Negombo is situated approximately 37 km north of Colombo. It is located at the mouth of the Negombo Lagoon and it is considered ad one of the oldest beach resort in Sri Lanka, popular with tourists for many years. Negombo is Famous as a fishing town and as a tourism based city. It is 7 km from the Bandaranayake International airport and so became popular for stays on arrival or before departure from Sri Lanka. The Negombo beach and Negombo lagoon are the main attractions for the tourism industry.
The most interesting activities for a traveler in Negombo are as follows.
Explore the Sun & Sand with sea bathing
Negombo offers some of the better beaches on the west coast of Sri Lanka, and draws tourists who stop over for a day on their way to or from the airport. Some quiet stretches of the beach are maintained by the tourist hotels, while others are always busy with fishermen and their equipment. Water-sports and diving are also popular among visitors, with a few well-preserved coral reefs and a 50-year-old shipwreck (Kudapaduwa) that serves as an artificial reef for many varieties of fish.
Fishing tours to the sea and lagoon
Thanks to its position between the rich ocean waters and the Negombo Lagoon inland, Negombo has also developed into one of the most important fishing ports on the island. Fishing still dominates the local economy with the sea providing plentiful supplies of tuna, shark and seer while the lagoon is the source of some of the island’s finest prawns, crabs and lobster. Negombo is also famous for their unusual fishing boats, known as Catamaran.
Boat tours in Negombo Lagoon
The Negombo Lagoon has an area of 3 164 hectares and is situated some 40 km north of Colombo. It is part of a much larger Muthurawajawela Marsh- coastal wetland.For generations the Negombo lagoon has provided the fishermen with a plentiful supply of crabs, shrimp and many of the native species of fish, Dense mangroves and bird life is very attractive for nature lovers.
Bird watching at Muthurajawela
Near the Negombo lagoon you’ll come across an unusual wetland environment that contains the country’s largest marsh. It’s popular with eco-tourists as its habitat provides a comprehensive view of the wildlife and plant life indigenous to Sri Lanka’s coastal wetlands. Bird watching in Muthurajawela is very popular among bird and nature lovers.
Boat tours in Dutch canel
The Dutch Canal, Negombo was used for the purpose of a supply route in the times of the Dutch administration. The canal is still being used. It runs across the town and is hundred kilometers long. The Dutch Canal, Negombo, used to serve as a supply to the Dutch administration along with the Old Churches and fishing villages during the Dutch rule.
Explore the ancient Churches and dutch construction
Negombo has been given the name “Little Rome” due to the highly ornate Portuguese-era Roman Catholic churches such as St Marys church found within the township. The Katuwapitiya Church and the Grand Street Church are two biggest parishes in Negombo. The legacy of the Dutch colonial era can be seen in the Dutch Fort, constructed in 1672, a number of other buildings and the extensive canal system is there.
Visit the fish market
Negombo is home to the country’s second-largest fish market, the Llelama, at the north end of the town’s lagoon. There are daily fish auctions, which give tourists a chance to meet the area’s fishermen and even organize fishing trips into the lagoon and the ocean beyond
Shopping in Negombo
There are hundreds of shops selling handicrafts, leather products, gems and jewellery while the regular shopping items such as clothes, tea and knick-knacks are available. The handmade pieces are often charming and there is something for every budget. You can pick up stuff for as little as a couple of dollars and go up to a couple of hundred dollars.
There are plenty of places in Negombo offer traditional Ayurvedic wellness packages.Rejuvenate your senses at an Ayurvedic spa and let the healing ways of traditional Ayurveda pamper you and cleanse both mind and body.
- Dolphin & whale watching at Kalpitiya – 2 and half hours drive
- Visit the ancient cities of Anuradhapura & Polonnaruwa – 2 and half hours to Anuradhapura & 3 and half hours to Polonnaruwa
- Explore wild life and nature at Wilpattu National Park – 3 hours drive
- Visit Kandy – the cultural hub and the hill country capital of Sri lanka – 3 hours