Dive Sites in Trincomalee

Trincomalee is the diving capital of the west coast of Sri Lanka. Known more so for its Rocky/Boulder landscaped reefs.

We are ideally based in Nilaveli which is one of two suburbs developed for tourist. Being in the area we are centrally located in the middle of Trincomalees coastline so able to visit all dive areas from Trincomalee town to north of Pigeon Island, other words we have access to all available dive sites. This area is ideally suited for dive training as well as guided dives for all levels but perhaps not so for those that prefer the ship wrecks off Colombo our other location for diving.

5-18 meters

Very close to Island Scuba base, this is a short journey to one of our most visited/popular dive sites. This can easily be dived two or three time.

Originally called glass House because it was covered in sweepers/clear looking fish. It has many cleaner stations with all sorts of Shrimps. On a good clear day there’s often plenty of shoaling fish to be seen with its interesting backdrop of looming boulders forming and pyramid shaped landscape.

This site starts just five meters below the surface and drifts down to a sandy bottom between 16 to 18 meters.

Its home to a resident turtle, plenty of different Morey eels and occasionally we find my favorite shrimp, the Harlequin shrimp scuttling around.

0 – 12 meters

Very close to the dive center and can be seen pocking up above the surface. This large rock with its swim though’s   and circling Moonfish/silver Batfish is a short boat ride away.

Great for Scuba Reviews, DSDS’s and training, also any certified diver wanting to play through the boulders and caves.

We see a lot of fish swimming freely around the main rock and Sweetlips lazing around the edge of the sandy bottom and often play hide and seek with us, Scorpion fish hiding amounts the rock and coral with unusual colors. We don’t normally stray to far from the main rock but sure there could be more to discover on this site.


Great place to see Cuttlefish and turtle from time to time.

5 – 30 meters

Perched below an ancient Hindu temple, this is an interesting dive site that’s home to many Religious statues that have been thrown down from the temple by various nation that ruled over Sri Lanka during the several century’s.

We often find frogfish, Pufferfish and many different types of money Eels. There’s also a very old boat anchor thats at least 100 years old.

Mainly made up of underwater boulders, it a great place to zigzag around them following the yellowfin Goatfish while doing an accessional look up to see the snapper and fusiliers shooting past.

This dive site is great for all levels of diver so its a popular place, we like to get there early to avoid the crowds.

5 – 30 meters

Running from Swarmi rock into Trincomalee bay, this site is still under investigation. We’ve dived it at least five times now and each time it always surprise us with new fish sightings. I’ve seen frogfish, many different Nudibranchs, large cuttlefish, stone and scorpionfish, even an eagle ray!!

Cruise alone and it feels like a divers hunting new unexplored territory for macro life.

0 – 12 meters

This is a popular place to dive when visiting Swami Rock. Heading back to the Dive center we stop at two small rocks just pocking above the surface. This has a Cave between the two rocks.  Often we can see the sun shining down from one side of the Cave and see the silhouette of big Snapper and Sweetlips.

18 – 34 meters

Our only reef we can truely say is deep

As we descend down the mooring line suddenly in the distance the main Rock appears, taking a quick look around it can be difficult to see the whole layout but often large Batfish and Big eyed Trevally are seen, even large Barracuda’s are often around. We’ve seen many large lobsters, Frogfish, Rays and beautifully colored Nudibranch. We’ve also spotted whales and dolphin close by but rare.


6 – 18 meters

One of my favorite dive sites but on first glance your wonder why,  Just stop and look closely!!!

This rocky formation give’s an impression of a broken Pyramid, not home to Egyptian Kings but Morey eels, crustaceans, Scorpion fish, Trumpet Fish, Puffa fish, Pyramid Boxfish, Cuttlefish and Nudibranch.

We have seen five different types of Morey here and includes the daddy of all moray’s, the Giant Moray!!


10 – 18 meters

Castle Wall

Diving alone a straight ridgeline of rock, you suddenly see a tall shadow looming ahead, as it comes into view this rock structure gives the impression of a sunken castle or cathedral reaching towards the surface. Surrounded by big boulders the main tower is circled by different Snappers and sweetlips. As you explore the boulders you can spot different morays, Torpedo Rays, lobsters, Boxfish, and lionfish. We even see friendly Golden Jacks and Pilot fish passing by to take a look at us. There is also a bunch of macro critters found here, from Pipefish to cleaner shrimps. Keep looking out onto the surrounding sand to see Garden Eels.




12 – 18 meters

Close to castle wall, this site is similar but much larger. There’s lots to see with plenty of things to discover amongst the bolder and rocks. We seen one of the largest Morey eels so far here and plenty of Torpedo rays hiding under a layer of sand.

There are often plenty of five lined snappers and small moonfish shooting around the center boulder towering above us. Macro life is good. This is a great place if you like to dive slowly and spend time drifting along while looking in and amongst the knocks and crannies.





12 – 18 meters

This smooth rock lying on the sand giving an appearance of a sleeping Dragon, you never know what might pass by, we’ve seen barracuda and Giant Trevally gliding in for a better look at us!!  With a short swim across the sand to a second group of rocks, there’s a good chance to see Kohl’s rays hiding under the golden sand or Torpedo’s scuttling alone.

You can also see Golden Jacks, Blue fine Trevally circling around the rocks and similar fish seen on Castle wall.

This place feels like we might even see dolphins or better still a whaleshark pass by one day.



0 – 14 meters

Trinity is one of three-dive sites situated next to each other, linked by three pinnacles breaching the surface.

This is a very colorful dive site close to a very large square shaped rock with swim throughs. You can get lost looking for creatures living in every nock and cranny around this site.  Ideal for all divers certified or in training.

Also this is a place to see Whaleshark if they are around.

6 – 16 meters

Stretching away from Trinity this canyon travels to another large rock looming in the distance, with coral growing either side, you will see fish traveling back an fourth from one rock to the other. We’ve seen shark cruising around here occasionally and turtles from time to time.

4 – 10 meters

Just 10 Minutes boat ride from the dive center Big Reef is as the name says!! Its a beautiful garden of soft corals with low laying ridges running parallel and looks like a major train junction. Great relaxing dive morning or afternoon and very colourful. . We are often followed by several big batfish during the dive, Moray’s, torpedo Rays, shoals of Yellow Snapper, fusiliers and the occasional Turtle dinning on Bubble coral.

This site is great for everyone and a hot favorite for new divers and students, especially for the whole family to experience diving for the first time together.

5 – 11 meters

We rarely dive this old steamship now. It was wrecked circa 1858.  Only three-year-old this British build ship, seems to have experienced a lot of bad luck during its short life, never the less its history is interesting. Used as a mail/passage ship between China and India, it was carrying Gold to be delivered to Trincomalee. It had some important British family’s On board, whom were escaping one of India’s first military revolts against British Rule. (The Siege of Lucknow)

How often would you get the chance to dive on a wreck 158 years old!!