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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Joanna James Joanna James
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Top 5 snorkelling spots in Sri Lanka – Explore the beauty of the ocean

Sri Lanka has a rich wildlife, especially when it comes to the marine life. Here are some of the best snorkelling spots on the island for all you adventure lovers!



The beaches of Hikkaduwa are ideal for snorkelling. Head over to the south coast of Sri Lanka to get a glimpse of colourful coral reefs that house plenty of tropical fish. Over the years, Hikkaduwa has gained much recognition as being one of the top snorkelling spots on the island, especially as snorkelers might even get the chance to interact with the sea turtles that live around the lively reefs in the area. With over 60 species of fish that live around the coral gardens of Hikkaduwa, your snorkelling tour will give you a wondrous insight in to the colourful world of Sri Lanka's rich marine life.


Pigeon Island

Pigeon Island located in Trincomalee is said to be so diverse and so crowded with coral gardens and marine life that you can spend the entire day just swimming through the beautiful warm waters of the Indian Ocean. The east coast of Sri Lanka has been left mostly untouched by the hands of the tourist industry, as the city slowly picked itself up following the devastating civil conflicts in the country. The beaches are pristine with white sands and are ideal for your beach vacation. The clear waters around Trincomalee means that you don't even need to use snorkels! However to get to Pigeon Island is rumoured to be the most famous spot for snorkelling around the east coast.



Another secret of the island is the coastal town of Kalpitya, where the beaches are near perfect and ruled over by tourism. Head to Kalpitiya if you want to get away from the large crowds and the over snorkelled beaches. The largest coral reef on the island is known as Bar Reef, which is home to a massive variety of tropical fish and snorkelers will even be able to spot manta rays, reef sharks and turtles. Bar reef is located about an hour away from this coastal town, so if you're planning to head here for a snorkelling adventure, make sure to visit during the months from November to May, as the monsoon season from May to November will make the seas rough and unsafe.



Located approximately 10 kilometres from the town of Tissa, lies a small village known as Kirinda on the south eastern coast of Sri Lanka. The beach is easily recognizable by a Buddhist shrine nestled on the rocks. Some of the best snorkelling and diving spots are located here, known as Great and Little Basses reefs.



The bay of Unawatuna makes for a great snorkelling spot in the south of Sri Lanka. Due to the bay, the waters are shallow and calm, and often transparent in most areas. With plenty of marine life, a snorkelling trip to Unawatuna, and the neighbouring beach of Dalawella, is great for first time snorkelers as the current doesn't get too strong. Although be sure not to step on any coral, as even the slightest touch can kill the entire coral garden. In Sri Lanka, holidays are given a new meaning as there are plenty of things do on this small island, so if you need help, seek assistance from a tour agency such as Walkers Tours, who will help you find the best places to visit during your holiday.

  • A true believer that the pen is a mighty weapon, ventures into reaching the minds of every reader with the earnest hope of leaving an indelible stream of thought.

    A travel writer who has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.

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