• Diving In Kalpitiya

kalpitiyaDiving In Kalpitiya

Despite its natural beauty, the western peninsular area of KALPITIYA in the Puttalam district of Sri Lanka is remarkably untouched by tourism. For keen scuba divers and snorkellers, the largest coral reef in Sri Lanka ('Bar reef') is only an hour's boat trip from Kalpitiya.  This beautiful reef is home to an incredible variety of tropical fish as well as offering sighting of manta rays, reef sharks and the occasional turtle!

Diving and Snorkelling are not possible during the southwest monsoon period (May to November).  The best times are therefore between late November and early May. Transportation to dive/Snorkelling sites is by a fibre glass dinghy of 25 horse power engine. For the more serious divers who want more detailed information on the area, please refer to Nautical Map 1586 (Pamban to Cape Cormorin).

The underwater currents in the seas off Kalpitiya are generally not strong, but are influenced by small tide changes of two high water and two low water tides.  The underwater temperature is approximately 75°F so no wetsuits are required (but thin wetsuits could be worn to protect from any bruising from the coral).


The impressive Bar Reef is the largest reef in Sri Lanka (at 3 nautical miles in length and 1 nautical mile in breadth).  It is located at 8 degrees 23'N latitude and 79 degrees 44'E longitude, and can be reached by boat from Turtle Point Lodge  in under one hour (approximately 9 nautical miles).  With its tremendous variety of tropical fish (see summarised list), the colourful live coral reef is an 1 para image 1ideal location for Snorkelling, especially because the water is so clear. Diving is also excellent and can be done at a depth of 2-8 metres (up to 40 metres slightly further out).  Due to its vast size, there are numerous different dives that can be done - even a whole week would not be sufficient time to explore everything that it has to offer! 

N.B.  Due to the wide variety of shallow dives that are possible at the Bar Reef, it is an ideal location for beginners to learn how to dive. After a first morning used as a basic introduction to diving, the 'beginners' could explore the reef in more detail, putting their training into practice.


This interesting ridge dive offers divers the opportunity to explore the ocean at a greater depth than is possible on the Bar Reef.  At less than 30 minutes from the shore by boat (approximately 4 nautical miles), the location is easily accessible from Turtle Point Lodge .  The ridge spans 2 km in length and offers dives at a depth of up to 30 metres.  As well as the fish that can also be seen on the Bar Reef, Rock Cod, Large Grouper and Humphead Wrasse are also in plenty.  As an additional attraction, divers can explore the large underwater caves!


At a location approximately 3 hours from the shore at Turtle Point Lodge, lies the beautiful Pearl Banks where it is possible to see pearl oysters!  Due to the distance traveled in order to get to the site, this should be done as a full day trip.


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