Because of its ancient ruins, tea plantations, and mouth-watering cuisine, Sri Lanka has long been a popular tourism destination. There is a lot to see and do on this tropical island, from the palm-fringed beaches to the multi-faith pilgrimage towns to the whale-watching to the lush forests and colorful art. As one of the most diverse countries in Asia, Sri Lanka serves as a sanctuary for a wide variety of animals. In Uda Walawe National Park, Sinharaja Forest Reserve, and Wilpattu National Park, you’ll be able to see a variety of animals, including elephants, birds, and sloth bears.

Then there’s the sea, too. It’s an island country, after all, so there’s no shortage of stunning marine life. In addition to crocodiles, there are sea turtles, spinners, Risso, bottlenose dolphins, and, of course, humpback whales.

Whale Watching in Sri Lanka is a great way to enjoy nature and see the amazing creatures of the sea. Here are some tips to watch whales in Sri Lanka.

On a whale watching tour you are most likely to see blue, sperm, humpback and Bryde’s whales. In fact, Sri Lanka can be cited as one of the best places in the world for whale watching.

What is special about these places?

The yearly migration of blue and sperm whales between the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea, along the coast of Sri Lanka, is in addition to the abundance of krill around here that the whales enjoy.

One of the world’s major cetacean migration pathways was first mapped out by British marine researcher Charles Anderson in 1999. Find out where to go whale-watching in Sri Lanka by reading on.

Where can you whale-watching in Sri Lanka?

Whale watching is a very popular activity in Sri Lanka and large blue whales, killer whales and fin whales are common sightings. Whales can be seen throughout the year in Mirissa South Coast, Trincomalee East Coast and Kalipinya West Coast.

Due to this, Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean is one of the best places in the world to observe whales

Whale Watching in Mirissa ~South Coast

Whale Watching in Mirissa
Whale Watching in Mirissa

Whale watching In Sri Lanka is a fun, exciting and informative activity that you can take part in with your family, friends and associates. Mirissa, Sri Lanka’s most famous whale-watching destination, is a beautiful place to relax by the sea. This is where the continental shelf is at its thinnest, with ocean depths reaching 1km a few kilometers offshore, making it an ideal location for whale-watching.

Many tour companies (mainly in Mirissa Harbour) provide trips from Weligama Bay to see dolphins and whales. If you’re looking for the most eco- and safety-conscious way to travel, you’ll want to avoid touts and go with a reputable operator.

What time does whale watching start ?

Boats may accommodate anything from eight individuals to over fifty people. Tours begin at 7 a.m. and last for three to four hours, during which time you may see blue, sperm, or perhaps a humpback whale.

Tip -Arriving early will give you the option of choosing a convenient seat while arriving late will not give you the option of choosing a preferred seat.

How much does a whale-watching trip in Mirissa cost?

Foreign passengerStarting US$ 50 ($ 30 USD for the trip + $ 20 USD governmental fees & taxes )
Children (6- 12 years – Foreign)Starting US$ 30
Children (below 6 years)(Local & Foreign)Free of charge
Duration04 hours (Duration depends on sea conditions)

Does Mirissa have whale-snorkeling opportunities?

The whales’ territory is heavily protected, and for good reason! It is illegal to get in the water with whales without official government permission! Don’t even think about trying it on your own as you risk getting into trouble as well as upsetting and stressing the whales.

There are some companies that can offer diving or snorkeling trips, but they need to get a special permit for that.

We do not recommend such trips and it is not advisable to do so without a specific reason.

Tip -But if you are going on such a trip, the thing that you should definitely look at is that there is permission under the rule and regulation of the government of Sri Lanka.

What Types of Whales Watching Packages are available in Mirissa

  • Shared Boat- There is a shared boat available every day, and the charge is per person. As well as its affordability, it offers breakfast on board, which makes it a popular option. A total of 70 seats are available, and the facility is fully staffed, with staff on hand to assist whenever necessary.
  • Private Speed Boat- You can get a very unique whale watching experience with a private speed boat in Mirissa.During the morning hours, you can schedule your tour at your convenience starting at seven a.m. and As this is a private tour, you must pay per boat and you can take up to five people.
  • Private Big Boat -recommend this boat for groups of 10-20 people who want to go whale watching in small groups. This boat starts around 7 am or 8 am and provides breakfast and beverages upon request.

How to Find Hotels in Mirissa?

You can enjoy a wide range of activities while visiting Mirissa. But the most important thing is where you stay. That way you can enjoy a very beautiful trip. You can find the best hotels and deals available on below.

According to my personal experience, Mirissa Paradise Beach Club can be mentioned as a very suitable place to stay if you want to visit Mirissa.

When is the Best Time to See Whales in Trincomalee?

There is a good chance of seeing blue whales here in July, whereas whale watching, in general, is in season on the East coast between May and October each year and is the best time to see them.

It is possible to see whales at other times of the year, but since the sea in this area can be rough at that time of year, it is rather difficult to go whale watching at that time of year.

The majority of whale watching in this region is conducted on small boats, and there are only a limited number of large vessels, such as the Mirissa, which are used for whale watching

The locations of these places have been listed below for your reference.

What is the best place to start whale watching in Trincomalee?

Mirissa, which is located in the southern province of Sri Lanka, is also one of the best whale-watching places in the country. However, this area is not concentrated in one place and is spread out over a number of different places.

Dutch Bay Beach, Trincomalee

This area is located very close to Trincomalee town and is one of the most beautiful beach areas in Sri Lanka. A wide range of sea-related activities can be found here, including whale watching, dolphin watching, and snorkeling. It is only in this region that you can find the big size boats we mentioned above as well.

Uppuveli, Trincomalee

this beautiful beach is located about 5 kilometers north of the city of Trincomalee and it is one of the places that has attracted the greatest number of tourists in the area. As a matter of fact, most of the major hotels and restaurants are located on this beach.

In fact, this area could be regarded as a more suitable area for tourism than the Dutch Bay Beach area that was mentioned above. As well as whale watching, you can also take part in all the activities surrounding the sea here. In this area, however, there isn’t much choice when it comes to boats and only small outboard motor boats are popular here.

Nilaveli Beach

About 16 km north of Trincomalee is a stretch of beach flanked by a lush lagoon. The name Nilaweli means blue coast.

This colorful blue beach is very popular with locals and foreigners alike. Especially since Pigeon Island Marine National Park is very close from this place, many tourists who go to this island will definitely come to this beach.

That’s why this place is said to be the most suitable place for snorkeling in Sri Lanka Also Other activities of dolphin watching and whale watching start from this place.

Whale Watching in Kalpitiya

Near Chilaw, on the Kalpitiya peninsula, you’ll find an abundance of beaches, lagoons, and ancient structures. Sperm whales diving for gigantic squid have been more common sightings in the last ten years or so. If you’re fortunate, you could even get a glimpse of the majestic blue whale.

Where can I find a place to watch while in Kalpitiya?

The vast majority of Kalpitiya’s hotels, campers, and guesthouses may readily organize whale-watching excursions for visitors to their establishment. Trips often begin at first light and continue for three hours or more. The ideal time to go is outside of the monsoon season when the sea should be at its calmest and the weather the most pleasant.

Is Kalpitiya the best place for whale watching?

Compared to the other 2 places, this area is not developed for whale watching and in many cases it can be mentioned as a very suitable area for dolphin watching. Kalpity is unique in that you can see dolphins more closely than other places.

However, whales are less common in this area compared to the other two. However, there is also the possibility of watching whales in this region.
Within the lagoon protected area, this area has become one of the most popular spots for kitesurfing in the Sri Lanka .

When is the best time to go whale watching in Kalpitiya?

Located on the west coast of Sri Lanka, this area is also the nearest to the main airport.

The best months to watch whales are February, March, and April. During the North East Monsoon season of December and January, the heavy rains that occur in this region will cause the lakes and rivers to flow into the sea, thus attracting the much-needed food for whales during this time of year. Due to this, during this period of time, you will be able to see whales very close to you,

Information & Pricing for Whale Watching Tours in Kalpitiya

DURATION3 – 4 Hours
DEPARTURE LOCATIONSKalpitiya / Kudawa / Illanthadiya / Kappaladi
PRICEUS$100 for 2 persons Including “Wild Life Tickets”.
Extend the tour to search Whales, More Add US$

What type of whales can be seen in Sri Lanka?

The whales and dolphins that frequent Sri Lankan waters have gained international attention in recent years. The discovery has caused a surge in tourism as hoteliers see the financial opportunity presented by the possibility of hosting a visitor who happens to see one of these magnificent beasts.

Concerns that the animals are being harassed in their natural environment are stoked by the recent increase in “whale watching.” Shipping lanes that traverse the southern coast of Sri Lanka are another source of worry since whale remains washed up on the beach suggest a tragic accident. Activists and environmentalists have been trying to find ways to lessen the harm these animals inflict, but their efforts have not yet paid off.

However, marine scientist Asha de Vos, who heads Ocean swell, a marine conservation research, and education organization, insists that there are 29 recognized species of animals in our seas, including five kinds of huge whales. I’ll give you a short rundown of the five largest whale species.

Whale of Omura

Balaenoptera omurai, or Omura’s Whale, is a species of whale that was recently observed by Asha de Vos in the Sri Lankan seas. Omura’s whales weren’t properly identified as a species until the early 2000s. Therefore very little is known about their behavior. Many researchers had previously considered the Omura’s whale to be a Bryde’s whale with its head cut off. Most of the time, Omura’s whales travel in small groups or even alone, and they forage for krill and schooling fish.

Asha de Vos noted that all the major life activities of the five species of great whales, as well as a number of large dolphins, tiny dolphins, and the dugong, have been recorded in Sri Lankan seas, including feeding with young and courting. According to de Vos, who has traveled 95% of the coastline in pursuit of the creatures throughout several seasons, whales may be seen everywhere along the coast of Sri Lanka. However, most visitors go to the more accessible areas of Mirissa, Kalpitiya, and Trinco.

Blue Whale

The blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) is the biggest mammal ever recorded. The Balaenoptera musculus indica is a subspecies of this species. While de Vos acknowledged that the blue whale is on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, he noted that it is still uncertain whether or not the blue whales seen in Sri Lankan seas pose a threat to local populations. The maximum length for a blue whale is 98 feet, and its maximum weight is 173 tons.

Bryde’s Whale

Johan Bryde, who in 1909 created the first whaling station in South Africa, inspired the naming of this whale, Balaenoptera edeni, after himself. Balaenoptera edeni, the type species of Bryde’s whale, is thought to live in the warmer waters of the Indo-Pacific Ocean. However, it is not known how many subspecies of Bryde’s whale there are. The Bryde’s whale’s mouth may open to between 40 and 70 pleats in its neck, and it has three parallel ridges on the top of its skull.

Male Sperm Whale

The Physeter macrocephalus, or Sperm Whale, has the biggest known brain and is instantly recognizable by its enormous size and rounded forehead. It has a semi-liquid material in its head termed spermaceti, which early scientists mistakenly thought to be sperms. It possesses between 18 and 26 teeth on each side of its lower jaw, which fit into sockets in the upper jaw, making it the biggest toothed whale and the largest toothed predator.

Humpback Whale

Asha de Vos told Roar Media that sightings of the Megaptera novaeangliae, or Humpback Whale, in Sri Lankan seas are highly unusual. The head and pectoral fins of the Humpback whale are disproportionately large, and the whale itself is a dark grey with white patches. Adult females are generally bigger than adult males, and they may grow to a length of 60 feet. The average lifespan of a Humpback whale is 50 years, and it subsists mostly on crustaceans like krill, plankton, and tiny fish.



There are ten species of whales and dolphins that live off the coast of Sri Lanka all year round, including fin whales, Bryde’s whales, minke whales, humpback whales, and an abundance of dolphins as well. Between February and mid-March, blue whales are most likely to be seen in the waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Due to Sri Lanka’s unique location, you can enjoy whale watching all year round without any hindrance. You can enjoy the most beautiful experience of wales watching in the three places of South East and West Mirissa, Trincomalee, Kalpitiya in three seasons separately.

If you don’t blink, you won’t miss this small window of opportunity. This is the finest time of year to watch blue whales in Sri Lanka because of the microscopic crustaceans known as krill, which the Norwegians named and which literally means “small fry of fish.” Blue whales feed on krill as they travel the waters of the globe.


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