An underwater wonderland of crystal-clear waters and diverse marine life waiting to be explored, snorkelling in Sri Lanka is a true adventure for the senses. Popular spots include Unawatuna and Hikkaduwa on the southern coast, and Trincomalee on the northeastern coast, offer views of vibrant coral reefs, psychedelic arrays of tropical fish, and graceful sea turtles. It's best to go with a local guide; they'll not only provide you with the necessary gear but also take you to the best spots, like a trusty mermaid showing you their secret treasure trove. So, pack your fins, and get ready to dive into an underwater world of spectacle and adventure.
Unawatuna: Known for its beautiful coral reefs and a variety of marine life, Unawatuna is one of the most popular snorkelling spots in Sri Lanka. Expect to see an array of colourful fish, sea turtles, and even the occasional octopus. To get there, take a train or bus from Colombo to Galle and then hop on a tuk-tuk or taxi to Unawatuna.
Hikkaduwa: Famous for its marine sanctuary that is home to a wide variety of tropical fish and sea turtles, expect to see a variety of species of fish, including parrotfish, angelfish, and butterflyfish, as well as sea turtles and even the occasional shark. To get there, take a train or bus from Colombo to Hikkaduwa and then take a tuk-tuk or taxi to the beach.
Trincomalee: This north-eastern coast city is known for its deep waters and excellent visibility, providing an opportunity to see a large variety of marine life including whales, dolphins and big schools of fish. To get there, take a train or bus from Colombo to Trincomalee and then take a tuk-tuk or taxi to the beach.
Pigeon Island: This small island is located off the coast of Nilaveli is a marine national park and a popular spot for snorkelling and diving. To get there, take a bus or train to Trincomalee and then take a boat to the island.
When going snorkelling in Sri Lanka, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
Timing is everything, the best time to go snorkelling is between November and April, when the seas are calm and visibility is at its best.
It's best to go with a local guide. They know all the best spots, not to mention they can provide you with the necessary gear.
Remember the golden rule of snorkelling: "Look, don't touch", respect the marine life and coral reefs and avoid touching or standing on them.
Be aware of the currents and tides; it's not a good idea to go snorkelling if you're not comfortable swimming, and if you're ever unsure, don’t hesitate to ask your guide for advice.
Sunscreen is your friend, and don't forget to bring enough water to stay hydrated, especially in the hot sun.