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Updated by Joanna James on Nov 04, 2023
Headline for 5 Spectacular Spots to Go Diving and Snorkelling in Sri Lanka - Uncover the Fascinating Treasures of an Underwater World
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5 Spectacular Spots to Go Diving and Snorkelling in Sri Lanka - Uncover the Fascinating Treasures of an Underwater World

Nestled amidst the majestic waters of the Indian Ocean, amidst 1,600 kilometres of pristine coastline, the island nation of Sri Lanka certainly has no shortage of incredible diving and snorkelling sites. Descend deep into the tropical blue, where diverse fascinating oceanic wonders await.

1

Hikkaduwa and Unawatuna - Fabled hotspots on this tropical island

When it comes to delightful Sri Lankan snorkelling and diving experiences, destinations like Hikkaduwa and Unawatuna are always popular. The two neighbouring tourist cities on the south coast bask in the glory of being home to the island's first proper PADI dive centre and PADI training centre and basically introduced the watersport to this South Asian nation. Avid divers to the two cities have over 10 coral reef dive spots, including the likes of Hikkaduwa Gala and Barracuda Point to explore, along with shipwreck dives that welcome all sorts of divers from fledgling novices to sea-savvy aces.

2

Mirissa - Where majestic oceanic creatures abound

Adding to the string of incredible beach towns on the south is Mirissa, a seaside town best known for fantastic whale watching than diving, but a few hours beneath the turquoise blue surely wouldn’t be in vain. The town is home to around five dive sites and welcomes divers of all levels. Diving schools, the likes of Poseidon Diving Center, offer programmes for complete novices as well as full PADI training programmes.

3

Trincomalee - A rather laid-back hotspot in the east

Nilaveli Beach is the popular jumping-off point almost all divers to Trincomalee look forward to, but the laid-back city on the east coast has got a whole lot more fantastic sites that give you your fill of exhilarating dives. Off the coast and amid alluring waters, the Pigeon Island Marine National Park is a drop of heaven teeming with coral reefs and marine life. The Irakkandy shipwreck, an 18th-century steamer off the coast is another highlight that never fails to give divers goosebumps. Those looking to reach this destination to enjoy diving in Sri Lanka can do so on domestic flights on offer from the likes of Cinnamon Air; it's a perfect way to enjoy stunning aerial views of the island's coastlines as well.

4

Passikudah - The popular tranquil waters of the east

Joining Trincomalee and the popular 'A-bay' (Arugam Bay) on the east coast of Sri Lanka, Passikudah will also treat you to a fantastic dive adventure, but its underwater experiences aren’t the city’s biggest crowd-puller. Passikudah Bay, which has totally become synonymous with the seaside town on the east coast, is best known for its placid waters, with little to zero currents; it makes this locale a great spot to go snorkelling or have a refreshing dip and beat the tropical island heat.

5

Kirinda - Fantastic seasonal diving

Kirinda, unlike most other cities, for the most part, is only “dive worthy” in March and April; this is because the town’s main two dive spots, the Great Basses and Little Wrecks are almost inaccessible the rest of the year when the waters are murky hindering visibility and can get a bit rough as well. If you happen to be heading to Sri Lanka during this period, Kirinda is an unequivocally unmissable destination for more diving discoveries.

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