Only 15 minutes drive from the main Katunayake airport, Negombo tends to attract tourists at the beginning or at the end of their holiday. There is a tourist area known as Negombo Beach, whereas Negombo Town is more for everyday commercial life for the 120,000 local inhabitants.
Even though Yolanda Villa does not have it’s own swimming pool. This is no issue as the neighbouring hotel has a lovely quiet secluded pool that can be used by our own guests for a small fee of 500 LKR per day.
If you fancy something a bit larger then why not visit Jetwing Beach which is located on the beach, just a short 5 minute walk away. Here you have access to 3 swimming pools, sun loungers on the beach, obviously the beach itself and the many different bars and restaurants they have on offer here. The fee is 1500 LKR per day but you can spend the whole day there, so it is actually good value.
What an idyllic place to enjoy a sunset beer or cocktail from.
The region is distinctively catholic
The region is distinctively catholic with over 80% of the population of this creed. Whereas in Sri Lanka as a whole the dominant religion is 80% Buddhist. With the abundance of churches. It is no wonder that Negombo is often referred to as “Little Rome”, and was visited briefly by the Pope in January 2016.
The Catholic origins can be attributed to the Portuguese who once inhabited this corner of Sri Lanka. Names such as Silva, Perrera and Fernando are today still common local surnames. Some Portuguese words have been adopted into the Sinhala language.
Things to see and do
Outside tourism, an important source of income is fishing. Visiting the Negombo Fish Market early in the morning is a major tourist attraction. You can also see them drying the fish in long rows alongside the market. Adjacent to this is the Dutch Fort which has now been converted into a prison.
Negombo is Sri Lanka’s second largest fishing port. A common tourist activity is to take a ride on a catamaran. Other activities include a ride along the Dutch canal or bird watching on the marshlands.
Why not visit the Angurukaramulla Temple?
The Angurukaramulla Temple is a very cool place to visit if you’re in Negombo. It’s best known for its epic statue of the Buddha, and its dragon-entrance. Inside you find detailed murals that date back centuries. There is also a 300+ year old ruin of a historic library here, covered in moss.
The Buddha statue out front is six meters tall. You walk through the dragon’s mouth to enter the temple – the dragon is supposed to ward off evil spirits. The premises are a wide open space with plenty of trees by the edge and a pond in the middle (with turtles in it).
Why not take a lagoon boat tour?
Celebrate the natural beauty of Negombo Lagoon with Captain Fernando’s boat tours. Their friendly and qualified crew invite you on a unique cruising experience. On the smooth waters of one of Sri Lanka’s largest coastal lagoons. Escape the hustle and bustle of Negombo town. As they take you on a tropical adventure in their little fishing boat that carries 10 passengers and crew.
From a convenient dock on the historic Hamilton Canal (also known as Dutch Canal) you will cruise a short distance through the heart of old Negombo town before entering the lagoon. You will get a close up view of local fishing life as you pass by the fish markets and hundreds of fishing boats of all sizes – ranging from small lagoon canoes to large ocean trawlers.