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Diving

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With the glittering sand and sun, great weather, warm water, colorful marine wildlife, hundreds of shipwrecks and great visibility, Sri Lanka is a diver’s dream. Feel, discover and swim with the beautiful marine life, learn to snorkel, dive or even swim with the professionals that will accompany you to the bottom. The great hospitality and the care provided to you by the professional dive centers along the costal belt of the island will guarantee your safety and the pleasure.

It is always an adventure and an exciting event to go underwater, to another dimension. Despite your level or experience, it will never disappoint you, but will give more than you expect. There is always more to see. You can snorkel in shallow, warm waters on coral reefs with thousands of fish and even meet a few friendly turtles. Diving will lead you to an endless adventure in deep blue waters, reefs with colours and varieties of marine life, shipwrecks with stories, caves, giant rays flying on your head and much more…..  

Beaches of the west and south coasts are paradises for the tourists which can keep up with your dreams warmly. These beaches maintain many diving centres with high quality equipments and professional trainers. They will take you from Hikkaduwa to the famous Great Basses reef with crystal clear water to explore your desires. Also you can visit the Shipwreck Diving centre of the Maritime Archaeology Unit at the Galle Fort which takes you deep into the history.

In the south west monsoon, you have the opportunity of shifting to the east coast extending from Trincomale to Batticaloa. This stretch is full of magnificent diving sites comprised of coral reefs such as Pigeon Island, Konashwaram, Kayankeni and Baticaloa. Further, enriched with the historic importance, wreck sites are found in this coastal line including HMS Hermes, the world’s first aircraft carrier that sank during World War II, one of the top 10 wrecks for diving in the world.

Along the west coast there are diving sites and centres in Kalpitiya, Negombo and even in Colombo if you have time limitations. The Great Bar reef is located in Kalpitiya where whale and dolphin watching tours are also available.
Locations  

South coast – Bentota, Sinigama, Hikkaduwa, Galle, Unawatuna, Polhena, Dikwella, and Kirinda
West coast – Colombo, Negombo and Kalpitiya
East coast – Nilaweli, Uppuweli, Trincomale, Kayankeni, Kalkuda, Pasikuda and Batticaloa

   
Opportunities and Facilities  
As most of the diving centres can be accessed through beach hotels, your diving arrangements can be made while relaxing in the hotel. Many centres offer you a variety of packages, equipments and dive training accredited with international certificate/license such as PADI series.
   

Shipwreck Diving

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“Shipwrecks, they take us into new dimensions, fascinating beauty, terrifying ill fate and amazing presence. Adding on to the history, there is a story behind every single wreck, which is disturbing and reflects an unfinished journey”.

A journey with a terrifying tragedy is revealed by sending a majestic seagoing vessel to the ocean floor and taking lives of many sailors and passengers. The wreck is now a home to sea creatures, corals and sponges. Years later, detectives in the form of maritime archaeologists locate the wreck and put the tiny bits of information together to unearth the story of a quiet hulk sitting alone in its watery grave, similar to the attempts of forensic scientists who work out the cause of a death.

Shipwrecks invariably attract a great deal of international attention and fame because of their occasional heroic and adventurous, but always tragic background. The knowledge on history of a wreck can convert a pile of steel or wood beneath the waves to an exciting experience to a diver.
 
Shipwreck diving tours in and around the Galle harbour will be a unique experience to all the divers who wish to wet their heads. There are more than 26 archaeological sites in the Galle
Harbour and 12 of them are clearly identified as shipwrecks varying from 12th century to modern times. Some are very fragile and hard to recognize, while some are covered with plastic nets and sand bags for preservation. The Galle harbour was closed for leisure diving for over 30 years during the war. Even though now it is open, it is still the home for the southern naval base.

The Maritime Archaeology unit of Sri Lanka is recording and researching these wreck sites from 1992 and preserving them for the future. The Maritime Archaeology Unit in collaboration with Ruhunu Tourist Bureau will take you to the wrecks that were covered to the public for a long time.

You are invited to see the difference! Get a good idea of the wreck, its history and the information through the site plans and research presentations before you dive. Try to identify the wreck's original structure and main parts which are decayed and camouflaged. You'll be lucky to see some of the artefacts still on site.

You also can visit the research unit and the conservation laboratory which treats the artefacts taken out of water. You are cordially invited to visit the Maritime Archaeology Museum of the Central Cultural Fund, situated next to the Diving Unit to discover the rich maritime history of Sri Lanka.
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