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Scuba diving in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, the pearl of the Indian Ocean, offers a myriad of diving adventures, from vibrant coral reefs teeming with tropical fish, to countless sunken wrecks waiting to be explored.
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Diving in Sri Lanka

Quick facts

Sri Lanka is a mecca for divers of all levels, however, advanced divers with an affinity for wreck diving will find the waters surrounding this island a particular treasure. Dozens of wrecks lay well within the recreational limits and are home to a variety of large and macro marine life. Some sites offer penetration possibilities, and all offer fascinating exploration and spectacular views. The HMS Hermes, Sri Lanka's most famous wreck resting at nearly 200ft (60m), is the perfect excuse to get that TecRec or rebreather training you have always talked about.

Stunning coral gardens covered in hard and soft corals and teeming with life can also be found all along the coast. Most dive sites are anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes from the island by boat. Local dive shops run excursions with small groups of 6 to 15 divers, which means personal attention and uncrowded dive sites.
Water temperature averages 82°F (28°C) throughout the year. Visibility can vary on good days from 30-80ft (10-25m). Sites located closer to the shore line are susceptible to surge and runoff, which can affect visibility.

Diving on Sri Lanka is dictated mainly by the monsoon seasons. The best time to dive the West coast is October to April, and the best time for the East coast is May to September. Plan your diving vacation carefully, as operators tend to close during their respective rainy seasons, making some sites inaccessible during certain times of the year.

When to go

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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Pricing on request
Pricing on request

What to see

Sri Lanka's abundant marine life offers a truly delightful experience. Expect to see a variety of colorful reef fish, including sweet lips, clown and titan triggerfish, batfish, and more. Large eagle and bull rays are often spotted, along with giant barracuda, goliath grouper, trevally, humphead parrotfish, Napoleon wrasse, honeycomb moray eels and several sea turtle varieties.

For macro lovers, nudibranch, shrimp, and beautiful plants and coral can be found at any of the surrounding dive sites.

If you seek encounters of a larger variety, lucky divers have seen blue whales, sperm whales, whale sharks, reef sharks, spotted dolphins and bottlenose dolphins in deeper waters around the island.


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Most likely sightingsPossible sightings
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