Diving and Snorkelling

Diving in Sri Lanka can be explored when one does not need to be an experienced diver or snorkeler to see the extraordinary world underwater. Fully geared with mask, snorkel and fins you can float and attempt snorkelling and dive into the waters of Sri Lanka and exhilarate in the beauty and vibrancy of the world under the sea which would be an experience with unforgettable memories. The coasts of Sri Lanka provide perfect spots for diving, scuba diving and snorkelling. The deep blue waters of the Indian Ocean have many a species of marine life and stunning exquisite corals. Since Sri Lanka was located in the centre of trade routes in ancient times, there were many shipwrecks dotted around the coasts which have occurred during different periods of time. Therefore head out to sea with trained and licensed crew to explore the best diving spots for thrilling scuba diving holidays in Sri Lanka.

The oldest wreck is ‘Godawaya’ which is close to Hambantota. It is a wooden ship which is believed to be 2000 years old. The Galle harbour has many recorded wrecks, in particular the Galle Ship Wreck also known as Tango Wreck and the SS Rangoon.

Scuba diving in Colombo is popular in many dive sites such as the Gorgonian Gardens which is a unique dive site found in Sri Lanka and the Taprobane Reefs are simply extraordinary. Popular shipwreck sites off Colombo are the Medhufaru which is a Maldivian cargo vessel that had sunk in 2009 and has many groups of batfish; Cargo Wreck which is a sunken French vessel and Barracuda Reef, a rocky reef that lies 4 km off Mount Lavinia, Colombo.

Trincomalee has many diving sites which are located in Nilaveli Beach, Pigeon Island and Swami Rock. There are many species of hard and soft corals, marine and aquatic life which include the Sting Rays and Moray Eels. The best time for diving and snorkelling is from April to October. The shipwreck called ‘Irrankandy’ which can be found 40 minutes off the coast is full of fish. Another most well known site is ‘HMS Herms’ which sits off the coast of Batticaloa. These sites are one of the best dive sites of Sri Lanka.

Negombo beach is well-known for scuba diving and snorkelling. The diving season in Negombo is from October to April. There are many popular diving sites consisting reefs, black corals, large rocks and small caves with various exquisite and vibrant marine wildlife such as Lionfish, Bluestripe snapper, Moray eels (also known as Muraenidae), Fusilier fish, Snapper fish, Lobsters, Groupers and numerous others. It is home to many dome shaped corals, approximately 20 types of rocks and reefs and many species of Rays.

Kalpitiya Bar Reef Sanctuary has many coral reefs just off shore of the Kalpitiya peninsula and is one of the best snorkelling sites of Sri Lanka. It is home to over 156 species of coral, 283 species of fish and a hotspot for reef sharks, manta rays which attract divers and snorkelers.

Beruwela has two well known diving sites which are called Shark Point and Barracuda Rock. Canoe Rock is a large dive spot located in Bentota which has an array of beautiful corals and exotic fish.

Dickwella boasts some great diving spots with PADI approved diving centres offering assistance and equipment along the shores. The beautiful coral reefs and the colourful coral fish make this snorkeling a mesmerising experience.

Hikkaduwa Coral Reef is Sri Lanka’s first Marine National Park, a popular area for scuba diving with options of seeing the striking corals underwater by taking a ride in one of the glass bottomed boats. More than 60 species of hard coral and about 170 species of reef fish do exist in this spot. Divers have opportunities in exploring some shipwrecks found within close proximity. Popular diving points are Kiralagala, Godagala and Black Coral Point. The easy shallow beaches make it suitable for even novice divers and there are many dive shops offering PADI courses. The lagoon is the safest place for beginners to snorkel exploring the coral reef whilst stumbling upon reef fish. The more competent snorkelers can venture out to the deeper coral patches with an opportunity to sight reef sharks that do roam about.

Unawatuna Beach and the Jungle Beach has many spots for diving and snorkelling. The ‘Ragoon’ (a British Steamer with its masts still intact), ‘Lord Nelson’ (a cargo ship) are some of the shipwrecks that can be explored.

The bay of Weligama is another ideal spot for snorkelling. The shallow reefs and rock formations are home to a variety of species of marine life in particular many tropical fish. There are PADI diving stations that provide equipment with trained crew to assist you. A noted diving site in Weligama 30 minutes towards the southern region of the Bay is the Prince Heinrich Patch (PHP). While diving in this area, you will be able to witness marine life such as giant morays, honeycomb morays, yellow margin morays, mantas and rays in action in their own habitat. If you wish to dive with Nudibranchs, Bridge Rock is the place to visit.

Mirissa has amazing marine life with a plethora of species of tropical fish and eels and more therefore giving opportunities for diving and snorkelling. Tourists have a variety of options to choose diving schools in which they offer many courses such as scuba diving, open water course, advanced open water course, rescue diver course and dive master courses. They do operate night diving and reef diving.

EPIC Sri Lanka Holidays can arrange best Sri Lanka diving tours for you.