Barracuda Reef, Mount Lavinia
This is a great dive site waiting to be explored and never disappoints. The reef provides shelter for a wide variety of aquatic creatures including lionfish, rays and nudibranch. The sea is calm most of the year, with the main dive season from October through to May.
Offshore the water is clear and marine species are abundant. The SS Conch, a 3300-ton oil tanker, sank off Akurala Rocks in 1903 and split in two.
Resting at 14 metres/45 feet, the wreck can be penetrated by experienced divers. Look for snappers, sweetlips and the occasional large grouper or napoleon
On the edge of Unawatuna Bay, there's a rock and coral reef with some big boulders where divers can often see triggerfish, pufferfish and other species.
Further off this coast are a couple of wrecks that have flourished into spectacular artificial reefs and are home to a number of very large resident
Ralagala, literally "Wave Rock," barely breaks the surface, but under the water lies a rugged landscape of granite boulders and rock formations. Fish
species include teeming schools of gold and green fusiliers, rudderfish, snapper, trevally, parrotfish, grunts, powder-blue surgeonfish and blue-ringed and
The Basses Reefs:
Marked by a lighthouse, this pair of reefs feature rugged sandstone formations and drop-offs, canyons, gullies, ridges and turrets, carved out of sandstone
by prehistoric seismic action and the waves. Look for black coral trees, fan corals, whip corals, multihued sponges, and pelagic visitors like sharks,
dogtooth tuna, barracuda, grouper, trevally, rays, sweetlips, and snapper. Due to their location, exposed to both the southwest and northeast monsoons,
these reefs are only accessible from March to early April.
Famous for the blue, sperm and Bryde's whales and dolphins that are regularly spotted close to shore here, the enormous natural harbor (fifth largest in
the world) features a coastline made up of dozens of bays, inlets, reefs, rocky peninsulas, cliffs and islands, resulting is a great variety of undersea
terrain and aquatic life. In addition to the marine mammals, look for schools of barracuda, giant trevally and the occasional shark.
This wreck rests in 55 metres/180 feet of water and due to its depth, is restricted to certified technical divers. The wreck is patrolled by schools of trevally, mangrove snapper, and yellowfin barracuda, and offers views of mangled gun emplacements, spars and girders, now covered with gorgonians and whip corals.
Colombo Car Wreck
This wreck, also known as the Chief Dragon, is around 4 km/2.5 miles off the coast of Colombo, is an exciting wreck to explore. Sitting around 34 metres/112 feet at its deepest point, it is home to groupers and a range of other marine life.
A 90 metre/295 feet wreck, which is the cargo carrier the Pecheur Breton, offers divers a massive area to explore. It sits at around 20 metres/65 feet at its shallowest point however the starboard side is sitting deeper than this.
Sitting in around 12 metres/40 feet, this is a popular wreck that is accessible for certified divers to explore and is located off Panadura.