8 Things To Do in Kalpitiya, Sri Lanka

Last Updated On December 16, 2022

Kalpitiya is a peninsula of 14 islands on the west coast of Sri Lanka's North Western Province, offering an eternally spectacular littoral experience. The peninsula is 48 kilometers long and 6-8 kilometers wide, sandwiched between the Puttalam Lagoon to the east and the magnificent Indian Ocean to the west. It has diverse habitats, including bar reefs, saltpans, mangrove and salt quagmires, flat coastal plains, and sandy beaches.

Kalpitiya Lagoon Bird watching

Kalpitiya is home to a fantastic marine sanctuary and unrivaled natural environment, with several spectacular and wide dune beaches. The famed Bar Reef in Kalpitiya has a high richness that exceeds any coral reef in the waters around India and is considered one of Sri Lanka's rare pristine coral reef systems.

The famed Alankuda Beach serves as the starting point for these boating excursions. Other enthralling marine creatures, like sea turtles, Manta rays, Reef Sharks, unusual fish, pelagic sea birds, and the enigmatic Dugongs, roam the magnificent seawater of Kalpitiya and can be explored by snorkeling or scuba diving.

Watersports such as Stand-Up Paddling, Windsurfing, Diving, Sailing, and simple surfing can also be enjoyed in Kalpitiya, with deep-sea fishing excursions available. Kalpitiya is also the premier kitesurfing destination in Sri Lanka.

1. Dolphin and Whale watching

Kalpitiya, along with Mirissa on the south coast and Trincomalee on the east coast, is one of the best places in Sri Lanka for whale and dolphin watching. A 45-minute to one-hour speedboat ride will take you to the continental shelf, where you can see hundreds of spinner dolphins and if you're lucky, whales. Regular sightings of Sperm whales, dolphins such as Spinners, Bottlenose, and Indo-Pacific Humpbacks, and sporadic sightings of Blue whales in its coastal waters have led to Kalpitiya being regarded as the island's premier destination for offshore whale and dolphin viewing.

The best time to see dolphins in Kalpitiya is from November to May when the sea is calmer in the mornings. However, you must get an early start (ideally, before 8 a.m.) to beat the other boats and return to shore before 11 a.m. when the ocean becomes too rough and choppy.

2. Bar Reef Marine Sanctuary

The 300-kilometer-long bar reef is just an hour's drive from Kalpitiya and is Sri Lanka's largest reef. Because of this natural beauty, it is the most popular diving location in Kalpitiya.

Not only that, but the reef has some of the highest biodiversity found near this part of the Indian Ocean, thanks to the coral and tropical fish species living here.

3. Kite surfing

Kalpitiya is usually regarded as one of the best kitesurfing destinations in the world. The kitesurfing season in Kalpitiya ranges from May to September. Still, you can also go during the "winter" season, which runs from November/December to February - when we went in early February, nearly 100 kitesurfers were zipping around in the shallow lagoon.

4. Kalpitiya Lagoon

Kalpitiya Lagoon, surrounded by various luxurious resorts and restaurants, is well-known for its vast selection of water sports activities. Kitesurfing (best time is between April and October), snorkeling (best time is between December and April), and dolphin viewing are just a few activities that draw many visitors to the lagoon. Kalpititya Lagoon Resort, located 3 kilometers from the lagoon, is also a tourist must-see due to its great food, customer service, breathtaking views, and other amenities.

5. Kalpitiya Beach

Kalpitiya Beach, with its sandy shore and turquoise sea, is spectacular in every way, and the air blowing toward the shore encourages kitesurfers to do more surfing. Snorkeling and diving are additional options; if you want to relax, you may sunbathe on this beautiful beach. 

During the season, whales and dolphins frequent this beach, so take advantage of the opportunity to go whale and dolphin watching in Kalpitiya sea. Numerous magnificent hotels surround this place, and you can spend a fantastic couple of days savoring the beauty of this place, so if you are visiting Kalpitiya, a beach, you will always have something to do here.

6. Baththalangunduwa

Baththalangunduwa is a beautiful unspoiled island located in Kalpitiya. Locals arrive at Kalpitiya mostly to see this magnificent fishing village. The boat ride to the island is thrilling, and the journey takes approximately three and a half hours. If you're lucky, you might see dolphins approaching the island.

When you arrive at the village, you will notice hundreds of fishermen fishing and bringing boats full of fish daily to this bustling fishing village, where you can view all varieties of fish in various sizes. Within the settlement, there is a tiny chapel and a police station, and on the other side of the fishing village, there is a beautiful beach.

The turquoise water and sandy shore provide a panoramic beauty to the settlement, making it an ideal location for a camping site. However, if you intend to camp there, bring lots of water. 

7. Kudawa Beach

Kudawa Beach is a large sandy beach with quiet surf. The sea is shallow, and it is perhaps Kalpitiya's best beach. The sea waves are beneficial for surfers, so you may take advantage of the opportunity to do more surfing, or if not, this is an ideal site to sunbathe while taking a break from your stressful life. Because this location is rarely crowded, you can enjoy swimming. 

If you walk along the beach, you will come upon a famous mangrove region with tourists. This beach is stunning for a morning or evening walk. The best part is that if you want to spend the night at a beach camp, you can do it right here. You have all the facilities to create a camp and spend a night. As a result, this beach is suitable for any vacation.

8. Wildlife safari in Wilpattu National Park

Wilpattu National Park is one of Sri Lanka's oldest and most important protected areas, home to leopards, sloth bears, peacocks, spotted dear, wild buffalo, and Asian elephants.

To get to Wilpattu from Kalpitiya, drive back down towards Colombo and then swing around - this will take about 2 hours. - or you can take a boat across the lagoon, which will cut the travel time in half.