Have you ever visited every corner of Sri Lanka? Thinking of a brand new experience to indulge yourself in? Come on, let’s try something you’ve never done before. What about a wonderful scuba dive? The beautiful ecosystems built around this island create the perfect opportunities for this wonderful water sport. In fact, scuba diving is a rising star in Sri Lanka’s tourism industry, and not only divers but also amateurs can witness this delight. Hence, if you are to visit Sri Lanka any sooner, you should certainly think about scuba diving here. This read is sure to help you with it!
Is Sri Lanka Good for Scuba Diving?
Of course, yes! Beautiful Sri Lanka is nestled in the warm blue waters of the Indian Ocean. This is a great oasis for divers.
Did you know the wonder of the seabed that has never been seen before? There is no other island like Sri Lanka where you can escape from the breathtaking views of the terrestrial environment and dive into the ocean water and experience the glamour in it. In fact, Sri Lanka owns a stunning coastline of about 1585 km. The biodiversity of this coastline is immeasurable.
It has an amazing variety of coral reefs in a variety of shapes and colors and is home to hundreds of beautiful marine life. Hence, anyone who dives here will have the opportunity to see with their own eyes the marine life that varies from tiny coelenterate creatures to giant blue whales. You can not only observe animal species but also marine plants during your diving trip. The main reason for this is the rich biodiversity of Sri Lanka, which is higher than anywhere else in the world.
In addition, a large number of ships sunk during the First and Second World Wars are located at the bottom of the Sri Lankan Ocean. Today, thousands of colorful marine life decorate these ships, and it looks like a paradise underwater. As you dive along the Sri Lankan coast, you will have the rare opportunity to see this wreckage. The assistance of the specialized diving centers available in Sri Lanka and its highly skilled trainers will surely help you to have an unforgettable diving experience.
Best Places for Scuba Diving in Sri Lanka
The Sri Lankan shorelines feature some amazing spots for perfect scuba dives. You can find some of them below.
- Chief Dragon Wrek
- SS Worcestershine
- Barracuda Reef
- Gorgonian Gardens
- Pigeon Island
- Swami Rock Reefs (Lovers’ Leap)
- The Bar Reef and Bulldog Reef
- The Trevally Pass and Moray Point
- Great and Little Basses Reefs in Kirinda
Excited to know more about these places? Continue reading!
Scuba Diving in the Colombo seashore is famous for viewing the wreckage of sunken ships. About 12 ships that sank in this manner are there in the Colombo sea from a depth of 98 feet to 187 feet. Anyone who dives on this Colombo beach can see many beautiful coral reefs. You can find below some of the main scuba diving spots in Colombo.
- Chief Dragon Car wreck
- SS Worcestershire
- Barracuda Reef
- Gorgonian Gardens
Continue reading to get to know more about these places!
Chief Dragon Wrek
The chief dragon, a cargo ship that sailed across the sea from Panama, sank in the 1980s near the Colombo harbor during the Sri Lankan war. The large panel of this ship has created a beautiful spot on the pure blue seabed. Today, shipwrecks are full of beautiful marine life. The large holes in the ship are littered with beautiful seaweed, coral reefs, and sea creatures. The fish that live together in large groups are the ones that live here the most. So, a scuba dive here allows you to observe these amazing sights yourself.
As you might already know, dozens of ships have sunk in the Colombo coastline. Among them, SS Worcestershire is one such ship that sank in the Colombo seas. According to reports, this is a British Merchant ship. It sank in 1918 during the First World War. This ship is there at a depth of 57 meters about 12 km west of Mount Lavinia. Although it has been badly damaged on the inside, its shape can still be seen from the outside.
This wrecked ship is full of beautiful, colorful marine life and it looks like underwater heaven on the sea bed. The rare fish like Yellowfin trevally, giant trevally, groupers, and grey snappers are abundant here. The divers diving here can swim with these schools of fish. This place is suitable for most experienced divers due to its higher depth. In fact, it is a perfect place to take an adventurous diving experience in deep waters.
This barracuda reef is one of the most famous diving sites in Sri Lanka. You can see it on the left side of the beach near Mount Lavinia in Colombo city. It houses a large number of indigenous and exotic sea creatures with their own eyes. The beauty that they add to this place is indescribable.
Turtles swim with divers. Fish such as lionfish are in abundance in this place. Also, predatory species come here to eat these small fish. But there is no harm to the divers from them.
If you visit here twice, it’s always different from what you see the first time. Hence, divers who visit this place will never be disappointed. In fact, this is one of the very few places where you can have such an experience. There are a number of diving schools nearby as well. Hence, this is a great place for scuba diving in Sri Lanka.
The gorgonian garden is another beautiful place where you can dive into the Colombo Sea. It looks like a garden full of sea creatures and beautiful green coral reefs which is the perfect place for you to enjoy the beauty of an underwater park.
This is not just another coral reef under the sea. The bottom holds gorgons sea flowers. These flowers are flat and cover the seabed. Also, this place is mostly visited by sea creatures that are attracted to these flowers. This flower forest can be seen at a depth of about 35 meters below sea level. Ship anchoring is prohibited at this location due to the damage caused to these flowers by the landing of those ships.
The park is very healthy even today. However, this is ideal for more experienced deep-sea divers as the location is quite deep. In addition, various coral reefs and triggerfish can be seen here, which are found among beautiful coral reefs.
Hikkaduwa is a popular tourist destination in the country. And yes, it is a great place for diving in the South Seas.
The Hikkaduwa coastline is home to some of the most diverse coral reefs. There are about sixty species of beautiful coral reefs hidden on the seabed, making it ideal for anyone who has never dived before and is keen to dive into it. It is also home to some 170 species of coral-dwelling sea creatures. Among them, angelfish, parrotfish, butterflyfish, and snappers are the most prominent.
For anyone who wants to experience the beauty of the seas and get a glimpse of it, there are many special places along the Hikkaduwa coast, such as Kiralagala, Godagala, and black Coral point. Hikkaduwa is also a popular destination for shipwrecks.
The SS conch that sank in the Akurala area is a good example of this. This is an oil tanker that sank in 1903. Today, the ship is full of beautiful coral reefs and marine life. The wreckage is located at a depth of 14 meters. Sea creatures such as stingrays, groupers, porcupine fish, and lionfish can be seen in abundance here.
Besides, the city is home to a number of licensed and experienced diving schools. Hence, this is an ideal ocean area for beginner divers as well as professional divers.
You may have already heard about the beauty of Trincomalee. The Port of Trincomalee, a natural harbor, is the second-largest port in Sri Lanka at present. The beauty of this beach, which is full of blue waters, is indescribable. There are beautiful coral reefs such as eel rock, blacktip rock, and white rock in the blue, and the wreckage of ships that sank during the World War, doubling the beauty of the seabed. In addition, the wreckage of Japanese and British aircraft can also be seen. When you dive on the Trincomalee beach, you can have an endless experience.
Famous diving spots in Trincomalee include the following.
- Swami Rock Reefs
- Pigeon Island
Continue reading to know more about these places.
The pigeon island is located hundreds of meters away from Trincomalee shores, but visible from the beautiful Nilaveli beach. You have to go here by boat. Thus, the delight it offers you is indeed amazing.
This island is called the Pigeon Islands because thousands of blue rock pigeons use this place as their home for their breeding activities. Also, Pigeon Island is considered a National Marine Park.
The coral reef here is located a short distance away from the beach and can be seen very well during the day. The sea is very clear. About two hundred species of fish living in tropical countries live among these coral reefs here. Sea creatures such as blacktip reef sharks, hawk-billed turtles, and green turtles also add to the beauty of the place. The seabed is completely covered with beautiful different colored coral reefs. Any diver from the beginning to the professional stage can experience the beauty of this place.
Swami Rock Reefs (Lovers’ Leap)
This swami rock is also famous for the nickname ‘lovers’ leap’. This is a very scenic place in Trincomalee and it is very different from other diving places.
According to ancient records, this swami rock was a place of worship for Hindus and was destroyed during the colonization period, during the Portuguese invasion to be specific. Debris such as ancient stone pillars and statues from the destruction have been deposited on the seabed. It looks like another Hindu shrine under the sea. The multi-colored statues are adorned with more beautiful sea creatures than ever before. It also includes seaweed. This place is full of fish like pufferfish, puffers, porcupine fish, crayfish, frogfish, scorpionfish, and stonefish. Large rays, beautiful schooling fish, giant moray eels, and other creatures also live in abundance in this place. You can have a lot of fun diving with these little sea creatures here. In addition, you can also engage in activities such as whale watching and dolphin watching in this area.
Unawatuna is a beautiful beach found in the city of Galle in the Southern Province. Every step here is covered with golden sand.
Divers can dive here on beautiful rocky ships, along with coral reefs full of debris and sea creatures. Unawatuna jungle beach has a special place among these.
This place is full of colorful flora and fauna and catches the eyes of divers. It is ideal for diving as there are many shallow places. Schools of colorful fish, moray eels, parrotfish, crabs, triggerfish, and barracudas take precedence among the animals that live here.
In addition, the most famous place in Srilanka to see shipwrecks is the SS Rangoon. The wreckage is located in the opposite direction, right in front of the Galle Fort. This ship sank about a hundred years ago. This is one of its specialties and has attracted a lot of attention from divers. Today, the ship is almost entirely home to marine life and plants. Fish such as blue striped snappers, rabbitfish, bluefin trevally, and red soldierfish live here.
Weligama, Yala is a spectacular sand lagoon that is ideal for rock divers. The coral reefs and rock reefs expand for about 700 meters. It is a very shallow diving place and the seafloor is very flat. Because of this, you can see the beauty of this place very well at any time of the day.
It is a rocky area with many layers and also consists of caves as well. The caves are full of different types and colors of fish and you can enjoy a special experience of diving inside the caves. This beautiful place is located at a depth of about fifteen meters. In addition, the presence of an underwater mountain called Prince Heinrich Patch is also a specialty of this place. This is visible from a depth of about twenty meters. Big rays, parrotfish, and giant morays live here in abundance.
This Kalpitiya beach belongs to the northwestern coast of Sri Lanka. This beach is a place of boundless beauty. Further, Kalpitiya is ideal for diving and this is also home to a number of diving training schools. From this place also you can find incredibly beautiful coral reefs and shipwrecks hidden on the seabed. You can find below some of the main diving places here.
- The Moray Point
- Bar Reef
- Bulldog Reef
- Trevally Pass
The following sections will enlighten you more about these main diving points in Kalpitiya.
The Bar Reef
The bar reef is located about 2 km off the coast of Kalpitiya towards the sea. This is the largest coral reef currently in existence. There is also the largest protected marine area here.
Freshwater and tropical fish add to the beauty of the place. It is about three meters deep and is home to about 150 species of corals and about 280 species of fish. This place is perfect for those who are just starting out diving.
Bulldog reef is another special place on the shores of Kalpitiya. This place is located at a depth of about fifteen meters. Also, this place is very famous for taking mind-blowing pictures.
Also, here you will find a number of flat-headed fish species that are hard to find elsewhere. Crocodile fish, panther turbots, white-eared moray eels, napoleon fish, a plethora of crustaceans, backside dwellers, camouflaged cephalopods, giant morays, and rare white-eyed moray eels are some examples of the beautiful creatures that live here.
The Trevally Pass
The trevally pass is located at a depth of about seventeen meters. It has a very clean sandy beach. In addition, small stones are there everywhere. The place also has a very quiet beach. The blue water is plentiful and the sunlight shines well on this place. As you dive into this place, you will be able to see the most beautiful views very clearly and beautifully.
The moray point is a rocky area. The depth is about fourteen meters, but a depth of up to 40 meters can be seen from this place. This is spread over an area of about two kilometers, and the place gets its name from the moray eels that live here. In addition, titan triggerfish, blue-ringed angelfish, hump head wrasses, groupers, and oriental sweetlips are some of the amazing fish that live in this place. This is a great place to spend an afternoon with these beautiful fish.
This Batticaloa beach which belongs to the North-Eastern Sea in the Eastern Province is a famous beach that has drawn the attention of tourists. Among the diving places here, H.M.S. Hermes plays a major role.
The wreckage of an AirCraft ship that sank during the Second World War can be seen at this place. Anyone who dives into the wreckage can gain an insight into the situation in Sri Lanka during World War II. This is the world’s first aircraft ship built on demand. Thus, this place is a good place for you to explore more about history.
The boiler wrecks on this ship today consist of different types of coral, which fascinates onlookers. At the same time, a large number of species of fish, large and small, dwell around it. These fish are friendly with divers at this place and you can swim with them. Also, for those who love to take beautiful photos, here you have plenty of rare opportunities!
The famous Mirissa Sea Belt is located between the two main cities of the Southern Province, Galle, and Matara. And yes, it is a beach with a very high level of biodiversity.
Because of its macro critters, marine life, soft corals, and large aggregations of schooling fish, this place is an underwater paradise. This place has all the features that a diver would look forward to. You will also have the opportunity to swim with blue whales, dolphins, and turtles. You can also dive at this place at night.
All in all, the best place to relax under the sea is Mirissa beach. There are about 5 diving spots on Mirissa beach. Also, there are about 10 diving schools nearby for training. They offer a number of courses that allow you to practice diving from the beginning to the professional level.
Great and Little Basses Reefs in Kirinda
Kirinda is located in the southern southwestern part of Sri Lanka. The great and little bass reefs available here are very popular with tourists. This is one of the best scuba diving destinations in Sri Lanka.
However, this place is appropriate for visits only during very short periods of the year. This is due to the increasing speed of the waves here. This place is only suitable for the most experienced divers. These great basses and little basses are unique places with beautiful sea creatures and sunken ships. The place is colorful with beautiful fish such as angelfish, spadefish, groupers, tuna, porpoise, gray sharks, Maori wrasses, rays, and snappers.
The Great Basses Reef is home to a shipwreck belonging to the 18th-century Indian Mughal dynasty. The wreckage was identified in 1961. Fused bags of silver Surat rupees and cannonballs were found on the ship. The wreckage of the HMS Daedalus, and the 40-gun frigate, can be found at the Little Basses Reef.
This beautiful Passover is located about 35 km east of Batticaloa on the eastern coast of Sri Lanka. Besides, it is the longest shallow coral reef here. The sea level is only a few inches high. The location is very close to the beach, and indeed a great place for a perfect dive.
Pasikudah coral reefs, boiler wrecks, and marina beach are some of the popular attractions here. You can check out the famous wreck British sergeant here. You can also visit the famous Uga bay with its shallow coral reefs from here. Mainly turtles, dolphins, manta rays, reef sharks, and other exotic marine life live here in large numbers. From the basic level to the advanced level, divers can enjoy the comfort of the tropical seawater here. So, if you choose to go scuba diving here, you can certainly gather new experiences that you never had before.
Best Time For Scuba Diving in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka is a tropical country. Its climate varies from monsoon to dry season. So, when considering the best time for scuba diving in Sri Lanka, the dry season is the best. In fact, scuba diving in the sea during the rainy season is a bit difficult.
During the dry season, the sunlight penetrates through the seawater and combines with colors of corals and marine lives, and gives the divers an eye enchanting picture. Most people dive in the South Seas and the seas near the Colombo metropolis. Therefore, the best time to dive on the south and west coasts is from December to May.
During this time period, February is the best time to experience the beauty of coral reefs and marine life here. During this time you can experience diving at beautiful beaches such as Kapiti, Hikkaduwa, Unawatuna, Weligama, and Colombo.
The best time to dive on the east coast is from May to October. The eastern and northern seas face dry seasons during this time. You can experience eye-catching sea diving in Trincomalee, Batticaloa, and Kirinda in this season.
How Much Does Scuba Diving Cost in Sri Lanka?
The cost of scuba diving activities in Sri Lanka can vary for a variety of reasons. In fact, these prices may vary depending on the cost of the boat ride, the cost of the oxygen tank, the weight of the belt, all the accessories, and the guidance and training. In addition, accessories such as paddles, diving computers, and cameras used for underwater imaging are also important in determining the price. This includes expenses for special activities such as whale watching and deep-sea fishing. Besides, prices depend on the diving course you choose.
Diving novices range in price from LKR 7,000 upwards and up to LKR 11,000 for those seeking professional training. The cost of diving on the Unawatuna beach varies from LKR 9,000 to LKR 12,000. This includes one boat ride. It costs around LKR 8,000 per person to enjoy diving at Trincomalee beach. The cost of diving on the beautiful Mirissa beach starts from LKR 7000 and with all the necessary equipment and trainers, it costs around LKR 11,000. You will have to spend around LKR 18,000 to see the rubble on the Pasikuda beach in Batticaloa. The lowest cost for diving in Hikkaduwa is around LKR 4,000. You can have an amazing opportunity to dive in Weligama with blue whales for around LKR 7000. These prices can vary depending on your choices.
Such beautiful diving experiences are only available in Sri Lanka for such a small fee. Here you will find more memorable memories than the money you spent.
Scuba Diving Schools in Sri Lanka
There are numerous diving schools spread all over the island’s coastal area to encourage diving and related activities in Sri Lanka and to give you a super diving experience. These diving centers offer different packages like a one-day package, two-day package, three-day, four-day and up to six days packages. Apart from that, they offer certificate courses, beginner courses and professional courses like rescue diver courses, divemaster courses, open water courses, etc. Professional experienced instructors, coaches, and friendly staff are ready to provide you with quality service. The packages, services, costs, and duration of these diving schools vary from one another. However, it is important to note that it is your responsibility to choose a diving school with professional trainers since the Sri Lankan Tourism Development Authority had no responsibility with regard.
Scuba diving is still gaining ground in Sri Lanka. It is a well-known secret that there is more beauty hidden under the blue beaches around the country than is seen on the surface of the earth. The non-violent seas will help you to scuba dive. So, if you are looking for an experience of the above kind, the best place for it is Sri Lanka. Do you have no experience with diving? Do not worry. All the diving schools here are waiting to teach about it. Give your tired life a break. Try Scuba diving with the family, fill the day with happy memories and head back home. Happy and Safe Travelling!