Sri Lanka’s exemplary coastlines have long been considered by many adventure junkies to be perfect for underwater activities, allowing you to witness the magnificence of the unique marine life of the Indian Ocean, bordering the Paradise Island of Sri Lanka. One such water sport that has gained quite a rapport amongst many locals and foreigners is snorkeling.

The coastal belts of Sri Lanka, namely the Southern and the Western belts are deemed to be some of the best snorkeling sites in Asia, as it boasts of some exquisite coral reefs, teeming with an array of fish species and many other aquatic animals, including sharks.

Head out to the reefs bordering the Sri Lankan coastline and witness the marine lifestyle, like it has never been seen before, with your own eyes.

Interesting Facts

  • Similar to diving, snorkeling in Sri Lanka too has a similar season and is done not very far from dive spots.
  • When looking at the Southern Coast of the country, there are many towns that are home to turquoise beaches and some untouched coral reefs, such as Weligama, Koggala, Unawatuna, Mirissa and Kirinda.
  • However, it cannot be stressed enough, that the seaside hamlet of Kalpitiya and the town of Trincomalee possess some of the most exquisite snorkeling sites in the country, namely the Bar Reef and the Pigeon Island National Park.
  • If you are lucky you can even witness the rare Black Tip Reef Shark in the waters of the Pigeon Island National Park.
  • Hikkaduwa is also known for its coral reefs that have become a haven for many marine animals, including endangered turtles, crabs and a variety of fish species.
  • Many of the tour companies that arrange snorkeling excursions are often PADI approved institutions too, allowing you to obtain the relevant qualifications to engage in some rigorous diving in the area.

Times, Seasons and Tips

  • The snorkeling season of Sri Lanka is no different from the diving season, which runs from November to April in the Southern coast and from April to November in the Western coast.
  • Please do note that the season can vary depending on the weather, so do keep an eye out for that too.
  • snorkeling can be done relatively easily, as there are a host of tour companies that arrange such activities. However, do make sure you ask for a breakdown of the costs and services provided so you know what you are paying for.
  • Snorkeling equipment can be easily rented or bought by the many seaside shops near the snorkeling sites. However, there is also possibility that tour companies will provide this equipment, should you opt for it.
  • If you are uncomfortable with submerging yourself in water, then you could opt for something that comes close to snorkeling, which is a glass bottom boat ride, which allows you to have a similar experience, without getting yourself wet.
  • Note that the glass bottom boat rides can only be done in Hikkaduwa.

Explore what lies hidden under Sri Lanka’s turquoise beaches, while snorkeling and enthrall in a spectacle of marine life teeming with an array of fish species and other endemic aquatic animals, taking refuge in the vibrant coral reefs of the Southern and Western coasts.

Location info












April - November

(Eastern Coast)

November - April

(Southern and Western Coasts)

Guided Tour

International Diving School
Bentota Travel Mart


Nature and Outdoors

Sports and Recreation

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