Located just under 20 km north of Colombo and only a short distance from the airport, Negombo offers a holiday opportunity unique to Sri Lanka. Negombo offers plenty for your holiday, whether you are looking for a fabulous sandy beach to relax on or great restaurants complimented by one of the liveliest fish markets on the island.
Sri Lanka has a typically tropical climate with temperatures and humidity that remain high all year round. On the coast, a light coastal breeze makes this heat comfortable and inland the heat is significantly reduced due to the higher altitude. Rainfall is highest in May, and through October and November, although temperatures still stay in the upper 20s.
Visit the Muthurajawela wetlands to see one of the most diverse ecosystems full of unique flora, fauna and animals. You can also take a boat ride down the Dutch Canal, through the Muthurajawela marsh and lagoon to see all the exotic animals and even stop to walk among their habitats.
The Hamilton Canal was built by the Dutch that extends south to Colombo. Hire a bicycle and ride beside the canal for the views.
Joined by the lagoon bridge is Duwa, a small fishing village famed for its ‘Passion Play’ involving the whole village during Easter week.
Negombo beach stretches in front of the town and is lined with palms. If you don’t fancy swimming, do what the locals do and head to Negombo Beach Park instead. It is home to a noisier and more colourful scene to enjoy.
If you want to spend your holiday to Negombo exploring the culture of Sri Lanka, then you only need to step away from the beach to be surrounded by old colonial churches from Dutch and British rule as well as Buddhist temples and even remnants of an old fort.
Some of the places of worship to visit are:
• St Mary’s Church
• Katuwapitiya Church
• Sea Street Church
• Negombo Grand Jumma Masjid
• Abhayeskararamaya Temple
• Asapuwa Buddhist Temple
• Dutugamunu Buddhist Temples
Be sure to visit the fish markets in Negombo to haggle for fresh-caught fish but also fish, lobsters and crabs. Get there early (6 AM early) to catch the boats coming in with the catch of the day.
Negombo used to be a cinnamon producer, try the cinnamon and vanilla from street-side stalls.
If you’re looking for traditional Sri Lankan food, head to Petit Restaurant for a family run-restaurant, just be sure to book first.
Despite it being the 4th largest city in Sri Lanka, nightlife in Negombo isn’t as big.
It is mainly limited to bars rather than nightclubs, so it’s ideal for those wanting to enjoy a cocktail instead of a DJ.
Alternatively, beach parties are popular here. They are typically organised by the hotels and restaurants and are easy to find.
There are two diving centres on the main strip in Negombo, taking you to over 20 dive sites and giving you the opportunity to see the reefs and the Indian Ocean.
Tuk Tuks are the best way to get around Sri Lanka and give you a different experience than a taxi. Most have fixed prices for tourists, but it is best to negotiate before you leave. Alternatively, motorbikes and 4x4s are also available to rent providing you have a valid license.
Buses do also leave Negombo to Colombo and Kandy every 30 minutes.
Sri Lanka has a typically tropical climate, temperature and humidity (approx 70%) remain high all year round, although on the coast a light coastal breeze makes this heat comfortable. Inland, the heat is significantly reduced due to the higher altitude. Rainfall is highest in May, and in Oct/Nov. The south-western coast has higher rainfall than the rest of the country, although many people find this a refreshing break, generally this occurs in the afternoon and is accompanied by thunder. The highest rainfall occurs in May (371mm) and the lowest is Feb (69mm). There is an average of 6-8 hours of sunshine per day, all year round.