The little coastal town of Aluthgama is lively place with photogenic markets, as well as a selection of charming accommodation set back from the beach across the Bentota Ganga Lagoon. The town’s main street is lined with shops; stretching along its west side is the vibrant fish market, where all varieties of seafood is piled on benches. The open-air produce market to the south of the road is also worth a visit. It is particularly busy on Mondays, when it is packed with vendors.
About 1 km (0.6 miles) inland, the serene Kande Vihara temple stands perched on a hilltop. It is home to a colossal white Buddha statue in the bhumisparsha mudra.
Bentota is a favorite with tourists seeking package resorts. However, there is a wide range of accommodation available in town, including guesthouses and high-end hotels and villas. The beach is attractive, especially at its southern end, where dense groves of palm trees rise behind the wide stretch of sand.
The Bentota Ganga is a centre for a range of watersports. It is also possible to set off on a river cruise; visitors can spot many aquatic birds on these trips.
The calm waters of the broad Bentota Ganga Lagoon are perfect for a gamut of thrilling activities year-round, making Bentota the de facto watersports capital of Sri Lanka. The area is popular among visitors, who come to enjoy windsurfing, kitesurfing, water-skiing and banana-boat rides on the river. In addition, angling enthusiasts can spend a rewarding day aboard a fishing boat as a variety of game fish including marling, barracuda and tuna thrive in the waters. Diving and snorkeling are also popular activities along the coast and can be enjoyed from November through to April before the monsoon arrives. Canoe Rock is among the most notable dive sites in Bentota, accessible to divers of all levels. With extensive colonies of beautiful coral and schools of brightly colored fish, this is a very large site that requires several dives to be explored fully. Equipment rental, lessons and package deals are all available at hotels, guesthouses and water sports centers in Bentota. more