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.

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