Negombo is a modest and picturesque beach town located close to Bandaranaike International Airport. Negombo, a quaint old fishing town by the sea, also known as 'little Rome' is home to a predominately Catholic community. From Portuguese and Dutch ramparts, forts, churches and wayside shrines to interesting canals and creeks, Negombo still maintains some of its old-world charm and remnants of a colorful bygone era of the Dutch and Portuguese settlers.
Negombo has grown up around a fishing village of distinctive charm and character. One of the leading sights here is the 'Catamaran' fishing fleet coming home, as well as age old techniques of long net and lagoon fishing; one of Sri Lanka's few predominately Roman Catholic areas, Negombo is an enduring relic of Portuguese colonialism of the 16th & 17th centuries.
Most of the tourists use Negombo as an ideal place for those who want quick access to and from the country's international airport. The 100 km long canal network running through the town is still used, and outrigger canoes and modern water-craft ply this route daily, for trade and tourist purposes. Remains of colonization include the Dutch fort built in 1672, as well as centuries-old Portuguese and Dutch houses, administrative buildings, and churches. Negombo is also home to the country's second-largest fish market, the Lellama, at the north end of the town's lagoon. There are daily fish auctions, which give tourists a chance to meet the area's colourful fishermen and even organize fishing trips into the lagoon and the ocean beyond. Other nearby attractions open to visitors include Muthurajawela, which is part of a 6,000-hectare (14,826-acre) protected marshland, home to over 190 species of wildlife.
The Negombo sea stretch has an impressive tourist infrastructure of hotels, guest houses, restaurants and cafes along the beach, where one can indulge in the highest standards of local service and accommodation. Some quiet stretches of the beach are maintained by the tourist hotels, while others are always busy with fishermen and their equipment. Water-sports and diving are also popular among visitors, with a few well-preserved coral reefs and a 50-year-old shipwreck (Kudapaduwa) that serves as an artificial reef for many varieties of fish.
The Negombo Fort originally built by the Portuguese was later Dutch captured the town from the Portuguese in 1640, lost it, and then captured it again in 1644. The British then took it from them in 1796 without a struggle. Negombo was one of the most important sources of cinnamon during the Dutch era, and there are still reminders of the European days. The busy centre of Negombo town lies to the west of the bus and train stations. Most places to stay, however, line the main road that heads north from the town centre, running almost parallel to the beach, who claimed it as their stronghold. This historical monument was thereafter used by the British as a jail, which it still is, to date.
"We had excellent 8 days tour with CYRIL TOURS. It's all credit goes to Mr. Cyril. From the welcoming at Air port to hotels we stayed,food we had and driver who was provided was excellent. We always introduce CYRIL TOURS to all who wiling to tarvel to Sri Lanka. Swaran Kaur and family Kuantan - Malaysia 2012 May 18 - 25 May" Swaran Kaur and family from Malaysia
"If you ever plan to visit Sri Lanka (and I think you should) this is your guide!!! Martha Iordanidou - Thesoloneki - Greece " Martha Iordanidou
"We had an excellent and memorable trip and all credits to Cyril. In-depth knowledge about the places, roads and history and culture. From the airport assistance - Food, accommodation provided and the vehicle was excellent. Very matured and patient, We being on safe hands. Thanks for making it a memorable experience for all of us. " Aubry De Souza and group from Dubai
"We are an older couple celebrating a lot of years of marriage (and hiking) in Sri Lanka in February this year, for two weeks, and three days in the Maldives. Although we love to drive, we chose to go with a driver-guide, after planning the trip completely independently. (It turned out he might help us in the planning and selection of hotels, we own). The main advantage is reaching the sites, some of which are tired, refreshed after someone else used to bad roads, with bad signage - If you are i..." Sam
" Hi Cyril We have had a fabulous holiday driven and guided by Cyril from CYRIL TOURS. Hotel recommendations were perfect and knowledge supertb. We would happy to introduce CYRIL TOURS to our frieinds and relatives. Thank you for the photos you are taken and send to us, they are a great reminder of our amazing experience in Sri Lanka. We had a truly memorable time and we are grateful to you for all your knowledge and guidance throughout our trip, it would not have been..." Mr. Richard & Mrs. Bridget Simson and family from
"Hi Mr.Cyril, Hope you and family and grandchild are doing fine. Hope to come to Sri Lanka again. We really enjoyed our trip especially with your special help and guidance. We will definitely contact you if at all we wish to visit Sri Lanka again. Thanks & Best Regards Mr. & Mrs.Pillai Singapore 29/7/11 " Mr & Mrs.Pillai from Singapore
"Dear Cyril, Yes that's the one that we were calling all the time. Her name is Celia and by now she has a little sister. My dear Cyril, of course we can't forget your companion and we are always telling about you when we are talking about our trip to Sri Lanka. I wish you good luck with your company and I hope that you will have whatever you want. I want to tell also that I was very happy when I learned that you are a grandfather now. Best regards, Chris Greece 26/07/2011" Cristos Pravitas - Greece
"Cyril was an excellent guide and gave us a very good insight into the history and cultures of Sri Lanka. He was always polite, helpful and prompt. His driving was always calm and controlled - unlike some of the other vehicles we saw!!! We would recommend him to others traveling to Sri Lanka. WH - UK - January 2011" Wilson Harland
"2nd to 15th November 2016 Dear Cyril, Thank you for arranging our first visit to your beautiful country. We had a very enjoyable, comfortable, safe, interesting and memorable holiday. All the accommodations you provided were very clean and comfortable and we will always remember the welcome, we felt when the smiling staff cheerfully looked after us and our every need. The itinerary you arranged was just right for us and made even better with the care you took whilst driving your very c..." Satwant and Doug from Australia
"Hello my dear friend Mr. Cyril We are all fine dear, I have visited Sri Lanka and I loved the country, Insha’Allah I will visit again your country, it is amazing place. This is the first day at work , really I enjoy the tour to sri lanka with my family and it was very nice and I wish to go again to sri lanka and of course you were very good and polite and respectable guy -thanks a lot for every thing and I wish you ..." Nasser Mohamed from Oman