Local boatmen sometimes hang out on the beach touting for custom and offering pricey oruwa trips either out to sea or into the Negombo lagoon. Some guesthouses and tour operators arrange boat trips along the Dutch canal north of Negombo. These usually include a visit to a coir factory and some low-level birdwatching along with the chance to watch local toddy tappers at work, and perhaps to sample some of the resulting brew – Negombo’s very own booze cruise. None of these trips, however, is as interesting at the boat ride through the nearby Muthurajawela wetlands.

The watersports and diving centre between the Jetwing Beach and Jetwing Blue hotels offers diving, sailing, surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing tuition, and also has kayaks, sailing boats, boogie-boards and other equipment for hire. Diving can also be arranged through Colombo Divers. Negombo is particularly good for kitesurfing (best Jan–March), including a fine, 8km-long downwinder along the coast from Waikkal to Negombo.

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