20130223_07_9 7x3 Port of Colombo entran

Western Entrance, Port of Colombo

Explore the Western Maritime Province

Places of Interest

Western Maritime Province (WMP), called Basnahira Palata in Sinhala and Mael Mākāṇam in Tamil, consists of the districts of Gampaha, Colombo and Kalutara. It is the most densely populated province with the nation's administrative centre.


To the west is the Laccadive sea. The WMP coastal region stretches from Maha Oya at Kochchikade to Bentota river at Aluthgama which is the gateway to the south.



  • Shipwreck diving

  • Picturesque coastline

  • National Museum of Colombo

  • Port of Colombo and Port City


Negombo is situated 30km north of Colombo a mere 6km from the International airport. Here the Portuguese ousted the Moors at the end of the 16th century and put up a fortification to stand guard over the cinnamon spice lands. Now, Negombo is a major coastal fishing town and a well established tourist centre with a wide beach. Restaurants have recently become famous. Wooden outrigger canoes and catamarans with sails used by fishermen provide an old-world sea scape.


Sights & Activities

Negombo Lagoon | Fisheries Harbour | Negombo Fort | Dutch Canal | Wind Surfing | Kitesurfing | Watersports | Coral Reefs | Shipwrecks | Snorkelling & Diving |Whale & dolphin watching | Sportfishing | Seabirds | Muthurajawela Wetland Tour | Crocodiles.


Beruwala is located just north of Aluthgma. It is famous for its picturesque Barberyn Island, fisheries harbour and beach. Beruwala‘s broad beach called the “Golden Mile” is an attractive beach well sheltered by the palm groves along the coast. Previously known as Barberyn, its bay was a safe anchorage for the first Moorish settlers of the country around 1024.


Barberyn Island (8.0 acres) is situated 800m offshore from Beruwala town. A tourist boat service is available in Beruwala fisheries harbour.


Sights & Activities

Beaches | Fisheries Harbour | Barberyn Island Lighthouse | Scuba Diving | Shipwrecks | Coral Reefs | Sportfishing | Water Sports | River Boat Trips.


Colombo is the nation's main city and business center along with the busiest port. The city is steeped in maritime history with a diversity of sights and activities. Galle Face was first cleared by the Dutch to give the canons a clear line of fire. Mount Lavinia just south of Colombo is the closest city beach lined with relaxing restaurants.


Sights & Activities

Shipwrecks | Scuba Diving |  Port of Colombo | Port Lighthouses | Galbokka Point Lighthouse | Fort Clock Tower Light | Galle Face Green | National Museum of Colombo | Mount Lavinia Beach | Turtle Watching.


Located just north of Bentota across the Bentara Ganga, about 60km south of Colombo. A gateway to beach resorts in Bentota and the south.


Sights & Activities

Beaches | Watersports | Horse Riding | River Boat Trips.

Mount Lavinia

Located just 12 km south of Colombo on a stretch of beach known as the "Golden Mile". It is famous for the legendary Mount Lavinia Hotel built in 1805 that was the mansion of the British Governor in Ceylon. The hotel has a superb view of the Colombo skyline from the terrace. Mt. Lavinia is also famous for restaurants along the beach and historical St. Thomas' College.


Sights & Activities

Beaches | Surfing | Shipwrecks | Mt. Lavinia Hotel.


Western fishermen-at-work

Fishing Trawler

© Howard Martenstyn