Popular new destination with a host of activities
Kalpitiya is located in the Puttalam district of North Western province of Sri Lanka. It is known for its serene beauty. It consists of 14 islands and has a total area of 16.73 km2. The people of Kalpitiya are mostly fishermen. It is now developing as an attractive tourist destination.
Records going far back reveal that the peninsula was associated with maritime trade and smuggling escapades since ancient times. It was first colonised by the Portuguese in early 17th Century. The arrival of the Dutch eventually resulted in the ousting of the Portuguese from here and elsewhere in the island. Historical records show that during the Dutch period of the island’s colonial history, the northern end of the peninsula was used as a strategic base for a military garrison and naval outpost to monopolise trade supplies to the mainland. A well preserved Dutch-era fort (incorporating an earlier Portuguese-era church) occupied by the Sri Lanka Navy, and a Dutch church remain today. Nearby at Talawila to the south, a vibrant annual festival keeps alive its Portuguese heritage, at the ancient St Anne’s church festival, when thousands of Catholic devotees descend upon the tiny village to celebrate St Anne’s Day on July 26.
Kalpitiya is now fast developing as an attractive tourist destination. It is a marine sanctuary with a diversity of habitats ranging from bar reefs, flat coastal plains, saltpans, mangroves swamps, salt marshes and vast sand dune beaches. It provides nursing grounds for many species of fish and crustaceans. The coastal waters are also home to spinner, bottlenose and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, whales, sea turtles, and the elusive dugong. The Sri Lankan government has now formulated a master plan for the development of tourism industry here.
Alankuda is a stretch of beach in Kalpitiya that is home to a number of beach hotels. The beach is a starting point for offshore whale and dolphin watching in Kalpitiya and offers various water related activities.
Kalpitiya is nominally the best location for Kitesurfing in the country. The summer kitesurfing season is from May to October during the south west monsoon while the winter season is from mid December to mid February during the north east monsoon.
Dolphins and Whale Watching
Kalpitiya is a great place from which to observe large pods of dolphins. It is also a good place to observe sperm whales and the occasional blue whales. Most hotels in the area offer whale watching expeditions.