The coastal belts of Sri Lanka are more than just sitting back and basking in the views, as it is also known to be a breeding ground for diverse marine eco-systems. Whether you are in the west, south, or east coast, you are definitely in for a treat, as there are many diving spots for you to go and explore life underwater. Here is where you can find the best dive spots in Sri Lanka.
Located on the western coast of the island, Kalpitiya immediately gives out a typical village-like atmosphere. It may not look much on land, but its waters always teem with diverse marine life.
The Bar Reef is the largest in the island and home to several species of corals and fish species. If you have the right PADI certifications, your chance to find the more rare species of wildlife increases. Manta Rays, Reef Sharks, and even endangered species of sea turtles can be seen when exploring the reef.
Even if you are not looking for a long dive, there are many other alternatives, such as the Bull Dog Reef, Moray Ridge, Kalpitiya Ridge, and Trevally Pass. Make sure you visit during the season, which lasts from November to April, because the waters can become quite choppy off-season.
Hikkaduwa may be known for its party atmosphere, great beaches, and water sports, however, it is also one of the best places to go diving.
Many dive spots are scattered throughout the coastal town, which varies according to your PADI certification. Regardless, there is a place for everyone to explore what lies under Sri Lankan waters.
For starters, the Hikkaduwa National Park is a great place to experience the reef and the marine life that dwells within. If you are looking for a longer and challenging dive, then Kiralagala and Deep Rock are ideal. Keep in mind though that you are required to have the relevant PADI certifications to explore the latter two.
What makes Hikkaduwa unique is that you can also witness some amazing shipwrecks that tell interesting old sailor stories.
Around 50 kilometres away from Hikkaduwa lies Weligama. This laid-back town is famed for its pristine beaches and surf breaks. Although popular with many beginner surfers, it is also an ideal place to go diving.
The Prince Heinrich Patch is one of the best places to witness what lies underneath Sri Lankan waters. Getting here, however, can be quite tricky, as it is well hidden. The Borderlands Adventure Centre at Cape Weligama can easily organise a dive to the spot.
There are several other dive spots, such as the Yala Rock and Bridge Rock, each of them having their unique rock formations and interesting marine life. Keep in mind, the season for diving here lasts from November to April.
The eastern coast has a mixture of both, natural and man-made wonders waiting to be explored in its waters.
Come the months between May and November, and the waters become perfect for diving. The White Rock dive spot enables you to see some attractive fish species, of which the peculiar Rockfish is quite abundant here. Make sure you go with a guide though.
If you are looking for shipwrecks, then the HMS Hermes dive site is just the spot to go. This particular ship was just one of the three aircraft carriers that served the Royal Navy during the Second World War. It was sunk by a Japanese bombing raid in 1942, and has been in this spot ever since.
Popularly known as a resort town in Trincomalee, Nilaveli also has its fair share of amazing dive spots, and most of them are located in the Pigeon Island National Park.
One of the great things about Nilaveli is that you do not have to be an experienced diver to witness the amazing marine life, since the waters here are shallow. Snorkelling alone is more than enough to experience the magnificence of the island’s waters.
Always be sure to visit during the months between April and November though. The waters are generally not suitable for underwater activity during the off-season.
Armed with this knowledge, you can now explore all the amazing things that dwell in Sri Lankan waters. What are you waiting for? Grab your scuba gear and head out!