Sperm whale watching, Alankuda

Explore the Northwestern Maritime Province

Places of Interest

North Western Maritime Province (NWMP) consists of the districts of Puttalam and Chilaw. Kalpitiya, Puttalam and Chilaw are the main coastal towns which are small fishing towns. The NWMP is called Wayamba Palata in Sinhala. Some of Wayamba's best resort beaches are at Marawila, Alankuda, Kalpitiya and Waikkal.

 

The Gulf of Mannar and scenic tropical lagoons edge the western shores of the NWMP along with wide, sun drenched beaches. Several fishing villages dot the coast. The coast stretches from Waikkal at its southern end to Portugal Bay in the Puttalam district. 

 

During the season, on average the wettest month is November followed by April and December. The least rainfall months are January to March.

Highlights

 

  • Dolphin and whale watching at Alankuda.

 

  • Visit the underwater Bar Reef Marine Sanctuary.

 

  • Dutch Bay estuary and Puttalam Lagoon boat trip exploring island scenary, mangroves, fisheries, seabirds and dolphins.

 

  • Bird watching at Chilaw Spit and Kalpitiya

Kudremalai

Kudremalai is a tapering piece of land projecting into a body of water, less prominent than a cape. It is situated near Thambapanni beach on the edge of Wilpattu National Park overlooking Portugal Bay and Battalanguduwa (Karaitivu island). Ptolemy located this place as Hiporous, meaning Horse Mountain. It shares a history with the nearby Karaitivu Island and ancient port town of Mannar. The reddish sandy earth in the vicinity is the main supportive evidence for the Thambapanni legend.

 

At the view point are limestone exposed sea cliffs about 60 meters above sea level. Below the cliff is a remaining base of an ancient archeological monument of a rearing horse facing the sea, estimated to have been 10 meters high. Here there is a sub-cylindrical long tomb to a saint in a small mosque – a place of pilgrimage to Mohammedan navigators, who in passing made offerings at the tomb to ensure a safe passage.

 

Sights & Activities

View Point overlooking Portugal Bay | Archeological Monuments | Wilpattu National Park | Copper Coloured Sand | Seagrass.

Kalpitiya

A fishing community town located in the northern part of the Kalpitiya peninsular that is sandwiched between the Gulf of Mannar and Dutch Bay lagoon. Famous for its seafood especially lagoon crabs. On-shore and off-shore attractions are abundant.

 

Sights & Activities

Whale and Dolphin Watching | Kitesurfing | Kalpitiya Fort | Island Ferry | Dolphin Watching in Lagoon | Bar Reef Marine Sanctuary (BRMS) | Snorkelling | Scuba Diving | Sportfishing | Water Sports | Kayaking  | Horse Riding | Lagoon and Estuary Tour | Bird Watching | Mangroves | Baobab Tree.

Alankuda

A secluded beach resort area 7km south of Talawila and 20km south of Kalpitiya town. Famous for being a marine mammal hotspot. The largest pods of Sri Lankan spinner dolphins are found inshore in the morning hours. Baleen whales are found even closer to shore. The continental shelf is just 3.5nm wide.

 

Sights & Activities

Whale and Dolphin Watching | Swim with Whale Shark | Bird Watching | Water Sports | Kayaking | Snorkelling | Scuba Diving | Sportfishing | Kitesurfing.

Talawila

Located about half way up the Kalpitiya peninsular. The 17th century St. Anne’s Church at Talawila beach hosts the largest catholic festivals in March and August each year.

 

Sights & Activities

Coral Reef | Snorkelling | Scuba Diving | Bird Watching |  Fishing Village | Lagoon Boat Trip | Sportfishing  | Kitesurfing.

Chilaw

Chilaw (Sinhala: හලාවත/Halāvata and in Tamil: சிலாபம்/Cilāpam) is a large fisheries town in the Puttalam Maritime District.

 

Sights & Activities

Chilaw Spit | Bird Watching |  Fisheries Harbour | Fish Market | Dolphin Watching.

 
 
 
 
 

Northwestern fishermen-at-work

© Howard Martenstyn

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Kudurumalai Point, Portugal Bay

© Howard Martenstyn