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Colombo Cruises & boat tours

Our most recommended Colombo Cruises & boat tours

Galle and Bentota Day-Tour From Colombo

1. Galle and Bentota Day-Tour From Colombo

After being picked up at your hotel, hop onboard your Madu Ganga Magrove boat safari and explore the Madu River. See the mangrove forests and marshlands that surround the river. Stop at a cinnamon garden, and try some of the area’s famous cinnamon. The Madu Ganga River region is home to some of the best quality cinnamon in the world as well as a flourishing cinnamon industry. Afterward, marvel at the fishermen who stoically sit atop large branches planted in the middle of the water waiting for their catch. Continue to a local Turtle Hatchery, where your guide will introduce you to the many local varieties of turtles. End your tour with a visit to the Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This fort illustrates the unique interaction of European architecture and South Asian traditions from the 16th to the 19th centuries. After discovering the fort, you will be returned to your hotel in Colombo.

West coast Beach, River Mangroves lagoon, Wildlife boat Tour

2. West coast Beach, River Mangroves lagoon, Wildlife boat Tour

The tour starts from your hotel in Colombo or the west coast beach resort. You will be traveling along the beautiful west coast beaches while passing coconut plantations, fishing villages, and towns. You will be stopping at a few places at regular intervals. Your first stop will be at the sea turtle conservation center, where, you witness the sick and handicapped sea turtles are been treated. Later stop at Madu river for the mangrove lagoon tour. Mangroves Mangrove is one of the most important and fragile ecosystems in the world and they grow only in tropical countries such as Sri Lanka. This valuable forest cover is depleting all around the world, including in Sri Lanka, due to many factors such as climate change and human activities. Madu River estuary is a "RAMSAR wetland" and is declared a protected riverine forest. Boat safari Madu Ganga is one of the most important natural assets of Sri Lanka. It is located 70km south of Colombo on the Colombo-Galle main road. Madu Ganga is the second-largest wetland on the island, consisting of 28 islands. The number of families living on the islands is estimated to be around 250. Madu Ganga spreads over 915 hectares of wetland and harbors vast biodiversity and ecosystem. Madu Ganga wetland is fed by seven tributaries and forms the body of the wetland. The water runs through a course of land that spans 2300 hectares. It was declared a national sanctuary in 2006. A cruise on a modern motorboat is the best way to explore the natural wealth of Madu Ganga, the islands in the wetland are largely inaccessible by road. The inhabitants are also using boats and more often paddle boats as the means of transport. This tour offers a particularly appealing boat trip around Madu Ganga. The Ramsa Wetland is one of the most visited natural attractions of Sri Lanka’s west coast, with riverscapes amongst quiet thick grown islands and mangrove forests with sites of immense natural interest. There are plenty of opportunities to spot fascinating wildlife in the aquatic environment, throughout the tour. The most important asset of the fragile ecosystem of Madu Ganga is its mangrove forests. These mangrove forests provide protection for a large number of aquatic bird, animal, and plant species. The ecosystem in Madu Ganga is the home of many different kinds of aquatic plants, crabs, shrimp, fish, insects, amphibians, and other animal life including crocodiles. While on the boat tour you'll visit one of the oldest temples on the west coast of Sri Lanka, located on a secluded island. You will also get a chance to visit the mask museum and see hundreds of ancient masks and learn about their history, folklore, and use in rituals. You'll also visit a sea turtle conservation center run by volunteers. Learn about why Sri Lanka is a prime turtle nesting site and how important it is for turtle conservation. Before your tour is over, you'll get to enjoy a leisurely stroll on Bentota beach, one of the nicest beaches on the west coast. Buddhist temple, Bentota beach, spice herbal garden, Mask museum After the mangrove lagoon tour, you will be visiting the mask museum and mask carving center. Later visit Bentota beach spice and herbal garden and your tour ends with a visit to one of the most sacred Buddhist temples on the west coast.

Bentota beach, River Mangroves lagoon, Wildlife Tour

3. Bentota beach, River Mangroves lagoon, Wildlife Tour

Take a safari adventure on the Bentota river with this tour from Bentota beach in Colombo. Explore the lush habitats of the river in a powerboat. Learn about your surroundings from a local guide.  Meet your guide at the beach and hop aboard a powerboat. Capture stunning pictures of Bentota beach as you leave the shore. Follow the river through mangroves that provide a rich natural habitat for local wildlife and which help smaller fishing communities to thrive.  Keep an eye out for giant crocodiles, sea eagles, monkeys, snakes, monitor lizards, and graceful egret herons. Relax and connect with this natural setting and immerse yourself in the biodiversity of this unique eco-system. Return to Bentota beach.

Colombo/Negombo: Galle, Bentota, and Hikkaduwa Day Trip

4. Colombo/Negombo: Galle, Bentota, and Hikkaduwa Day Trip

Your tour begins as you are picked up from your Colombo hotel to be transferred to Bentota. Once there you will enjoy some water sports, before taking a river safari down the beautiful Madu River. This river is a wetland estuary spreading over 900 hectares of which 770 hectares are covered with water and inhabited with 64 islands. This boat ride is a wonderful way to take a closer look at this complex wetland ecosystem, which is a UNESCO-listed site. The area is also protected by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands as one of the last wetlands in Sri Lanka to contain a pristine mangrove forest. Once having explored the wetlands, you will transfer to Kosgoda to visit a turtle hatchery where you will see various breeds of sea turtles. Lunch at a recommended restaurant will follow before you transfer to Meetiyagoda, where you will visit the Moonstone Mine and workshop. Following the mine, you'll head to Hikkaduwa Beach to visit the Galle Dutch fort, which was first built in 1588 by the Portuguese. It was later extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century, and in the modern age has become UNESCO-listed. At the conclusion of your cultural experience, you will transfer back to Colombo.

Galle: Madu River and Galle Fort Guided Tour with Boat Trip

5. Galle: Madu River and Galle Fort Guided Tour with Boat Trip

Join this guided trip that combines a visit to Galle Fort, the UNESCO-listed ancient medieval capital of Southern Sri Lanka, with a riverboat trip on the Ramsar wetland of Madu, where you can immerse yourself in a mangrove forest, animals, and birds. After hotel pickup, your vehicle makes the journey southward along the spellbinding west coast beaches to Balapitiya and Galle. The old capital of southern Sri Lanka, built by the Portuguese in 1505, is the most popular tourist attraction in Southern Sri Lanka. Galle attracts thousands of travelers, food lovers, beach lovers, and shoppers every day. The Galle Fort is the best-preserved colonial fort in Asia. This ancient site is full of well-preserved houses, palaces, hotels, shops, restaurants, museums, and other constructions. On arrival, set out on foot with your guide who will lead you around the rampart and along the twisting narrow cobble streets laid out by ancient constructors. Marvel at an ancient church built more than 250 years ago. On the return journey, hop on a boat in the Mad River estuary, which is a Ramsar wetland comprised of 64 islands. The extent of the Madu River wetland is 915 hectares, and it harbors multi-varied bio-diverse eco-systems. 

From Colombo: Negombo Beaches 5-Day Break & Catamaran

6. From Colombo: Negombo Beaches 5-Day Break & Catamaran

Day 01 You will be picked up from your hotel or the airport in the selected cities and greeted by your personal guide and take you to Negombo. Accommodation is in a 4 star hotel in Negombo on bed & breakfast basis. Day 02 After breakfast, you will drive to enjoy a wetland bird-watching tour in Muthurajawela Sanctuary. Muthurajawela wetland - “Swamp of Royal Treasure”, one of the main bird watching locations situated towards the southern part of Negombo in Sri Lanka. The region supports 192 distinct species of flora and 209 distinct species of fauna, including Slender Loris. The mixture of vegetation types and aquatic habitats in Muthurajawela has made it an ideal eco-zone for a variety of birds. After the tour, you will be moved back to your hotel and relax in the evening. Accommodation is in a 4 star hotel in Negombo on bed & breakfast basis. Day 03 After breakfast, you will be witnessing a fish lagoon tour in Negombo. A trip through the buzzing local fish market of Negombo. You can buy fresh fish for lunch, explore the mangroves by boat, do some fishing and experience how local fishers carry out traditional fishing. Then take a catamaran ride and have a picnic lunch with Live cooking on an island with grilled seafood. Refreshment will be provided during the boat trip. Take a Catamaran ride with an experienced driver through the lagoon area while you relax and see the beautiful scenery. End of the lagoon trip and drop you to the hotel. Accommodation is in a 4 star hotel in Negombo on bed & breakfast basis. Day 04 After breakfast, you will spend the day at leisure relaxing and enjoying the hotel facilities. Negombo is a beautiful beach resort on the western coast of Sri Lanka. The wide sandy beaches and the safe sea are the major tourist attractions of Negombo bringing locals and tourists to enjoy a memorable beach holiday. Accommodation is in a 4 star hotel in Negombo on bed & breakfast basis. Day 05 There is no itinerary planned today. You will be driven to Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo or the selected cities.

Colombo: 8-Day Private Cultural Triangle & Wildlife Trip

7. Colombo: 8-Day Private Cultural Triangle & Wildlife Trip

Discover the best of Sri Lanka on an 8-day private trip to the Cultural Triangle. Experience game drives in Wilpattu and Minneriya National Park, visit the ancient city of Anuradhapura, and experience the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Dambulla Royal Cave Temple and Golden Temple complex. Day 1:Get picked up from Colombo, Negombo, or Bandaranaike International Airport and admire the beautiful scenery of Sri Lanka's North Western Province as you drive to Chilaw. Arrive in the coastal town of Chilaw, known for its stretching beaches and tall coconut trees, and spend the night in a 4-star hotel. Day 2:Wake up early in the morning with the sunrise and drive to Wilpattu National park. Spend a full day exploring one of the largest and oldest parks in Sri Lanka, world-renowned for its leopard population. Benefit from the expertise of the safari team as you go on a game drive through the park, observing rare animals in their natural habitat. Keep an eye out for leopards, mongooses, and water buffalo. Leave the national park and set off for Anuradhapura, one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka. Check into your 4-star hotel when you arrive in the city. Day 3:Take a little more time to relax in bed this morning, before getting up for a delicious breakfast, traditionally made up of kiribath, hoppers, and pani pol. Depart from the hotel and set off into the ancient city of Anuradhapura, making a visit to the well-preserved ruins of a Sinhala civilization. In the afternoon, climb up to Mihintale, once a dense jungle that was reserved by the royals as a hunting ground. Learn why the mountain peak is now referred to as the birthplace of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, as you enter a Buddhist monastery. Return to your hotel in Anuradhapura and settle down for the evening. Day 4: Tuck into another Sri Lankan breakfast in the morning and get ready for an adventure to the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Polonnaruwa Ancient City. Arrive at the archaeological site and discover the monumental ruins of the stunning garden city, created in the 12th century. Drive on from Polonnaruwa, making a stop at the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Sigiriya, an ancient rock fortress of great historical significance. Rest for the night at a 4-star hotel in Sigiriya. Day 5: Enjoy a late breakfast, then be driven to a rural village for an authentic experience of traditional Sri Lankan life. Take in scenic views on a short walk, before getting into a bullock cart for a ride across the countryside. Arrive at a picturesque lake and trade off the wheels for a sail as you cruise across the waters on a catamaran tour. Disembark from the boat in the afternoon and get driven to Minneriya National Park. See Sri Lankan wildlife in a different light on an evening game drive, with "oohs" and "ahhs" as Asian elephants stomp by the 4x4 in the sunset. Return to your 4-star hotel in Sigiriya. Day 6: Finish off your breakfast and make your way to Dambulla. Be absolutely blown away as you delve into the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Dambulla Royal Cave Temple and Golden Temple complex. Explore this cave temple complex, the largest and best-preserved in Sri Lanka, containing five caves with 157 statues and over 2000 meters of intricately painted walls and ceilings. Make a visit to Pidurangala, the tallest mountain in the country, and view the Buddhist monastery settled upon the slopes. Learn about the history of the monastery and how monks have made use of the sacred site. Return to your 4-star hotel in Sigiriya. Day 7: Try something new this morning at breakfast and fuel up for your day. Leave Sigiriya and drive to Matale to observe a wood carving demonstration at a local factory. Discover more local traditions as you make a visit to the spice garden. Watch a live cooking demonstration with fresh spices and learn about how they are grown. Join a guided tour of Kandy in the afternoon, home to many tea plantations, sacred Buddhist sites, and biodiverse rainforest land. Finish your tour and check into a 4-star hotel in Kandy for the night. Day 8:Think back on your memories of the trip over a final Sri Lankan breakfast. Say goodbye to your new friends and helpful guides, before being transferred back to your accommodations.

Frequently asked questions about Colombo

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What are the best day trips and excursions from Colombo?

The best day trips and excursions from Colombo are:

Kandy

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What people are saying about Colombo

I highly recommend using apple vacations agency when you visit Sri Lanka! They offer a wide range of tours and packages to fit a variety of budgets. Our guide Niraveen and driver were on time and accommodating. This full day tour was lovely and enjoyable! Loved visiting the turtle hatchery center, the boat ride through the mangrove, and the place they took us for lunch was superb! Really trustworthy company!

Buddika was an excellent guide! He was friendly, knowledge about every area we were in and was willing to tell us stories. He was a safe driver which was helpful since it rained on us on our way back home. The trip exceeded my expectations! We are planning to use this company again soon for another trip since it was so well planned. Great price for a full day's adventure!!

The guide showed up on time in the morning and he was very polite and informing. They took us to a very nice restaurant for lunch near the ocean and the food was delicious. Whole tour was satisfying with very nice views, herbal garden visit and boat tour on Madu River.

A great tour! I was lucky enough to be there outside of mass tourism, as there is currently a travel warning. On site, however, the situation is completely relaxed. The tour was absolutely fantastic and was great fun!

Suren was a great guide and I had a very relaxed day - was so nice to see outside of Colombo when I only have a short time here. Thanks!