Scuba-diving, free diving and snorkeling in the south west coast is generally best from November to mid-April. The region around Weligama has a number of protected dive sites and many places to swim out and snorkel. Crystal clear waters and shallow depths ensure that the vivid colours of the coral and abundant tropical fish are at their brightest. Hikkaduwa and Unawatuna are also superb protected coral reefs, with the PADI dive center infrastructure you would expect from busy tourist centres.
Sri Lanka has some great dive points. Hikkadua, Unawatuna and Welligama are the main areas on the South West and visibility is best December to February. Not all the dive schools are up to European standard, you may see tanks filled a little too close to the highway or not be asked the right questions when you arrive. If you are experienced this shouldn’t matter too much but maybe not for learning.
Surf South Sri Lanka has a good relationship and has been diving with Pearl Divers in Unawatuna. If you are looking to learn to dive with a PADI Open Water, PADI Advanced or PADI Rescue dive courses we would recommend this outfit and can arrange courses, day or introductory dives for you. Pricing is set by PADI so for example $30 USD per dive, $45 for a refresher dive. Advanced is a great way to get some dives and do some more interesting diving.
Perl Divers has just rebranded to there is limited info on their website at the moment, Summith the Sri Lankan Owner has 24 year experience running he school and over 15,000 logged dives. Three dive boats, for or five instructors – two European. Mostly new Scuba-Pro and Mares equipment, tank room by the sea. If you have a Go Pro, get the tropical water filter and your videos will have better viability than you remember from the dive. No Nitrox yet in but this dive school will no doubt be the first in the area.
We can recommend some good hotels nearby also if you don’t fancy the 30min Tuk Tuk ride from Gurubebila.