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sri lanka beaches
28 Jun

diving sri lanka

Diving Sri Lanka

underwater diving sri lanka

Diving Sri Lanka is widely praised for its incredible ocean life  boasting numerous National , beaches and amazing coastal waters around the island. Often referred to as the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean”, the country first got noticed as a diving destination when blue whales were regularly sighted off the coastline. 

Since then, SriLanka has become a fantastic location for diving and snorkelling as it offers an abundance of colourful corals and  several abandoned WWII ship wrecks, making it a serious rival for its neighbour, the Maldives. 

Sri Lanka diving

Diving Sri Lanka April or September

Diving Sri Lanka is primarily influenced by the Sri Lankan monsoon – November to April is the best time for diving on the west and south coast in places like Unawatuna, Mirissa and Hikkaduwa  while the east and north coast and places like Trincomlee and Passikudah  offer the best conditions from April to September.  This makes it possible to dive in Sri Lanka anytime of the year.

The water temperatures ranging from 25°C to 30°C while air temperatures range from 22°C to 33°C also make being in and out of the waters of Sri Lanka most enjoyable.

Sri Lanka fish

Diving in Southern Sri Lanka

Southern Sri Lanka features not only some of the country’s best places to snorkel November through to the start of May , but has become a popular site for diving as well since the water is generally calm and thus makes it also convenient for kids to dive or snorkel. 

Recommended sites are around Unawatuna Bay and Hikkaduwa. Further off the shores  lots of different fish species, deep sea creatures and corals can be seen. Along the South Coast of Sri Lanka are a number of amazing ship wrecks which have turned into breathtaking artificial reefs and are now home to large groupers. The best spots for snorkelling are Rock Island and Jungle Beach where plenty of corals can be seen. Choosing Galle as your base makes it possible to experience multiple diving Sri Lanka and snorkelling spots all within 1 hour of Galle.

diving southern province sri lanka

Diving Sri Lanka Padi

If you’re looking into getting PADI certified in Sri Lanka, here are a number of well-known diving schools:

Unawatuna Diving (PADI certified)( opened in 1999, owned and operated by a German. Unawatuna dive courses and dive packages include Intro Scuba Diving, Night Dives and Deep Dives. The Unawatuna  dive centre is annually closed from 11th April to 15th October.

diving sri lanka dive centre

Pearl Divers (PADI certified) ( is also located in Unawatuna. The manager and owner has more than two decades diving experience in Unawatuna. Courses and dive packages include Bubble Maker, Open Water Diver and Dive Master.

Sea Horse Divers Sri Lanka (PADI certified)( has operated for more than 15 years in the Unawatuna area. Courses and dive packages include Open Water Diver, Multi-Level Dives and Night Dives.

diving sri lanka beaches

Poseidon Diving Station Sri Lanka (PADI certified) has been around for 40 years near Galle and has been several times awarded by PADI for their achievements and high standards. A wide range of dive courses and dive packages are offered, including Scuba Diver Course for beginners over Open Water Diving Training to Underwater Naturalist.

Diving Sri Lanka Prices/Costs

In general, rates for a ‘Discover Scuba Dive’-course (one day)start at US$ 50, a fully certified ‘PADI Scuba Diver Course’ will cost about US$ 200 and takes on average three days. If you’re already a certified diver, packages including gear start at US$ 25-30 for a single dive and around US$ 110-120 for a 5 dive package. 

sri lanka diving

Little ones (ages 8 and up) can start with a ‘Bubble Maker’ which is a basic introductory course, specifically designed for kids, starting from US$ 40. If diving is not for you, consider snorkelling instead – you can get snorkel gear easily from any dive / water sports shop. Tip: avoid borrowing equipment  from your guesthouse as these are mostly worn out items. Use equipment from a Centre that regularly services and cleans their gear.

Diving Sri Lanka Fish

blue whales in sri lanka

When it comes to marine life, the waters around Sri Lanka are truly a diver’s wonderland: take for example Blue Whales, the world’s largest known animal, Sperm Whales, known to be the world’s largest toothed animal, the aforementioned Whale Shark or Napoleon Wrasse, a vividly coloured fish that can grow up to two metres. Even just snorkelling around the coast offers many encounters with reef fishes, trigger fishes, barracudas, turtles, crabs, honeycomb moray eels,colourful corals, scorpion fishes, cuttlefish and several species of jellyfishes. 

coral sri lanka

Diving Sri Lanka Forum

Here are three recommended diving sri lanka websites and diving sri lanka forums with lots of further information that make it easier to plan your dive trip to Sri Lanka ahead: – Dive Sri Lanka features an excellent breakdown of the country’s dive regions plus additional information on the country’s marine life, marine archaeology and a useful dive FAQ. – Dive International is a leading resource for international diving destinations. It provides a summary of the most relevant information on diving in Sri Lanka as well a diving forum Sri Lanka with lots of helpful advice from fellow divers. – PADI is certainly the most renown and respected certification for divers. The site features a general overview of the best diving spots in Sri Lanka, some essential travel information as well a PADI dive shop locator at the bottom of the page. In addition, it features useful links to Sri Lanka’s official tourism website and the immigration bureau Sri Lanka for visa purposes.

snorkelling sri lanka


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