Visiting Pigeon Island, Trincomalee – A snorkel and A dive away

Renowned for its unique blend of pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant coral reefs, Pigeon Island has evolved into a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and history buffs alike. This idyllic islet, officially designated as a national park, beckons visitors with its lush landscapes, diverse marine life, and a rich colonial past that echoes through the remnants of a 17th-century Dutch fort.

Where exactly is the Island?

Pigeon Island in Trincomalee | Image by Chiranmayu via Wikimedia Commons

Pigeon Island National Park has emerged as a recent addition to Sri Lanka’s expanding conservation areas, encompassing not only the small Pigeon Island located just a kilometre off the coast near Trincomalee but also a significant expanse of the surrounding coral reef and sea. Despite the unfortunate impact of the 2004 tsunami on much of its coral, the park boasts some of the best-preserved coral reefs in Sri Lanka, and is conveniently accessible in many ways.

Getting to the Island

Pigeon Island is readily visible from the northern coast of Trincomalee, its petite expanse measuring around 200 meters, yet situated just 1 kilometer off Nilaveli Beach. Access to the island is exclusively facilitated through organized boat tours originating from either Nilaveli Beach or Uppuveli Beach. The process is effortlessly managed, with numerous snorkelling and diving establishments lining the beachfront, offering tours and equipment rentals.

The Best Time to visit

Optimal conditions for snorkelling and diving adventures at Pigeon Island prevail from April to October, aligning with the dry season in northern Sri Lanka. During this period, you can anticipate clearer skies and more tranquil, transparent waters. While water clarity may vary throughout the season, choosing a mid-season timeframe enhances the likelihood of encountering the best conditions for clear water exploration. Consider visiting resources like Truly Sri Lanka for a better idea of the weather and optimal visit times.

Snorkelling or Diving?

While one might instinctively assume that Pigeon Island is better suited for diving, experienced visitors and instructors insist that opting for snorkelling is the more rewarding choice.  The shallow reef on the south side of the island offers an ideal environment for snorkelling, providing easy sightings of reef sharks, turtles, and abundant fish, a great adventure in Sri Lanka to seek out and experience for yourself.

Scuba Diving in Hikkaduwa – Explore beneath the waves

Embark on an exhilarating adventure beneath the waves with scuba diving in Hikkaduwa, a coastal gem in Sri Lanka known for its vibrant marine ecosystem and stunning underwater landscapes.

Diving Sites and Marine Life

Diving to explore Marine Life in Hikkaduwa | Image via Needpix

Explore Hikkaduwa’s renowned dive sites, including Coral Garden and Kiralagala Rock, teeming with colourful fish and fascinating coral formations. These sites boast clear waters and excellent visibility, providing divers with unforgettable encounters with Sri Lanka’s underwater wonders. Keep an eye out for majestic sea turtles gliding effortlessly by, making your dive an unforgettable adventure in Sri Lanka.

Equipment and Safety Precautions

Before diving, ensure your safety by checking your equipment thoroughly and following safety protocols. Always dive with a certified instructor or guide, and adhere to safety procedures such as buddy checks and dive planning. Properly maintained scuba gear and adherence to safety guidelines are essential for a safe and enjoyable diving experience.

Choosing the Right Dive Centre

Select a reputable dive centre with certified instructors and a strong commitment to safety and environmental conservation. Look for facilities that offer well-maintained equipment, small group sizes, and personalised instruction. Reading reviews and seeking recommendations from fellow divers can help you find the ideal dive centre for your needs.

Environmental Conservation and Responsible Diving Practices

Practice responsible diving by respecting marine life and habitats. Avoid touching or disturbing coral reefs and marine creatures, and refrain from littering or damaging underwater ecosystems. Participate in conservation efforts such as underwater clean-up initiatives to help preserve Hikkaduwa’s marine environment for future generations. For more information on responsible diving practices in Sri Lanka, check out popular travel blogs such as Truly Sri Lanka.

Accommodation and Facilities for Divers

Hikkaduwa offers a range of accommodation options catering to divers, from beachfront resorts to budget-friendly guesthouses. Many accommodations provide diving packages and facilities for storing and rinsing dive gear, making it convenient for diving enthusiasts to explore the underwater wonders of Hikkaduwa.

Discover the Wonder of Sri Lanka’s Wild Side: Embark on Unforgettable Outdoor Adventures!

Sri Lanka is a lush island brimming with astoundingly diverse natural, heritage, and experiential endowments, and there’s no shortage of spine-tingling adventures to be savoured.

Jeep Safari in Yala National Park | img by Hanavihash via wikipedia commons (CC BY-SA) 4.0)

Wild Safaris

Whether it’s the lush forests, glistening plains, and windswept ocean vistas of Yala National Park, where you can snatch thrilling glimpses of leopards, fishing cats, sloth bears, crocodiles, and peacocks, or the dreamy sanctuary of Udawalawe with its gently gigantic elephant herds and kaleidoscopic community of bird species, Sri Lanka’s jaunty wildlife-rich jeep safaris are always eye-opening and exhilarating.

Aquatic Antics

From taking on the surf-perfect swells, spinning across the jewel-toned ocean in a banana boat, or peaceful sunset kayaking at Bentota to kitesurfing over blue-green lagoons and racing 4WDs across the mesmerising coastal dunes of Kalpitiya beach, you can do loads more than sunbathe and sip fruity drinks at Sri Lanka’s balmy wavefronts!

Whale Watching

Dramatically beautiful Mirissa, with its palm tree precipice, secret beach, and jungle-clad panoramas, is also Sri Lanka’s Whale Watching Capital; you can set sail into the deep blue and get up close and personal with majestically graceful blue, sperm, Bryde’s, and humpback whales, as well as enjoy the playful trajectory of the native dolphins. If you’re looking for epic places to visit in Sri Lanka, make sure that you go through travel blogs such as Truly Sri Lanka.

Highland Escapades

Whether it’s the legendary Flying Ravana zip lining rush, chasing Instagram-worthy waterfalls, scenic mountain biking, hiking panoramic peaks, or the world-famous Kandy to Ella train ride affording arresting views of undulating hills and tea-steeped valleys, Sri Lankan uplands hide plenty of thrills underneath the rustic glamour.




Adventure Experiences in Sri Lanka

Adventure lovers will be in their element in Sri Lanka as the island nation offers many exciting outdoor experiences for active visitors that are sure to captivate and delight.

Image credit- Unsplash,achinthya dinoli,CC0

Climbing Adam’s Peak

A unique adventure experience in Sri Lanka would be ascending the sacred mountain known as Adam’s Peak and catching the sunrise from its summit; there are several available trails by which to access this mountain featuring different levels of difficulty. To learn more about such places to visit in Sri Lanka, check specialist travel websites like Truly Sri Lanka.

Bicycle tours & water sports

Another appealing adventure excursion in Sri Lanka would be embarking on a bicycle tour in the environs of the town of Bentota along lanes that are flat, quiet and shaded. Bentota also happens to be a hub for water sports and you can take part in everything from jet-skiing and banana boating to water-skiing and surfing.

White water rafting

Drawing adrenaline junkies from around the world, white water rafting in Sri Lanka is not to be missed. You can experience this exhilarating activity along the Kelani River in the area known as Kitulgala set amidst stunning natural beauty. Some excursions will additionally include jungle trekking and visiting hidden rock pools too.

The hill country

There are plenty of thrilling adventures in the hill country of Sri Lanka. Here, you can go mountain biking and hiking amidst picturesque surroundings and mist-shrouded mountains such as the Knuckles Mountain Range. Other destinations like Nuwara Eliya and Ella are popular too and feature tea plantations to explore as well.

Deep-sea fishing

A deep-sea fishing excursion would be another exciting adventure experience that you could enjoy in Sri Lanka. Your fishing trip will take you into the expanses of the Indian Ocean where you could cast for the likes of tuna, snappers, barracuda, groupers, wahoo and so on; this is sure to be an absorbing escapade worth trying!

Adventure Sports in Sri Lanka

With its sun-kissed beaches, tropical lagoons and pristine hill country, Sri Lanka is a bubbling pot of exhilarating activities. Discover some of the adventure sports offered by this tropical paradise.

Water skiing

water skiing
water skiing | Image via Unsplash

Whether it be jet or water skiing, riding a banana boat or even windsurfing, Sri Lanka’s water activities are endless. Make the most out of your adventure by visiting travel websites like Truly Sri Lanka for information on the best destinations for water sports.


Ella is the epitome of adventure in Sri Lanka. Seek a different kind of sailing by heading to the Flying Ravana adventure park featuring activities such as quad biking, abseiling, and the ultimate highlight, ziplining. Sail through the air between two mountains, and amid the adrenaline rush, gaze at your picturesque surroundings.

Lagoon canoeing

A lesser-known water sport in Sri Lanka is lagoon canoeing. Paddle your troubles away at lagoons in Tangalle or Unawatuna and discover an array of fauna and flora.


Experience first-hand the cool climes of Sri Lanka’s hillside by hiking through Horton Plains, Moon Plains or Knuckles Mountain range. As you do, be sure to take in the sights and spot a plethora of exotic flora and wildlife such as sambar deer, and if you are lucky, the stealthy leopard.


Surfing | Image via Unsplash

With its challenging swells, the beaches in Sri Lanka are any surfer’s paradise. Arugam Bay features daring surfing feats, while Hiriketiya Beach and Hikkaduwa offer manageable waves ideal for beginners.

Galle Dutch Fort of Sri Lanka

The Galle Fort or the Dutch Fort is one of the most popular attractions in Sri Lanka because of its historical facts as well as its stylish looks.


Galle Fort Sri Lanka
calflier001, GALLE FORT SRI LANKA JAN 2013 (8580286004), CC BY-SA 2.0


The location
Needless to say or describe, the Dutch Fort is in Galle, Sri Lanka, and is, of course, the main landmark that the city has. It is, of course, one of the best places to visit in Galle according to what is mentioned on popular travel sites such as Truly Sri Lanka as well.

The significance
It is a World Heritage Site declared by UNESCO and this very clearly depicts how important the Galle Fort is. According to a statement by UNESCO, it is one of the few amazing attractions in the world that show characteristics of both European and South Asian architectural styles.

A bit from the history
Although it was the Portuguese who started building the fort in the 16th century, the Dutch were the ones who made extensive modifications in the 17th century. When the British came in later, they too made some improvements here.

Important attractions inside
The Dutch Reformed Church, the Old Dutch Government House, The Residence of the Commander are also some important attractions you come across near this main attraction.


A Quick Guide to Surfing in Southern Sri Lanka

Looking to combine a holiday with some surfing adventures? Then, make plans to head to Sri Lanka’s south coast where you can enjoy sun, sand and most importantly, surf!

When to Go Surfing

While surfing on the south coast may be one of the top things to do in Sri Lanka, you do need to visit during the right season. The best period to ride the waves on the south coast if from November to April when conditions are at their most consistent. Ideally, head out before eleven in the morning or later in the evening.

Top Destinations

Beginners will find Weligama an ideal place to visit, while intermediate and experienced surfers will have plenty to look forward to in Midigama. Advanced surfers will also enjoy the waves at Hikkaduwa though it can get crowded. Checkout local travel sites such as Truly Sri Lanka for more insights on activities like surfing.

Surfing Hotspots

Surfing| Img by: Amila Tennakoon via Flickr, CC BY 2.0

The main break at Hikkaduwa has some of the biggest swells on the south coast and the size of the waves can reach between six to eight feet. Those looking for longboard waves will enjoy Lazy Left in Midigama, while Kabalana in Ahangama features big walls as well as barrels for you to conquer.

Rentals & Lessons

While it may not be practical to travel abroad with your longboard in tow, the good news is that there are places to rent them in Sr Lanka along with shortboards too. While you will also be able to find instructors at the major surfing hubs, surf schools have been set-up in certain locations as well.