Best Places For Snorkelling Experiences in Sri Lanka

For adventure seekers and travel enthusiasts looking to plunge into the mesmerising underwater world, Sri Lanka offers some of the most stunning snorkelling spots on the planet. The island’s crystal-clear waters, abundant marine life, and vibrant coral reefs make it a paradise for snorkellers. Whether you’re a seasoned snorkeller or just starting, Sri Lanka’s beaches offer unforgettable experiences.

Here’s your guide to the best places for snorkelling in Sri Lanka, including what to know before you go and the best time to explore these underwater havens.


Bentota is a prime destination for those looking to combine luxurious relaxation with their underwater adventures. Its waters are teeming with exotic marine life and offer easy access to breathtaking coral reefs. The best time to visit Bentota for snorkelling is from November to April, when the sea is calm and visibility is at its peak.


Hikkaduwa is renowned for its vibrant coral gardens and a wide array of aquatic creatures. It’s an ideal spot for beginners and experienced snorkellers alike. The best time for snorkelling in Hikkaduwa is during the dry season, from November to April, when the water clarity is at its highest.


Kalpitiya, located on the west coast of Sri Lanka, is famous for its diverse marine life, including dolphins and even whales. The area offers exceptional snorkelling opportunities, especially around the Bar Reef, the largest reef in Sri Lanka. The optimal snorkelling period in Kalpitiya is from November to May. Before you go, be aware that the currents can be strong, so it’s advisable to snorkel in groups and stay within designated areas.


Mirissa is a hidden gem for snorkellers, with its secluded bays and clear waters offering a peaceful snorkelling experience. You might even get the chance to swim alongside turtles. The best time for snorkelling in Mirissa is from November to April when the sea is calm.


Nilaveli is known for its pristine beaches and clear blue waters, making it a perfect spot for snorkelling. The highlight of snorkelling in Nilaveli is the proximity to Pigeon Island, a national park that offers some of the best snorkelling spots with rich biodiversity. The ideal time to visit is from April to September.

Pigeon Island

Snorkelling at Pigeon Island, Sri Lanka, is an experience unlike any other. Accessible from Nilaveli, the island is surrounded by coral reefs home to over 100 species of corals and 300 types of reef fish. The best time to explore these underwater marvels is between May and October. Pigeon Island is a national park, so it’s essential to follow all guidelines and not disturb the wildlife or coral.

Things to Know Before Going Snorkelling in Sri Lanka:

  • Always snorkel with a buddy for safety.
  • Use eco-friendly sunblock to protect the reefs.
  • Be cautious of currents and always stay within safety zones.
  • Do not touch or step on corals; they are living organisms and very fragile.
  • Stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun.
  • Ensure your snorkelling gear is in good condition and fits well.
  • Respect marine life and their habitat; do not litter or remove anything from the ocean.

  • Sri Lanka’s breathtaking snorkelling destinations offer more than just underwater beauty; they provide a chance to connect with nature in its most vibrant form. Every location has its unique charm and array of marine life, promising an unforgettable adventure for snorkellers of all levels.

    For those eager to embark on a thrilling underwater exploration, our team at Apple Vacations is here to ensure you experience the best of Sri Lanka’s aquatic wonders. Visit our website now, and our dedicated travel specialists will help tailor the ultimate snorkelling adventure for you!