The deep blue waters of the Indian Ocean are home to many different species of marine life, in particular whales and dolphins – and Sri Lanka is now becoming one of the leading world destinations for whale and dolphin watching vacations. Whale and Dolphin Watching is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Sri Lanka.
The unique island of Sri Lanka in southern Asia is the perfect place to check out the sea world – one of the main tourist attractions in Sri Lanka. Lapped by the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, this tropical island paradise makes the notion of total escape a reality. Throw off the cares and stresses of a busy life and become immersed in an underwater world of vibrant colours, breathtaking sealife and warm hospitality.
Holidays in Sri Lanka make a fine year-round tourism, vacation destination, with its beautiful beaches, historic temples and delicious cuisine, but in recent years it has added another string to its bow.
So, where are the best places for catching these majestic, gentle giants of the sea? It is actually possible to go whale and dolphin spotting all around the coast of Sri Lanka – but there are certain hotspots that have become firm favourites with wildlife buffs, tourists and many locals.
Flying in Sri Lanka Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport on the south west coast, all directions point to whales.
Hiring a car at the airport or renting a car online is easy and really opens up the island to be explored at a leisurely pace. The most popular tourist places to spy whales are in the north tips and south of the island. Road networks on the island between the major towns and resorts are easily navigable ( the new southern expressway will have you in the Deep South in under 2 hours), and there is pretty much a few main arterial roads that link major cities.
Sri Lanka South Coast
Those heading to the southern tip of Sri Lanka tourist attractions in Sri Lanka should make a beeline for the coastal towns. Places such as Mirissa, Galleand Tangalleare ideal for finding organized whale watching boat trips.
Raja and the Whales
We experienced a half day tour with Raja and the whales. We saw over ten blue whales on our trip out on the water. These guys (fishermen now turned Eco warriors) are very respectful of the whales habitat. They cut their engine just as much as they fire it up to have you zipping across the tops of waves and having some very close encounters with blue whales.
There is something eerily spooky about hovering above an animal bigger than a double decker bus that is somewhere beneath your boat. When they come up to the surface for air and you see then for the first time you realise how small and insignifant we are as human beings. They definitely are the rulers of the sea.
Species of Whales in Sri Lanka
The number of whale species in these waters is awe-inspiring. Whether on the look out for blue whales, sperm whales, orcas (killer whales), sei whales or fin whales – this is the place to come.
Other sights to enjoy in the deep waters include spinner dolphins, turtles, manta rays, flying fish and whale sharks.
Whale Season in Sri Lanka
Between the months of December and April pods of dolphins and whales are viewed just a few miles off the mainland and getting close to these creatures on specialist boats is a popular vacation attraction.
Sri Lanka North Coast
Those centering their vacation in the northern part of Sri Lanka find equally rich pickings at Kalpitya on the Northwest coast.
Spinner dolphins swim alongside boats and frolic in the water obligingly for camera opportunities. A variety of whales and other marine creatures can be seen in these waters, and boat trip facilities are widely available.
Accommodation Sri Lanka North Coast
We always stay at the wonderful Khomba House when visiting the area to watch Dolphins. The husband and wife team that run Khomba House do a superb job and they are renowned for their authentic and tasty Singhaelse food.
Trincomalee, north east of Columbo is another place to catch whales in their natural habitat. As well as being a great diving and snorkelling centre with fabulous beaches and rich historical attractions, Trincomalee is home to hot springs believed to have healthful properties.
You can read extracts from this blog post in responsible travels new whale watching guide.