Saturday, July 2, 2011

Diving in Sri Lanka ( Locations and Operators )

Diving or scuba diving is not a very popular activity among locals in Sri Lanka but there are plenty of tourists who are interested in diving among the coral reefs and the shipwrecks found around Sri Lanka. Being an island you can go diving almost anywhere in any time of the year but there are seasons defined for a better diving experience. During November to March western and the southern coasts are the best suited for diving. Starting from the bar reef marine sanctuary near Kalpitiya to the great basses near Hambanthota there are quite a few popular diving location in this area. From May to November it is a good idea to go diving in the eastern coast of the country. Trincomalee, Batticoloa and Arugam Bay are the most popular locations in the eastern coast to go diving. Sri Lankan divers website has more information about the diving locations found in Sri Lanka.
Most diving centers are located in reputed hotels mainly because tourists are the ones who are interested in diving. The diving centers are handled by certified professional divers with international experience. In some cases you will be given some basic training as well before going on deep sea diving. Usually diving tours are conducted in groups of six. Although it is possible to go with less than that then the cost would be a bit high for an individual. In some rare occasions you have the ability to go in about groups of 10-15. All the necessary first aid kits and emergency response items are found in the boats.
Diving among coral reefs and ship wrecks is a very enjoyable experience and something you shouldn't miss if you are an adventure lover.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Hikkaduwa Coral Reef Sri Lanka ( Marine Reserve )

Hikkaduwa coral reef is one the most beautiful coral reefs found in Sri Lanka and the first coral reef to be declared a marine national park. It is one of the reefs that is easily accessible as well because it is close to Colombo and close to the Galle road, which is the main road that goes from Colombo to Galle. Coral Reefs plays and important role in protecting the beach and because of the coral reef the Hikkaduwa area was one of the least affected areas when tsunami waves hit Sri Lanka. Because Hikkaduwa is close to Colombo and also because the reefs are closer to the roads, it is frequently visited by tourists and locals who love nature.
One of the easiest ways to explore the coral reef is by going on a glass bottom boat. This is the preferred option of many who visit here because you can clearly see the corals and you don't have to prepare for anything and you don't have to get wet as well. Boat owners are experience enough to show you the best places and if you are lucky you can even spot giant sea turtles residing in the area.

A much better way to explore the reefs is by snorkeling. However if you are not a good swimmer you are limited to small and shallow area. If you go diving with some of the expert local divers then you can explore the coral reef to your hearts content. If you are a nature lover and marine life in particular then this is the best way to go about it.
Some of the reef was destroyed because of the boxing day tsunami that hit Sri Lanka. But the biggest threat to the reef is from humans who collect corals and capture various fish types to be sold in the commercial market. You can help to stop this buy refusing to buy coral from the nearby stores. Hikkaduwa is one of two marine reserves in Sri Lanka and one that is constantly under threat as well. It is definitely a must visit place if you are a nature lover. If you are interested in more in depth details of the marine park you can visit the wiki page. Below video of diving among corals gives you a glimpse of what you can expect to see.