The significance of Kalpitiya in the present day is its insignificance to tourism almost 10 years ago. Kalpitiya back then and still is a fisher town with sights of sun-dried salted fish. But, in between those years, someone saw pods of dolphins having the time of their lives in unspoilt deep waters. This led to an avalanche of Sri Lankan dolphin lovers clamouring to get to Kalpitiya to witness this sight. Today, many Google, “dolphin watching Sri Lanka” and Kalpitiya gets kudos approvals from many.
Dolphins are a wildlife enthusiasts favourite as they are spotted easily. Their frivolous behaviour is liked by many a wildlife photographer. During season, Kalpitiya is mostly home to the spinner dolphin. They leap out of the ocean, spy- hop (rise vertically out of the sea). Hundreds of dolphins synchronise their movements with each other on a good day.
Kalpitiya Is Not Off The Beaten Track
It is almost a 4-hour journey along the Colombo Puttalam Rd (A3) road by bus or a hired private vehicle. The 175 km journey to Kalpitiya via Negombo, is pleasant along the way. An inexpensive air-conditioned bus ride from Colombo to Puttalam costs around LKR 250. From Puttalam town hire a tuk-tuk for around LKR 900 to get to Kalpitiya. It will cost you around LKR 13,000 one-way for a taxi hire from the airport (BIA) to Kalpitiya.
Can Be A Day’s Affair, If You Are Lucky
Ideally, one should start the journey from Colombo to Kalpitiya late afternoon and check-into the hotel for dinner. The dolphin-sighting starts around 07.30 in the morning or earlier. The motorboat journey lasts roughly 2 hours either way. After the boat ride rest for few hours in Kalpitiya and return to Colombo early evening. As an option there are many villas in Negombo that can be a base to commence your Kalpitiya journey.
#YohoTip Dolphin watching is an affordable group activity. On average the boat ride costs LKR 12,000 for a group of 6 which comes downs to only just LKR 2,000 per person for a group of six!
Plenty of Accommodation Options
Although not mainstream like other beach towns, there are still many accommodation options available. They range from tents, bungalows, chalets, wood cabins, private villas, rest houses and hotels. Pre-booking is necessary during dolphin watching season that stretches from November to April. More often than not, hotels willingly organise the tours for you.
Your Kalpitiya dolphin watching expedition could be planned as an extended beach holiday while staying at Yoho Eos Hostels, Negombo. A hired taxi to Kalpitiya from Negombo costs between LKR 8,000 – LKR 10,000
Get a Kalpitiya Tan
The long stretch of the Kalpitiya peninsula features super sandy, clean beaches. The ideal foil for an epic beach vacation. It is advisable to carry plenty of sunblock lotion as simply lying in the breach will get you a super tan, naturally.
#YohoTip If tanning is on your list, here is our safety tips to protect yourself from the sun.
If you want something more than dolphins, the lagoon safari is an option to consider. Your tour will ride past many sights including local fisher villages and mangroves. The 14 almost inhibited islands surrounding the lagoon and sea is a focal point. The lagoon safari is an excellent opportunity to capture the birds and reptiles who live by the side of the lagoon in their natural habitat. A lagoon motorboat ride costs around LKR 8,000 for a group.
Kitesurfing for Pro Or Amateur
The destination has received rave reviews for kitesurfing and other water sports activities. May to October is the season to indulge in this sport. The Indian ocean and the flatwater lagoon complement each other to form a playground for newbies and professionals. However, this time is not ideal for dolphin watching.