A wide coral reef surrounds Sri Lanka's coast at intervals, from north to south, providing excellent sites for skin-diving. The discovery of the natural beauty of the underwater world in Sri Lanka is sure to fascinate and keep one spellbound. The turquoise and aquamarine waters are home to a burgeoning populace of magical and mysterious world of coral reef, shells and vibrant shoals of fish. The adventure of scuba diving can be combined with activities ranging from underwater photography, to the study of the varied types of ocean life.The coral world is inhabited by a profound number of beautiful species such as rays, eels, clown fish, porcupine, moorish idol, unicorn and moorish angel to name a few. The common species belonging to the families of Aroporidae (Staghorn Corals), Poritidae (Donnie Corals), Mussidae (Brain Corals), faviidae (Ster Corals) and Pocelloporidae (Flower Corals).
"Sri Lanka's spectacular scenic beauty is rivalled only by the wonders of her underwater world", an apt saying as the sea surrounding the pearl of the Indian Ocean holds many treasures; The multi-hued coral reef which encompasses the south and east coast is illuminated by the rays of the sun creating a magical effect along with the vibrant tropical fish, and the submerged shipwrecks offer ample opportunity for underwater archaeologists, photographers and adventure seekers alike.
Some of the diving hot spots are Ambalangoda, Hikkaduwa, Dodndra, Tangalle and many more in the south and south -east coast; Negombo, Bentota and Beruwala in the West and Pigeon Island ( Nilaveli), Batticaloa, Kalmunai, Passekudah, Kattankudy on th east coast. The above areas are a mere handful compared to the plethora of cities which are equiped to give a memorable diving experience.
Conveniently rostered monsoons ensure that one half of the island's coastal waters remain in season for aquatic pursuits. The west coast from December through March and the north and east coast from March to September. Underwater visibilty is good and range from 50 to 100 feet.
Apart from treasures of coral and fish, the reefs and sea-beds off shore offer an exciting attraction to skilled divers. Submerged wrecks are strewn off the thousand mile-long coastal waters, a legacy of more than twenty centuries of mairitme trade and sea-faring. A few treasures have been salvaged and are in view at the maritime museums in Sri Lanka and a 15 kilogram mass, containing exactly one thousand of these coins, still in the shape of their original bag is now on display in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C.
Diving in Sri Lanka holds endless possibilities, worth experiencing.