Snorkeling and Diving Spots
This tropical island is an internationally-renowned hotspot for under water diving and snorkeling. There are many exceptional wrecks, dazzling coral reefs and an extremely rich marine life and flora. Sri Lanka is a land rich with bio diversity, therefore diving in Sri Lanka’s waters is a treat! These waters are known for their endemic species of fish, shellfishes, other ocean dwellers and also colored coral and mysterious shipwrecks. The southern coast of Sri Lanka is especially popular for diving and Snorkeling as it provides breathtaking underwater tours. Most of the reefs found on the western coast are sandstone platforms. In the Southwest and southern coast rock boulder reefs are more common as they are small fringing coral reefs. All snorkeling and diving tours include at least one certified guide and will be provided the safety equipment and training if required. Let’s checkout some of the most outstanding locations in Sri Lanka for these exciting watersports.
Diving in Negombo
Divers can take this underwater tour in the beginning or at the end of the holiday as Negombo has a convenient distance from the international airport. Due to the monsoon seasons, the best time to go diving in Negombo is between November and April. With several intriguing diving sites available, you can even choose to enjoy wreck diving. Diving is more appropriate activity to do during a long beach stay in Negombo. Negombo waters has some of the best marine life to explore such as vibrant corals, schools of multi-colored fish such as Arracuda, Travelly, Fusiliers, blue Stripe Snappers, Honey Comb Moray, large schools of Goldline, Spinetrek, Oriental sweet lips, Yellow jack and lobsters and more. Be enlightened by the hidden mysteries of the underwater world by exploring the Wreck Chief Dragon, Taprobane wreck, and Aircraft carrier wreck of 1945 which are some of the best ship wrecks under these waters.
Trincomalee and Pigeon Island.
Trincomalee in the East Coast of Sri Lanka is one of the finest natural deep water harbors in the world, located in the eastern seaboard of Sri Lanka approximately 245km from Colombo. Most of the beaches in the area are wide and the water is crystal clear and some of the places not to miss is the “Marble Beach” and “Nilaweli” beach with the famous Pigeon Island Marine Life Sanctuary. The best season to visit Pigeon Island is from April to September which is a dry season in the region and the sea would be calm. The corals around the island is a great place to snorkel. Red rocks lying just 2km offshore are reachable by a small boat. The village of “Kanniyai” holds 07 wells that contains water from moderately warm water to very hot water and they are famous for their medicinal properties. Pigeon Island is one of the most popular marine national parks in Sri Lanka. It has some of the country’s most breathtaking coral reefs and is also home to a stunning array of 200 exotic marine species, coral and dazzling fish. It is called Pigeon Island due to the thousands of Rock Pigeons that use it as their breeding ground. The spectacular Blacktip Reef Shark and several kinds of turtles including the Hawksbill Turtle and Green Turtle often visit this island. This island is protected by the provisions under the ordinance of wildlife and flora conservation. Trincomalee has everything to offer for a perfect beach stay to diving to a shipwreck, snorkeling in crystal clear waters, whale watching across the bay, kite surfing and many more exciting activities to keep you at awe.
Hikkaduwa and Unawatuna
Are u looking for the perfect location to go Snorkeling in the Southwest coast? Head down to Hikkaduwa during November to April to experience some of the country’s best ship wrecks and reef dives. Hikkaduwa is a town on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka around 17km away from Galle. It is best known for its gorgeous golden beaches and warm inviting ocean. Hikkaduwa’s brilliant coral reef and underwater ecosystem makes it one of the best locations in the country for snorkeling excursions in particular. You can dive, swim and snorkel with parrot fish, barracuda and green turtles. Hikkaduwa is the perfect location for amateurs in snorkeling. There are around 60 species of hard coral along with over 170 species of tropical reef fish in the fringing reef at Hikkaduwa National Park.
Do you want to experience the longest stretch of shallow reef coastline in the world? Plan your trip to the East Coast (Passikudah) of Sri Lanka for the perfect tropical holiday coupled up with Diving and snorkeling adventures. Pasikudah is situated about 35 kilometres northwest of Batticaloa. You can walk for several kilometres into the sea because the water is only a few inches deep and the current is relatively weak, compared to the rest of Sri Lanka’s coasts. The best conditions for diving are generally in May and June when the sea is flat and visibility is excellent. The east coast receives less rainfall than the west coast and remains dry throughout most of the dive season. Currents in Passikudah are generally mild to moderate making it perfect for diving and snorkeling. For those looking for some adventure, there are deeper rocky reefs and wrecks that are more suitable for advanced divers. The barrier reef is home to a variety of tropical fish and variety to some of the small fish such as damselfish, cardinalfish, butterflyfish and small groups of snappers and sweetlips as well as offering sightings of whales, dolphins, mantra rays, reef sharks and other exotic sea creatures. The sandy area can be productive for finding shells, sand perches, shrimp gobies and other unusual fish species. It’s also a good place for night diving.
Kalpitiya bar reef sanctuary is a pristine system of coral reefs just off shore of the Kalpitiya peninsula which was declared a sanctuary in 1992. This western peninsular area of Kalpitiya in the Puttalam district of Sri Lanka is remarkably untouched by tourism. This beautiful reef is home to an incredible variety of tropical fish as well as offering sighting of manta rays, reef sharks and the occasional turtles. Diving and Snorkeling are not possible during the southwest monsoon period (May to November). The best times are therefore between late November and early May. Kalpitiya reef is the home to over 156 species of coral and 283 species of fish with greater biodiversity than any other found around the Indian Ocean. Bar reef is the largest coral reef in Sri Lanka and is an ideal location for the keen scuba divers and snorkelers. This underwater adventure will stretch to about 2-3 hours and is well worth it!