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Southern Province, Sri Lanka

Weligama Whale Watching

Just off the southern coast of Sri Lanka lives the majestic blue whale, the biggest creature on earth. Take a boat out to the middle of the Indian Ocean for the opportunity of a lifetime: to witness blue whales at play. See if you can also spot the sperm whales, orcas, playful spinner and bottlenose dolphins, curious turtles and whale sharks! It is fascinating to witness their individual personalities slowly unfold before your eyes.

The experience starts at Fisherman's Bay, Weligama. The great thing about Weligama is that there are plenty of options on how to get there. If you would like to take public transport from Colombo, you can get a train or a bus. If going by train, you will need to take a train to Weligama station, which takes approximately 3.5 hours. If going by bus, you will need to take a bus to Mataram station, which takes approximately 5 hours. From the bus or train station, you wil need to take a tuk tuk to Fisherman's Bay, the start point of whale watching. You can also hire a private car and driver from Colombo for a day - it will take approximately 2.5 hours each way to get to Fisherman's Bay by car. We have listed some great car and driver hire options here.

Yes, you'll need a guide to take you out on a boat to where the whales are. Ideally do choose a sustainable guide (like the one we have listed here), who cares about the welfare of the whales, and who ensures that the whale watching takes place at a comfortable distance for the whales.

Nope. You only need to sit back and enjoy!

Whale season off the southern coast of Sri Lanka takes place from November to April. Any time during those months is a good time to spot whales.

You will need a half a day to get out far enough from the shore, and come back. You should budget for at least about 5 hours.

You can choose between a private trip, where you can go whale watching any day of the week, or a join-in group trip which only takes place on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

While spending some time in Weligama, make sure to visit a few of the best restaurants in town (and arguably in the country!). Head to Aloha Weligama for a mix of Western and Sri Lankan food. Aloha is run by a Russian transplant who really knows how to cook! Also check out Hangtime for good Western fare. 🌊🏄🏾‍♀️🏄🏻‍♂️Of course Weligama is famed for surfing - so, if you have a day or two, do try to catch a few waves! 🌴You may also be interested to take a day trip to the UNESCO Sinharaja Rainforest for some hiking, or to one of the nearby national parks such as Yala or Udawalawe National Park. You can book a car and a driver to take you there after your whale watching trip here here

Once you arrive to Weligama or many of the other coastal towns (such as Mirissa), you will notice the overwhelming supply of whale watching offers. Please note that many of them might be uninsured and most of them do not know how to approach the whales, often times getting too close for the comfort of the animals. You don't have to go with our recommended operator of course, but if possible, please do choose an experienced and ethical operator who is mindful of the welfare of the whales.