Swim with the Turtles

Renowned for its picturesque coastline and vibrant corals, Hikkaduwa is home to some of the best coral reefs not only in Sri Lanka but in the whole of Asia! The vast tracts of limestone that run parallel to the coast are perfect for a stunning variety of coral to blossom in. What’s more, the surrounding sea is quite shallow making for a fantastic location to snorkel in. Once you’re in the water, you stand the chance to come face-to-face with some amazing marine life. Among these encounters, few can top the inexplicable magic of swimming with the gentle and graceful sea turtles.

Sri Lanka is blessed in that its waters are frequented by 5 different species of the sea turtle. Namely, these are the green sea turtle, olive Ridley sea turtle, hawksbill turtle, loggerhead sea turtle and the goliath leatherback turtle. All of these turtles spend a majority of their lives in the water – in fact, male sea turtles never leave the ocean! Only the females will ever come ashore and that too to only lay their eggs. What’s more, all 5 of these magnificent reptile species are endangered and are under the very real threat of going extinct. Hikkaduwa is one of the few places on earth that you can reliably get a glimpse of these animals acting naturally in the wild – so don’t pass up this opportunity.

Snorkelling is one of the most popular activities to try out in Hikkaduwa and as such, you’ll find plenty of places willing to sell you the necessary gear. What’s more, if you’ve never snorkelled before, you can also hire yourself an instructor to show you the ropes. To see the turtles, you’ll need to travel to the edges of the fringing reef found here. Along the way, you’ll run into all manner of other fascinating reef denizens like the colourful parrotfish and the curious moray eel!