Kalutara is a picturesque town situated on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka. Renowned for its pristine beaches, rich heritage, and diverse culture, this charming town attracts thousands of tourists every year. If you are planning a trip to Kalutara or are already there, you need to be aware of the best attractions and things to do to make the most of your visit. From temples and museums to shopping streets and water sports, this town has it all. In this post, we will guide you through some of the best things you can do in Kalutara, ensuring you don’t miss out on any of its hidden gems. So, let’s get started!
The 2 Best Family Things to Do in Kalutara
The 2 Best Family Things to Do in Kalutara
1. Galle One Day Tour
Experience the best of Galle in just one day with this tour featuring top attractions such as the Dutch Fort, a safari cruise along the river and visits to the beautiful beaches of Unawatuna and Roomassala Jungle. Accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, you will discover the history and culture of the city while escaping the tourist track with visits to local temples and markets. You will also get the chance to visit a turtle hatchery and enjoy a mix of natural and historical sites in a single day of sightseeing. The tour includes round-trip hotel transfers and lunch so you can relax and enjoy your day. Book now and discover the beauty of Galle!
2. Sigiriya and Dambulla Day Tour from Kalutara Wadduwa All Inclusive
This tour takes you to two of Sri Lanka’s most popular UNESCO World Heritage sites, Sigiriya and Dambulla, in one day. The tour includes hotel pick-up and drop-off from most closely located hotels in Kalutara or Wadduwa, transportation in an air-conditioned vehicle with an English-speaking driver, and mineral water during the tour. Gratuities are also included.
The tour starts at 5:00 AM and ends back at the meeting point. After being picked up from your hotel, you will make your way to Sigiriya, where you will spend three hours exploring the ancient rock fortress. You’ll have the opportunity to climb to the top of the fortress and take in the stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
Next, you’ll visit Dambulla, where you’ll spend two hours exploring the famous Dambulla Cave Temple. This ancient temple is home to stunning Buddhist art and architecture and is another UNESCO World Heritage site.
Please note that this tour is not wheelchair accessible and infants must sit on laps. Please be ready at the hotel lobby 15 minutes before the pick-up time and bring valid passports for entering the sites. Visitors should also wear clothing that covers their shoulders and knees for visiting sacred and holy places.
If you need to cancel your booking, you can do so up until a certain date. Please refer to the cancellation policy for more information.
FAQs About Kalutara: A Comprehensive Travel GuideKalutara is one of Sri Lanka’s most beautiful towns, situated in the western province at a distance of 40 km from the capital city of Colombo. It is a must-visit tourist destination that offers a comfortable and relaxing vacation, giving tourists an opportunity to explore the town’s natural beauty, ancient temples, and pristine beaches. For those who plan to visit Kalutara, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the town:
1. What is the best time to visit Kalutara?
Kalutara is a year-round destination with tropical weather throughout the year. However, the best time to visit Kalutara is from December to March when the weather is at its best, and there is less rainfall. The temperature during this time is around 27°C to 30°C, making it an ideal time for water activities and sightseeing.
2. How to reach Kalutara?
Kalutara is well connected to other parts of Sri Lanka by road and rail. The nearest airport is the Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo, which is approximately 70 km from Kalutara. From there, you can take a taxi or a bus to reach Kalutara. The town is connected to Colombo through the Southern Expressway and is easily accessible by bus or taxi.
3. What are the popular tourist attractions in Kalutara?
Kalutara offers a range of tourist attractions to explore, from its beaches to ancient cultural sites. Some of the most popular tourist attractions in Kalutara are the Kalutara Bodhiya Temple, Richmond Castle, Kalu River, and Kalutara Beach. Apart from this, you can also explore the nearby towns like Bentota, Beruwela, and Aluthgama, which are known for their beautiful beaches and water sports.
4. What are the best water sport activities to do in Kalutara?
Kalutara is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts, and there are plenty of activities that you can indulge in to have an adrenaline-rushing experience. Some of the best water sport activities to do in Kalutara are:
- Jet Skiing
- Banana Boat Rides
- Speed Boat Rides
5. What are the best markets to visit in Kalutara?
If you love shopping, Kalutara offers many options to choose from. Some of the most popular markets to visit in Kalutara are the Kalutara Bodhiya Market, Kalutara Fish Market, and Kalutara Craft Village. These markets offer a range of products, including handmade crafts, clothing, spices, and fresh seafood.
6. What are the traditional food items to try in Kalutara?
Sri Lankan cuisine is popular all around the world for its mouth-watering flavors and taste. Some popular food items to try in Kalutara are:
- Kottu Roti
- Fish Curry
- Pol Sambol
7. What is the local currency in Kalutara?
The local currency in Kalutara is the Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR). It’s recommended to carry cash, as most places do not accept credit cards. There are ATMs available in the town; however, it’s advisable to carry enough cash as it’s not uncommon for ATMs to run out of money.
8. What are the best accommodation options in Kalutara?
Kalutara offers a range of accommodation options to choose from, catering to different budgets and preferences. Some of the most popular accommodation options in Kalutara include The Sands by Aitken Spence Hotels, Mermaid Hotel & Club, and AVANI Kalutara Resort. You can choose to stay in a luxury resort, a mid-range hotel or guest house, or a backpacker hostel as per your requirement.
9. Are there any cultural festivals celebrated in Kalutara?
Sri Lanka is known for its vibrant culture and festivals, and Kalutara is no exception. The town celebrates several cultural festivals throughout the year, attracting tourists from all over the world. Some of the most popular festivals celebrated in Kalutara are:
- Nawam Perahera – a Buddhist festival celebrated in February
- Walukarama Perahera – a Buddhist festival celebrated in September
- St. Mary’s Church Feast – a Christian festival celebrated in October
- Perahera in Gangatilaka Viharaya – a Buddhist festival celebrated in August
10. What are the customs and etiquettes to follow in Kalutara?
It’s essential to respect the local customs and traditions while visiting Kalutara. Here are some etiquettes to follow:
- Dress modestly while visiting temples and other sacred sites
- Remove your shoes and hat while entering religious sites
- Do not take photographs without permission
- Do not point your feet towards people or religious statues
- Do not touch people’s heads, as it is considered a sign of disrespect
The VerdictKalutara is a beautiful town, offering a perfect mix of culture, nature, and adventure. It’s an ideal destination for those who want to explore Sri Lanka’s beauty and experience its vibrant culture. By keeping these FAQs in mind, you can plan your trip to Kalutara better and ensure a hassle-free and memorable experience.
How to Spend Your Time as a Tourist in KalutaraKalutara is a hidden gem located in the western coast of Sri Lanka. It is a city with rich history, culture, and nature. As a tourist, you can make the most of your time in Kalutara by visiting its iconic temples, pristine beaches, and exploring its lush greenery. In this guide, we will take you through some of the best activities and destinations in Kalutara.
1. Visit the Kalutara BodhiyaThe Kalutara Bodhiya is one of the most iconic Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka. This temple is home to a sacred Bo tree, which is said to have been grown from a sapling of Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi in Anuradhapura. The temple also boasts a beautiful stupa, which is adorned with intricate carvings and paintings. Visitors can take a peaceful walkaround the temple and admire its majestic architecture. It is also an ideal spot for meditation and spiritual pursuit.
2. Enjoy the BeachesKalutara is home to some of the most scenic beaches in Sri Lanka. The beaches are pristine and offer a peaceful environment to relax and unwind. You can choose any of the beaches – Waskaduwa Beach, Bentota Beach, and Beruwala Beach, to mention a few. These beaches have clear blue waters and white sandy beaches. You can go for a swim, take a stroll or simply sit back under the shades of palm trees and let your worries drift away.
3. Explore the Rich Flora and FaunaKalutara is home to the beautiful Kalutara Botanical Gardens, which is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. The gardens cover over 40 acres of land and are home to a diverse range of flora and fauna from all over Sri Lanka as well as tropical regions around the world. Visitors can take a guided tour of the garden and explore the beautiful landscape. A visit here is a perfect escape from the urban chaos.
4. Take a River Safari on the Kalu GangaThe Kalu Ganga is a scenic river that flows through Kalutara. A river safari is one of the most popular activities you can enjoy in Kalutara. You can board a boat and explore the river and its environs. The river offers stunning views of the surrounding landscapes while bird watchers can be rewarded with sighting of many species of local and migratory birds, such as kingfishers, herons, and storks.
5. Learn about the Art of HandloomsKalutara is famous for traditional handlooms products made from materials like cotton, silk, and hemp. A visit to a handloom factory in Kalutara can be an eye-opening experience. You will learn how the locals spin thread and weave cloth on looms that have been passed down from generation to generation. You can see their skill and creativity up close and even buy some souvenirs such as colorful sarongs, shawls or hand-woven scarfs.
6. Visit Richmond CastleRichmond Castle is one of Kalutara’s most iconic landmarks. It is an 18th-century mansion built by a wealthy British baron, to impress his lady-love. The castle boasts of an eclectic mix of architectural styles, predominantly baroque and Indian-inspired designs. As a visitor, you can take a tour of the castle and admire the intricate details of its interior and exterior design.
7. Sample Kalutara’s Delicious CuisineSri Lankan cuisine is famous for its rich and diverse flavors, and Kalutara is no exception. One of the top dishes to try is the Kottu Roti, a popular street food that is a mix of chopped roti, vegetables, egg, and meat, fried together with spices. The dish is typically eaten with a side of spicy curry gravy. For a more authentic experience, you can visit roadside vendors or try one of the many restaurants that offer traditional Sri Lankan food.
Book Your Tour Now:Kalutara is full of surprises and hidden gems. There is so much to do and explore in this charming city, from its majestic temples to its stunning beaches, bountiful gardens, and rich tradition. We hope this guide has inspired you to plan your visit to Kalutara and make the most of your time there. Remember to keep an adventurous spirit, an open mind, and to explore this beautiful city with all your senses.
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