Kalpitiya is located in Puttalam district, of Sri Lanka. Placed 150 km north of the capital, Colombo, the Kalpitiya region is one of the most beautiful coastal areas located in the Western Province of Sri Lanka. Kalpitiya is a peninsular that separates the Puttalam lagoon from the Indian Ocean and is a marine sanctuary with a diversity of habitats ranging from bar reefs, flat coastal plains, saltpans, mangroves swamps, salt marshes and vast sand dune beaches.It is known for its serene beauty. It consists of 14 islands. It has a total area of 16.73 km2. The people of Kalpitiya are mostly fishermen.
Rich in natural beauty, Kalpitiya's history is no less interesting. Records going far back reveal that the peninsula was associated with maritime trade and smuggling escapades since ancient times. It was first colonised by the Portuguese in early 17th Century. The arrival of the Dutch eventually resulted in the ousting of the Portuguese from here and elsewhere in the island. Historical records show that during the Dutch period of the island's colonial history, the northern end of the peninsula was used as a strategic base for a military garrison and naval outpost to monopolise trade supplies to the mainland. A well preserved Dutch-erafort (incorporating an earlier Portuguese-era church) occupied by the Sri Lanka Navy, and a Dutch church remain today. Nearby at Talawila to the south, a vibrant annual festival keeps alive its Portuguese heritage, at the ancient St Anne's church festival, when thousands of Catholic devotees descend upon the tiny village to celebrate St Anne's Day on July 26.
It is now developing as an attractive tourist destination. It is a marine sanctuary with a diversity of habitats ranging from bar reefs, flat coastal plains, saltpans, mangroves swamps, salt marshes and vast sand dune beaches. It provides nursing grounds for many species of fish and crustaceans. The coastal waters are also home to spinner, bottlenose and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins, whales, sea turtles, and even the illusive dugong that are of great appeal to potential tourists. Sri Lankan government now formulated a master plan for the development of tourism industry here.
Tourist Attractions Within The Zone
- Near Islands at Dutch Bay and Portugal Bay
- Bar Reef Marine Sanctuary- 307 km2 of Sea having most valuable rich Bio-Diversity Value
- Sea Turtles
- Ornamental fish collection
- Lobster capturing
- Sea Cucumber Collection
- Flora and Fauna
- Historical Monuments
- Birds and Butterflies
- Natural Botanical Gardens.
- Natural Forest
- Estuaries and Lagoons
- Sea grass beds