Beneath the surf surrounding Sri Lanka, snorkelling offers a great way to check out a whole new world.

Take a quick dip below the gentle surf and find schools of brightly coloured tropical fish, magnificent coral reefs and a host of marine life that thrive under the sea. On the South coast, Hikkaduwa, Weligama and Kirinda are best for snorkelling; in the West head for the ‘Bar Reef’ Sri Lanka’s largest being 3 nautical miles in length and 1 nautical mile wide. It is easily accessible from Kalpitiya. But for some really amazing sights it’s worth a trip up North to Pigeon Island, off Nilaveli beach. Fringed by pristine white sands, the sparkling turquoise water is teeming with a multitude of fish and unspoilt coral, making it an undersea paradise. Due to the monsoons, snorkelling is best from November to April along the West Coast and the sea is calmest from April to September in the East. There are many certified equipment hire options available, as well as well trained, experienced UDI and PADI instructors to ensure safety too.