Negombo is 6 km north of the international airport. The principle resort on the west cost, Negombo is rather characterless town. The main tourist area is about 3 km north of the town itself witch is rather scruffy and contains little of genuine interest. 
  The Portuguese originally built a fort on the head land guarding the lagoon in about 1600.Since the area was rich in spice and particularly the much priced. 
area is very rich in marine life and although there is much evidence of a motorize fleet in the harbor, you can still see fishermen using catamarans and ancient outrigger canoes to bring up their catch onto beach everyday. The nearest reef is 3 km west of the beach hotel area with corals within 10-20m and the marine life includes barracuda, blue-ringed angels and unusual starfish.
  The town still has few remains from its period as a Dutch church, and the impassive  gateway to the Fort.