Sri Lanka

The Many Faces of Sri Lanka

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day tour

Tour Level: Moderate

Tour Comfort: Standard

Tour Period: 0630 hours

3.5 hours    English

Tour Highlights

  • Boat ride passing the fishing village where you see local families following their morning routine
  • Being exposed to a different region of Sri Lanka in terms of atmosphere, profession and culture
  • Spotting birds, insects and land animals during the sail.

tour details

One of the main tourist attractions of Negombo – Sri Lanka’s little Rome, the Canal that flows across the busy coastal town was constructed during the Dutch colonial era to transport spices into ships docked out at the sea.

During the Dutch era it was one of the most important spots of the country’s transportation route but today the canal that runs for over 60 miles is used by the local fishermen to get out into the sea. Although it is called the Dutch canal it was constructed by the Portuguese in the 17th century and completed later on by the Dutch. If you happen to visit Negombo, don’t miss the chance to visit the canal by taking a boat ride to see the most interesting perspectives of the town and its locals. One could even opt to sail further to see beautiful scenery of Mangroves and the wildlife surrounding it.

Why choose this tour?

As the tour name suggests, this experience offers a first-hand look at a contrasting region of Sri Lanka as opposed to the culture, beaches, wildlife, hill country and so on. A highlight here would be seeing the local life of the fishing village, how fishing is their main source of income in the region and the diversity of nature surrounded by the canal and lagoon.

tour description

The Dutch and Hamilton canals were built to carry spices and coconuts from the Puttalam area to Colombo. Today, the canals have become less important for the use of transportation, but still play an important role for the fishermen living along the canal. Many water birds such as Egrets, Herons, Kingfishers and Cormorants can be spotted along the canal as well as in the wetlands of Muthurajawela which are located on the southern part of the Negombo lagoon. The cruise goes past the homes of the fisher families situated at the edge of the canal; get a glimpse of the adults at their various chores like getting ready for their fishing nets for the next sail, while little children smiling playfully wave at the passing boats and some of them in their white uniforms getting ready to go to school. Once entering the fisher port in Negombo, you will be amazed by the number of boats getting ready for yet another journey out into the ocean. If you wish you could sails further to the Muthurajawela marshes which spreads over 60skm (6000 hectares) including the Negombo Lagoon. This coastal eco-system located in the outskirts of Colombo is a true nature’s paradise. The exquisite settings of Muthurajawela (meaning, swamp of royal treasure) was the result of sea water mixing with the wetland over thousands of years, creating brackish water that nourished and nurtured a thick growth of mangroves. Harbouring over 194 species of flora ranging from grasslands to reeds and over 200 species of fauna including birds, butterflies and fish, making it rich in bio-diversity.

customise the tour

  • Can arrange for an extended boat ride up to a hotel in Waikkal or near for lunch.
  • Visiting a patch of a coconut estate and seeing a toddy tapper perform his task and thereafter enjoying some toddy.
Tour code: PR1634

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