Sri Lanka is a tropical paradise in the Indian Ocean. It is blessed with beautiful underwater attractions such as colorful coral reefs, sea caves, rock formations, and shipwrecks. Diving in Sri Lanka is getting favorable feedback and reviews from all over the world.
Dive spots are found all over Sri Lanka, but those on the West Coast are best visited from November to April, and those in the East Coast peak from May to October. Most of these dive sites are out in the open ocean, since the island is not known for shore dives. Licensed dive operators usually offer small boats for six divers and bigger boats for 15 divers to diving locations that are 10 to 45 minutes away from the shore. These boats are equipped with radios, first-aid equipment and a supply of pure oxygen for emergency cases, which seldom happen in the first place. What makes diving in Sri Lanka unique is that often the boat ride itself turns into an adventure already. Divers usually come across whale sharks and manta rays or get mesmerized by the beauty of the clear seawater and right there and then request the operator to stop the boat so that they can begin their dive.
Divers can afford to be impatient in Sri Lanka since they do not need to go far to enjoy the beauty of the sea. One does not need to travel far since there are a number of world-class dive locations around the capital city of Colombo. These Colombo dive sites are just a few minutes away from major hotels and resorts. A few of the leading dive sites around Colombo are Taprobane North, Serendib Ridge, Balalgala and Barracuda Reef, among much more. Taprobane North showcases a unique garden of soft corals, which are rare in Sri Lanka. It is 26 meters deep.
Serendib Ridge, on the other hand, has an excellent flat reef that is rich with large coral bommies and plenty of fish, with visibility of up to 30 meters on clear days. This 21-meter deep ridge is about an hour away from the capital city. Balalgala is smaller but it is an underwater of oasis that is teeming with so many colorful fishes such as Red Coral Groupers, Striped Catfish, Tapered Cardinal Fish and Moray Eel. But if one wishes to see Barracuda, it’s got to be in Barracuda Reef. There have been a number of Barracuda sightings here, but of course, the fish is very unpredictable in the open ocean and so there are no guarantees. Usually seen in this sandstone and limestone ridge are Glassfish, small sea fans and soft corals. The reef is found between Formosa Reef and Snapper Alley.
There are also eerie yet exciting wreck sites around Colombo. They are Taprobane North Wreck (showcasing a massive ship), Taprobane East Wreck (described by many as one of the best wreck dives in the world), Cargo Wreck (Indian steel carrier that sunk in 1993), TRUG, Taprobane North Barge, and Battery Barge.