Diving Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka activities,  SRI LANKA HOLIDAY TIPS

Snorkelling In Sri Lanka With Sea Turtles

Snorkelling In Sri Lanka With Sea Turtles

The brilliant coral reef and many species of colourful exotic fish species, sea turtles, boulders and seagrass make a bountiful underwater ecosystem in the sea off Hikkaduwa beach, which is one of the best surfing localities on the west coast of Sri Lanka.

Snorkelling and diving are some of the most fascinating holiday experiences on the island and many travellers take snorkelling and diving tours during their holidays in Sri Lanka. Are diving and snorkelling also in the bucket list of holiday activities for you? And looking for a place to explore the fascinating underwater world in the sea of Sri Lanka? Then you should think of snorkelling at Hikkaduwa marine sanctuary.

Hikkaduwa is one of the best places for snorkelling in Sri Lanka, however, in this trip, we do not only think of spotting exotic sea-fish but also endangered sea turtles, what is important is you are going to meet them at their doorstep. Some parts of Hikkaduwa marine sanctuary has well preserved coral reefs ad seagrass beds, which are very suitable for habitats for green turtles and stingrays.

Snorkelling In Sri Lanka

Hikkaduwa considered as one of the best places for snorkelling in Sri Lanka and it is quite easy to spot sea creatures in the sea off Hikkaduwa. Even you can have a closer look into the sea-bed by hiring a glad-bottom boat. Hikkaduwa is one of the most popular beach resorts on the west coast of Sri Lanka and also a very busy beach resort, where you encounter hordes of sun-worshippers, especially from November to April. Facing the palm-fringed white sandy beaches; the crystal-clear salt waters here guarantee an unforgettable snorkelling experience.

Affordable Sri Lanka beach holiday package

  • 2 days of a beach holiday
  • Accommodation in a 4-star beach resort
  • 1 breakfast and 1 dinner
  • Arrival/departure transfer

Special Price US$ 60, save $30, Regular Price US$90

How to go to Hikkaduwa?

Hikkaduwa is a laid-back city and bit touristy than most Sri Lankan cities, due to a large number of beach holiday lovers that arrive here. Hikkaduwa sits on the Galle-Colombo main road between the popular beach resort of Bentota and colonial city of Galle. The distance from Colombo to Hikkaduwa id 115 km and the Popular UNESCO world heritage site of Galle fortress is just 21 km south of Hikkaduwa.

Hikkaduwa is accessible by road as well as by train, both are very affordable options and available from Colombo. Both public buses and train plying on Galle road between southern Sri Lankan cities such as Matara, Galle, Hambantota and Colombo make a stop here. The buses come by every 10 minutes white the trains are occurring at an interval of between 30 minutes to 1 hour. During the morning hours and in the evening there are more trains to travel between cities on this route.

However if you love to have a more comfortable ride and most importantly save time on the journey, your best bet is the taxi. It reduces the time spent on the journey by around 50% and it will take around 2 hours to reach Hikkaduwa from the airport, the journey will cost around 7000 Rs by a private taxi from Colombo or airport to Hikkaduwa.  The journey by a private taxi from Galle to Hikkaduwa cost around 1500 Rs. Traditional buses are much cheaper and available in plenty while trains are also as affordable as buses, but available less often. If you come by car, it can be a daunting task to find a parking slot.

The travellers are free to snorkel at Hikkaduwa marine sanctuary; however, it is highly recommended to hire a local snorkelling tour guide fond the best spot for snorkelling. If you need the equipment for the surfing they can also be found here, there are local tour operators that rent out such requirements for travellers.

Water entrance

The travellers are free to enter the sea at anyplace along the beach because the swimming areas spread many kilometres along the beach. However, in order to make it a quite easy adventure, it is highly recommended to hire a boat on the shore and ride to the area where turtles and other sea creatures occurring often.  

Exploration Hikkaduwa marine sanctuary

The Hikkaduwa marine sanctuary can be divided into few areas: however the Shallow Sea off the beach where you see huge boulders, even some are poking out of the water surface is the best place to spot sea turtles. With sea turtle, the snorkelers encounter a large number of exotic fish species and seagrass bed. The turtles are attracted to this seagrass bed, which is a feeding ground for sea turtles. This boulder area is about 250-300 meters offshore.

The seagrass bed (↕3-7ft/1-2m) start near the swimming shore and extend several hundred meters. The green turtle is the most common species of sea turtle spotted here and other than green turtles leatherback turtles also spotted here. Usually it does not take much time to find a sea turtle here but however it cannot be guaranteed, there is a rare case that snorkelers missed sea turtles. Don’t disturb the sea turtles; they don’t like intruders and like to have the peace while feeding (however they do no harm) and resting.

Usually, the snorkelling and diving tours in Hikkaduwa starts early morning and visitors are requested to be at Hikkaduwa at around by 7 am. A complete snorkelling package can be booked at cost USD 50 per person, which includes all equipment, boat tours, instructors and all taxes.

Restaurants & accommodation

Hikkaduwa is one of the most popular beach areas on the west coast and attracts a large number of beach holiday lovers, and most of them are foreigners. Therefore finding accommodation is not a daunting task for any travellers. A large number of accommodation providers have set up their hotels and guesthouses on the beach while some are few hundred meters off the beach. The rooms can be booked at varying prices; facilities, service and the distance from the beach are the main criteria that decide the price.  

Restaurants, pubs, bars and many other food outlets line-ups the beach, which attracts most of their customers as the sun goes down, and keep the party atmosphere until the dawn the next day.  

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