Colombo
Boat Tours & River Cruises

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Our most recommended Colombo Cruises & Boat Tours

Galle Fort and Fish Massage from Colombo

1. Galle Fort and Fish Massage from Colombo

Begin your day at 8:00 AM at Madu River in Balapitiya for a boat safari. For one-hour, journey through the primitive depths of the mangrove marshes. Traverse the dark and dangerous caverns, formed by the thick mangrove forests, interspersed with stretches of bright open water.  The next destination is an outdoor fish massage parlor. Dangle your feet into a fenced section of the river to get treated to a massage by the fish. After, visit Galle Fort in Sri Lanka, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Galle Fort, or Dutch Fort as it is also known, is a fortification built by the Portuguese on the Southwestern coast of Sri Lanka. The final destination is the Ahangama fishing village for a stilt fishing photo shoot. 

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From Negombo: Bentota Full-Day Tour

2. From Negombo: Bentota Full-Day Tour

Begin your day at 8:00 AM at Madu River in Balapitiya for a boat safari. For one-hour, journey through the primitive depths of the mangrove marshes. Traverse the dark and dangerous caverns, formed by the thick mangrove forests, interspersed with stretches of bright open water.  The next destination is the Kothduwa Temple. This Buddhist temple is located on the island and is known as the Kothduwa Raja Maha Viharaya. The island is within the Madu Ganga Estuary. Madu Ganga is an archipelago of fifteen different islands and a lagoon. It is believed that a Relic of Lord Buddha was once sheltered in the Kothduwa temple circa 340CE.  Enjoy lunch then visit the Lunuganga Garden. Geoffrey Bawa was one of Asia's finest architects. He passed away in 2003. Lunuganga was Bawa’s country home. It sits in an enchanting atmosphere with glorious views. It is now managed by the Lunuganga Trust. Admire the home’s features and blissfulness. It is now run as a country hotel and the proceeds go to Colombo.

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2-Day Whale Watching & Southern Sri Lanka Tour

3. 2-Day Whale Watching & Southern Sri Lanka Tour

The sea off Mirissa between Galle and Matara is one of the best places in the world to see endangered blue whales. This two-day tour also gives you the opportunity to see some of the important places in the southern coastal belt such as Galle fort, Unawatuna beach, sea turtle hatchery and more. On day one, meet your tour representative and proceed to your hotel in Mirissa, En-route enjoy a Bentota and Galle sightseeing tour. Bentota beach is the most popular beach holiday destination in the island. Galle is one of the ancient sea ports of Sri Lanka and was an anchor point in the Silk Route. It was later discovered by the Portuguese where they built a fortress and the Dutch that succeeded them fortified it further. This fortress is today a World Heritage Site. During the Galle city tour, visit Galle Fort, Bentota Beach, Galle coastal area, Galle lighthouse, Kande Vihara, Cinnamon Island, a handicraft center and mask carving center. Visit a sea turtle hatchery project, spice garden at Matale where spices and herbs used for Sri Lankan cuisine and medication are grown. Then take a Madu Ganga boat ride to discover this Ramsar Wetland. Hikkaduwa Marine Sanctuary is the place where you can have a glimpse of the fascinating underwater world and see the creatures that inhabit the unfathomable depths of the sea. The famed coral gardens are located here. Just get hold of a glass bottomed boat or goggles and flippers and plunge into the ocean. Overnight stay in Mirissa  Day two is filled with whale-watching experiences. Miriissa off the southern Sri Lanka coast is one of the best-known places for the greatest wildlife spectacle on the planet – lunge-feeding humpback whales and blue whales. Groups of whales construct enormous circular fishing nets with bubbles to catch vast shoals of herring and then launch themselves high into the air with their mouths wide open. This activity is most prevalent from November to April, but can be observed throughout year. 

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Galle and Bentota Day-Tour From Colombo

4. 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.

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From Colombo: Galle and Bentota Full-Day All-Inclusive Tour

5. From Colombo: Galle and Bentota Full-Day All-Inclusive Tour

You'll be picked up from your hotel in Negombo, Colombo, or Mount Lavinia at 7:30 AM to drive to Galle and visit the Dutch fort. The fort is a historical, archaeological, and architectural heritage monument. Even after more than 400 years, it remains intact and well maintained thanks to the extensive reconstruction work done by Sri Lanka's archaeological department. Next, you'll visit Ambalangoda, known for its exquisite collection of native masks. Many generations of artisans have carved these beautiful artifacts. Afterwards, drive on to Balaptiva for lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, you'll take a boat trip on the Madu Ganga River. Discover the unspoiled beauty of the Madu Ganga estuary, a wetland ecosystem that opens to the Indian Ocean. Finally, you'll visit a turtle hatchery in Kosgoda before heading back to your hotel. Visitors can see the newborn turtles and even be a part of the process of releasing them into the sea!  

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

6. 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.

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From Bentota: Balapitiya, Handunugoda and Galle Guided Tour

7. From Bentota: Balapitiya, Handunugoda and Galle Guided Tour

Start your sightseeing adventure with a convenient pickup from your hotel and head to your first stop for the day, Balapitiya. Enjoy a boat safari down the beautiful Madu River. Take a closer look at this wetland estuary and explore its lush mangrove forests, gliding under the canopy of the forest tunnels. Take in the unique biodiversity of this region, keeping an eye out for the crocodiles and water monitors that inhabit these waters. Stop at one of the many islands to witness the locals harvest cinnamon and end your boat safari with a visit to the fish spa. Your tropical tour continues after a short break for lunch. Head to Handunugoda to visit the local tea estate. Discover the tea that this plantation is famous for, Virgin White Tea, and learn how this luxury product is made on a tour of the plantation. Next, head to Ahangama for a truly unique photo opportunity. Watch as local fishermen demonstrate on-water stilt fishing, one of Sri Lanka's most interesting traditional fishing methods. Speak to one of the local fishermen and learn how they do it. The final stop on your Sri Lankan sightseeing tour is the old colonial city of Galle. Explore the Galle Fort, one of the best-preserved fortifications in Asia. Visit the Maritime Museum, the Galle National Museum, and the local lighthouse. Stroll down cobblestone streets as you learn the history of this port city, including the periods of Portuguese and Dutch rule.

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Bentota Day Tour from Colombo

8. Bentota Day Tour from Colombo

Begin your day at 8:00 AM at Madu River in Balapitiya for a boat safari. For one-hour, journey through the primitive depths of the mangrove marshes. Traverse the dark and dangerous caverns, formed by the thick mangrove forests, interspersed with stretches of bright open water.  The next destination is the Kothduwa Temple. This Buddhist temple is located on the island and is known as the Kothduwa Raja Maha Viharaya. The island is within the Madu Ganga Estuary. Madu Ganga is an archipelago of fifteen different islands and a lagoon. It is believed that a Relic of Lord Buddha was once sheltered in the Kothduwa temple circa 340CE.  Enjoy lunch then visit the Lunuganga Garden. Geoffrey Bawa was one of Asia's finest architects. He passed away in 2003. Lunuganga was Bawa’s country home. It sits in an enchanting atmosphere with glorious views. It is now managed by the Lunuganga Trust. Admire the home’s features and blissfulness. It is now run as a country hotel and the proceeds go to Colombo.

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From Colombo: Muthurajawela Sanctuary Bird Watching Tour

9. From Colombo: Muthurajawela Sanctuary Bird Watching Tour

Head to the Muthurajawela Marsh in Negombo to experience the vibrant birdlife at the bird sanctuary. Enjoy a day away from the hustle and bustle of the city and immerse yourself in Muthuajawela’s lush greenery and wildlife. Ride a boat across the lagoon.  From pickup in Colombo, it takes approximately an hour to get to Muthurajawela. En route, enjoy your included packed breakfast. Upon arrival, start your hike through the wilderness. A professional bird guide will help to identify birds you see along the way. Get a chance to see little green herons, black-crowned night herons, Indian cormorants, Eurasian curlew, shikras, white-bellied sea eagles, and many others. Later, complete your experience with a 2-hour boat ride on the lagoon and get a chance to see more birds such as waders or water birds. After, get dropped back off at your accommodation in Colombo. Muthurajawela, one of the 12 high-priority wetlands in Sri Lanka, has nearly 200 species of flora, 102 species of birds, 40 species of fish, 14 species of reptiles, over 20 species of mammals, and almost 50 species of butterflies in the sanctuary. The wetlands of the Muthurajawela Bird Sanctuary sprawls over 6230 hectares on the western coastline of Sri Lanka. Over 200 years ago, the area was prime agricultural land, which produced the beautiful pearl-like rice that was served to the kings of the Kotte Kingdom. Once the fields were abandoned due to saltwater seepage from the Dutch Canals, nature took over, and with time it became populated with the highly biodiverse ecology of the coastal wetlands that it is now.

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From Colombo: Handungoda, Galle, Ahangama, & Kosgoda Tour

10. From Colombo: Handungoda, Galle, Ahangama, & Kosgoda Tour

Spend a day exploring Handungoda, Ahangama, Galle, and Kosgoda in Sri Lanka on this guided tour. Visit a local tea factory in Handungoda, meet stilt fishermen in Ahangama, tour the coastal city of Galle, and interact with sea turtles at the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery. Start by getting picked up from your hotel in Colombo by your chauffeur. Ensure that you bring a packed breakfast with you if you did not have a meal at the hotel. First, stop at Handunugoda Tea Factory, a factory known to create some of the most luxurious teas in the world. While Sri Lanka has many sought-after teas, this tea factory is famous for a different reason. The factory has reawakened the ancient Chinese tradition of creating virgin white tea that is untouched by human hands during the manufacturing process. During your tour of the factory, see how this mysterious process takes place. Next, travel to Ahangama to meet with stilt fishermen, one of the most iconic figures of Sri Lanka. Watch them fish and learn about the process from the fishermen themselves. Later, get free time for an optional lunch break at a place of your choice. After, head to the coastal city of Galle. After withstanding three foreign invasions, Galle grew from a bustling port to a fortified yet scenic city with many monuments that have withstood the ravages of time. Marvel at Galle Fort, a World Heritage Site. See the Galle Lighthouse, National Maritime Museum, the picturesque cobblestoned streets, and many more colonial remnants. At the end of your city tour in Galle, head to the final stop on the itinerary: the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery. Learn about the five types of sea turtles that visit Sri Lanka for nesting and how the nests are protected. Interact with baby turtles and see some of the fully grown turtles that are getting treated for injuries here. After spending time with your new turtle friends, get a return transfer back to your hotel in Colombo.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Colombo

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What people are saying about Colombo

An exhilarating 2-day tour packed with so much variety of experiences

As a widely world travelled explorer of over 35 years I can say this tour has been one of my very best experiences. Be aware this is an extensive and varied tour itinerary but that is exactly what I wanted as I was time limited to take in as much sightseeing and activities as possible. I experienced so much of Srilanka’s rich culture, heritage, incredible wildlife, stunning landscapes , streetscenes, tasty cuisine and was able to frequently interact leisurely with the islands wonderfully friendly gentle folk. My tour guide Sanjeewa Padmal was excellent...very knowledgable, professional, friendly, highly articulate in English, good company and drove extremely safely in an air-conditioned large sized modern saloon. The overnight hotel was luxury standard with a beachfront. What I especially liked was Sanjeewa’s keenness for me to enjoy the tour and leaving me to decide on the time spent on each iternary event. This is the first time I’ve used GetYourGuide. Highly recommended.

Very knowledgeable and friendly guide

The tour was everything I had expected and envisioned it to be - we had a very friendly and knowledgeable guide, who explained to us certain histories and information about the places we passed, or was going to. He made sure we were well settled into our hotel for the night, and was ready to help us at any of the other excursions. I really enjoyed the river cruise - as I did not know what to expect, and saw the amazing wildlife the mangroves had to offer us! My only complaint is that the hotel room we stayed at had very little air conditioning, and the room and bathroom smelled of mildew and other things (just a funky smell!), and thought maybe we could've asked for a room upgrade as the rooms in the main building looked a little cleaner and well maintained.

Our guide Jeev was amazing. I actually enjoyed interacting with the guide more than the excursions. As far as the excursions we enjoyed the boat tour. It was informative and interesting. We also enjoyed the restaurant that the guide chose to eat lunch. Mama Coral Reef.

Very good driver, the car was clean at the 1st sight ... only at the end of the day our legs were full of flea bites

Versatile excursion and transport smoothly along the highway.