Kalpitiya is a small fishing town that started to develop into a tourist center a few years ago. Now it is famous as a kitesurfing, dolphin and whales watching and scuba diving destination. Kalpitiya peninsula is a 50-km—long sand stripe which is home to many fishing or agricultural villages. Since the area is less developed, you can find empty wild beaches, sand dunes, mangroves.
Kalpitiya is 165 km north from Colombo. You can get here by bus/car for about 2½ hours drive. Public transport is available from Colombo to Puttalam, after you can take a ThreeWheel (tuk–tuk). Also you can hire a taxi for Rs 17,000-20,000 (2022) from Negombo International Airport. The main road which goes through the whole peninsula provides a fast route.
Public transport is cheap, but very slow and may not be readily available. You could also use the omnipresent three-wheelers (tuk-tuks). Always agree on the price before you get in. Prices vary and it is best you get advice from your hotel about prices before you hail one.
Renting a car/van/bike could be a problem in Kalpitiya/Puttalam area. If you plan to get around with our own transport (a good idea), it's much easier to rent one in the airport, Negombo beach area or Colombo area.
- Boat trip to see dolphins and whales
- Unique sand dunes (Alankuda area)
- Small uninhabitted islands
- Large mangroves in the lagoon
- Wild donkeys roaming around
- Wild birds
- Wilpattu national park
- Kitesurfing. Huge empty lagoons with flat water and some waves. Seasons starts in May and lasts till September. There are a few kite trip destinations, but you will need a boat to reach them.
- Diving. There are several diving operators in Kalpitiya, or diving can be arranged by better hotels, sometimes you can arrange dive trip with help of Colombo operators. Diving season here is December to April.
- Dolphin and whale-watching. West of Kalpitiya, you can find megapods of dolphins most of the year, but tourist boats go from November to April only. The chance for large groups of dolphins is the best within Sri Lanka. The chance for whales is best in November or March/April.
There are tree kitesurfing schools operating:
- Kitesurfing lanka, ☏ . Kite school with accommodation, prices from €35.
- Valampuri kite resort (valampuri resort), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Kite school accommodation, lessons, trips and rentals prices from €30.
- Kitekuda kite camp, ☏ . Kite camp, accommodation starts from €40.
- Wind4Love Kite center Sri Lanka, ☏ . Kite school with accommodation, prices from €29.
The best souvenir from Kalpitiya is a bottle of arrack — local liquor 33% made from coconut, tastes like something between rum and whiskey. You can buy it from wine shops, price starts from Rs 900. Locals recommend DCSL brand arrack.
There bars only as part of the hotels, but you can buy arrack, wine or beer from wine stores (3 stores in Kalpitiya peninsula). Shops are closed by 9PM, so plan early.
There are many restaurants in the Kalpitiya town area and whole peninsula as well. Some of them offer high standards and quality, while others are very simple and cheap offering the local atmosphere.
Don't miss local street food egg or coconut roti, you can find it on every corner.
If you want to cook for yourself, in 2022 there are seen several new Carghill Food City supermarkets from Norochcholai to Kalpitiya town.
Compared to the very tourist friendly Negombo and the down south, Kalpitiya is relatively under developed for tourism, but within last years it is to find comfortable accommodation in the whole Kalpitiya peninsula.
- Resthouse in the centre of Kalpitiya, Rs 2000 for 3-bed dorm. Restaurant with ok food. Near police station.
- Dolphin Eco View Lodge. Nice bungalow style resort on the Dutch Bay lagoon, price starts from US$35 double.
- Ruwala Nature & Aventure Park Resort (email@example.com), Kalpitiya Road, Thihaliya, Eththale (on the way from Pulatam to Kalpitiya), ☏ , . The resort is a fusion of a rustic eco-retreat and adventure-park on the banks of the Puttlam lagoon. US$80 to 120.
- 1 Kalpitiya Guest House, Muhathuwaram Road, ☏ . Lots of hammocks and opportunities to laze around. Dining area and cozy environment. Rs 1117.
- 2 Kite Bay Resort Kalpitiya, Sethawadiya, ☏ . Kite lessons, island tours, snorkelling, dolphin watching available at this hostel-type place. Rs 3164.
- 1 Dune Towers (behind Christopher land), Alankuda Beach Rd (from Palavi-Kalpitiya main road turn west (towards Ocean) at Alankuda Junction), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Family-run boutique guesthouse opened from 2022 at the coastal sand dune in the middle of coconut estates. Offers rooms, meals, large garden, dolphin and whale watching, yoga lessons and retreats, mangrove boat trips, scuba diving, Wilpattu safari, beach volleyball, table tennis. US$20.