Things to do

Barberyn Island Lighthouse

Located on Barberyn Island, this lighthouse, also referred to as ‘Beruwela Light’ is a beautiful 10-minute boat ride from the town of Beruwela. Barberyn Island spanning around 8 acres is situated 0.8 km offshore from the town of Beruwala on the South-West coast of Sri Lanka. At 34m [112 ft] in height, this white, conical, granite tower was completed in November 1889 and was operated by the Imperial Lighthouse Service. Following a number of upgrades over the years, it is now computer-linked to other major lighthouses around Sri Lanka. This is one of the country’s four international lighthouses.

Beruwela Fish Harbour

The Beruwela Harour is one of the main fishery harbours located along the Western coast of Sri Lanka. Take a quiet walk along the fishing port early in the morning and you are sure to enjoy the sight of fishermen bringing in their morning’s catch. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to jump in and lend them a hand. The sights and sounds of the colourful boats, the lively fish market are sure to pique your interest and give you many wonderful photography opportunities.

Kechimalai Mosque

Believed to be the site where the first Arab Muslims landed in Sri Lanka, this is also one of the oldest mosques in the country. It’s beautiful, archaic, yet simple architecture is breath-taking. It is situated on a headland believed to have been constructed over a thousand years ago. This is an exquisite location to enjoy gorgeous views of the ocean and surrounding areas. During Eid-Ul-Fitr, the mosque draws around 50,000 pilgrims from all over the island.

China Fort

A prime spot for trading precious gem stones, the China Fort has a rich history dating back to the 7th century. It gained popularity during the ‘gem boom’ in the 1970s, when muslims in the China Fort travelled to Ratnapura and back for the trade of gems to local and foreign buyers. The gem market is a buzz with activity daily from 10am to 2:30pm, and is the best time for a quick stroll around.

Kalutara Bodhiya

The Kalutara Bodhiya, about 20 minutes from Beruwela is one of the most famous sacred shines in Sri Lanka and home to one of the 32 saplings of the famed Anuradhapura Sri Maha Bodhiya. The hollow dagaba houses some interesting paintings.

Richmond castle

Also located in Kalutara, Richmond Castle was built almost a century ago. It is one of the most spectacular architectural works of the period. The castle, standing on a 42 acre estate, was owned by Padikara Mudali Nanayakkara Rajawasala Appuhamilage Don Arthur de Silva Wijesinghe Siriwardena, the Mudaliyar of the Kalutara District during the early 1900s. It is now a historic site open to the public by the Public Trustee Department, who also runs a children's home within.

Kukule Ganga

There are many routes to the peaceful river, which is particularly important to the locals in the area as it runs down to the Kukule Ganaga dam.

Fishing village (Wadiya)

Witness the fisherman bringing in their daily catch, as well as get the opportunity to choose a variety of fresh fish for your favourite seafood dish.

Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery

Open since 1988, the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery monitors local sea turtle activity and conserves local nesting sites, while also running a hatchery for collected and rescued eggs within the sanctuary of the project. A visit during the day will earn you some quality time with the adorable little turtle hatchlings, but the real deal is around 6:30pm, when the release of the hatchlings takes place. The staff at the Hatchery will pick out the ones fit for release and guide you along the way.

Brief Garden

Brief - the name of Bevis Bawa’s famous home and garden. Bevis was renowned architect, Geoffrey Bawa’s brother. Located 10km inland from Bentota, Brief Garden is something of Burnett’s Secret Garden. It provides a wonderful afternoon of exploration, while the house, also located on the property houses an eclectic range of artwork, which must not be missed out on. Brief exhibits Bevis’ unabashed romanticism, with the garden full of inviting little nooks and alcoves – all a perfect playground of the senses.

Take a tuktuk, as there is no public transport available to this location. Follow the road South from Aluthgama to Matagama Rd and turn inland to the village of Dharga Town. Look out for yellow signs saying ‘Brief’ – or just ask for directions. It’s pretty well known around here.

Kande Viharaya

Kande Viharaya is located in the Kalutara District, which is around 16km [20 minutes] from Beruwela. Founded in 1734, the temple gets its name from its location – situated atop a hill. Thousands of devotees flock daily to the temple, more so on Poya days [full moon days]. The temple is complete with the essentials of any temple: Stupa, Bo Tree, Relic Chamber, Image House, Sri Vishnu Maha Devala and the four Maha Devalas including Kataragama Devale.

When visiting temples in Sri Lanka, make sure you are dressed appropriately. Ensure you are wearing jeans/trousers which fall below your knees. Do not wear sleeveless tops, if you do, you are expected to cover your shoulders with a shawl. Also remember to take off your shoes, socks, caps and hats when entering a temple.