Sunrise dolphin watching experience & Bar Reef snorkelling – Kalpitiya

3 Hours

Sunrise dolphin watching experience & Bar Reef snorkelling – Kalpitiya

Witness leaping pods of everything from Spinner dolphins to Bottlenose dolphins. Watch them frolic and swim alongside your private boat for longer, or head into Bar Reef for a snorkelling experience in Kalpitiya.

Why you need to book this trip?

  • Kalpitiya is perfect for dolphin and whale watching, as you do not have to head out too deep into the Ocean: the continental shelf is much closer than reported in admiralty charts, so much so, the shelf actually runs near and alongside the shoreline. This translates into being able to see many species of marine life - in just a short boat ride away from the shore.
  • You will be led by trained English-speaking guides, who will brief you on everything you wish to know about the dolphins/whales you encounter.
  • Watching dolphins leap, swimming alongside you and under your boat - is truly an unforgettable experience.
  • The sea will not be as rough during this period as it is during the monsoon season and it will be easier to spot dolphins given good visibility.
  • Among ‘other things to do’ in Kalpitiya, is the Bar Reef, the largest coral reef (307 square km) in Sri Lanka. Bar Reef can be reached by an hour’s boat trip from Kalpitiya and serves as the ideal location for keen scuba divers and snorkelers. The beautiful reef, exceedingly rich in biodiversity, is home to an incredible variety of tropical fish as well as offering sightings of manta rays, reef sharks and the occasional sea turtle.
  • The excursions will ideally commence at sunrise, and last about 2-3 hours.


  • We will meet at 7.30 a.m. at our centre and after a briefing on the tour and safety precautions, you will be ushered to the boat.

  • Kalpitiya is a relatively new destination in Sri Lanka gaining prominence especially for its large pods of Spinner Dolphins off the coast. They were mainly seen in a belt that ran parallel to the Kalpitiya peninsula which was commonly known as the Dolphin Line. But while Dolphin Watching in Kalpitiya is now one of the main attractions in Sri Lanka, there are other water-based adventures, for those looking to do so much more during their stay here.

  • If you are in Kalpitiya between November and March/April, the conditions are perfect to catch a glimpse of diverse sea mammals as the waters remain relatively calm and enhances visibility.

  • Among some of the other commonly spotted dolphin species are: Bottlenose, Risso’s, Indo-Pacific and Humpback Dolphins.

Kalpitiya is a peninsula - located in the district of Puttalam - looking like a tentacle that reaches out into the Indian Ocean. With the Puttalam Bay on its eastern shore and about 170 kilometres and north west of Colombo, there are 14 islands in Kalpitiya and stretches of beach that seem to go on forever.

In recent times, the area has been recognised as an excellent site for seeing large pods of Spinner Dolphins and Sperm Whales, while catching sight of a Blue Whale is a precious bonus. The long snouted and playful dolphins and get their name from the spins that they have become famous for performing while leaping out of the water. Their repertoire of tricks also includes tail or head slaps, flips, and salmon jumps.

Apart from the Spinner Dolphin, the Humpback and Bottlenose,  also haunt the coast of Kalpitiya.

The Humpback species has a noticeable hump on its back and is often seen close to the shore while the Bottlenose dolphin is known for its unmistakable snout. The Bottlenose tends to use high-pitched squeaks to communicate.

Risso’s dolphins can also be spotted in these waters and are prominent for their characteristically square heads and their long dorsal fins. While being able to grow up to 4 metres, these dolphins often have scars on their bodies from their playful fighting.

November to March/April is considered the ideal time to catch sight of these amazing creatures, as they leave colder waters during the winter season.


  • Services of a local boatman/ skipper
  • Boat Fees
  • Wildlife Department entrance fees
  • Life jackets
  • Snorkeling Gears
  • Bottled water
  • Service of an experienced instructor for snorkelling


  • Transportation to/from location, which could be arranged on request (for an additional fee)
  • Optional activity costs
  • Any personal effects not mentioned in this description
  • Tips for the staff
Overall Trip Rating:
- Based on 1 travel review
Very Good
  1. A Race with Dolphins
    By Marc Ehlen
    from Germany
    January 25, 2024
    I recently had the opportunity to go dolphin watching in Kalpitiya and it was truly a once in a lifetime experience. The highlight of the trip was when the dolphins started to race and playfully interact with our boat. They were so close that we could hear them communicating with each other through their high-pitched clicks and whistles. It was a magical experience that left us all in awe. Thank you Sri Lanka Day Tours for arranging such an amazing experience.
    Date of Experience: January 21, 2024

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Sunrise dolphin watching experience & Bar Reef snorkelling – Kalpitiya
From $182
/ Adult - Single Person(SOLO)
From $98
/ Adult - 2 Persons
From $70
/ Adult - 3 Persons
From $56
/ Adult - 4 Persons
From $48
/ Adult - 5 or More people
From $35
/ Child - Price per child
  • SLDT/2404/WDW02
  • 3
  • 7:30 AM
  • 24 hours
  • Kudawa - Kalpitiya
  • November to April


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