Whale watching tours in Sri Lanka

Whale watching season starts in November and ends in April when the oceans are warm and calm. Mirissa is the best place to start your whale and dolphin watching tour in Sri Lanka while the sea off Kalpitiya teams with an abundance of dolphins. Join us on the whale and dolphin watching excursions in Mirissa and Kalpitiya where you will have the chance to see Blue whales, Bryde´s whales, Sperm whales, Fin whales, and Common dolphins, Bottlenose dolphins, Spinner dolphins, Risso's dolphins and Striped dolphins.

Touring Style - a private tour with your own driver who also acts as your guide.

Best time for this tour: December to April.

Prices are seasonal, include hotels, breakfast, touring and transfers. Starts from:

GBP 1120 per person sharing a twin room, Standard Class Hotels

GBP 1340 per person sharing a twin room, Superior Class Hotels

GBP 1998 per person sharing a twin room, Deluxe Class Hotels.

International and domestic airfares are extra..

Whale watching tours in Sri Lanka at a glance
  • Day 1: Arrival and transfer to Galle
  • Day 2: Galle Fort tour and depart for Mirissa
  • Day 3: Whale watching and departure for Tangalle
  • Day 4: Tangalle and Yala National Park
  • Day 5: Yala National Park and Bundala National Park
  • Day 6: Flight to Kalpitiya
  • Day 7: Kalpitiya
  • Day 8: Kalpitiya
  • Day 9: Departure
Whale watching tours in Sri Lanka Image 1

Day 1: Arrival and transfer to Galle

You will be met at the airport by your driver/guide for a private transfer to Galle.

Galle is one of the ancient sea ports in Sri Lanka that was once governed by the Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial rulers and its iconic Fort stands today. The old port city is transformed into a high-end shopping area with the old walkways populated with numerous boutiques, shops, restaurants and boutique hotels preserving the old colonial touch and ancient buildings.

Overnight in Galle.

Distance and journey time: 152 km, approx. 3 to 3.30 hrs

Whale watching tours in Sri Lanka Image 2

Day 2: Guided Walk of Galle Fort

Morning exploration of Galle. Discover the history of Galle Fort with your host, who has an intimate knowledge of its colonial past, as well as details of the part the fort played in connecting Sri Lanka with the early Persian, Greek, Roman and Arab traders, and an interest in architecture in Sri Lanka. The tour winds through the Dutch Fort’s cobblestoned streets, passing historical buildings sitting side-by-side with modern restaurants, as your host points out the interesting heritage architecture of the colonial buildings and shares thrilling tales of historic battles once fought for control of this key seaport.

Late afternoon, depart for Mirissa. 

Overnight in Mirissa.

Whale watching tours in Sri Lanka Image 3

Day 3: Whale watching and departure for Tangalle

Set out from Mirissa Harbour in the early morning.for a whale and dolphin watching excursion with Mirissa Water Sports. Look out for other marine life too, including flying fish and sea turtles, as you move further out into the ocean. The conditions of the water surrounding Sri Lanka are particularly good for sperm whales and blue whales, and there is a 90% chance of spotting one on a whale watching expedition between December and March. The whole journey will last approximately three hours.

After the excursion, continue your journey to Tangalle. On your way to Tangalle, see the stilt fishermen in Weligama.

Overnight in Tangalle.

Distance and journey time: 80 km, approx. 2.30 hrs

Whale watching tours in Sri Lanka Image 4

Day 4: Tangalle to Yala National Park

Depart to the Yala National Park, one of the best places to spot leopards due to this area having the highest density of leopards in the world. On a safari at the Park, you also have a chance to see sloth bears, elephants, many species of deer, pangolins and blue whales off Patanangala. The dry months from May to September are the best time for viewing leopards and sloth bear. From October to April, many species of migratory birds can be seen at Yala.

This afternoon, you will enjoy your first game drive in the Park.

Overnight in Yala National Park.

Distance and journey time: 117 km, approx 2.30 hrs 

Whale watching tours in Sri Lanka Image 5

Day 5: Yala National Park and Bundala National Park

You will enjoy a morning safari at Yala. 

Late in the afternoon proceed for a safari at Bundala National Park. A jeep safari through Bundala’s beautiful surroundings offers spectacular views around every corner and many opportunities for sightings of all kinds of birds extending from bee-eaters to greater flamingos. Bundala National Park is open all year round with the best months between December and April.

Overnight in Yala National Park.

Distance and journey time: 40 km, approx 1.30 hrs each way

Whale watching tours in Sri Lanka Image 6

Day 6: Depart for Kalpitiya

In the morning transfer to Mattala International Airport for a flight to Katunayake. On arrival, transfer to Kalpitiya. 

Tucked away between the lagoon of Puttalam and the Indian Ocean, Kalpitiya can be found on Sri Lanka’s north-west coast and offers whale watching tours, kite surfing and island hopping. This region is rich in marine habitats and features stunning coral reefs and seagrass beds, providing the ideal sanctuary for endangered species such as the dugong, Indian Ocean humpback dolphin, and the Indo-pacific finless porpoise.

Depending on when you visit Kalpitiya you will get a chance to witness traditional fishing methods in the lagoon which has islands that are home to fishing villages. Terns, gulls, skuas, shearwater and other bird species can be found here. The best time to visit is from November to April.

Overnight in Kalpitiya.

Distance and journey times:

Yala National Park to Mattala Airport: 69 km, approx 2 hrs

Katunayake Airport to Kalpitiya: 142 km, approx 3 to 3.30 hrs

Whale watching tours in Sri Lanka Image 7

Day 7 & 8: Kalpitiya

Join an excursion to explore the waters around Kalpitiya where you have a chance to spot large numbers of spinner dolphins, sperm whales, Bryde’s whales and other marine species along with large flocks of pelagic birds. Snorkel at the pristine Bar Reef which is home to a wide range of fish species including black-tipped reef sharks. End the day along the shores under a star-filled sky.

With its inland lagoons and lakes, Kalpitiya is also an ideal spot for windsurfing and kitesurfing

Overnight in Kalpitiya.

Day 9: Departure

In the morning transfer to the airport for your departure.

Distance and journey time: 142 km, approx. 3 to 3.30 hrs

 

 

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Highlights

Bundala National Park: Abundant birdlife

Fringed by a 20km strip of dunes, lagoons and waterways on the south coast between Kirinda and Hambantota, the national park is a stunning, wildlife-rich wetland open the year round.

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Galle: Interesting and Charming

Set within a chain of imposing, 17th Century bastions on Sri Lanka’s south western tip, Galle Fort, the city’s old Dutch quarter, is a wonderfully preserved, historically important UNESCO site l

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Kalpitiya: Dolphins and Kite surfing:

Formerly Kalpenty of the colonial Dutch, Kalpitiya is the name of the claw-shaped peninsula forming Sri Lanka’s northern tip, and enclosing the Puttalam Lagoon.

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Mirissa: Whale Watching and Dolphins

Although whales and dolphins may be observed in the glittering blue waters off Sri Lanka’s south, east and west coasts, the most reliable location is Dondra Point, best accessed from Galle, Hikkaduwa, and Mirissa in the south west.

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Tangalle: south coast beach

Located facing the Indian Ocean on the island’s south coast, Tangalle is best known for its pristine soft-sand beaches and safe bathing. In addition, it offers both cultural and natural attractions.

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Yala National Park: Leopard Country

Yala National Park, located in the south east of the country is remarkable for its variety of habitat, and unique eco-system regulated by the north-east monsoon.

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Accommodation

Galle, Luxury Boutique
Galle Fort Hotel

Located within the historic UNESCO listed Galle Fort, the hotel is an imposing and characterful former Dutch 18th Century gem merchant’s mansion and warehouse

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Galle, Luxury Boutique
The Fort Printers

Located within the 16th Century UNESCO World Heritage site of Galle Fort, The Fort Printers is a former mansion dating to the Dutch colonial period, its distinctive high ceilings and large windows being added during the British administration.

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Kalpitiya, Standard Class
Bar Reef Resort

Set on a palm fringed beach at this tranquil location, the resort offers a relaxing barefoot experience.

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Mirissa, Unique Cinnamon farm
Mirissa Hills

Located idyllically on a working cinnamon farm, the estate is just minutes from the stunning Indian Ocean beaches of Weligama Bay.

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Tangalle, Deluxe Class
Anantara Peace Haven Resort Tangalle

Set amid a coconut plantation on a golden crescent of sand on the Indian Ocean, the resort’s location is both tranquil and secluded.

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Yala National Park, Deluxe Class
Jetwing Yala

Located at the edge of the Yala National Park, the resort is set upon a pristine beach facing the glittering blue waters of the Indian Ocean.

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Yala National Park, Bespoke Tented Safaris
Leopard Trails

Located on the edge of Yala National Park, this luxury tented property offers western levels of comfort and convenience within an authentic game park environment.

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