A remote area on the west coast of Sri Lanka where you will find nothing but coconut palms and blowing winds. What more could a kiteboarder want.
Kitesurfing Lanka Camp
Kalpitiya is a small village on the western coast of Sri Lanka. Well known for its coconut production and fishing communities. The village sits on the edge of the large tidal lagoon called Puttalam Lagoon that offer flat water, chop and small waves that covers most bases for freestyle riders.
Kalpitiya, Sri Lanka
Wind conditions: The best time to visit the Kalpitiya area is from May to September as this is when the highest probability of wind. The wind tends to come from the South West and funnels down the lagoon with very consistent winds from 18–28 knts from morning to night.
They also have a winter season from December to February where the winds come from the North West in the afternoons but are not as strong being from 14–18 knts.
Down winder briefing, Vella Island
Water Conditions: Water temp is 22–26 degrees Celsius with flat, smooth water in the lagoon with some small chop right in the center. There are also a couple of great surf spots (Donkey Point) near Kalpitiya that offer great kite conditions also.
Where to stay: There are many accommodation options around the lagoon but they all are of lower budget/quality as the place is only visited by kiters and windsurfers. Kitesurfing Lanka have a mix of cabins and tents and it seems to be one of the most popular places to stay with travelers from all over the world recommending it online. There is also Kite Worldwide which have an upper scale hotel accommodation that is right on the lagoon and is quite new.
Kite Worldwide, Kalpitiya Lagoon
How to get there: To get to Kalpitiya your best bet is to fly into Colombo (Sri Lankan Airlines or Emirates) and then from there have the kite resorts pick you up from the airport in one of their vans. The drive from Colombo to Kalpitiya is approximately 3 hours up the West coast.
Is it safe: Kalpitiya is very safe and the locals were friendly and helpful while I was there. I did hear a couple of reports though of female western tourists being hassled on the beach near the lagoon by young local males. I would suggest to stay in groups and not walk to the lagoon by yourself from your accommodation and to use the resort transfers that they all seem to offer as part of your stay.
High 5’s with the locals
Who goes there: Kite boarders and the occasional windsurfer. I was surprised to see so many people from Dubai here (approx. 30%) but it makes sense as it is only a ~4 hour flight. The rest was made up of travelers from all over the world who want to see something different and avoid the crowds on the water.
Internet: The internet/cellular quality in and is okay around the lagoon and the majority of the Kalpitiya area. The local cellular carrier (Dialog) has good prices for their data to keep you connected. You can pickup a SIM card at the airport or at one of the local stores in Kalpitiya. The wifi at the camps/resorts is pretty horrible as you normally have everyone trying to use it at once which causes most of their networks to crash and or cause slow speeds.
Money: Take cash with you to this region. You will only find one ATM in the Kalpitiya region and it has a pretty low limit on how much you can withdraw each day. Most of the camps will accept most hard currencies but Euro, US and the Sri Lankan Rupee is preferred.
I also suggest to pay for your accommodation upfront before or on arrival so you are not holding a large amount of cash during your stay.
No wind activities: Surfing is your best bet or SUPing/Kayaking around the lagoon. It is also fun to hire a motorbike/scooter and check out around Kalpitiya.
Must Do Activities: A must for any kiter traveling to this region is to go on a day or overnight trip to Vella Island. It is a 1 hour boat ride north from Kalpitiya and can be organised by most of the kite camps. I did this trip multiple times during my stay as the flat water and wind conditions were some of the best I have experienced.
The wind at Vella Island during the summer (May — September) is off-shore so you want to be a capable kiter if you visit else you could end up out at sea. The island is used by the locals as a fishing and crabbing spot and you will see many boats and huts covering the small island.
Luggage Tip: I would suggest flying to Colombo on Emirates as they have one of the best policies for your kite bag. It can be included as part of your luggage allowance as long as it is under 23kg. SriLankan Airlines has a slightly different policy and it is a bit hit and miss if you will have to pay extra.
Do you have some other information you would like to share about this location? Feel free to comment below.