When to visit
When to visit depends on where you would like to dive. From November 1st to April 12th we offer diving off Colombo, and from May 1st to September 30th we offer diving in Trincomalee.
Permits and Visas
You should obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) prior to traveling to Sri Lanka. Citizens of most countries are provided a 30 day tourist visa. You can apply for the ETA and check information on visa requirements by visiting the Sri Lanka Immigration website.
Getting to Sri Lanka
Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo (CMB) is the main gateway into Sri Lanka, and has direct flights from most major Indian and Asian cities, as well as some European destinations. The airport is located 35km north of Colombo city.
Getting to our dive center in Colombo
From the airport, you can take a taxi direct to your accommodation. Taxi counters are located in the arrivals area or you can use Uber or PickMe, a similar Sri Lankan taxi hailing app. There are regular buses from the airport to the central bus terminal in Colombo. However, you would need to get a taxi from there to your accommodation. If traveling with heavy luggage, it is advisable to get a taxi from the airport.
We also offer airport transfer services – please contact us for prices.
Getting to our dive center in Trincomalee
Trincomalee is approximately 260km from Colombo and takes around 6hrs by road. There are public buses and trains departing Colombo daily. Trains are cheap but slow and unfortunately cannot be booked online. You may book a train seat by visiting the Colombo Fort railway station in person. Comfortable air conditioned buses travel between Colombo and Trincomalee every night and can be booked online via the following websites.
A taxi from Colombo airport to Trincomalee costs around US$100 on way. We also offer private transfers from Colombo (airport or hotel) to Trincomalee – please contact us for pricing and to book.
Sri Lanka is a malaria free country, but other mosquito borne diseases such as dengue fever are a health risk. You should take necessary preventive measures such as wearing long sleeved clothes in areas with mosquitoes, and use insect repellent. Please check with your respective embassy for current health warnings or recommended vaccinations prior to traveling to Sri Lanka.
Avoid drinking tap water. Filtered drinking water is available in the dive shop and most restaurants and hotels. We recommend keeping a reusable bottle and refilling it to reduce plastic waste.
Colombo has very good healthcare with several private hospitals. Nawaloka Hospital, Lanka Hospital, Asiri Hospital and Asiri Central Hospital are well equipped and have excellent healthcare services.
Trincomalee and other regional towns have more limited healthcare options. Trincomalee Hospital can handle most medical emergencies, although some serious medical emergencies may require evacuation to Colombo.
The only hyperbaric chamber in Sri Lanka is located at the Sri Lanka Navy base in Trincomalee.
We strongly recommend that you obtain international diving insurance and health insurance prior to traveling. DAN and DiveAssure both provide excellent dive insurance plans.
What to bring / Bits n’ Bobs
Obviously your certification card and dive equipment! But if you do not have your own or wish to travel light we have you covered with high quality rental equipment.
Sri Lanka is mostly a hot and humid tropical climate so light cotton clothes should make up your clothes list. A light sweater and weatherproof jacket are useful if you plan to spend time outdoors or travel to the mountains where it can get chilly at night. Remember to pack plenty of sunblock and insect repellent as well as sun glasses and a hat / cap.
You can purchase a local SIM card with very affordable data plans at the airport or at local shops in most towns and cities.
Sri Lanka is a safe country to travel but as with any destination some caution should be applied. Pickpockets, scam artists, and touts are the most common problem for tourists. Being aware of your belongings when on public transport, avoiding lonely places, especially at night and applying some discretion and common sense will keep you safe and ensure an enjoyable holiday.
Tuk tuks are a popular and cheap mode of transport but be aware that they are not always the safest and will often try to overcharge tourists. In Colombo, we recommend using Uber or PickMe , or if using a tuk tuk make sure that they have a meter and that it is turned on. Outside Colombo, most tuk tuks do not have meters so make sure to agree on a price prior to starting your journey.
In case of an emergency you can call the police on the emergency hotline 119. Emergency ambulance services are available in most major towns (call 1990).