Kalpitiya is fast becoming known as one of Sri Lanka’s hottest kitesurfing spots. Plus, it is also famous for dolphin and whale watching, in addition to amazing water related activities such as scuba diving and snorkeling at the beautiful Bar Reef. But what if you have already done this and are looking for something else? What are the lesser known attractions of Kalpitiya that are worth visiting and make Kalpitiya the gem that it is?
St. Anne’s Church at Talawila: Nestled within the Kalpitiya Peninsula is the cozy little town of Talawila, which is best known for the area’s most renowned Catholic shrine – St. Anne’s Church. The story behind the church’s origins is just as fascinating as the building itself and dates back to the early 18th century. Accounts state that a shipwrecked European trader, whose boat was dedicated to St. Anne, came across a large banyan tree and rested there, and he vowed to return to build a church there later on in life if his business prospered. Keeping with his word, this is how St. Anne’s Church came to be, and today, this church hosts one of the largest Catholic festivals in Sri Lanka, drawing in hundreds of thousands of devotees annually every August for the Church Feast.
Fish, Fish and More Fish: As you wake up early morning you can watch the night fishing boats return in the morning, bringing in their troves of freshly caught fish. You can visit one of the many fish markets around, and see all kinds of fish, and even select some if you want, fresh off the net. If you’re a real fish fanatic, you could even venture out to sea in a fishing boat as a day tour and try your hand at trolling. Deep sea fishing is seasonal, and is possible during favourable weather during November to April. Inland fishing is also possible, where you can catch some lovely Barramundi and Mangrove Jack.
Lagoon Tour: Another enjoyable activity in Kalpitiya is exploring the coastline via a leisurely canoe or boat ride which takes you up the lagoon and down river. This lagoon tour is best done in the late afternoon or early evening, and is perfect to watch the sunset. The two hour boat ride starts off near Kalpitiya town, where you will be able to see picturesque islands in the lagoon on one side as well as the Wilpattu National Park on the other. If you’re lucky, you’ll also be able to spot Pink Dolphins, also known as Indo-Pacific Humpback Dolphins!