Kalpitiya Travel – Kitesurfing, Whale Watching, & Adventures

Last Updated on by Teddy

Kalpitiya is a quiet gem along the west cost—especially for water sport enthusiasts!

Located on a peninsula about one hundred and fifty kilometers north of Colombo, Kalpitiya has a strategic location nestled between a lagoon and the sea. The peninsula is forty eight kilometers long and seven kilometers wide. Stunning beaches dot either side! Don’t miss the fourteen islands in the sea and in the lagoon.

If you’re not up for beaches, Kalpitiya offers Wilpattu National Park, the Bar Reef, and many other wonderful features. Thanks to a major tourism development program, Kuda beach now has resorts and hostels. It’s the perfect place to find a tour and start exploring!

Things to Do & Attractions

1. Kudawa Beach

This pristine new beach is located in a relatively undiscovered area, and has shallow and calm waters. You can book with local tour operators to enjoy water sports at this location. There are also a variety of options for accommodation in the area.

  • Duration: 2-5 hours
  • Location: Kalpitiya

2. The Dutch Fort

The Dutch Fort is the perfect example of the 17th century Dutch military architecture style. It’s well conserved under the jurisdiction of the Sri Lankan Navy, who can provide a guide for your tour. It is now open to the public; you just have to get permission to enter the facility from the main office (make sure to bring your passports with you). They allow you to take photographs too.

  • Duration: 1-2 hour
  • Cost for foreign visitors: No price to enter; tips are not accepted.
  • Location: Palavi-Kalpitiya Rd., Kalpitiya

3. The Dutch Church

Built during the 17th century (and still maintaining its colonial charm), this Dutch church is located between the Dutch Fort and the village of Kalpitiya. This site is highly recommended for architecture lovers, although there is not much to look at as the site needs conservation. If you’re looking for services, they take place on Sunday mornings at 9.30 am. Worth a detour if you are visiting the Dutch Fort.

  • Duration: 30 mins -1 hour
  • Location: Kalpitiya

4. Kitesurfing

Kapitiya is one of the best spots in the world for experienced kite surfers! The season starts in May and extends to October. The Kalpitiya Lagoon has perfect conditions for beginners, and you can book packages with local kite-surfing schools  who provide good quality equipment and have IKO (International Kiteboarding Organisation) recognised instructors that provide a smooth learning experience.

  • Duration: 1-5 hours
  • Cost for foreign visitors: Prices depend on your tour package provider – try contacting Kite Surfing Lanka where they offer a range of packages. They also rent out gear, which is an additional expense. (Dutch Bay Road (Kudawa Road), Kandakuliya, Kalpitiya 61358, Sri Lanka | +94 77 368 6235 | https://www.kitesurfinglanka.com/kiteschool/ | info@kitesurfinglanka.com)
  • Location: Kalpitiya

5. Snorkeling in Bay Reef

At 307 square meters Bar Reef is the biggest coral reef in the country. This sprawling coral reef abounds with sea life, such as manta rays, reef sharks, tropical fish, and turtles. Luckily, it’s only an hour from Kalpitiya by boat and is one of the finest diving sites in the country. It attracts scuba divers and snorkelers, who are interested in exploring the reef and discovering its natural beauty.

  • Duration: More than 3 hours
  • Cost for foreign visitors: Prices depend on your tour package provider (Try contacting Kalpitiya Diving Center for a local dive operator: Opening times 7am-5pm; +94 77 663 6255; http://www.kalpitiyadivingcenter.com)
  • Location: Kalpitiya

6. Deep Sea Diving

Kalpitiya is home to world class scuba diving companies. The experience will allow you to see larger fish such as rock cod, large grouper, humphead wrasse, manta rays and reef sharks, all attracted to the warm waters which are clean and rich with food. The Kalpitiya Diving Center is a local business that offers a variety of packages for diving and has trained professional divers (Opening times 7am-5pm; +94 77 663 6255; http://www.kalpitiyadivingcenter.com).

  • Duration: More than 3 hours
  • Cost for foreign visitors: Prices depend on your tour package provider
  • Location: Kalpitiya

7. Munneshwaram Temple, Chilaw

Do you love festivals? Then visit the Munneswaram hindu temple where the annual Munneswaram lasts for twenty eight days, and is filled with religious processions, as well as food booths, and stalls with pottery, cloth, and holy images. This temple is located in Munneswaram, not far from Chilaw. Most tourists plan a quick visit to the temple while they are on the way to some other destination. (You can take a train to Chilaw from Colombo, and then travel to the temple via a short 5minute taxi journey. After a short visit you can continue onwards with your journey to Kalpitiya by taking a taxi to Manuwangama train station, then take the train to Palavi train station from where you can take a bus to Kalpitiya. Alternatively, you can travel directly by taxi, but it will be a costly journey, so you should be very sure that you want to visit this venue).

  • Duration: Less than an hour
  • Location: Munneshwarama, Chilaw
  • Website: https://www.munneswaram.com
  • Contact Number: +94 72 777 6530

8. St. Anne’s Church, Talawila

Talawila lies between Puttalam lake and the Indian Ocean, where the famous sanctuary of St. Anne stands. This ancient catholic church gets busy on weekends, holidays, and on full moon days. Every year in August, a religious festival is celebrated with the participation of large crowds from various parts of the country. The main highlight is High Mass, which is followed by a procession carrying the statue of St. Anne. (There are no eateries nearby, so bring your own food).

  • Duration: 1-2 hours
  • Location: Talawila Rd., Puttalam

9. Puttalam Salt Plains

Puttalam is famous for its salt plains and a salt factory—which is a fascinating way to learn how salt is produced! Bird watching over the wetlands of the lagoon is also frequent, as the salt plains have hundreds of habitats for local and migratory birds.

  • Duration: More than 1 hour
  • Location: Puttalam

10. Wildlife Safari in Wilpattu

Wilpattu National Park is Sri Lanka’s largest National Park and is one of the best known wild life sanctuaries and nature reserves. The park has one of the biggest populations of leopard, elephant, bear and countless other species of wild animals and birds. It has also the greatest concentration of leopards, and shelters the majestic elephant and shy sloth bear. Take your own packed lunch with you if you plan to stay for the full day safari (although picnic packs are available at an extra charge).

  • Duration: More than 3 hours
  • Cost for foreign visitors: The price per person depends on the number of people booked, with rates starting from 1 person to a maximum of 6 per jeep: from $103 to $65 per person for a half day safari; from $144- to $71 per person for a full day safari.
  • Opening Times: 6am-6pm for the safari (he best time to visit the park is from 6am-10am and 3pm-6pm, when the temperatures are cooler, otherwise you will be unable to see all the animals).
  • Location: Putlam – Anuradhapura Road, Anuradhapura

11. Ruwala Nature and Adventure Park

This five star resort is a crazy destination to have fun while enjoying the scenic beauty of the town. They have an onsite adventure park with activities ranging from kayaking and kitesurfing to taking a boat onto Kalpitiya Lagoon. They also offer walks and hiking trees for various abilities, and have a small petting farm.

  • Duration: More than 3 hours
  • Cost for foreign visitors: Room rates rices depend on the type of accommodation booked with rates ranging from $120 to over $350.
  • Location: Kalpitiya Road, Thihaliya, Eththale, Sri Lanka
  • Website: https://www.ruwalaresort.com

Where to Eat

Sri Lankan delicacies are available at most resorts in Kalpitiya.

Find 6 of our trusted places in Kalpitiya that are for travellers from all walk of life. Or check our complete list of best places to eat in Kalpitiya for more.

1. Beach Club, Bar Reef Resort ($$$)

Palmyrah Road, Alankuda, Kalpitiya |  077 721 9218 | www.barreefresort.com/facilities/#beach-club

A quaint restaurant and juice bar, this is a place where you can sit back and relax while sipping  famous fresh juices or cocktails. The ambiance is romantic and inviting, and the beach winds and smell of roasting spices is what a vacation meal is all about. Fine dining made easy, this is a must visit for a quiet evening meal.

2. Windmills, Aarya Lagoon ($$$)

Mampuri, Kalpitiya Road, 61360 | 011 4 975555 | www.aaryaresorts.com/wine-and-dine

A haven for gastronomic delight and nirvana, the Windmills offers delightful fusion cooking and scrumptious delicacies. Taking fine dining to the next level, the guest can handpick their own organic vegetables to cook with for the dishes they order.The ambiance is idyllic and very country, the hosts polite to perfection and overall, a great place to spend an evening in.

3. Welle Wadiya Beach Restaurant ($$)

Kandakuliya, Kalpitiya

The Welle Wadiya is a charming seaside joint decorated with the most stylish and minimal decor, giving it a bright and airy ambiance. A table for just two can be set up by the waves upon request. That alone makes this the top of the list for a romantic dinner with a reasonable cost! Their fish, prawn and buffalo curd are much raved about.

4. Kitesurfing Lanka Restaurant ($$)

Dutch Bay Road, Kandakuliya, Kalpitiya

This restaurant prides itself in never running out of food and drinks. Yes, it does sound odd, but countless visitors support this. They offer buffet spreads, coffee, tea, and drinks throughout the day. Fresh seafood barbeques, endless food and drinks, a beach view and great hosts, what more could kitesurfers or any adventurer need?

5. Kite House Café ($)

Odai Karai Road, Kappalady, Kalpitiya

One of the better known restaurants for serving quality food at lower prices, this place serves Sri Lankan as well as fusion cuisines. Their homemade pizzas and fresh juices are the talk of the town, and their cold beers don’t fall too far behind either. A very rustic and real place with no frills or facades, this is a must visit if you need great food for a reasonable price.

6. Angel Rest Restaurant ($)

Angel Rest, Muhathuwaram Road , Kalpitiya

Thanks to a perfect spot on the first floor, this restaurant offers a beautiful view over the streets and town. This hole in the wall already has a name of it’s own as well as loyal customers. Their most raved about dishes are the seafood choices, and their seafood platter is a must have if you venture here. With family like hosts and great ambiance, this is a good place to chill after a long hot day traipsing around Kalpitiya and Alankuda.

Where to Sleep

There are many places to stay in Kalpitiya; here are our top recommendations:

1. Elements Watersports and Nature Resort

This resort is an excellent place with comfortable bungalows surrounded by nature. One can enjoy the cool breeze of Indian Ocean here. This hotel provides basic requirements like hot water and Wi-Fi. Daycare is also available for children.

2. Dutch Bay Resorts

Dutch Bay Island is noted for its biodiversity and offers a sanctuary for many whales and dolphins. The Dutch Bay resort is one of the most preferred because of its numerous amenities. They offer laundry service, butlers, housekeeping, and much more.

3. Dolphin Beach Resort

This resort lies on Kudawa beach, which is famous for its golden sand and pure cerulean sky. This is one of the best places for those seeking a memorable holiday. Kitesurfing is offered by this resort from April to November. The air-conditioned and spacious rooms are very comfortable.

4. Udekki

This resort provides offers luxurious rooms with television and air-conditioning. They also have a large pool and a verandah.

When to Go

Best time: The best time to visit is from November to April, when the climate is a little easier to handle than the rest of the year. However, do note that the end and start of the year is a popular time for international tourists to visit, so it may get busy.

Time to avoid: May to August when it is monsoon season; if you are around during monsoon season you will find that most water sport activities will either be cancelled or will have limited schedules due to the high waves during this time period.

Getting-In and Around

Colombo: The bus from Pettah CTB station to Puttalam station takes almost five hours. You will then need to take a taxi to Kalpitiya which will take about an hour. A direct taxi to Kalpitiya will take about 3 hours.

Airport or Negombo: A taxi ride will take about 3 hours. Or you can take a bus to Puttalam from Colombo or Negombo. Take a taxi from Puttalam.

Galle: The bus from Galle to Puttalam takes about 10 hours with a transit in Colombo. A taxi  from Galle will take about 4.5 hours using E01 Expressway.

Kandy: Taking a taxi from Kandy will take more than 3 hours. Or there are buses from Kandy to Puttalam, from where you will have to take a taxi.

Ella: Go to Bandarawela Bus Station and catch a bus to Kandy and from there to Puttalam; this journey will take about 12 hours. Or, you can take a taxi directly to Kalpitiya, which will take 6 – 7 hours.

Dambulla: A taxi to Kalptiya from Dambulla will take about 4 hours. Or you can take a bus to Putalam by transiting in Kurunegala.

Budget

There are some excellent quality accommodation options in Kalpiyia, with good value rooms priced from around $25 per night, all the way up to more exclusive hotel rooms from $200 per night. You can find a variety of cuisines on offer in the area, but the local Sri Lankan food is the cheapest, with a meals averaging about $5-10 (if you order seafood your bill will be much higher).

There are lots of water sport activity packages that are offered by local Sri Lankan tour operators. Prices can be high, with average diving lessons costing about $60 per person; don’t forget to calculate the cost of hiring sporting equipment when you are working out the cost of an activity.

Traveler Quotes

… The ideal time to visit is between November and March in Kalpitiya, where pods of up to thousands of dolphins can be sighted… 

– Dinesh in Dolphinbeach blog

Kalpitiya is a vast delight of things for every type of tourist! Here in Kalpitiya, the best bet is to start with the ocean—there are so many fun water sports such as kitesurfing, whale and dolphin watching, or even deep sea fishing. You can never run out of fun things to do on these golden, beautiful beaches. If you get tired of the sand and sun, don’t worry! Visit the Puttalam Salt Plains for bird watching, or go to Ruwala Nature Resort. The food is delicious, the locals are friendly, and the adventure abounds.

Visit Kalpitiya for an exciting holiday!