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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Top excursions starting from Kalutara - Exploring the sacred city and its vicinity
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Top excursions starting from Kalutara - Exploring the sacred city and its vicinity

Kalutara, Sri Lanka is one of the most underrated coastal cities of the Southern belt. It has less of a crowd and is within convenient distance from many an attraction in the area.


Galle Fort Tour

A must-do activity when in Sri Lanka, touring the Galle Fort does not fall strictly within the realm of things to do in Kalutara. However, the Galle Fort is within easy distance from Kalutara. In fact, if you were to hop into a car at Anantara Kalutara Resort, you would be at the Galle Fort under two hours.

Visiting the Galle Fort is important for historical as well as cultural reasons. The Fort is a well-preserved memento if the Dutch occupation in Sri Lanka. Culturally, it is now home to some of the quaintest boutiques, cafes, and restaurants that speak the essence of Sri Lanka loud and clear.


Whale Watching – Mirissa

What use is visiting an island if you do not take time off to enjoy its marine life! Whale watching is the perfect way to see this side of Sri Lanka. Whale watching excursion on the Southern coast often happens at Mirissa, which is about one and a half hours away from Kalutara. The tours start with the break of dawn and take a couple of hours. If you are lucky, not only will you be able to see whales, but some friendly dolphins would come to welcome you to the paradise island as well. The whale watching season in this region is between April and December.

While in Mirissa, you could also try your hand at swimming, snorkelling, and even a bit of fishing. All coastal activities are practised in Mirissa, so you can quite easily make it an action-packed day tour from Kalutara.


Visit to the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery

Another way to observe and appreciate the marine life of this island nation, a visit to the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery takes under an hour from Kalutara. The Turtle Hatchery focuses on safeguarding five of the endangered leatherback turtles in the Indian Ocean who come to the strip of beach near the Hatchery to lay their eggs. If your timing is right, you might be able to join the officers on a night tour to see baby turtles scurrying into the waters. Even if not, you can always visit the Hatchery and observe the turtles they have in the hatchery being nursed back to health due to their various injuries and problems.


Cruise down the Kalu River

Kalu River, or Kalu Ganga as it is more commonly known, is one of the top 4 most celebrated rivers in Sri Lanka. Springing from the sacred Sri Pada, it snakes and trapezes through a hundred miles to finally fall into the embrace of the Indian Ocean at Kalutara. The best way to enjoy the joys of the river is to take a sunset cruise. Setting off on a local boat towards the evening, the experience of watching the setting Sun while understanding the monumental journey the waters beneath you have taken to reach this destination is one of the most profound and romantic activities that you can do in the area.