Negombo is a city located on the west coast of the island and is the closest city to the Colombo airport. It is also located on the shore of a lagoon. It is also known as ‘ little Rome ‘and 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 is a major tourist destination with an old, large, and thriving fishing industry. The beach here is quiet and peaceful, and the sight of the fisher folk out at sea on their oruwas (outrigger canoes) is particularly charming. It is not always safe to swim here, but diving enthusiasts can explore the wreck of a World War II British cargo plane in nearby Marawila. A boat trip winding through the lush mangroves down the Dutch Canal or Muthurajawela Marsh will reward you with sightings of monitor lizards and flocks of migrant birds. Negombo has long been a center of commercial activity and urban lifestyle.