Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in Sri Lanka

Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in Sri Lanka

Scuba diving information in Sri Lanka

The beautiful island of Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, has hundreds of dive sites, from reefs to caves and innumerous shipwrecks dating back to the colonial era. It is estimated that there are over 200 shipwrecks around the coast of Sri Lanka. Among the best-known are The Earl of Shaftesbury, an iron sailing ship, the SS Conch, the world's first oil tanker, The Rangoon, a 100 year-old British steamer and the British aircraft carrier HMS Hermes, the world’s first purpose-built aircraft carrier sunk during World War II. The West of Sri Lanka has the largest reef and consequently great reef diving and snorkeling. On the other hand, along the east coast and wild south coast are arguably the most adventurous diving in the country. A wide coral reef surrounds Sri Lanka’s coast at intervals from north to south, providing excellent sites for diving. Unawatuna is a beautiful bay of white sand with a reef just offshore teeming with marine life. Napoleon Reef and Galapiteala Reef are multi-level dives with outstanding array of fish like batfish, napoleon wrasse, golden moray eels plus many smaller colorful inhabitants. Kalpitiya is a popular destination with many dolphin watching opportunities. Also, the largest coral reef in Sri Lanka, Bar Reef, is only an hour's boat trip from Kalpitiya. This beautiful reef is home to an incredible variety of tropical fish as well as offering sighting of manta rays, reef sharks and the occasional turtle. Pigeon Island is considered Sri Lanka's top diving and snorkeling spot with its turquoise waters and abundant fish and corals. You also can snorkel at Unawatuna, Mirissa and at Polhena near Matara. In Weligama it is possible to see a variety of dolphins and sharks. It is possible to dive Sri Lanka all year. During October to April the western and southern coasts of the island are available, while May to September diving is recommended at the scenic Eastern coast of the country. The underwater temperature is approximately 24°C.

Geography and climate

Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon, is an island country in the Indian Ocean, south of India. Sri Lanka is a tropical country, so expect the rain anytime of the year. The two major rainy seasons are North-East monsoon from October to January, and South-West monsoon from May to July. The hills of Central Sri Lanka has a temperature around -5 to 20°C throughout the year, whereas Hambanthota, located in the dry zone, has a temperature consistently around 30 to 35°C.

Entry requirements

To enter Sri Lanka, passports should have one blank page and be valid for no less than six months from date of arrival. Tourists must apply to visas online through the Electronic Travel Authority and pay the application fee. Fro more informations, please contact your travel agent or your country's Sri Lankan Embassy

Health and safety

Vaccinations against hepatitis A, typhoid, tetanus, diphtheria, rabies, malaria, Japanese B encephalitis, tuberculosis and hepatitis B are recommended. Please consult your doctor before traveling.

Time zone



Phone cards are available at post offices and shops. Roaming agreements exist with some international mobile phone companies. There are Internet cafés in most towns and resorts.

Power and Electricity

230V/50Hz British type plug.

Other Informations

There is extreme risk to your security in the northern areas of Sri Lanka due to post-conflict security force activity (including de-mining) and we advise against all travel to these areas. 

Scuba Diving locations in Sri Lanka

Which are the best scuba diving locations in Sri Lanka? Below, you will find a list of all locations of Sri Lanka, organized by regions, in which you can dive and snorkel.

Sri Lanka

Scuba diving locations and photos from each location in Sri Lanka

Which locations in Sri Lanka have underwater photos? Below, you will find the list of locations from Sri Lanka and for each location a list of underwater photos.

Marine Species and photos of each species in Sri Lanka

Which marine species can I observe in Sri Lanka? Below, you will find the list of marine species and the photos for each species.

Underwater Photographers and photos from each photographer with photos taken in Sri Lanka

Which photographers have taken underwater photos in Sri Lanka? Below, you will find the list of underwater photographers and their photos in Sri Lanka.

Scuba Diving centers in Sri Lanka

Which scuba diving centers can I dive with in Sri Lanka? Below, you can see the list of scuba diving centers in Sri Lanka. Click on “more info” to find out more about each scuba diving center.

There are no diving centers available

Liveaboards in Sri Lanka

Which liveaboard can I dive with in Sri Lanka? Below, you can see the list of liveaboard in Sri Lanka. Click on “more info” to find out more about each liveaboard.

There are no liveaboard available

Accommodation in Sri Lanka

Which accommodation can I rest after my dive in Sri Lanka? Below, you can see the list of accommodation in Sri Lanka. Click on “more info” to find out more about each accommodation.

There are no accommodation available