The North West Coast of Sri Lanka which is north of Colombo including Negombo, Kalpitiya and Mannar are famous for pearls and lagoon fish. The North West Coast is also a major tourist attraction as it attracts tourists from all around the world for over centuries now. This area has a varied and enchanting landscape, amicable lagoons that meet the aquamarine seas, dispersed little islands off the coast, dry, arid wilderness to lush green paddy fields as well as Palmyra trees and Coconut plantations.
There are also plenty of activities here that cannot be missed out. These include,
- A visit to the Wilpattu national park as it is one of Sri Lanka’s oldest wildlife parks which covers an area of 131,000 hectares. The Wilpattu national park consists of numerous species of animals for example spotted deer, water buffalo, elephants, sloth bear and leopards.
- Birding in Mannar as it is popular among the tourists, especially during the migration birding season which is from October to March. Here you will be able to observe and learn about different bird species especially about pink flamingos.
- Kitesurfing in Kalpitiya as the North West Coast provides ideal spots. May to December is the best season for Kitesurfing.
- Whales and dolphin spotting off the coast of Kalpitiya.
- Deserted palm-fringed beaches of Alankuda.
- Water sports in Negombo. Although they are not as comprehensive as in Bentota or Mirrissa further down the south. However the water sports centre at the beach provides equipment, advice as well as coaching. Fishing in Negombo is also another activity. Furthermore, exploring the famous morning fish market where you will be able to buy different types of fish as well as sea food.
- Shimmering waters of Negombo’s lagoon as it merges with the Indian Ocean.
- The Muthurajawela Marshes locates just south of Negombo and expands up to an area of approximately 6000 hectares. A variety of mangroves and other types of flora are found here such as different types of birds, butterflies and fish species which are endemic. Also crocodiles, monitor lizards, Sri Lanka’s largest snake-the python is found in the Muthurajawela Marshes.
- Negombo’s catamarans with their billowing sails.
- Deep sea diving is also popular among the tourists as numerous species of fish, marine turtles, Moray Eels, sting rays can be spotted on the North West Coast.
- Visiting Dutch canals which covers an area of about 130km. Here the Canal paths winding through the villages can be explored by bicycle. Also, colonial churches and forts of the North West.
- Exploring the colonial architecture.