West Colombo & Northwest Kalpitiya - Indian Ocean

  • Water temp 27-28C
  • Air Temp 28-30C
  • Visibility 10-25m
  • Good for... Variety! Wrecks, reefs and whale encounters
  • Suitable for beginners Confident beginners upwards
  • Highlights Dive the unspoilt west coast of Sri Lanka on board the outstanding Sri Lankan Aggressor. Recreational wrecks, reef and drift dives as well as snorkelling with whales. Season runs from Nov - Apr

About West Colombo & Northwest Kalpitiya

Sri Lanka is still a relatively new destination for recreational divers, but she has so much to offer. This is the wrecks and reefs of the Indian Ocean, with the added bonus of snorkelling with whales to boot! Warms waters and good off shore visibility make this itinerary a must do for anyone wanting to experience this unspoilt destination.

The West Colombo & Northwest Kalpitiya is a recreational diving itinerary, departing from Colombo to explore the region's wrecks and reefs. Half the week is spent exploring the wrecks and the other half venturing north for drift diving along sandstone hard coral reefs. Firm favourites include the Ridge, Hannova Reef and Bar Reef. The wreck dives may include: the Thermopylae Sierra (23m), Chief Dragon (20-34m), Taprobane (26-40m) and Trug (32m). With warm coastal waters and the continental shelf only 5 to 10 kilometres out from the Sri Lankan coast, Sri Lanka boasts vibrant fish life all year long, including on the many ship wrecks that have become artificial reefs for local fish species. During your trip, you will have the opportunity to snorkel with the whales and dolphins (Wednesday).

The West Colombo & Northwest Kalpitiya itinerary runs between November and February, when the conditions and viz are at their best. This itinerary is best suited to confident beginners upwards. There is some moderate drift diving on some of the reef dives. A 40m certification is helpful for some of the wreck dives. You can complete courses on board (local charges apply). Some of the diving is from the main boat, whilst some dives will be from one of the boat's 2 sturdy tender zodiacs. Nitrox is available for a charge on board. It's time to get off the beaten track and discover the diversity that Sri Lanka offers recreational divers.

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The West Colombo & Northwest Kalpitiya itinerary runs between November and February, when the conditions and viz are at their best.

Sri Lankan Aggressor embarks from Dikowita harbour. This is approx 45mins from Colombo airport.

Trip Duration
All of the West Colombo & Northwest Kalpitiya trips run for 7 nights with 7 nights spent on board your liveaboard.

There are on average 3-4 dives/day with some time set aside to snorkel with whales

On arrival in Colombo you will be met by our representative and transferred to a local hotel before your transfer to the harbour.

Recreational wrecks
The Thermopylae Sierra was a Cypriot bulk carrier that sank at anchor in 2012. Today you can dive this vast 165m ship at recreational depths. She's become a haven for the local marine life and is being colonised by soft corals.

The Chief Dragon is known locally as the car wreck, as this 112m long Panamanian cargo was carrying vehicles when she sank. You can still see the chassis of several cars in the upper decks. The wreck itself has been blown in two (to allow larger vessels to pass) and the twisted metal creates an incredible ambience for divers.

The Taprobane is another vast wreck and is a world class wreck dive. She sits on a pristine sand bed with some of the best viz in the area. It's thought to be a German mine layer from the First World War. The soft coral growth is impressive and she has retained many key features such as the prop. Large schools of yellow snapper swirl around the decks.

The Trug is a fun wreck as she is completely inverted. This is lion fish city, but also home to juvenile groupers, pufferfish, trevallies and stingrays.

Reef & drift dives
Bar Reef is a swathe of pristine hard corals, thronging with reef life. Bannerfish and butterfly fish float in the shallows and it is not uncommon to find small black tip reef sharks hiding under the table corals.

Hannova reef is great for schooling fish such as jacks and fusiliers. Look closely and you can find cuttlefish, hidden between the sweetlips and groupers. This is a busy site for fish life and there is always plenty of action!

Whales and Dolphins
Snorkelling is the best way to get close to whales and dolphins in the open seas. The sound of scuba can frighten them off. We do recommend you get into the water as gently as possible and enjoy the closest encounters on the surface. Cameras are a must - you will want to capture these incredible meetings to show others!

There are 2 large fibreglass zodiacs on Sri Lankan Aggressor. They will be launched on the Wednesday on your trip. The duration of the run will, depending on the proximity of the whale activity and time of day - this will be a whale watching or snorkelling experience.

Generally a rash vest or thin wetsuit is recommended to keep the sun off your back and shoulders.

You will normally leave the boat after breakfast on your last day and be transferred to the airport to begin your journey home. Please do speak to the travel consultant at the time of booking to confirm the exact last day arrangements.

Want more time? Why not speak to us about adding either a non diving extension to explore Sri Lanka's stunning beaches, national parks and cities. Or more to Colombo to discover the diving off the West coast.