Diving locations in Sri Lanka

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“Diving locations” refers to places where people can go scuba diving or snorkeling. Scuba divers are flocking to Sri Lanka for its stunning coastline, abundant marine life, and clean waters. This island nation attracts scuba divers of all abilities with almost 1,000 miles of shoreline and various diving destinations. But, scuba divers may guarantee themselves a once-in-a-lifetime adventure by picking the perfect dive site. Sri Lanka’s greatest scuba diving spots are included on this page. We’ll advise you on dive times and safety. Sri Lanka is a fantastic destination for divers of all experience levels. Let’s just jump right in!

West Coast Diving Locations

Travelers go to the west coast of Sri Lanka for its beautiful sunsets and views of the Indian Ocean. Beautiful beaches, quaint fishing towns, and bustling metropolises dot the coastline. West Coast diving spots are easily accessible and provide a range of depths for divers of all skills. Swim with shrimp and whale sharks in these calm, azure waters. Negombo, Kalpitiya, and Colombo are just a few of the many diving hot spots along the West Coast.

37 kilometers north of Colombo, Negombo, a fishing village, is attracting tourists. The little depth and good visibility allow beginners to dive here. Divers observed moray eels, turtles, and tropical reef fish. Shipwrecks make Negombo a diving destination.


Kalpitiya diving on Sri Lanka’s northern coast is unique and undiscovered. Divers may swim with spinner dolphin pods here on dolphin and whale tours. Sea turtles, reef sharks, and rays may be spotted here. The Bar Reef, a short boat ride from Kalpitiya, is a famous diving spot.


Scuba diving and tourism are popular in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo. The shipwreck HMS Hermes offers great diving in the city. Divers may view stingrays, barracudas, lionfish, and sea turtles on Colombo’s reefs.

The marine life found in these locations

Negombo divers may witness many fish, sea turtles, and moray eels. Divers may witness eagles and blue spotted rays. Shipwrecks house bat-fish and lion-fish schools.


Kalpitiya has exceptional marine life, and divers may often see pods of spinner dolphins while underwater. Reef sharks, stingrays, and sea turtles may all be seen by divers. The Bar Reef, a UNESCO biosphere reserve with healthy coral reefs, includes parrotfish, angelfish, and butterflyfish.


There is a wide variety of marine life in the waters around Colombo, including stingrays, barracudas, and lionfish. The HMS Hermes shipwreck is a diving spot with large groupers and batfish at 50 meters. Just two shark species live in Colombo’s reefs: blacktip and whitetip reef sharks.

Recommendations for the best time to dive

West Coast scuba diving is best from November to April. Scuba diving is preferable in calm, clear water. The water is 27°C to 29°C, making wetsuit-freediving possible.

The monsoon season produces high waves and low visibility, making diving challenging from May through October. Before diving, check the weather and tidal charts.

Southern Coast Diving Locations

Tourists visit southern Sri Lanka’s beaches, sea, and villages. Sites are open to all divers. Southern Coast tropical fish, whale sharks, manta rays, and turtles. Mirissa, Unawatuna, and Hikkaduwa are southern diving locations.

Southern Coast diving

Southern Province’s Mirissa is a small coastal town. Beaches, nightlife, and diving are popular. Coconut Tree Reef dives close. Divers encountered tropical reef fish, sea turtles, and moray eels. Mirissa has whale sharks from November through April.


Unawatuna’s Galle Fort is 5 kilometers away. Yala Rock’s diverse marine life attracts divers. Divers witnessed the schooling of barracuda, tuna, trevally, sharks, and turtles. The Rangoon wreck attracts divers because of its abundant marine life.


Sri Lanka’s south coast has Hikkaduwa. Coral Gardens snorkeling is fun. Scuba divers saw reef sharks, snappers, fusiliers, butterflyfish, and turtles. Hikkaduwa night dives include crabs and octopuses.

East Coast Diving Location

Dive Sri Lanka’s East Coast for abundant marine life. Clear seas, coral reefs, whale sharks, manta rays, and turtles are found here. Trincomalee, Pigeon Island, and Passikudah are just a few of the East Coast diving hotspots.

Sri Lanka’s eastern coast has Trincomalee. Swami Rock is a popular diving spot with coral reefs and marine life. Divers may see reef sharks, eagle rays, and colorful fish. Trincomalee is a beautiful place to come year-round and watch whale sharks between June and August.

Pigeon Island:

Pigeon Island is located in Nilaveli, not far from Trincomalee. Dive sites abound in and around Pigeon Island, including the protected waters of Pigeon Island National Park. Divers may see many fish and marine creatures when diving. Coral reefs with tropical fish of various sizes are the region’s main attraction.


Eastern Sri Lanka’s Passikudah attracts tourists. Passikudah Bay has clear waters and lovely coral reefs. Divers may spot angelfish, butterflyfish, and parrotfish. Night diving at Passikudah lets you see nocturnal species like octopuses and crabs.

The marine life found in these locations

Coast western:


Sri Lanka’s western peninsula has many barracudas. These sleek fish can grow to 1.5 meters and are known for their sharp teeth. They swim in groups near shipwrecks and reefs.

caretta (sea turtle)

Green turtles and hawksbill turtles nest on Sri Lanka’s west coast. These magnificent animals are often seen swimming among reefs or lounging on sand at dive sites worldwide.

Moray Eel:

Moray eels populate Sri Lanka’s west coast. With their sharp teeth and snake-like appearance, these eels can grow to 3 meters. They’re common in reef cracks.

Southern Seaboard neighbor:

Reef sharks,

Sri Lanka’s southern coast is home to reef sharks like blacktip and whitetip. These 2-meter-long sharks hunt along reefs.


Tuna sightings are common off Sri Lanka’s southern coast. These 1.5-meter fish are known for their speed and agility. They swim in clusters around shipwrecks and reefs.

caretta (sea turtle)

Green and hawksbill turtles live on Sri Lanka’s southern coast. These magnificent animals are often seen swimming among reefs or lounging on shore at diving sites worldwide.

East Coast


Whale sharks, the world’s largest fish, are often seen on Sri Lanka’s east coast. These gentle giants can grow to 12 meters and are often seen near the ocean.


Manta rays thrive off Sri Lanka’s east coast. These graceful plankton eaters can grow to 7 meters and perform acrobatics.


Green and hawksbill turtles live on Sri Lanka’s east coast. These gorgeous creatures are commonly seen swimming amid reefs or lazing on shore at diving spots worldwide.

Recommendations for the best time to dive

From May until September is peak diving season off Sri Lanka’s eastern coast. At this time, the sea is placid and transparent, providing for superb visibility. Also, from June through August, whale sharks may be seen off the shore.

Specialty Diving Locations

Sri Lanka offers numerous unique dive locations in addition to its famous ones. Examples:


Trincomalee, on Sri Lanka’s east coast, features whale sharks, manta rays, and barracudas. Trincomalee’s British Sergeant and HMS Hermes shipwrecks depict Sri Lanka’s nautical history.

Pigeon Island:

Pigeon Island, a marine park off Nilaveli on Sri Lanka’s eastern coast, offers great snorkeling and diving. Parrotfish, butterflyfish, and clownfish live here. Divers may spot sea turtles, blacktip reef sharks, and manta rays around the island.


Sri Lanka’s best diving and snorkeling are at Kalpitiya’s western Bar Reef. Surgeonfish, triggerfish, and angelfish inhabit reefs. Divers may view reef sharks, turtles, and moray eels.


Great Basses Reef, a group of rocky islands near Kirinda in southern Sri Lanka, has the greatest diving. Groupers, snappers, and jacks inhabit the reef. Divers witnessed reef sharks.


The WWII British Sergeant wreck is located near Trincomalee on Sri Lanka’s east coast. Divers may examine wrecks, guns, anchors, and ammo.

Safety Tips for Diving in Sri Lanka

Scuba diving in Sri Lanka is fun, but safety requirements must be followed to keep everyone safe. Dive safely in Sri Lanka:

  1. You should:

Before diving, research a dive shop with trained instructors and modern gear. Check that the dive operator knows safety protocols and has first aid kits and oxygen tanks.

Check the forecast and the sea if you can.

Before diving, check weather and sea conditions. Strong currents, big waves, and little visibility make diving dangerous.

  1. Certification:

If you’ve never dived, enroll in a respected diving school’s course. Certification gives you the confidence to dive.

  1. Dive comfortably:

Never overachieve. Dive with a buddy and only do dives within your training and experience.

  1. Dive responsibly:

Diving safely means not touching marine life, littering, or destroying the underwater habitat.

  1. Hydrate:

To recuperate from physical effort, drink enough water before and after diving.

  1. Avoid aquatic organisms.

Scuba diving is great for spotting marine life, but sharks, jellyfish, and sea snakes are dangerous. Avoid approaching or talking to them.


Diverse underwater landscapes, marine life, and specialist diving destinations make Sri Lanka a diver’s dream.

While scuba diving in Sri Lanka, safety must always come first. A competent dive operator, weather and sea condition assessments, and safe diving practices can assure a safe and enjoyable dive.

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