More than 26 species of cetaceans such as blue whales, sperm whales, and fin whales can be observed from the Sri Lankan coast. Blue whales are the most frequent guests in Sri Lankan waters. Popular whale-watching locations include Dondra Point, Mirissa, and Trincomalee.
Dondra Point is the southernmost tip of Sri Lanka. Due to the narrow continental shelf, whales can be seen as close as a few miles from the shore. Sometimes they can be seen 54-m (176-ft) from Dondra lighthouse. Dondra Point is the most reliable place for whale watching due to a ninety percent chance of seeing blue whales and a well-developed infrastructure. Tours to Dondra Point leave from Galle and Hikkaduwa.
Mirissa offers regular whale and dolphin watching excursions. Boats leave at 7 am from Mirissa Harbor and spend three or four hours at sea. The chances of seeing whales and dolphins during high season is over 90%. The best time for whale watching on the southern coast is from November to April.
An alternative option is to watch whales in Trincomalee, located on the northeast coast. Most of the whale-watching tours there start at 6:30 am. Depending on the sea conditions, it can take up to 3 hours. In the north, the best time for whale watching is usually from July to September