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 teems 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 safari
  • 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 seaports 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 northwest 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



Not quite right? This itinerary is just to give you an idea of what is possible. Need some more inspiration? Please get in touch at 01473 214305 or email sales@eastravel.co.uk.   We welcome your questions. We're here to help!


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