Located in the North-Western end of Sri Lanka in the Puttalam district, Kalpitiya is a haven for those who want to get away from the more crowded places in the country. Since its only been “discovered” as a place worth visiting a few years ago, it still remains a coastal paradise that isn't bombarded by tourists.
This small fishing village is made up of 14 islands that are home to mostly fisherman and their families, but the main point of attraction is its beaches. Not only does Kalpitiya have beautiful beaches, the oceans are known to be ideal for exciting adventures out at sea. Get your bags ready, because the ocean is calling!
Here are some of the places to visit and things to do on a trip to Kalpitiya:
- Water Sports
If you're a water sports enthusiast, this is one of the best places in Sri Lanka for you to head to, especially for those hoping to try more unique activities like kite surfing and windsurfing. Since these depend largely on wind conditions, Kalpitiya is where you'll get the best conditions for them. And if you've never tried kite surfing before, there are numerous kite surfing schools and centers that offer lessons as well.
In case the winds are not cooperating, the resorts/centers will organize other activities for you like wake boarding or paddle boarding.
- Whale & Dolphin Watching
Although whale and dolphin watching is a fairly new activity in Sri Lanka, it has grown massively in popularity in a short time. One of the best places to spot these majestic sea creatures is in Kalpitiya. You'll see schools of hundreds of dolphins swim alongside your boat, and they might even put on a show for you. You'll also catch sight of plenty of whales, the largest mammals on earth!
- Scuba Diving
Watching those majestic sea creatures from above not enough for you? Maybe you want to explore the treasures that lay under the ocean. Kalpitiya is a scuba diving haven, with beautiful reef plates and fascinating sea life. You’ll spot plenty of colorful fishes, dolphins, octopus, cuttlefish, morays, sting ray, and marble ray. Snorkeling is also a popular activity here.
- Wilpattu National Park
Situated just a short drive from Kalpitiya is Wilpattu National Park, one of the largest and most popular wildlife reserves in Sri Lanka. The large park is home to beautiful lakes (thus named Willu-pattu or “Land of Lakes”), plants, trees, and of course, animals! It's most famous residents are the Sri Lankan leopards, elephants, and sloth bears, but there are so many other members of the animal kingdom, big and small, that you will see here.
- The Dutch Fort
Although Kalpitiya is not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Sri Lankan history, there's a largely unknown but extensive importance that it played throughout the past. There's plenty of interesting things to learn about the history of the town, but not many sites to see where you can do so.
The Dutch Fort is one of the buildings that still stands from the Dutch era when a Portuguese-era church was transformed into a military garrison and naval outpost. Today, it is used by the Sri Lankan Navy and Coastal Guard, but you can still take a free tour of it (and its secret tunnels).