Negombo is a beautiful beach Resort on the western coast of Sri Lanka, just a short drive north of Colombo. The 2005 Enterprise Worlds were held here with great success and enjoyed by everyone who took part. Owing to its proximity to the Bandaranayake International Airport, 6 km away, Negombo is the principal resort north of Colombo.

The Sinhalese refer to Negombo as Meegamuwa – “The village of honey” (or bees) – due to a story about a swarm of bees that had settled in a boat pulled ashore here. However, it was not honey or bees that made this town well-known but cinnamon. This valuable spice is native to the island, as its botanical name, Cinnamomum zeylanicum, suggests. Discovered by the Moors (a term first used during the Portuguese period to refer to Muslims) who settled on the west coast, cinnamon soon became the source of conflict between nations vying for a stake in its lucrative trade.

The Portuguese ousted the Moors from Negombo towards the end of the 16th century and took over the cinnamon trade, even building a fort to protect their interests. Although the Portuguese just cut the cinnamon growing wild in this region, it was the Dutch, who on capturing Negombo in the 1640s, encouraged planting in commercial groves to maximize production. Under their rigid control of the western coastal areas, Negombo became a busy commercial port. And, since the soils of Negombo are so fine and sandy, the cinnamon produced in the area was considered the sweetest and therefore most prized.

Today, however, Negombo is renowned for its fishing. Many of the fishermen belong to the karava caste that traditionally used non-mechanised craft such as outrigger canoes (oruwa) and wooden craft (teppam). You can relax on beautiful beaches, enjoy many of the local restaurants and bars serving western and Sri Lankan food or simply view incredible sunsets.