Located 37 km north of Colombo, Negombo has a stunning beachfront that will have you admiring its picturesque natural beauty. Negombo has much to offer visitors, this bustling centre features historical churches and buildings dating back to the Dutch and Portuguese colonial rule. The Dutch made the town an important centre for cinnamon, when they captured it from the Portuguese in the seventeenth century. There is an Old Dutch Fort at the mouth of the lagoon, where visitors can view the gateway inscribed with the date 1678. Evidence of the Dutch can also be seen in the 100 km of canals extending from Negombo to Colombo to the south and to Puttalam to the north. These canals are still used for tours and offer a different perspective of the country. The people of Negombo, the Karavas, are of Indian descent. Their main occupation is fishing using out-rigger canoes, known locally as Oruvas. Fish auctions take place on the beach and fish market and in July each year there is a fishermen's festival. In the evening, the road to Kotchchikade comes to life with markets, handicrafts, gem shops and restaurants.
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