In the years since the cessation of civil war hostilities in Sri Lanka, the island nation has made a concerted effort to attract tourism to the area. With miles of coastline and a low cost of living, many people choose Sri Lanka as a destination to enjoy the many outdoor sports and activities which the country provides. A relatively new area to wholeheartedly set out to attract a constant stream of tourists is the region of Kalpitiya Sri Lanka. The many resorts located on the northwestern coast offer many marine and beach-based activities. Here are some of the features which tourists can expect to find when visiting the country.

The area is known for its beauty and is made up of fourteen islands. Most of the residents of the area are fishermen. The region is only two hours from the airport and a short three hours to the north of the capitol city of Colombo. There are golden sand beaches beside the brilliant blue of the Indian Ocean. Visitors to the area may schedule a trip to watch the whales and dolphins.

Dolphin Watching

The area off Kalpitiya is known for its dolphin watching excursions. The regions features massive pods of dolphins who will typically come up to boats to swim in synchronized movements, leaping and swirling by the thousands. Several types of dolphins are seen in the area, including Spinner Dolphins, Bottlenose Dolphins, Risso's Dolphin and Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins watchers can routinely see hundreds and even thousands in once-in-a-lifetime displays of acrobatics. The certainty of the seeing dolphins is so strong that many excursions guarantee results. If you do not see a number of dolphins in your first trip, a second trip is offered at no additional charge.

The best time to view these and other sea mammals is from November to March. The waters are relatively calm, to the trip to the waters where the dolphins are likely to be is pleasant. Most sighting occur inside the Bar Reef and early in the morning.

The best time to view these and other sea mammals is from November to March. The waters are relatively calm, to the trip to the waters where the dolphins are likely to be is pleasant. Most sighting occur inside the Bar Reef and early in the morning.

Whale Watching

Five species of whales inhabit the deeper waters along the coastline of Sri Lanka at Kalpitiya. The best opportunity to see these majestic creatures is during the months of November, December, March and April. There is no need to travel out into the open waters, to sight the whales, since they come in close to the Kalpitiya Peninsula during these months. Visitors to the area are most likely to see Sperm Whales, with other types present as well, including the Blue Whale, Minke, Dwarf Sperm and Melon-Headed Whales. The Blue Whale is the largest mammal in the world and the largest whale, with Sperm Whales coming in as second largest.

The Bar Reef

The system of coral reefs offshore from Kalpitiya Peninsula is known as the Bar Reef. It is known for its biodiversity and for its pristine condition. The area was named as a marine sanctuary in 1992. The reef is known for its ecological aesthetic and biological importance. The reef is home to 283 species of fish and 156 species of coral. The Reef is Sri Lanka's largest and is very accessible. The reef measure three nautical miles in length and one mile in breadth.

Snorkeling

Snorkeling is a great way to explore the waters near the Bar Reef. Safety is a key element in exploring these waters. The presence of experienced and trained UDI and PADI instructors ensure that visitors to the underwater beauty of the reef can enjoy absolute safety while exploring.

Diving

In addition to the incredible numbers of tropical fish, divers may be able to spot manta rays, reef sharks and occasional turtles. The best diving season is from November to early May. The currents in the area of Kalpitiya are mild. Temperatures of around 75 degrees F means that diving can be done without the need for wetsuits.

Kite surfing

For experienced kite surfers, the water and weather make this part of the Sri Lankan coast a favorite activity. In fact kite surfing is one of the premier attractions of the area. It is a first choice for experienced riders, as well as an excellent location for beginners to learn the techniques. The sight of brilliantly colored kites against the blue of the sky and azure of the water is a awe-inspiring vision.

Anuradapura

No visit to Sri Lanka should be ended without an excursion to the archaeologically significant ruins of Anuradapura. The city was one of the capitals of Sri Lanka, The city is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, best known for the well-preserved ruins representative of ancient Sri Lanka. Dozens of significant ruins are located in the area. Visitors to the area should take time to see the Brazen Palace dating back to 164 BC. Another point of interest is the sacred Bo-Tree, reputedly dating back to 245 BC. The city is located in the North Central part of Sri Lanka. A day trip from Kalpitiya provides a change of pace from the water activities at the coast.

Wilpattu National Park

Wilpattu National Park is best known for the series of natural sand-ringed depressions which fill with rainwater. The park is located in the dry part of Sri Lanka on the Northwest Coast. There are almost sixty of these lakes and tanks. Wilpattu is one of the oldest and is the largest National Park in Sri Lanka. In the broader sense, the presence of Penthera pardus Kotiya (leopard) is a drawing card for visitors. The exact number of these magnificent creatures is unknown, but it is believed to be a significant percentage of the world's population.

Summary

Kalpitiya is an attractive tourist destination which is likely to grow in importance as a marine sanctuary. Eco-tourists are fascinated by the diversity of habitats in the region. There are sand dunes, salt marshes, mangrove swamps, saltpans, coastal plans and coral reefs.

Lodging is available at one of the unique resort properties which have been build in the past few years. Transportation brings in tourists in relative comfort from the major international airport. Guests at the resorts have the opportunity to partake of the cuisine of the island.