Sri Lanka is now widely regarded as one of the best places in the world to see whales. The island’s shoreline lies unusually close to the continental shelf, the point when the ocean floor drops dramatically and where larger marine life is found, and so it does not take too long to reach these deep waters from Sri Lanka’s western, southern and eastern coastlines. Whale and dolphin watching is possible from Kalpitiya, Bentota and Mirissa between December and April, and from Trincomalee and Pasikudah on the east coast between June and August, but Mirissa is widely thought of as the best place for whale watching in Sri Lanka.
We recommend using one of three companies to do whale watching in Mirissa – Mirissa Water Sports, Borderlands and Sail Lanka. Mirissa Water Sports offers public boat rides each morning; Borderlands offer both public and private whale watching experiences, whilst Sail Lanka provides a comfortable private catamaran with a well-equipped kitchen that the chef will use to cook a delicious breakfast for those on board.
Set out from Mirissa Harbour in the early morning and watch as spinner dolphins spiral and soar through the air beside the boat. 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.