Visit Kalutara to explore Sri Lanka's rich culture & exotic adventures.
An island of adventure and profound tranquillity awaits exploration. From ancient pilgrimage sites to bustling metropolises, roaring ocean to meandering river, the places to visit in Kalutara never fail to impress. Discover all our surrounds have to offer, then retreat to the resort for indulgent rejuvenation.
Reconnect with your natural flow through the serene power of yoga. Join our dedicated yogi for private lessons – at dawn in front of the roaring ocean, or in the tranquil gardens surrounding. Enjoy group classes at Anantara Spa’s yoga pavilion, with options to incorporate this holistic practice into an Ayurvedic wellness lifestyle.
Relish high-speed thrills on a jet ski, or test your balance on water skis. Go tubing for the ultimate adrenaline rush. For a more tranquil experience on the water, master the art of canoeing or boating. Our dedicated instructors offer the best water sports in Sri Lanka and are on hand to guide you.
Spice Spoons Cooking Classes
Explore the textured flavours of Sri Lanka, with a morning trip to the local market with our chef. Return to the resort, ingredients in hand, to chop, stir, simmer and garnish. Enjoy your creation, along with an arrack cocktail with our compliments, returning home with a Spice Spoons goodie bag and box of recipes.
Sample fresh tropical fruit delivered to our lagoon shores as you bask by the poolside. Every Saturday at 4.00 pm, wait in anticipation as a local boat comes around the Kalu Ganga River to bring you a selection of organic seasonal fruit with our compliments. Our chef will be on hand to cut them on the spot for your perfect natural refresher.
The blowing of the ancient “kombuwa” or brass horn instrument heralds the start of a ceremonial performance on the main pool deck at 5.45 pm daily. Be enthralled by our graceful dancers as they float flower arrangements into the pool before the brass horn sounds again to mark the end of the sundown ceremony.
Lunuganga Estate Tour
The late Geoffrey Bawa, legendary Sri Lankan architect and father of Asian architecture, devoted forty years of his life transforming this rubber and cinnamon estate into his country residence. Lunuganga, meaning “salt river”, was conceptualised as an extension of its surroundings - a garden within a larger garden. Wander around the centre of his world to understand the magnetic draw that led him into architecture, and why it became his place to think and his test bed for new ideas. Lunuganga’s landscape is decorated by jungle foliage, ponds, pavilions, towering trees, sculptures and lake views framed by frangipani.
Experience the serene waters of the Kalu Ganga whilst drifting on a traditional Sri Lankan sailing vessel called The Oruwa. You will be guided by Anantara Kalutara’s fishing guru who will teach you time-tested local fishing techniques. Round off your day by having the chef cook your catch according to your preferences.
Kalu Ganga Cruise
The Black River flows calmly through the heart of Kalutara and along unexplored banks of the town, allowing visitors a new perspective on island life. Cruise through mangroves rich with native wildlife, quaint settlements, scenic jungle and picturesque plantations. Enjoy the sunset, a cool breeze and the occasional glimpse of rare birds soaring above.
Kalutara Pilgrimage Site
A holy site visited by Buddhist pilgrims from far and wide, Kalutara is home to the Bodhiya, a sapling from the sacred tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment. The nearby three-storey hollow stupa is an architectural marvel with 74 murals inside each depicting the Buddha’s life.
Tour of Colombo
Travel to the seaside capital for a day of adventure in a private limousine. Palm trees line the streets where picturesque colonial buildings neighbour modern skyscrapers.
Visit historic sites such as Independence Square and the iconic Old Parliament Building. Stop for a refreshing picnic at Beira Lake – a green haven in the midst of the vibrant city – pausing to admire the modern Geoffrey Bawa-designed Seema Malaka hall in the 2,000-year-old Gangaramaya Temple.
Yala National Park
Discover the diverse natural treasures within Sri Lanka’s second largest national park. Home to 215 bird species, venture forth on a safari jeep in search of storks, crocodiles, fan-tailed peacocks, monkeys and more, including the most famous yet elusive residents, the leopards. The park has one of the highest leopard densities in the world.
Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery
Though on the brink of extinction, five leatherback turtles are known to nest at Kosgoda Beach each year. With a strong focus on preservation, the hatchery programme is designed to maximise the number of hatchlings that reach the sea and survive the critical stages of early life.
Take part in this special journey, releasing baby turtles into the ocean at dusk.
Fa Hien Caves
The Fa Hien cave complex has proven a rare archaeological find, with evidence of human activity dating as far back as 33,000 years. Towering 450 feet above its surroundings, local legend has it that wandering Chinese monk Faxian stopped here to mediate, hence its name.
Handunugoda Tea Plantation
Famed for its ‘Virgin White Tea’ that is untouched by human hands, the Handunugoda Tea Plantation is a living, working museum. Step behind the scenes at this 200-acre estate that also contains rubber, pepper, cinnamon and coconut plantations. Sample a variety of special teas and you’ll be sure to find one to suit your tastes. Set in lush tropical forest, this is an enjoyable day out for the family.
Take a trip from Mirissa Harbour for an up-close view of blue and sperm whales. A leisure trawler will carry passengers to Weligama Bay, a popular area where the giants feed, swim and socialise. Take a swim in the pleasantly warm waters and snorkel to see other sealife in the area.
Whale watching season operates from December to April.
Brief Garden by Bevis Bawa
In 1946, Geoffrey and Bevis Bawa inherited their mother’s estate that was purchased in 1925 and rechristened “Brief” as the acquisition had come from legal fees. The ex-rubber estate began its magical transformation from 1929 when Bevis started living his life there as an estate owner and country gentleman. Laid out in an intuitive and evolutionary way without any fixed blueprint, the famous garden has been visited by many since 1948. Explore the network of overgrown pathways surrounded by diverse foliage, hidden pavilions, lawns, private spaces with open-air pools and courtyards at your own pace before enjoying a tour of the residence.
Sri Lanka produces 90% of the world’s supply of cinnamon and cultivation is a unique, scarcely known process. Visit a hilltop villa surrounded by a working cinnamon plantation with views over Koggala Lake and misty mountain ranges. Your guided tour will cover the tools and techniques involved in making cinnamon quills. End with a four-course cinnamon-inspired lunch, or continue on to the Handungoda Tea Estate nearby.
Discover Sri Lanka’s ancient trades with a visit to a local village run by the chief monk. Enjoy a scenic drive through countryside landscapes of mountains, paddy fields and rubber estates. Watch age-old craftsmanship at work as cotton is woven using an antique handloom process, clay pots thrown with the traditional “sakaporuwa” or potter’s wheel, and metal skilfully forged by blacksmiths into tools and other ironware.
Galle City Tour
Explore behind the beautiful walls of this ancient coastal citadel. Meet descendants of the original merchant families. Experience the spice trade first-hand with glimpses back in time to the colonial era, and find out how Asia’s largest fort was created using granite ballast from the merchant ships arriving from Europe and coral from the sea.
Visit the famous Richmond Castle that was built in 1896 by a wealthy mudaliyar (landowner) for his wife. Admire the double-storey mansion boasting 99 doors and 34 windows with a unique natural ventilation system, antiques and furniture collected over the years. Many Grecian statues of children can be seen in the mansion’s garden, and in the last will of the mudaliyar, the castle was donated to less privileged children, attesting to his love for kids.
Enter the floating spa pavilion surrounded by lotuses and embark on a journey of healing. Submit to unique experiences designed exclusively for our spa haven - from the hydrating, mineral-rich Kalutara King Coconut Delight that embraces the indigenous natural resource to the Anantara Kalutara Tea Journey that is inspired by Ceylon's fine tea heritage for total body treatments.
Adventurers Kids’ Club
At Anantara, we understand that a great family holiday means keeping the youngest VIPs happily engaged.
At our dedicated kids’ club, we do just that, with a great range of supervised activities – creative fun, gaming stations, outdoor sports, and exciting excursions – all under the watchful eye of our caring and energetic staff, to give you complete peace of mind.
Geoffrey Bawa Library
Peruse the library’s private collection of Geoffrey Bawa sketches. Take up in a quiet corner with a cappuccino and selection of magazines, or borrow one of our novels. Computers are available for use, with our compliments.
Swim energising laps, enjoy invigorating Jacuzzi jets, rest on loungers in the shade and watch the little ones play in the separate children’s section of the main pool between the river and Olu.
The infinity pool at Acquolina caters for adults only, ideal for a leisurely dip after lunch, and feels wonderfully romantic by evening candlelight.