Kalpitiya is a beautiful stretch of land cocooned in the middle of a beach and a lagoon. Mostly untouched by tourism, It is a small town with a long history. The Dutch Fort and the numerous churches around the area is evidence of the city’s’ rich background and colonial past.
Kalpitiya has a plethora of attractions, from dolphin and whale watching on the shores to taking a jeep ride along the deserted sand dunes. The larger islands around Kalpitiya are accessible by boat which enables visitors to go Island hopping to familiarize themselves with the fisherman’s way of life. One of the islands, known as Karaitviu, is home to the marine mammal “dugong” that sparked the legends of Mer-people or more commonly, the mermaids.
If island hopping is not your cup of tea, you may also choose to visit the marine sanctuary which is a short car ride away and boasts legions of rare fish. The infamous “Bar Reef” is also found an hour’s boat ride from Kalpitiya. Bar Reef is the largest coral reef in Sri Lanka and is home to manta rays, reef sharks, tropical fish and even the rare turtle. The reason behind the name of the area is evident when visitors take a walk along the Moray Ridge, which is a rocky bar on clean white sand with a beautiful splattering of marine life such as groupers, soldier and Cardinal fish.
Deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, wind-surfing, canoeing and kayaking are some of the things to do while in Kalpitiya.
Kalpitiya, that affords the opportunity to view large pods of Dolphins, often numbers running to hundreds, is becoming a celebrated location in Sri Lanka of the lovers of Spinner Dolphins.
Kalpitiya, for its presence of Sperm Whales and an occasional Blue Whale alone is a world class attraction of marine life. Whales are regularly seen around the Kalpitiya Peninsula.
Interestingly it was only from around February 2010 that Kalpitiya was finally considered as a destination to catch sight of the majestic whale. Boat trips are regularly taken from the Kalpitiya Peninsula to an off-shore site away from the reef to catch sight of Sperm whales, who is also the largest toothed whale in the world. The Sperm Whale, in the hunt of Giant Squid, dives several hundred meters into the ocean. Kalpitiya Peninsula with its continental shelf provides an ideal habitat to the Sperm Whale.
The season to view Sperm Whale at Kalpitiya
The season to view the Sperm Whale at Kalpitiya Peninsula is between December and mid-April. The sight of the magnificent Blue whale too could be possible occasionally. The season for the beaches at Kalpitiya where you can enjoy the most memorable beach holiday is from October to May.
Bar Reef at Kalpitiya
Bar Reef, the largest coral reef (307 square km) in Sri Lanka, which can be reached by an hour’s boat trip from Kalpitiya, serves as the ideal sea for keen scuba divers and snorkelers. The beautiful reef, exceedingly rich in bio-diversity, is home to an incredible variety of tropical fish as well as offering sightings of manta rays, reef sharks and the occasional sea turtle.
The coastline at Kalpitiya
Boat rides up to the lagoon and canoe trips down the river are a pleasant way of exploring the coastline, whilst 4WD jeep rides along the deserted sand dunes between the ocean and the lagoon offer a unique way of watching the colourful evening sunsets.
Alankuda Beach at Kalpitiya
The first beach at Kalpitiya that was developed within the Kalpitiya mega tourist development project is Alankuda Beach. Boat trips are regularly taken off at the beach at Alankuda and head out to sea to see dolphins and sperm whales. The best sight to see at Alankuda is the lovely dolphin pods.