Bentota's sandy beaches, extensive lagoon and exciting water sports have made this resort town famous. Located on Sri Lanka's west coast, its palm-fringed beach stretches along a dramatic sandbar washed on both sides by water; that of the Indian Ocean and the Bentota Lagoon. Jet skis whizz atop the tranquil waters of the lagoon dodging windsurfers and kayakers as well as speed boats pulling jet skiers, wakeboarders and inflatables topped with soaked sun-seekers. Many diving companies also operate from Bentota during the west coast season (November to April) whilst boatmen offer eco-adventures further upriver.
What many do not know though, is that its best beaches can be found towards the south, near Induruwa. The crowds rarely head this way and the food is incredible in every aspect. Inland from Bentota, the scene is engulfed by rice fields, palm jungles, waterways and the odd hillock, often topped by a bright white Buddhist dagoba. Things to do in Bentota include visits to two very special gardens, both of which belong to the late Bawa brothers; Bevis, the artist and Geoffrey, the architect extraordinaire. Bevis' Brief Garden is at Kalowila and comprises intimate walled gardens plus a very special collection of art, whilst Geoffrey's Lunuganga is a bigger Italianate garden with views to die for.
Connections to Colombo and Galle can be made from Aluthgama train station, which is just a couple of kilometres north of Bentota. Here banks with ATMs, bakeries and pharmacies can also be found. A holiday in Bentota is sure to tick all the right boxes.