Trincomalee, Sri Lanka (Trinco) is considered as one the world’s finest natural harbors with deep waters in the world. Trincomalee is also home to Nilaveli and Uppaveli beaches, famous for their breathtakingly beautiful, uninterrupted views and crystalline water that offer sports such as scuba-diving, snorkeling, surfing, fishing and whale-watching.

Trincomalee also known as Siri Gonamala, Gokanna or Gokarna is an ancient sea-port town as mentioned in the historical chronicles of Sri Lanka. Trincomalee has been functioning as a major trading point from ancient times as early as 505 B. C. The natural position, distance from India and the deep water harbor attracted numerous other nations, and attempts to capture the Trincomalee harbor which made Sri Lanka a frequent target of attack.

The hot springs at Kanniyai

The hot springs at Kanniyai are situated a short 8km from Trincomalee’s city proper. Stone walls enclose seven springs, which offer visitors a sublime plunge in warm waters famed for their therapeutic properties.


Nilaveli Beach is well-known for its white coral sand beaches and shallow waist-height waters that allow you to walk into the sea for hundreds of miles in some places.

The inhabitant Pigeon Island located just off Nilaveli on the East Coast is ideal for snorkeling. The island gets busier during holidays and weekends. If you’re after a more peaceful setting then head off to Coral Island, a few kilometers north to the Nilaveli beach.

Coral Island is a well-preserved live reef, home to amazing marine life, offering memorable snorkeling experiences.

Rock Diving, Wreck Diving and Coral Diving

Trincomalee, Sri Lanka is a popular diving spot with a large sandbank that drops 1500m/4921ft deep into the crystal-clear water. Trincomalee Sea has a large number of shipwrecks scattered all around, sunk during Second World War. The options are endless when it comes to diving around Trincomalee - research is encouraged before you start your journey in order to choose the ideal spot best suited for your aptitudes, here are some of the well-recognized dive sites in Trincomalee that offer amazing diving opportunities.

Fort Rock - With a depth of 25 - 30m and spectacular dive-through rock formations, this site is most suitable for experienced divers. Among other marine life, barracudas, trevallies, snappers, bat fish, big rays and tuna can be seen often. If you’re lucky, you might even spot one or two whale sharks here.

Swami Rock - Next to the oldest recorded temple in Trincomalee, down a sheer cliff of 300 feet is Swami Rock Dive Site. It is a very interesting dive with old statues of God Shiva, Cali, Ganesh and ruins to be found 22m deep in the sea, surrounded by big schools of fishes, turtles, stone fish and an incredible variety of eels.

Fort Frederick - This site offers a wide range of coral reef, turtles, sting rays and a huge variety of tropical fish and anemones, as well as rare sightings of giant frogfish. (10-19m Depth)

Uppaweli Reef - This a 9m deep shallow coral reef grown around ruins of an old colonial bridge. Thie Trincomalee reef is well-known for stingrays and turtles.

Pigeon Island - It is one of the two marine national parks of Sri Lanka. The name derives from the Rock Pigeons that have colonized the island. Pigeon Island comprises of two islands, the Small Pigeon Island and the Large Pigeon Island.

The Small Pigeon Island is surrounded by rocky islets

The Large Pigeon Island is fringed by a coral reef, and is about 200m long and 100m wide. It is a fairly large rock visible from the land and offers opportunities for snorkeling and diving, and to witness hard corals, Black Tip Reef Sharks, Turtles and a lot of different coral fish of the Indian Ocean. Approximately 100 species of corals and 300 coral reef fishes recorded around the Trincomalee area are found in Pigeon Island.

Few other curious spots found around Trincomalee beach are Two Islands, Eel Rock, Navy Island, Dutch Bay Reef, Hermes Wreck and Shark Point, offering not only marine life but historic values with fascinating old temple ruins to WWII wreckages and ruins, which attract divers of all levels of experience.

Whale and Dolphin Spotting

Sri Lanka is situated within the International Whaling Commission’s protected zone while Trincomalee is commonly regarded as the best place for this seasonal activity in the country.

Trincomalee is one of the deepest and most strategically-placed natural harbors in the world, offering you a perfect opportunity to encounter these largest mammals on our planet in super pods, containing as many as 40 or more, and as well as large numbers of Spinner Dolphins and sperm whales.

Spinner Dolphins and other dolphin sightings in Trincomalee mostly occur between March and April and August and September months, while Whales can be spotted during December to April.

Snorkelling in Pigeon Island

Snorkelling in Pigeon Island is recommended for everyone coming to Trincomalee. It is best if you do your research and follow up with locals before you go snorkeling as some areas can be as deep as a thousand meters. 

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