Negombo is a bustling beach town with plenty of opportunities for rest and relaxation! Nestled on the rim of Negombo Lagoon, the town boasts a long stretch of buzzing yet beautiful beach, and is located close to Colombo. Originally named as the Group of Bees in the local language of Sinhalese, Negombo enjoyed pride of place for centuries as one of the biggest and best producers of wild cinnamon. Traces of Negombo’s colonial history are still evident in the ornately crafted Roman Catholic churches that are strewn around the town. It’s for this reason that the town is affectionately known as Little Rome. Negombo offers safe swimming and ample diving opportunities, including to a 50 year old shipwreck that houses coral reefs and an array of fish. There’s also an abundance of fresh and delicious seafood for you to feast on.
Enjoy the sights and sounds of life in Sri Lanka with a boat ride along the Dutch-made Hamilton Canal. Once a supply route for the Dutch administration, old churches and fishing villages, this 100km long still used Dutch Canal running through the town, is an ideal way to gain insight of the area from a different perspective. Along the way, see water monitors, crocodiles, monkeys, varieties of fish and birds. Visit Muthurajawela and take a nature trip to Negombo lagoon in a small boat.
Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage
Spend a half day at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, a three hour drive (80km) from Negombo. Witness the biggest herd of captive pachyderms in the world who journey to the river twice a day to bathe. Managed by the Sri Lanka Wildlife Department, Pinnawala encourages both breeding and aiding the recovery and release of injured wild elephants back into the forest. The little jumbos, orphaned as their parents were victims of poachers/accidents, also splash about. Learn how they are tamed, reared and trained by their human keepers (known as mahouts) who bottle feed and bathe them.
Negombo City Tour including fish market
Negombo boasts several buildings dating back to the days of Dutch and Portuguese presence in the country. The beautiful sea shore and the ocean are dotted with catamarans. The Negombo lagoon is famous for its harvest of lobsters, crabs and prawns. The seafood auctions on the beach are a must-see on this half day excursion. Pretty canals built by the Dutch still buzzing with activity snake their way through this fishing village. Other highlights of the city are the Dutch Fort and historic Catholic Church.