Bentota Beach

Bentota Beach

I kick off my sandals and put my winter pale toes in the silky white and warm sand, and it feels like heaven! I close my eyes, and all I can hear are the waves hitting the beach.

After a long, dark and snowful winter back in Norway, arriving at Bentota beach was just what we needed and had longed for all autumn and winter. It was a dream come through!

As part of the 70th birthday celebration of my mom, Espen and I took my parents to Sri Lanka for their first time. After two days of sightseeing in Colombo city, we did what we came to Sri Lanka for – The three S`s = Sea, Sand, and Sun ♥

Espen and I have earlier been to Mirissa Beach and Tangalle Beach, and love both places, but this time we wanted to start our round trip a little closer to Colombo (a 2-hour drive).

Our choice fell on Bentota, where none of us had been before. We had no expectations, but what a surprise! I would say that Bentota has some of the best and most beautiful beaches in the whole of Sri Lanka.

Located by the Bentota Ganga lagoon, the Bentota area has several big and posh hotels as well as some excellent boutique hotels. The main town is Aluthgama, which is more like a small and fairly chaotic village on the main road that goes along the southwest coast of Sri Lanka. Aluthgama also has a train station.

Aluthgama town

Aluthgama Town

Aluthgama Train Station

Aluthgama Train Station

Many of the nice hotels in the Bentota area have well known Ayurveda centers, which is a traditional Sri Lankan medicine in the form of spas with herbal and spice treatment and massage.

Bentota Beach

There are several lovely beaches in the Bentota area, like the Moragalla Beach (just where the Bentota Ganga river meets the ocean) and Ventura Beach. They are more informally referred to simply as Bentota Beach, and together they make a very long stretch of fine white sand.

Bentota Beach

Bentota Beach

The sandy strip of Bentota Beach that runs parallel to Bentota Lagoon (or Bentota Ganga) is nicknamed Paradise Island as it is like a long narrow peninsula out in the ocean. It is a well-deserved name in my opinion.

Paradise Island Bentota

Paradise Island

A fisherman at Bentota Beach

A fisherman at Bentota Beach

Although Bentota Beach is stunning and has several big and posh hotels, it has strangely few people; it was almost empty the three days we spent there. But that was just fine by us.

Sunset Bentota Beach

Me walking in the sunset at Bentota Beach

Bentota Beach

The Bentota lagoon and beach is the perfect place for enjoying water sports. You can hire equipment or join a course or take a trip deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, canoeing, diving, windsurfing, waterskiing, or jet-skiing. There are several local tour operators located right by the beach, like the Sunshine Water Sports Center and Diyakawa Water Sports.

Jet skiing Bentota

Jet skiing is popular in Bentota


River Safari On Bentota Ganga

One of the most popular activities in Bentota, beside beach bumming and water sports, is going on a boat trip on the river Bentota Ganga.

River boat trip on Bentota Ganga

Riverboat trip on Bentota Ganga

Bentota Ganga river

Bentota Ganga river looks like something out of a fairytale

We did that one late afternoon when the sun was getting weaker, and we had a very nice and peaceful river safari lasting for about three hours.

We hired a boat and driver from the hotel we stayed at, which took us upstream of the river through the jungle. We saw lots of beautiful and colorful birds and eagles, as well as a crocodile (!) and snakes. We enjoyed it, especially my dad who loves birds.

Bentota Ganga river

Doesn`t this look like something out of the movie Apocalypse Now?! Expecting to meet Colonel Kurtz any moment….

River boat Bentota

Me at the boat trip up Bentota Ganga river

Bentota Market

The Monday market in Aluthgama town is the highlight of the week among the locals in the Bentota area.

Bentota Market

Bentota Monday Market

People from all over the southwest coast, especially women, come here to shop groceries, vegetables, clothes, and all kinds of nick-nacks for the whole week.

Bentota Market

People from all around Bentota area shop their groceries here

Luckily we were in Bentota on a Monday and could visit this bustling market. We bought lots of deliciously fresh vegetables and exotic fruits, as well as some gifts to bring back home to friends and family.

As you might know from my “Fruity Friday” series on this blog, I simply L-O-V-E ♥ fruits!

Ayurveda Herbal and Spice Garden

Bentota is also famous for the traditional Sri Lankan spa and health treatment Ayurveda which is made out of local herbal and spices. Many of the big hotels have well respected Ayurveda centers. Ayurveda is not only oily massage and spa but also plant-based medicine treatment for injuries of all kinds. The medicine is derived from leaves, fruits, roots, bark, and seeds, like cinnamon and cardamom.

Just outside of Bentota (on our way from Colombo), we visited one of the Ayurveda gardens that are located in this area. The head gardener and trained Ayurvedic doctor showed us around the green and lush garden and explained all about the different herbs and spices that they grow, as well as what they are used for in Ayurveda medicine and treatment.

Ayurveda garden

My mom smells some herbs that grow in the Ayurveda Garden

We even got to try out some Ayurveda products, like the cream that removes unwanted hair (it actually works!). We also got a head and neck Ayurveda massage. It was sooooo nice!! 🙂

Ayurveda massage

Me and my mom getting Ayurveda head and neck massage

The whole guided tour of the garden was free; we did not pay any entrance tickets. BUT they asked for tips, and we felt obligated to give the guides, and massage therapists some money so basically it was not free.

The End

BentotaWe enjoyed our four days in Bentota. It was a bliss to hit the beautiful and peaceful beach after two hectic days of sightseeing in the chaotic capital Colombo.

In my opinion, Bentota Beach is one the best beaches in Sri Lanka.

Hope to be back in Bentota soon!

Where To Stay In Bentota

Bentota has accommodation options for everyone, from big package-holiday resorts to small beautiful and unique boutique hotels and guesthouses.

Waterside Bentota Hotel
We stayed at the Waterside Bentota and had two upstairs rooms. Waterside Bentota Hotel only has 6 rooms, and the service and hospitality of the staff are excellent.

Waterside Hotel

Sunset from our room at Waterside Hotel

The rooms are big and comfortable, although they could need a little upgrade. All rooms have a big private bathroom, and the best of all, a rather big balcony with an awesome view over the Bentota Ganga river and the beautiful hotel garden. The swimming pool is very nice and big.
We stayed here for four nights, and loved it! My mom and dad actually love it so much that they came back and stayed a whole week at the end of our trip.

The hotel is owned by Susan, a British woman who is in her 80s. She built the hotel after the Tsunami in 2004 to create jobs for the locals. All the staff, as well as the manager, are Sri Lankan and they all speak perfect English. The food is amazing. We ordered the Sri Lankan rice and curry one day, it is one of the best we have ever had!

The hotel has a boat and the boatman will ship you to the beach (only 5-10 min), market (across the river, 5 min) or take you up the river for a riverboat trip if you want.
Click here for the latest prices

Vivanta by Taj
This is a beautiful modern resort right by the sea with a stunning private beach. The garden is amazing and the swimming pool is huge. Their restaurant, Palms Restaurant, have great food which is served as a buffet with all kinds of options. I don`t think you can find a better hotel in this area.
Click here for the latest prices

Paradise Road The Villa
Beautifully located by the sea and Bentota Beach, each of the suites has a unique and different interior design. The garden and swimming pool is gorgeous, and the bar makes delicious home-made ginger beer and cocktails. Fast and free Wifi is an extra plus. Some of the rooms even have outdoor bathrooms, so cool!
Click here for the latest prices

AVANI Bentota Resort & Spa
We stayed at AVANI Riverside hotel in Bangkok and went to check out this AVANI hotel in Bentota. It is just as nice as the one in Bangkok, modern, fresh, with big rooms. The location is perfect, right by Bentota Beach with a lovely garden and swimming pool. They also have a gym and a spa center.
Click here for the latest prices

Centara Ceysands Resort & Spa
We walked past this hotel every day as it perfectly located right by Bentota Beach, with the lagoon on the other side. It is the biggest hotel along the beach, with modern and big family rooms. They actually have two swimming pools located in their big green and lush garden. Their spa center and gym look awesome.

The food is delicious, and they serve both Sri Lankan and western type of food, as well as BBQ. They have theme nights every night with certain kind of food like street food, Indian, Mexican, Italian and so on. The hotel is popular among families with children, as they have a kids club and babysitting service.
Click here for the latest prices

Travel Guides

We used the Lonely Planet`s Sri Lanka travel guide on our trip. You can get that and other great books by clicking on the pictures below which will take you to (affiliate links):


Hoover over the pictures below and press the green PIN IT button that pops up:


Have you been to any of the beaches in Sri Lanka? What is your favorite beach? Please leave a comment in the comment area below. If you like this article and find it useful, please share on social media. Thank you! 🙂 

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, and we will earn a small percentage of the sale if you purchase through them at absolutely no extra cost to you! This helps us keep the content up to date, create new travel guides, and keep the website going. Thank you! ♥ For more information, see our disclosure here.