Scuba Diving in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a South Asian state located on the same name island just off the southeastern coast of the Hindustan Peninsula. Ceylon was the second name of the island which was in use until 1972.
Sri Lanka is washed by the waters of the Bengal Bay, Laccadive Sea, and the Indian Ocean. The island is separated from the peninsula by the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait.
In this country, divers are attracted by the warm and clear ocean waters, a wide coral reef, which stretches along the coast, amazing underwater caves and natural rock formations. The rich sea world and velvet sandy beaches also deserve a mention. In combination with a mild climate and beautiful views, Sri Lanka truly deserves to be called the corner of paradise on Earth.

Reasons to Visit

Where to go
in Sri Lanka?
More than 200 ships sank off the coast of Sri Lanka throughout history. A lot of ships are preserved in perfect condition, so you can explore them both inside and out. You can see tankers, steamboats, and a modern cargo ship. But the most interesting wreck was opened in 1961. It is the ship of the Mongol emperor Aurangzeb. To see it, you need to cope with a strong current and descend to the depth of 14 m.
Near the coast of Sri Lanka, you can expect to find underwater landscapes of unimaginable beauty. The reefs covered with intricate corals are in the westward direction. Also, the various representatives of the underwater world can be found here. Near the southern shores, you can plunge into history and its mysteries by exploring the sunken ships. The waters of the east coast can surprise you with predators whales and various wrecks.
You will find a variety of unusual sea creatures such as the Moorish idol, clownfish, black scorpionfish, and humphead wrasse. It attracts divers from all over the world to Sri Lanka. The multi-colour coral gardens in which exotic wildlife lives are no less attractive. In the depths of the sea near the underwater rocks and reefs, you will find yellow-banded sweetlips and barracudas.
Three large rocky reefs located along the Negombo coast and covered with coloured corals are another calling card of Sri Lanka. They serve as home to almost all species of fish found in the Indian Ocean. Bright representatives of the local fauna are the blowfish, clownfish, lionfish, sergeant fish, and angel sharks. Some rare species of sea turtles are also found here.
One of the most popular types of entertainment in Sri Lanka is meeting whales and dolphins up close. Representatives of 26 species of these mammals live in the vicinity of the island. Here you can come across minke whales, sperm whales, killer whales, goose-beaked whales, and humpback whales. They can be found all year round, only the locations change depending on the season. But dolphins are much more common. Motley, Malaysian, grey dolphins and bottlenose dolphins enter the coastal waters of the country.

Diving Destinations in Sri Lanka

On the west coast, the best time to dive is from November to March. Three large reefs along the coastline are the main attractions in the area. One of them is considered to be the best in Sri Lanka. The southern and western coasts are also very appealing from November to March. The diving capital of Sri Lanka, the Hikkaduwa resort, is located here. No diver would remain indifferent to the perspective of exploring more than 20 wrecks. It’s better to go to the east coast from March to May and from August to December. At this time, here you can watch whales.

Memo Notes
Currency LKR - Sri Lankan Rupee
Languages Tamil, Sinhalese
Timezone UTC +5:30
Phone code 94
Emergency Help 144

Type D - 230 V, 50 Hz

Type M - 230 V, 50 Hz

Type G - 230 V, 50 Hz

Dive Shops in Sri Lanka

Dive shops in Sri Lanka are located on all three coasts: east, west, and south. During the dive, you will see the mysterious and enchanting world of the sea, with wrecks and underwater caves. Here you can always choose the entertainment to satisfy any demand.

Сlimate & Seasonality

March is hot and quiet. Water temperature is +29 °C and in April it warms up to about +34 °C. Thus, it creates the sauna effect. But May is a month of torrential rains and monsoons with an air temperature at +30 °C.


June in Sri Lanka is a time of heavy rain and monsoon winds. Air temperature reaches +30 °C. The water is the same, but swimming can be dangerous. In August, the rains and winds subside. It is usually hot in the central regions, and thunderstorms rage in the southwest.


The weather is unpredictable and wet in September. The air temperature does not exceed +28-30 °C. In October, the tropical rain season comes with thunderstorms and hurricanes. In November, it is still stormy, but the water temperature is settling to +27 °C


The air temperature in December is the lowest for these regions, it does not rise higher than +28 °C. The water warms up to +24 ˚C. In January, the weather gets warmer, with the air temperature rising to +30 ˚C. And sometimes it rains during the day. In February, the air gets dry and the sky is overcast.

high season
middle season
low season

The Best Dive Sites

The best dive sites are located near Negombo and Kalpitiya which are in the west of Sri Lanka. On the south coast, it is Great and Little Basses. In the eastern direction, popular diving sites are the ones which are off the coast of Trincomalee and Batticaloa.

Health & Safety

Medical services in Sri Lanka are fairly developed. There are very few medical institutions in remote areas of large cities, especially ambulance services are somewhat challenging to obtain. We recommend purchasing travel insurance and get vaccinated against measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis A and B, typhoid, rabies, Japanese encephalitis, and poliomyelitis. There are occasional outbreaks of dengue fever in the country, so it is necessary to be protected against mosquito bites.
It's relatively safe, however, the standard precautionary measures need to be observed. Keep your personal belongings in a safe place as petty theft in hotels, public transport and tourist locations is possible. You should avoid demonstrations and public gatherings. It is not recommended to travel to the northern and eastern provinces of the country.

Dangerous Marine Life

First of all, avoid sharks. They are harmless until they smell blood. You also need to beware of barracudas, groupers, moray eels, sea snakes and urchins, stingrays. And you should avoid the crown-of-thorns starfish as well as jellyfish because their burns are very painful.

Eat & Drinks

Sri Lanka cuisine consists of seafood, lots of greens, spices and tropical fruits. Squid curry is extremally popular. Finely chopped slices of squid fried with onion, pepper and spices in tomato sauce are served with rice and flatbread, which creates a unique and harmonious combination of flavours. We strongly recommend trying Pol Sambola. This delicious mix of coconut pulp, ground chili pepper, lime juice and red onion goes well with rice or roti bread. If you need a snack on the run, choose Kottu which is sold in every small shop or stall. Small pieces of unleavened bread are fried on all sides and richly flavoured with spices.
Only bottled water should be consumed on the island. Alcoholic beverages are sold in specialized stores called "Wine shops". With regards to non-alcoholic beverages, Sri Lanka has been supplying famous Ceylon tea to all corners of the world for many years.