Beach Massage: Will cost you from 1000 Rs ($8) to 4000 Rs. Depending on the oil used and the type of massage. Some of the best ones on the beach – Paradise (almost next door- ask for Dilip!!), Royal Lanka Restaurant (beach walk past Hibiscus, before Mermaid; ask for Thiwanka). They are both very clean and the masseurs are both outstanding. You will pay 1500 Rs or 2000 Rs. Well worth it.
Spa: Spa treatments are also available. Tangerine Beach Hotel has an Ayuverdic spa. There is a nearby hotel called Sidhalepa offering a 3-hour treatment for $99. A lovely experience if you can get a booking! They are very busy!
Kalutara itself is a bustling and busy town. You can buy almost anything there. A tuktuk will cost you around 600 rupees roundtrip to town and the driver will take you anywhere you need to go and wait for you to finish so that he can bring you home again.
Train: The train from Kalutara is amazingly cheap- less than a dollar, and will take you north to central Colombo- but not to the airport, where it also continues to Kandy;, or south to Galle and beyond, along the coastline. It is often hard to find a seat, and there is usually only a choice of 3rd or 2nd class, but the journey is very lovely
Buses: You can easily catch a local bus – either a/c or non a/c- also very, very cheap, but they tend to stop every 2 minutes so the journey can be quite tedious.Buses go in all directions from Kalutara, but you can just stand on the highway and flag one down if you are going north or south on the Galle Road.
Tuktuks: will take you simply everywhere. You can arrange to take one out for the whole day for around 6000Rs. A lovely way to explore!!
Beach walks: The beach is very safe, and we’ve found the beach boys to be respectful and helpful when needed. If you are offered a tour, just check with Ranjith first- he will put you straight on price, trustworthiness, etc. He is also a registered tour guide, so is very experienced in these matters.
Hotels: The local large hotels (Royal Palms, Tangerine etc) will welcome you as an outside paying customer for meals, a swim in their pool, drinks etc. Just wander in!
Richmond Castle: an old palace built in the 1800s and restored somewhat by the Sri Lankan government (now with an orphanage attached). If you are a history buff, this is a fascinating place to visit with a compelling and rather tragic story- it will cost you 100Rs to get in and a tip for the guide at the end.
Temples: Buddhist temples in the area are worth a visit. The one right in Kalutara is sitting under the Bodhi tree that came directly from Buddha’s tree itself, so this is a very important site. There is another beautiful temple nearby (about 30 minutes by tuktuk) that is well worth a visit- where you will find a huge seated Buddha, a museum, a collection of art work- some depicting the tsunami – awesome and very photogenic.
Ambolangada offers an amazing reclining Buddha and temples, gem mines and boat tours.
Kalutara has a waterfall that is lovely to swim in- any tuktuk will know the way.
Spice gardens are in abundance in this area.
Brief Garden: a wonderful look at the garden and house created by Bevis Barwa.
Galle itself is worth a whole day’s outing!