Divingand Snorkelling in Sri Lanka

Explore old shipwrecks and experience the stunning marine life that thrives in the tropical waters of Sri Lanka.

The island of Sri Lanka is surrounded by a number of sites that are great for scuba diving and snorkelling. If you are a beginner, or have never done diving before, there are PADI diving centres that can assist and guide you to make the most of your underwater adventures. If you are an experienced diver, you can hire equipment from diving schools and explore wrecks, reefs and marine life to your heart’s content.

Sri Lanka is an all-year-round scuba diving destination. However, there are certain sites that can only be accessed during specific times of the year, so it is best to check before you plan your trip. November to May is the ideal time to dive in the west and southwest coast of the island, while April to October is the best time to dive in the northeast coast.

The waters that surround the island are home to an incredibly diverse array of marine life, ranging from massive blue whales to tiny sea slugs. You will see a variety of reef fish such as clown, sweet lips, batfish and titan triggerfish, as well as giant barracuda, humphead parrotfish, humphead wrasse, honeycomb moray eels and sea turtles. For those who love macro critters, nudibranch, shrimp, crabs, mollusks, hard and soft corals and sponges can be found at many of the dive sites. Some lucky divers will be able to see blue whales, sperm whales, reef sharks, whale sharks, spotted and bottlenose dolphins in deeper waters. Snorkelers and divers who explore the waters around the island can always be certain of seeing a spectacular display of colours and activity.

Sri Lanka has long been a prominent port of call for ships sailing along the central Asian maritime routes. Therefore, it is not surprising that a number of ships have met their tragic ends along the more treacherous parts of the island. The country has a high concentration of shipwrecks in a smaller area, compared to other South Asian destinations. Of the hundreds of wrecks found around the coast, about 75 can be explored by divers. Since many of them lie at a depth of 30-40 meters, they can be reached by recreational divers as well. However, wrecks below 40 meters can only be accessed by trained, advanced divers. Some wrecks are still being discovered by local divers. Apart from containing intriguing objects such as cannons and crockery that sank with ships, many of these wrecks are also covered in colourful marine life, corals, macros critters and much more.

Check out the many diving sites available in Sri Lanka, and make plans to visit the country for your next diving expedition.