Traditionally a fishing town, Negombo is well-known for its fresh seafood, and the large number of established beach hotels to choose from in the area. Its proximity to the airport makes it a great stop-over at the beginning or end of a Sri Lanka trip. Apart from the leisure aspect, the town has a fair amount of well-maintained Dutch and Portuguese colonial architecture worth exploring.
- Negombo Lagoon – with an area of over 3164 hectares, the lagoon is a shallow, tranquil area with a large variety of water birds such as herons, cormorants and gulls. It is a picturesque location for kayak rides and relaxation.
- Beach – Negombo’s wide sandy beaches and relatively safe waters are great for tourists. However, there is also a large local fishing population on the shores, so it’s safer to stay within the private areas allocated by the various hotels. There are also a large number of handicraft vendors. Be prepared to bargain!
- Diving – There are some coral reefs, as well as an artificial reef created by a 50-year old shipwreck that is home to a variety of fish. It’s safest to check with your hotel as to the best places and times to go diving.
- Colonial structures – The Dutch Fort, St. Mary’s Church, and St. Sebastian’s Church are great reminders of the town’s colonial heritage, and are all well-maintained.
Accommodation (basic prices per night)
- Horathapola Coconut Estate - +94 71 5338 230 ($210)
- Jetwing Beach - +94 31 2273 500-5 ($180)
- Jetwing Lagoon - +94 31 2233 777 ($170)
- Jetwing Blue - +94 31 2279 000-3 ($180)
- Jetwing Sea - +94 31 2279062 ($120)
- Jetwing Ayurveda Pavillions - +94 31 2276719 ($100)
- Paradise Beach Hotel - +94 31 2222 031 ($70)
- Palace Hotel - + 94 31 222 7028 ($20)
- Serendib Guest House - +94 31 2274 440 ($)
About 37 km north of Colombo, Negombo is easily accessed by road within an hour. It is also within 10km of the Bandarnaike International Airport.
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