Kalpitiya has been earmarked by the Sri Lankan government as the next big tourist destination. Grand plans to build an airport, an underwater theme park, a golf course and more are pencilled in. Nothing has been built yet though, and the main allure currently is dolphin-watching and kite surfing.
I must say I really can’t see how this will all pan out. The accommodation is currently ridiculously over-priced (over £10 to sleep in a tent!), the beaches nondescript, dirty and lacking shade, and the sea nowhere near the turquoise blue shades westerners dream of from their office desk in the cold of winter. The town itself looks like one big construction site and the only nice building I saw, an old mosque, is abandoned and falling into disrepair. All in all, if you’re not into kite-surfing or dolphin-watching (which some say will be threatened by all the planned development), I struggle to spot the appeal of the place. Unsurprisingly, I only stayed one night before heading back to Colombo a day early for my partner’s birthday.
One of the many building sites in Kalpitiya town.