NEGOMBO
 
  Of the Beach resorts in Negombo is the earliest patronised beach. It is famed as a fishing town of which 36% of the population are fisher folk. It has a long, wide, stretch of sandy area with many attractions both on land and water. Narrow streets and an old-fashioned mood typify this lively town.

However, it’s within easy reach of the Bandaranaike International Airport and has become popular for stays on arrival or before departure.

Negombo has a significant Catholic population; the result of mass proselytizing of fishermen by the Portuguese and known as ‘Little Rome’. Shrines and picturesque churches dominate the region. The biggest is the impressive, candy-coloured church of St Mary’s, built over a period of 50 years from 1874, which exhibits some amazing ceiling paintings.

The main tourist resort of Negombo is situated just north of the town. It has some well-established hotels that enjoy good business. There is plenty to do since windsurfing, diving, and even kite surfing have become popular sports here.

The Negombo Lagoon – a great expanse of water usually visible from your plane window as you land or take off is highly busy that is famed for the quality of its prawns and crab. Spanning 6,232 hectares, it joins the Indian Ocean to the north, and to the south weaves into the estuaries and waterways of the Muthurajawela Marsh; a mangrove-studded wetland 15 kms south of Negombo that makes for a great excursion as it is home to a fascinating array of wildlife.
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