Written by PADI Regional Training Consultant, Robert Scammell
Sri Lanka has probably been one of the best kept secrets for both tourism and for diving. As a country it has a complete diversity of attractions to offer visitors from temples and safaris through to historical monuments. It also offers fantastic reefs and wrecks along with whale and dolphin watching opportunities. Sri Lanka was recently voted by The Lonely Planet as the best country to visit in 2019.
Sri Lanka has a lot to offer your divers on the topside. From its historic monuments with the ancient Sigirya city and fortress anchored into its rock. Here you will find the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic which is a large temple featuring a sacred tooth relic, the canine tooth of Buddha. Adding to this are amazing national parks such as Udawaleme National Park with native wildlife including birds and elephants. Along with scenic towns such as Galle, famous for its fortress, offering incredible restaurants and markets.
However importantly Sri Lanka offers incredible diving and snorkeling opportunities for your dive group. It has a long established dive industry owned and managed mostly by locals.
Diving typically takes place, due to the monsoon season, on the West coast from late October through to mid to late April and then from late April until mid-October on the East coast, with most business changing locations between the two seasons.
The West coast begins as far south as Mirissa and Unawantuna, offering great boat diving on scenic reefs along with whale watching. Moving north is the historic Dutch Fort Town of Galle through to Hikkaduwa, where the majority of diving is shallow shore reef diving offering an abundance of marine life including turtles. There is also great offshore reefs and wreck diving to explore. Moving north along to the Colombo region you find another popular diving region. Colombo itself offers over 16 wrecks in its coastal waters. Further north and closer to the airport is the Negombo area offering boat diving to local reefs and wrecks.
Moving to the East Coast, diving is mainly based around the port city of Trincomalee and Nilaveli areas. This region offers an array of boat diving on local reefs and around the Pigeon Island area. You and your divers will have opportunities to enjoy the spinner dolphins and whale watching too. If you have technical divers in your group, you can venture further down the South-East coast to the Batticaloa area. This area is home to the famous wreck of HMS Hermes.
Sri Lanka offers something for everyone on your dive group. You and your divers can enjoy a day in the tea plantations, a train ride through the hillsides and a whole array of diving and snorkeling activities to suit all ages. Whether it is a whale watching trip, a relaxing fun dive or a more technical dive experience, Sri Lanka offers it all.
Find out more information on Sri Lanka or contact your PADI Regional Manager.