If you’re looking for a soulful beach hotel in Sri Lanka, you’ve come to the right place. Balapitiya Beach is quietly secluded and is less than 30-minutes from many of the west coast’s key sights. The beach is a serene setting for long strolls, the Indian Ocean for warm swims and the giant boulders here make perfect pitches for watching a legendary west coast sunset.
Within a 15-minute drive of Balapitiya is Ambalangoda, famed for southern arts and culture. The two in-town mask museums are home to some superb examples of the weird and wonderful balsa wood masks used in spirit cleansing ceremonies, local festivals and folk dances rarely performed today, and you can even try carving your own. Just to the north of Balapitiya is Kosgoda, a remarkable turtle nesting beach with hatcheries for visiting, and the estuary of the Madu Ganga River for embarking on boat trips through the wildlife-filled wetlands, edged by mangrove forests, a serene island temple and cinnamon estates.
Bentota’s lagoon water sports are a half-an-hour away, as well as Lunuganga and Brief, the striking former homes and estates of legendary brothers Geoffrey and Bevis Bawa. For surfing, you can head down to Hikkaduwa, and for colonial history and shopping, to Galle Fort.