Negombo Beach Park
Negombo is a small beach town located near the airport in Bandaranaike. It is often the first spot tourists visit since it is so close to the airport. It is full of churches because the Europeans converted many locals to Catholicism. For this reason you may hear the area sometimes reffered to as “Little Rome”.
Many of the hotels and guesthouses are on the main road parallel with the beach, and there are a lot of choices. There are also many restaurants where you can try the local cuisine.
The beach itself has lovely golden sand, and you will find a variety of watersports on offer, including scuba diving. Just offshore are some well-preserved coral reefs along with the 40-year-old shipwreck which is great for spotting colourful fish.
Another activity unique to Negombo is taking a ride in one of the local traditional fishing boats. Known as oruvas and paruvas these out rigger sailing canoes are said to date back to the 17th century and you will see many pulled up on the beach.
Beyond the beach is Negombo town with its remnants of the fort built by the Dutch in 1642 and old Dutch colonial houses. The fish market is the centre of activity, and you can watch the daily fish auctions and meet some of the local fishermen in person.
You can also visit a protected lagoon and marshland that is home over 192 species of wildlife. There is a lot to do in and around Negombo Beach, and you should visit it when you arrive in Sri Lanka, or right before you leave because it is so close to the airport.
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