Getting there: On public bus or rail, Kaluthara is about one & a half hours away. Most hotels will arrange an airport pickup & drop and we recommend you use it to avoid the hassle, cost would be US$ 65/-.
Where to stay: A couple of star class hotels and many smaller boutique style hotels are available. North of the bridge there are many small hotels with rates starting around US$ 35/- . Most places are clean and serve Sri Lankan rice & curries along with sea food.
Things to do: Many places to explore in the form of colonial past in aristocratic mansions, temples, river excursions in additions to sun & fun. Not heavily commercialised though you’ll be approached by beach boys and vendors but using the correct word will send them on their way. Visit a local toddy tappers house to relish a cup (very sweet if tasted in the mornings) if you like at a nominal charge. Snorkelling is possible along the reef.
Make a note of: River excursions agree prices and make sure the vessel is river-worthy, lashed canoes are the most common type used. Do not bath in the river and do not dive or snorkel without a companion as rip tide are frequent though never panic if caught in one instead shout for help, never try to swim against it. Toddy is intoxicating and some have know to develop stomach aches, we don’t want any of that during a well earned holiday.