Kalpitiya is one of Sri Lanka’s treasures that lie secluded on the West Coast.
A stretch of land, spanning 60 kilometres, north of Colombo, it is definitely one of the most beautiful coastal areas in that part of the island.
The historic Dutch Fort and St. Peter’s Kirk are reminders of the country’s colonial history.
The area is also well known for its diverse habitat, which includes the Bar Reef – that boasts of the greatest biodiversity of any coral reef situated in the waters around Sri Lanka. The Bar Reef has a high ecological, biological and aesthetic significance because it is home to 156 species of coral and 283 species of fish. The Puttalam saltpans, mangrove swamps as well as the salt marshes and vast sand dune beaches are some of its other attractions.
|Pix courtesy picasaweb.google.com /alankudabeach/
If marine life is what you want you will not be disappointed as there is a 90% chance of seeing dolphins and whales as well as the mysterious dugongs. The latter is a rare species and found only in this part of the island.
Among the long list of marine mammals in the Bar Reef Marine Sanctuary are the long snouted spinner dolphin, bottlenose dolphin, Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin, rissose dolphin and of course the dugong. The species of whale that can be spotted are the blue whale, mink whale, sperm whale, dwarf sperm whale and melon-headed whale.
Three hours away from Kalpitiya lies the Cultural Triangle which has four of Sri Lanka’s seven World Heritage Sites while the Wilpattu National Park is an hour away. The well known 17th century Roman Catholic church – St. Anne’s, Talawila is five miles from Kalpitiya. A Hindu temple dating back to ancient times and dedicated to God Shiva – the Munnesweram Kovil, can also be visited as it is around one and a half hours drive from Kalpitiya.
So much to see, so much to experience, but where can you stay? Well one of Kalpitiya’s hidden treasures is Alankuda Beach, situated on a deserted stretch of two kilometres.
“The resort has a mix of open-style single-roomed wattle and daub cabanas and villas,” says proprietor Dallas Martenstyn. The perfect way to relax and unwind would be to have a drink at the beach bar or relax in the 40 metre fibre optic-lit pool. Be it the Indian Ocean or the clear night sky the view is breathtaking.
The restaurant called the Ambalama is located in such a way that it gives you a perfect view of the pool and the ocean, giving you the chance to savour some delicious Sri Lankan cuisine including seafood specialties.
The accommodation has a jungle feel to it while at the same time allowing you to hear the waves crash at a distance. The villas and cabanas are comfortable, open spaces and so are the toilets and showers! Taps are hidden behind decorative shells while the water seems to spout out of a tree.
So once the monsoon ends and the seas on the west coast calm down head for a relaxing or even a romantic getaway to Alankuda Beach.