mount Lavinia Beach
In 1811, social convention and duty to his King, led Sir Thomas Maitland to ultimately leave the country for Malta, where he lived and died as a bachelor. The tunnel was eventually sealed up in 1920 and the Gypsy village that surrounded the Governor’s mansion developed into a modern bustling city that took its name from the beautiful Lovina. But the Governor’s home which he named “Mount Lavinia House” and his monument to his only love has been preserved within the walls and high ceilings of what is today the world famous Mount Lavinia Hotel.
The statue of ‘Lady’ Lavinia, as the girl later became known, is still found in the middle of a water fountain at the entrance of the Mount Lavinia Hotel. But, there are other explanations too rooted in geography and the natural surroundings, when it comes to the origin of the name Mount Lavinia. The Sinhalese who lived on the coastal belt had for long named the promontory “Lihiniya Kanda” or “Lihiniyagala” meaning the hill of the sea gull or the rock of the sea gull.
The local name for the town today is Galkissa – Kissa being a somewhat obsolete Sinhala word for rock. Legend takes over once again with the story of a large treasure from a shipwreck being hidden among the rocks here. Whatever the legends, the town came into official recognition when Governor Maitland used the postal address Mt. Lavinia, Ceylon, in 1805, while writing to the British Secretary of State, Lord Castlereagh. Mount Lavinia, which is now a city bustling with life is well known for its beach activities, vibrant nightlife and chilled out dining locations along the beach.
Negombo is located approximately 37 km north of the commercial capital of Colombo in Sri Lanka. It is located at the mouth of the Negombo lagoon. The major beach resort in the West Coast is Negombo. The wide sandy beaches and the safe sea are the main attractions of Negombo and it is perfectly located within 7 km from the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake, Sri Lanka.
Negombo has a small port, and its economy is mainly based on tourism and its centuries-old fishing industry. Negombo is a traditional fishing town in Sri Lanka, and no wonder the town is a gourmet food lover’s paradise with seafood available in plenty. Negombo also produces spices, ceramics and brassware. The town has a majority of Roman Catholics along with Buddhists, Hindus and Muslims while it has been given the name “Little Rome” due to the highly ornate Portuguese-era Roman Catholic churches found within the township. The town has several buildings that date back to the Dutch and Portuguese colonial era. Attractions in the city include the old Dutch fort gate built in 1672 now a part of the prison, the Dutch Canal which was then a supply route to the Dutch administration, old churches and fishing villages.The 100km long canal running through the town is still being used and is an attraction for those who want to see the country from a different perspective.
The Katuwapitiya Church and the Grand Street Church are the two biggest parishes in Negombo. “Agurukaramulla temple” is a famous Buddhist temple bringing Buddhists from all over Sri Lanka to Negombo every year.The wide sandy beaches and the safe sea are the major tourist attractions of Negombo, while many tourists use the town for the first or the last night of their stay in Sri Lanka. Negombo offers some of the better beaches on the west coast of Sri Lanka, and draws tourists who stop over for a day on their way to or from the airport. Several hotels ranging from luxury hotels to budget hotels, guest houses and restaurants are available in Negombo. Some quiet stretches of the beach are maintained by the tourist hotels, while others are always busy with fisherman and their equipment. Water-sports and diving are also extremely popular among visitors, with a few well preserved coral reefs and a 50 year old shipwreck that serves as an artificial reef for many varieties of fish. There are also local handicraft sales on the beaches and the shops near the town
Mon – Sat 8.00 – 18.00 Sunday CLOSED