The world’s largest animals – the blue whale. Imagine seeing them up close - Over 25 metres in length and weighing 173 tonnes of nature’s marvels swimming serenely past you! It’s a feeling of wonder and humility, you’ll never forget. So, if you want to spot one of these beauties head to Mirissa for the Mirissa whale watching tour.
Mirissa is a lovely, quaint little beach town in Southern Sri Lanka, around 150 kilometres from Colombo and a short drive from Galle. A beautiful beach, with clear waters which make it a great spot to bum around, swim or snorkel. But, the main attraction in Mirissa are their whale watching tours.
The whale watching tours run almost all through the year (weather permitting) except in the monsoon months of May and June since the waters get very choppy and unsafe. The tours start early in the morning – you will have to report at the office of the tour operator by around 6 am and head out by 6.30am.
The boats are comfortable with a lower deck and a covered upper deck. They will serve you breakfast on the boat which might include bread, eggs, fruits and tea/coffee. You will have to head in to the sea for at least 3 hours before you spot any whales. But on the way, you could spot flying fish, turtles, manta rays, whale sharks and dolphins. A pod of dolphin typically has around 200 dolphins and seeing them jump up and come up for air is like watching an aquatic dance performance.
You could spot a variety of whales on the Mirissa whale watching tour – blue whales, fin whales, sei whales, sperm whales, orcas if you are lucky. The highlight is definitely the blue whales. Most trips do spot a whale or two at the minimum. You just have to patient and keep your eyes wide open.
Some tips for the Mirissa whale watching tour
You might feel sea sick, consult your doctor for some anti-nausea pills
Avoid alcohol the previous night, it’ll help avoid sea sickness
Hydrate – it gets very sunny on the boat. Also, pack sun hats and sun screen
Some extremely commercial tour operators go very close to the whales and crowd around the whales. Please check the Mirissa whale watching tour operators you are using to see that they are environmentally conscious
Please do not go scuba diving or snorkelling near blue whales even though some tour operators offer them. Blue whales are very shy creatures, they may not come back to the same spot if they see humans there and if that is a good feeding spot for them, it might be detrimental to their survival