Hikkaduwa is by far one of the most popular beach destinations to visit in all of Sri Lanka. Travellers flock to it from all over the world to enjoy its white-sand beaches, calm blue waters and tropical atmosphere. But by far, Hikkaduwa’s biggest draw is its coral reefs – a vibrant network that’s home to an array of diverse marine life. While most people prefer to snorkel and explore these reefs, you can experience the full beauty of the reef without even getting wet. All you have to do is hire a glass-bottomed boat!
The fringing reefs found in the Hikkaduwa Marine National Park are home to a spectacular cast of marine characters. It is, in fact, one of the most biodiverse regions in the entirety of Sri Lanka. Creatures large and small, curious and stunning can all be found patrolling the reefs searching for food, company and shelter all the time.
Being one of only three marine national parks found in Sri Lanka, the reefs of Hikkaduwa serve as a refuge for some of the most wonderful and rare species of marine life around the island. Regular visitors include several species of threatened sea turtles, as well as the elusive dugong – a massive marine mammal that grazes on the ocean floor.
As stated, you don’t have to get all wet to see this menagerie either. Just book a glass-bottomed boat and marvel at the marine life while you stay nice and dry, with the gentle sea breeze to keep you company. Your guide will also provide you with information and fact about all the different species you’ll be seeing. One of the main advantages of touring the reef on a boat is that it doesn’t irritate the animals as much, so you’ll get an unprecedented view of the reef’s denizens as they exhibit their natural behaviours.