Bentota, 62km south of Colombo, is a planned tourist development. It has a long broad sandy beach, at its best during the October to April holiday season, with safe swimming – although red warning flags fly when currents are too strong. There are some fine beachside hotels, which also have swimming pools, as well as guest houses to suit all budgets close to the carefully planned developed area.
All the services a visitor requires (banks, post office, tourist shops, restaurants, a railway station) are available and the area has an atmosphere of respectability. Guests have evening entertainment in the beachside hotels and there is plenty to see on day tours from the area, such as cruising on the Bentota river, visiting the two private gardens of Brief and Lunuganga, or indulging in water sports since Bentota has a reputation as being the water sports capital of Sri Lanka.