Welcome to South of Colombo

Most independent travellers make a beeline for surf-focused Hikkaduwa, with its wide range of accommodation, but the Bentota area offers quieter and even more stunning, beaches with a sprinkling of boutique hideaways amid the luxury resorts. Hire a scooter for a day and you'll quickly find your own stretch of private deserted sand.

Top experiences in South of Colombo

Travel guides

Starting at $32.49

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South of Colombo activities

$85 Day Trips & Excursions

Udawalawe Safari Private Day Trip from Bentota, Kalutara Areas

Morning Safari:Early morning drive from your hotel to enter the park at around 6:45am3-hour Jeep safari at Udawalawe National ParkDepart at 11:00amStop for Lunch at UdawalaweReturn to hotel through the Moonstone Mine ,Drop off at your hotel at around 4:30pmEvening Safari:Pickup from your hotel at 7.30am to depart for Udawalawe National ParkStop for Lunch at UdawalaweArrive at 1:30pm for a 3-hour Jeep safari at Udawalawe National ParkDepart at 4:45pmReturn to hotel through the tropical villageDrop off at your hotel at around 8:30pmAbout Udawalawe National ParkUDAWALAWE NATIONAL PARK is located approximately 200 km south-east of Colombo city and is a major eco tourism destination in Sri Lanka . The 30,821 hectares dry zone game park has an annual rainfall of 1524 mm and an average temperature of 29.4°C.It is most famous for the many elephants that live there (about 400 in total). During a visit, it is not unusual to see whole herds of adults and young elephants– feeding or bathing and playing in the water! In addition to this main attraction, the park is home to many water buffalo, water monitor lizards, sambar deer, monkeys and the occasional leopard, as well as being an exciting location for bird enthusiasts.A 4WD open-top safari is the only way to see all the wonders that this protected reserve has to offer and our experienced and knowledgeable nature guides will make this an unforgettable experience

$66 Day Trips & Excursions

Private Day Trip: Handungoda and Galle from Bentota

You will be starting your tour at 0800 hrs from your hotel in Bentota, where you will be picked up by your chauffeur. Ensure that you bring a packed breakfast with you if you are unable to have your meal at the hotel. (Travel time 2 ½ to 3 hrs) The first stop on your tour itinerary will be the Handunugoda Tea Factory which you will reach approximately 0930 hrs. Ceylon Tea has been highly sought after for centuries. However, this tea factory is famous for a different reason. The Handunugoda Tea Factory has reawakened the ancient Chinese tradition of creating Virgin White Tea which is untouched by human hands during the manufacturing process. During the one-and-a-half-hour tour of the factory, you will be getting to see how this mysterious process takes place to create one of the top most luxury teas of the world. At approximately 1100 hrs you will be travelling to Ahangama for a meet up with stilt fishermen, who are one of the most iconic figures of Sri Lanka. (Travel time 10 to 15 mins) You will be able to see them fishing and learn how they do it by speaking to one of the fishermen. Thereafter you will be leaving for Galle city at approximately 1230 hrs. Once you reach Galle, at 1315 hrs., you will be having lunch at a Local Restaurant. This coastal city has withstood three foreign invasions; during which time, it grew from a bustling port which was the main stop for ships travelling east, to a fortified and yet beautiful city with many monuments which have withstood the ravages of time. You will be able to view the Galle Fort which is a World Heritage Site, the Galle Lighthouse, the National Maritime Museum, the picturesque cobblestoned streets with their Dutch names, and many more colonial remnants. You will be finishing your city tour by approximately 1630 hrs and you will be returning to the hotel after this and complete your excursion by 1730 hrs.

$45 Day Trips & Excursions

Private Day Tour: Kosgoda Balapitiya and Galle from Hikkaduwa

You will be starting your tour from Hikkaduwa at 8:30 am. Your chauffeur will be picking you up from your hotel and driving you to Balapitiya. You will reach the Madu River by 9:00 am and will embark on a one-hour river safari. This area of Balapitiya has a rich and dense ecosystem with swampy waters that support entire forests of mangroves, crocodiles, boars and marsh animals, and a large variety of waterbirds; including cormorants and pelicans. You will be travelling through secretive waterways created by mangrove tunnels and viewing tiny islands; some with temples or cinnamon pluckers, who you can buy fresh cinnamon from. You may also visit the fish massage parlour that stands on stilts, stretched over a portion of the river. Once you have disembarked from your boat, you will be travelling to Unawatuna, which is a one hour drive away. You will get there by 11:00 am and be spending an hour on the beach. You can bring a beach towel and some sunscreen if you wish to get a tan, or you can simply jog down the beach enjoying the fresh sea air, and bright warm sun. At 12:00 pm you will be heading to a hotel of your choice in Unawatuna to have lunch. There are quite a few hotels that serve great seafood too. You can select one according to your budget, as it will be at your own cost. At 1:10 pm you will be proceeding to the city of Galle. You will get there by 1:30 pm and will be viewing the various attractions of this picturesque colonial era city. Some of the most important places you will see are the Galle Fort which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Galle Lighthouse, the National Maritime Museum, the Dutch Reformed Church, and more; all while walking through beautifully historic cobblestoned streets with their Dutch names. At 3:00 pm you will be leaving for Meetiyagoda. You will reach Meetiyagoda by 4:30 pm, and will be spending a productive 40 minutes there. Get some new appreciation for the jewels that adorn your favourite pieces with this visit to the moonstone mines of Meetiyagoda.See the deep shafts where the stones are mined. Learn more about the rare 'blue flash' moonstones that are mined in the area. Watch the miners wash and sift the mined stones to get those of the best quality. Hear more about the difficulties faced by the miners. Grab the opportunity to purchase some marvellous pieces; though you will need to haggle to get a reasonable price. This tour shows you the traditions of one of the oldest trades in Sri Lankan history - gem mining. At 5:10 pm you will be beginning your drive back to Hikkaduwa. You’ll get back to the hotel by 5:30 pm, completing your tour.

$88 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

Whale Watching in Mirissa from Bentota

You will be starting your tour from your hotel in Bentota at 4:30 am. Your chauffeur will be picking you up from your hotel and driving you to Mirissa. You will be met by your boat tour guide at the piers of Mirissa. You will start your Whale Watching Tour at 6:30 am. The boat will take two hours to reach the place where whales are commonly seen. It is recommended that you bring a packed breakfast with you. However, please be environmentally conscious and avoid littering. Sri Lanka has many types of whales inhabiting its waters. The whale population around Mirissa, which lies on the southern coast of the island, includes blue whales, sperm whales, fin whales, occasional orcas, and many types of dolphins. They are best seen between the months of December and April when the seas are comparatively calmer. Your boat will be reducing speed and engine noise as you approach the site where whales are most seen. You will be stopping at a safe distance of at least 300 feet away, with your closest approach being a 100 feet. This tour will allow you to watch the whales responsibly with minimal environmental impact. Your naturalist on board will give you more information on the whales and their behaviour. He will also assist you with identifying the whales that you see. Look out for the spout of air and water, which signifies a whale coming up to breathe. You will be spending approximately an hour at the site, watching the whales. Ensure that you do not disturb the whales. You will be completing your tour and will be dropped off at the pier by 11:30 am. After the tour, you will return to your vehicle and you’ll get back to the hotel by 01:30 pm, completing your tour

$55 Private & Custom Tours

Bentota by Beetle - Private Village Tour

Morning Safari: Morning (09:00) drive from your hotel to Turtle Hatchery Old Cocanut Factory Galapatha Ancient Temple Cinnamon Plantation Rubber Plantation See Beauty of Local Village Souvenir Shop & Handy-craft   (food not included in the package) Return to hotel through the tropical village Drop off at your hotel at around 12:00pm Evening Safari: Evening (14:00) drive from your hotel to Turtle Hatchery Old Cocanut Factory Galapatha Ancient Temple Cinnamon Plantation Rubber Plantation See Beauty of Local Village Souvenir Shop & Handy-craft   (food not included in the package) Return to hotel through the tropical village Drop off at your hotel at around 17:00pm Location 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. 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 tall trees with coconut palm trees dominating the landscape. Reaching to Bentota By Beetle - Volkswagen Bentota by Volkswagen 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 by Volkswagen, hugs the southern coast most of the time enabling you to enjoy the pristine tropical beaches that pop up in between. Shopping at Bentota The Bentota town as well as the Shopping Arcade which is located within the Bentota National Holiday Resort Complex feature a plethora of shops and stores that enthusiastically engage in trading a wide variety of products: Batiks, traditional masks and handicrafts, hats and clothes, brassware and wooden ornaments, semi-precious and precious gem stones of Sri Lanka are at the front line..

$42 Cultural & Theme Tours

Bentota Boat Safari (Half Day Tour)

Itinerary / HighlightsPick up from the hotel and proceed to Bentota.Boat Safari of the Bentota riverDrop off at the hotelWhat you can expect?This tour will start from any hotel located in Bentota, Beruwala, Kalutara, Wadduwa where we will pick you up. The Pick-up time will commence from 8.00 am onward. All modes of transportation are air-conditioned and will vary according to the size of the group as follows: 2 Pax - Car3-8 Pax - Micro / Commuter9-12 Pax - Mini Coach13-15 Pax - Mini Long Coach16+ Pax - Large Coach There will be a English or German speaking professional guide allocated to each group using the Bentota Boat Safari (Half Day Tour). Once reaching Bentota, you will be completing your Boat Ride along the Bentota river. Finally the group will be transported back to the hotel which they were picked up from confirming the end of the tour.

South of Colombo in detail