The west coast of Sri Lanka is sprinkled with numerous photo-worthy beaches yet Balapitiya’s boulder-scattered stretch of sand feels relatively untouched. Shaded beneath swaying coconut palms, Balapitiya’s long swathe of sand is washed by rolling waves that crash onto rocks in front of the hotel. Wander south down Balapitiya’s broad sandy stretch or dip into the sea from our secluded northerly cove dotted with boulders caressed by scuttling crabs.
This stretch of coastline also forms part of the wildlife-filled Madu Ganga River Estuary, and is prime turtle-nesting territory. Under cover of darkness you might see one of Sri Lanka’s five endangered marine turtle species venturing ashore to bury their precious eggs in the soft sand. Local turtle hatcheries in Kosgoda offer glimpses of these beautiful creatures too.
Other regional highlights include nearby Ambalangoda, a centre for southern arts and folk culture; Bentota for its wide range of water sports; and Hikkaduwa, lying further south, for its well-established surf culture. Galle’s 17th century Dutch fort is just 50-minutes away by road.