The island of Sri Lanka is a paradise for scuba diving’s lovers. There are many exceptional wrecks, dazzling coral reefs and, of course, an extremely rich marine life and flora. Let’s see together which are the best diving destinations and the best dive spots of Sri Lanka:
Probably the most beautiful coral reef of the Kalpitiya region. This dive spot is ideal for macro lovers and underwater photography. Several interesting species are found in shallow waters, including crocodile fish rare in Sri Lankan waters, white-eared moray eels and panther turbots. It is not uncommon to encounter one or more Napoleon fish during the dive.
This place is just amazing! As its name suggests, this seabed is filled with majestic gorgons. To protect this dive site, anchorage is prohibited. You will have to descend in the blue of the waters to almost 35 meters to see this fabulous forest. This dive is for experienced divers, confident in their diving skills. Indeed, on some days you will experience, capricious and strong currents. In addition to the giant gorgonians, you will contemplate the ballet of hundreds of trigerfishes.
The British steamer SS Perseus, built at the dawn of the First World War, sank on February 21, 1917, after hitting a German mine. Located 20 km off the coast of Colombo, the massive and well preserved vessel lies between 30 and 40 meters deep and covers a vast area that allows divers to do several immersions. Covered with soft corals and black corals, the wreck is a paradise for many fishes such as snappers, napoleon fish, trevally, or groupers. Despite the excellent visibility more than 30 meters due to the depth of the wreck, this dive is only for level 2 or PADI advanced divers.
About 45 minutes by boat from Colombo, this atypical wreck is an enchantment for the eyes. In the intense blue waters, with a visibility of over 30 meters, divers will see the carcass resting peacefully on a white sandy bottom. Like many other Colombo wrecks, it is not allowed to visit the interior of the ship. You just have to admire the beautifull and impressive structure. Despite this, the wreck has become an oasis for many varieties of fishes: marbled rays, napoleon fishes, scorpion fish and transparent chandas. The wreck is 30 meters deep, only divers with PADI advanced open water diver certificate will be able to discover it.
This gigantic wreck, 155 meters long, is wedged between two dimensions: the underwater world and the surface. Easy to access, this dive is ideal for level 1 or open water diver who wish to discover a its first wreck. The ship sits straight on the sand at a depth of 23 meters. In very good condition, the Sierra Thermophylae kept all of its initial shape and structure, even if, the central part collapsed a few years ago. The large size of the wreck leaves the opportunity to experience it in many ways. It’s up to you to find your favorite diving trip.
Built in Sunderland, England, in 1860, the SS Rangoon was a 66-meter-long sailing and steamer powered boat that sank in 1873, just opposite to the historic Fort of Galle. The wreck has now been laying on a sandy bottom for over an hundred years, at about 32 meters deep. The diving conditions are sometimes dangerous as the visibility is not always good 5 to 15 meters and the schools of jellyfish, which are a natural obstacle, are pretty unpleasant to cross. Once on the wreck, the wreck subjugates by its intact beauty and its striking contrast between the white of the sand and the black of its hull. The many fishes complete this unreal picture: it is a striking dive.
Diving on the MV Cordiality in Trinquemalay
The MV Cordiality is considered as one of the best wrecks in Sri Lanka for many reasons: the first is that it is accessible to all diver levels, the second is that it is, exceptionnaly, possible to explore the interior of the ship, and lastly, the gigantism of the ship 198 meters long allows divers to renew the experience without being disoriented. The MV Cordiality sank in 1997 with its complete cargo of limonite, a rock, widely used in metallurgy. In about ten years, the ship has become a sanctuary for many marine species, including schools of snappers, tuna, trevallies and fusilliers.
This is undoubtedly the most popular wreck in Sri Lanka and one of the most popular dive sites in Asia. This 122-meter-long steamer was sunk in 1942 by the Japanese. The wreck lies on a sandy bottom at a depth of 24 meters. Although the visibility is rather mediocre, between 5 and 15 meters, the wreck has much to offer: sublime corals, several possible penetrations ponts, magnificent schools of fish. An unforgettable experience from every point of view.
Near Batticaloa, in the north-east of the country, divers can discover one of the most beautiful vestiges of the Second World War: the HMS Hermes. First aircraft carrier of the Royal Navy, this boat was sunk in 1942 by the Japanese aviation. With its gigantic dimensions 182 meters long, its garden of corals and its abundant life, the HMS Hermes fascinates as much as it worries. Accessible only to level 3 divers or PADI technical divers, the vessel lies between 44 meters and 55 meters deep.
At 10 kilometers from the southeastern coast of Sri Lanka, the Great Basses Reef is the last natural boundary of the island before plunging at the junction of the fantastic currents of the Indian Ocean, Antarctica and south-east Asia. Here, only experienced divers can enjoy impressive and mejestic drift dives. There are all kinds of wrecks, caves, tombs and grounds to explore, each of them populated by hundreds of species such as big-headed trevallies, pompanos, Portuguese discs, reds, eagle rays and white-pointed sharks. This is definitly a must for experienced diver as it is probably one of the best place to dive on earth.