Sri Lanka was called, by the famous writer Arthur Clarke, the island jewel of the Indian Ocean, fittingly so because it does not only have great beaches but also it also has a great underwater view. There are several great dive sites where you can go diving in Sri Lanka. If you have not yet tried scuba diving, Sri Lanka is the best place to start. It is guaranteed that you will fall in love with the sport.
Places to go Scuba Diving in Sri Lanka
One of the places where you can go scuba diving in Sri Lanka is Hikkaduwa. It is in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka and about 17 kilometers north-west of Galle. These are some of the best dive sites in Hikkaduwa:
The Conch Wreck: The wreck of the oil tanker, ‘Conch’, that sank in 1903, is about 10 miles from the shore of Hikkaduwa. It has a depth of 20 meters and fairly good visibility. Divers can see a good number and variety of fish like wrasse, banner fish, Moorish and damselfish.
Kiralagala:This dive site is not for everybody because only divers with their PADI Advanced Open Water Certification can dive this site, or you can dive with a qualified scuba instructor. The dive site is about 40 meters deep. You can see a lot of beautifully colored corals, as well as butterfly fish, basslets, and angelfish.
Deep Rock: This dive site is just 22 meters deep. Deep Rock dive site is approximately 20 minutes away from Hikkaduwa and it has excellent visibilty. You can see a lot of soft corals, moray eels, and feather stars here.
Off Coral Gardens: This dive site in Hikkaduwa is just 10 minutes off the shore and is only 13 meters deep. It has an excellent collection of moray eels, pufferfish, porcupinefish, and sea slugs. There are also a good number of caves and valleys that you can explore.
Another place where you can go scuba diving in Sri Lanka is Unawatuna. It is located in the province of Galle is famous for its beaches and corals.
Here are some of the best dive sites in Unawatuna:
SS Rangoon Scenic: This dive site is 20 minutes away from the shore and is 32 meters deep. The dive site is home to the wreck of a British steamer that sank 100 years ago. The wreck has become a home to a lot of fish species and like butterfly fish, angelfish and morays.
Great Basses: It is just 2 meters to 15 meters deep and is about an hour away from the shore. This dive site does not have one ship wreck, but several! It also has a lot of limestone caves that you can explore. Reef fish and beautiful pelagic fish can be seen as you cruise around on your dive. You may even catch a glimpse of the odd white-tip reef shark. Due to the currents in this site, be aware that only experienced scuba divers are recommended to dive here.
Aside from these two areas, there are also dive sites situatted at Kalpitiya, Negombo, Trincomalee, and Baticaloa. If you want to take a diving holiday in Sri Lanka, I would definitely recommend researching the various scuba diving areas and then contact one of the many dive centers there and arrange your dive trip. There is so much to see and this and your surroundings, make it a beautifully exotic place in the world for all types of diving and also for a great vacation destination.