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Negombo

Located just 7 kilometres from the international airport in Colombo, Negombo is the principle seaside destination for those seeking to stay close by without the hustle and bustle of built-up city life.

This waterfront city is made up of a picturesque lagoon, an impressive network of canals built by the Dutch and a sweeping beach. All of these contribute to a tranquil atmosphere, as does the expansive Muthurajawela Wetlands, where you can glide along on a boat safari passing wildlife and birds as you go. For a buzzier feel, make sure to join the friendly fishermen in Negombo’s lively fish markets at the break of dawn to get a taste of local life.

The numerous Catholic churches scattered around Negombo have won it its nickname ‘Little Rome’, and we recommend visiting the neo-classical St. Mary’s Church with its pink-washed walls and ornately painted ceiling, which is arguably the most renowned in the city. If you are interested in sightseeing other religious landmarks here, we suggest the Buddhist temple - named Angurukaramulla - which features a 6 metre high Buddha statue and colourful murals.

For a first or last night stop, Negombo makes for an ideal destination to include in your Sri Lankan tour – not only is it just an approximate 15 minute drive to the airport, but it also offers more of a ‘soft-landing’ or calm final night. (We recommend staying at The Wallawwa, one of Teardrop Hotels' latest properties, or the Geoffrey Bawa-inspired hotel, The Beach). 

Its position on the west coast also means that it is easy to slot into a wider itinerary, and there is a myriad of places to travel to before or after depending on your interests: choose between the historic and cultural towns inland, like Kandy, Anuradhapura, Dambulla and Kandalama - all of which lie around a three hour drive away; the lesser-visited safari spot of Wilpattu National Park or venture southwards to the coastal region, where Galle and Tangalle can be found along the sandy shore.

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George Bernard Shaw

So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
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I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
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Ampersand’s preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet booking age. They were a delight to deal with!
- Mr David Wallace, North India
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
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Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
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We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
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