While there are numerous pristine coastal towns along Sri Lanka’s coastline, Bentota is one of the most dazzling. Bentota’s gleaming beaches, diverse restaurant scene and rich cultural heritage gives visitors ample opportunities to experience Sri Lanka. A wide range of restaurants and diverse array of cultural sites provides an immersive perspective on Sri Lankan life. There is plenty to experience, or you may simply want to sit back and relax. Planning a day in Bentota can be difficult. This is not because of the lack of interesting places, but because of the wide range of options available. Bentota is under 2 hours drive from Colombo, making it an easy stop on your drive south. This article aims to give you a taste of Bentota so you can enjoy your Bentota experience.
Bentota’s Food Scene
This glittering town has a very diverse eating scene. Both world-class hotels and alternative restaurants play a big part in the eating experience in Bentota. One of the best classic restaurants is Breeze Restaurant at the Avani Resort. The uniqueness of this restaurant is most noticeable not only in its pleasantly coastal setting but also in its wide ranging menu. Breeze serves up international classics and local Sri Lankan specialties.
An alternative to the classic hotel bars and restaurants is Randholee. Despite it’s diverse menu, Randholee is most famous a rice and curry. It also branches out into some American specialities, if you need something a little greasy.
At the intersection of classic formal dining and alternative menu’s is Amal Villa. Surrounded by lush green scenery, this restaurant also offers both classic and local specialties. Wooden tables surrounded by beautiful green palm trees and plants provide a delightful dining experience.
Cultural and Historical Experiences
Although Bentota is quite a small town, it offers a broad range of food, sports, historical and cultural experiences. When it comes to the cultural experiences you can have in Bentota, visiting the Brief Garden is a must. This garden spans five acres and is an interesting blend of sculptures and tropical plantings.
Geoffrey Bawa, the acclaimed Sri Lankan architect has a country house in Lunuganga Estate. The estate is home to a rich collection of rare flora. The house is considered to be a typical example of the “tropical modernism” architectural theory which was partly established Bawa. Visitors who have an interest in architecture will be inspired during a visit to the estate.
Getting outdoors in Bentota
The ocean is not surprisingly the central outdoor activity in Bentota. You can swim in the warm waters and watch magnificent sunsets. There is also plenty to see beneath the waves. Divers must add Bentota to their itinerary to Sri Lanka. Bentota is famous as a diving hub. You will dive in a sea rich in remarkably vivid corals and beautiful fish including the Porcupine or Lion Fish.
Another unique activity you can do in Bentota’s pristine nature is experiencing the Kosgoda Turtle Conservation Project up close. Visiting the turtles in their natural state and environment as they lay their eggs in the sand is an unmatched experience that you can have in a very few other places in the world. This conservation effort gives these beautiful creatures a fighting chance at life.
Bentota has a lot of breathtaking beach backdrops. One other thing that should not be missed beside the breathtaking beaches is Bentota’s rich history. This town was once a cluster of ancient temples. One of these temples is the Kande Viharaya, a temple dating back to the 1700s. This temple is a home of a lot of artefacts such as sculptures and vivid frescoes. Religion and culture aside, temples are visually impressive structures where you can educate yourself about Buddhist traditions while observing Bentota’s local life up close.
About 50km south of Bentota is another impressive historical site – the Galle Dutch Fort. This fort is another 17th century historical attraction which was a fortification built by the Dutch. This 87 acre fort has museums, old churches and it the place where numerous cultural festivals take place. While the Kande Viharaya temple offers a glimpse into Buddhist traditions and history, the Galle Dutch Fort is a great insight into the history of Bentota as a Dutch held territory and a subject of colonial conquest.