Ethical Whale Watching in Mirissa – an Idyllic Palm-Fringed Town
This fisherman village with relaxed vibe is an ideal place to take a break after hiking in the Hill Country. The long strep of white sand beaches, chilled atmosphere, great waves for surfers and beach-front restaurants serving delicious Sri Lankan dishes- what else could you add to a perfect holiday location? We know: a real, ethical and friendly experience of whale watching year round in Mirissa! Visit this lovely town and experience a perfect Sri Lankan beach day.
Chill at Mirissa Beach
This idyllic, palm- fringed beach with small shacks right on its white sand is the perfect place to just chill and sink it the atmosphere of the slow, Sri Lankan life. There are a few good restaurants, serving all kinds of food and happy hour drinks. ?
↬ TIP : At the end of the day, the restaurants pull out tables right on the sand. Enjoy fresh fish and sea food caught the same day while sitting barefoot on the sand.
Climb The Parrot Rock
The Parrot Rock is a small hill located in the centre of Mirissa Beach and easily reachable at the low tide. The path up is a bit destroyed, but not hard to climb. From the top of the rock you will have a beautiful view on the town as well as the ocean.
↬ Note : We never found out why this rock is called ‘Parrot Rock’. In fact, there are no parrots but instead many ravens that majestically flew right above our heads while exploring it.
Take pictures at Coconut Tree Hill
Just 15 min walk from Mirissa Beach is an insta-famous spot. The Coconut Tree Hill is where tall coconut trees grow on a tiny peninsula overlooking the ocean. This location makes a great photo opportunity.
↬ TIP : To avoid the crowds come for sunrise instead of sunset. Both are beautiful, but the hill gets very crowded during the day and evening hours.
Try Surfing for the First Time
Mirissa is an ideal place for surf enthusiasts those wanting to try out surfing for the first time. There are many shops where you can rent a board of get a teacher on Mirissa Beach. The perfect sea conditions are from October to March, but you can try it out any time of the year. In fact, the water will be calmer for the remaining months, making it easier for the beginners.
Go for an Ethical Whale Watching Adventure in Mirissa
Many people come specially to Sri Lanka for the whale watching experience. The south coast of Sri Lanka lies next to one of the world’s greatest cetacean migratory routes. The chances of spotting the world’s biggest mammal are high throughout the whole year.
The Ethical Aspect of Whale Watching Tours
Before travelling to Sri Lanka we knew that whale watching is one of the biggest attractions here. However, we were really afraid of the negative impact those tourist trips could have on whales. Not wanting to be a part negative animal tourism, we decided not to support it by not doing it (the same as Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage). As we had some previous bad experience with whale shark watching in Cebu, Philippines we didn’t want to make the same mistake twice.
However, before arriving in Mirissa we met a very nice French family, with which we exchanged experiences. They told us about this one company Raja and The Whales. Saying they had similar doubts, before they set on the adventure they checked and talked to the crew. After reaching Mirissa, Nadun, the owner of lovely Villa Oceane where we stayed, confirmed that Raja and the Whales is the only reliable company we can trust for whale watching in Sri Lanka.
Raja and the Whales – the only reliable company
Raja and the Whales crew really cares about the environment and the whales. They have marine biologists on board studying the whales and respecting their nature and behaviours. We decided to give it a shot. We are extremely happy to say that this crew was everything we’ve heard. Kind, respectful and took animals well being as a priority. They have big knowledge which they gladly share and were the best at spotting the whales (always remembering to keep the right distance).
If you come to Mirissa and dream of whale watching experience- this is the only company we recommend.
If you ever have a doubt whether the activity you are about to do could hurt wild life in any way: it’s best to abort it and not do it at all. Unless you can be assured that it’s safe both for you and for the animals- do not do it. Wildlife tourism is a big problem those days and everybody should open their eyes on the terrible impact it has. Beautiful instagram pictures, but at what cost?
Getting to Mirissa
The easiest way to get to Mirissa is by a car or a taxi. It can be reached from any part of the South Coast. Like from Yala National Park located just an hour drive away. However the cheapest way is by bus. We travelled around Sri Lanka mostly by bus and highly recommend this way of transport. It’s cheap, fast and adventurous.
↬ Read : Complete Travel Guide – 3 Weeks Across Sri Lanka
Another option of getting to Mirissa is by train. The nearest train station is located in Weligama (7 km away). It can be reached from Colombo in about 3h 40 min. Check the train timetable here.
Where to eat
The Doctors House is a 200-year-old former Dutch and Ayurvedic hospital, situated on the south coast of Sri Lanka on the beautiful beach just minutes from the center of Mirissa. They serve great food, cocktails and have the coolest vibe in the area.
Shady Lane serves healthy food in a great setting. Enjoy an acai bowl, avocado toast and soy latte.
W&D Beach Restaurant or other restaurants located right on Mirissa Beach are the best for fresh seafood straight from the ocean to the grill.
If you are staying at Villa Oceane have a dinner there one night. There is a private cook that prepares freshly caught fish every day. You must inform the owners in advance and they’ll tell you what’s the catch of the day. It was definitely out best meal in Sri Lanka.
Wondering what to do after?
Where to stay
In Mirissa, there are many beautiful beach resorts as well as small hostels. Have a look at booking.com to find the perfect place.
We recommend: Villa Oceane and Ubuntu Beach Villas by Lantern