The coastal town of Beruwala, located almost 2 hours south of Colombo, has fast become a tourist destination with its mellow vibes and rustic nature. The town is further accentuated by the establishment of resorts and hotels that make your tropical holiday just that much sweeter. The small town is also famous for its historical significance, as it is believed the first Muslim settlers lived in the town in the 8th century.

Top Reason to Visit

Beruwala has become Sri Lanka’s hub for the one looking for the ideal spa retreat with the abundance of luxury resorts offering star class ayurvedic treatment and herbal baths. Set alongside the pristine beaches, it just is the perfect destination to just sit back relax and unwind.

While You're There

Soothe your mind, body and soul:

The abundance of luxury seaside resorts means star class services. The most notable services offered by the resorts and hotels are the exquisite ayurvedic treatments and herbal baths that let you relax and cleanse your mind, body and soul.

Partake in some unique fishing:

Beruwala is famous for the unique methods the fishermen use to fish. Stilt fishing is seen to be a unique method of fishing practiced in Sri Lanka where the fishermen drive in long stilts on the shores of the beach and wait till high tide to climb on top of it and cast their rods out to sea. This method of fishing is considered an arduous one which tests patience, concentration and balance.

Great starting point for excursions:

The fishing town is a great starting point for many excursions. One such notable excursions is the boat trips that start at the Beruwala harbour and sail through to the Southern town of Unawatuna and back. The excursion to the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery just 18 KM from the town also proves to be a worthy act as it serves as a haven for turtles threatened by the risk of being endangered. The turtle hatchery even allows you to release new born turtles into the sea, which provides you another unique experience.

Delve deep into the unique history:

The town is not only famous for its seaside resorts, but also for its history. It is believed that the first Muslim settlements were established in the town in 8th century CE, many of them being gem traders from the Middle East and North Africa. The resulting generations have not changed their ways as their gem businesses still thrive in the China Fort (the gem trading fair in Beruwala). Kachimalai mosque is the first mosque in Sri Lanka and proves to be a historical monument as it dates back to the 11th century CE and is an artifact that symbolizes the first Muslim settlements. The unique nature of the town’s history is further seen with the Galapata temple dating back to the 12th century CE, sometimes considered one of the more beautiful Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka as it showcases immaculate wall frescoes depicting ancient folklore.

So much to see, so little time:

A visit to Beruwala is not one to be rushed as the little town is home to many notable sights and is an ideal location to do many things. A stroll along the palm filtered ‘Golden Mile’ of the Beruwala beach and a boat ride to the lighthouse on Berberyn Island just off the coast that gives an awe inspiring view of the town are just some of the many things to do while in the fishing town. Do not forget to buy some memorabilia from the many beach shops that sell items ranging from doormats to leather goods too.

Insider Advice

Travel: Travelling within the town is not that difficult as there are many options for you. The most preferred option is tuk-tuk, however, it is important to make sure the vehicle has a meter. If not you will have to haggle. Tuk-tuks with meters attached will charge LKR 50 for the first kilometre and LKR 40 thereafter.

Money: It is important to carry cash in hand, with small notes like LKR 20s, LKR 50s and LKR 100s, since many shops do not accept credit or debit cards.

Clothing: The town’s culture is such that clothing should be conservative, especially when visiting the religious sites.

Safety: The town is generally pretty safe, however, be on the lookout as your belongings could be snatched unknowingly. Just make sure you avoid crowded places and avoid approaching questionable individuals.

Meals and refreshments: The town is known for its seafood cuisine as a result of its location. The cost varies depending on the eatery you visit, however, it is possible to get a decent meal for LKR 300.

Customs: Ever since the Boxing Day tsunami that occurred in 2004, the society has undergone many hardships as a result of being one of the more heavily stricken areas. This event has made the society even more connected to each other.

In conclusion, the fishing village of Beruwala, with its stilt fishing, pristine beaches, seaside resorts, ayurvedic treatments, unique and diverse history along with many historical monuments gives you the whole package of a serene and exquisite tropical holiday.

Title image by: KNOWSL
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