Kalpitiya is a small fishing village that started to develop into a tourist location a few years ago. The main purpose to come here is kitesurfing, as the wind is usually persistent during the season. Apart from kitesurfing, there is literally nothing to do here. There are very few restaurants scattered along the lagoon. All kite surf centers and most hotels/hostels will be along the lagoon as well. Most accomodation options are very simple - as in improvised bamboo cottages. The main town is roughly 5km away. Unfortunately, there is no proper road from the lagoon to the town - just a dirt path through the marshes, which gets flooded frequently, and becomes inaccessible by anything else but a 4WD. Tuk tuk drivers are more daring and might give you a ride for around 700 LKR. However, the town itself has little to nothing to offer itself.
The value for money is simply very poor in this place. You can feel hosts are in big despair to claim Kalpitiya as a attractive, rural and untouched area of Sri Lanka for what is worth paying higher prices. Accommodation is massively over-priced, and mostly of very poor standard. There is no water distribution system (individual tanks only), and the electricity drops frequently.
The location in terms of a kitesurfing spot is average to good. The wind is mostly good to very good during the season. The lagoon itself however is a murky swamp full of creepers - not too pleasant for beginners. Mostly waist deep though. The ocean can serve as a nice wave spot. Given the outrageously overpriced accommodation/food options, wild camping/self catering might be an alternative.
Kalpitiya is located to 165 km North from Colombo. You can get here by bus/car for about 3.5 hours drive. Public transport is available from Colombo to Puttalam, after you can take a tricycle. Also you can hire a van with driver for 7000-8000 LKR from airport.
Public transport is cheap, but very slow and may not be readily available. You could also use the omnipresent Three Wheelers (Tuk-Tuks). Always agree on the price before you get in. Prices vary and it is best you get advice from your Hotel about prices before you hail one.
Renting a car/van/bike could be a big problem in Kalpitiya/Puttalam area. If you plan to get around with our own transport (which is good idea), its much easier to rent one in Negombo/Colombo area.
There are several kitesurfing schools operating:
The best souvenir from Kalpitiya is a bottle of arrack — local liquor 33° from coconut, feels like something between rum and whiskey. You can buy it from wine shops, price starts from 900 LKR. Locals are recommending DCSL brand.
There are no bars, but you can buy arrack/wine/beer from wine stores. Shops are closed by 9 PM, so plan early.
There are very few restaurants in the Kalpitiya town area. Do not expect high standards and quality.
Don't miss local street food egg roti, you can find it on every corner.
If you want to cook yourself (which is the only option to have good food), Carghill Food City supermarket is located in Puttalam near the hospital.
Compared to the very tourist friendly Negombo and the down south, Kalpitiya is relatively under developed for tourism and finding comfortable accommodation could be a challenge.