Hikkaduwa is a pretty little town of the sun and waves, on the southern end of Sri Lanka. The place is renowned for its coral reefs, beautiful beaches and surfable waves. The coral reefs also mean that lots of colorful sealife live in the shallows supported by the coral organisms, the polyps. Sri Lanka’s only marine sanctuary is located in Hikkaduwa.
As such various activities centered on watching the underwater activities of sea life take place in Hikkaduwa. The main activities, however, are snorkelling and glass bottom boat rides.
Snorkelling is the best way to view underwater life in the shallow seas of Sri Lanka. The snorkelling gear can be bought or rented in the area. Almost every beachside shop has them. Snorkelling helps view the corals and shoals of fish without damaging them.
You can also see the colorful live corals that live somewhat deeper. This is because even though the corals in the area are protected now the ones closer to the beach and surface have died out due human carelessness. It is important to note, though, that the shallow waters around Hikkaduwa can become quite crowded, especially during the peak tourist season. This can make it difficult to snorkel safely.
Glass Bottom Boat Rides
Boats with plexiglass bases are available for those who don’t have the option of snorkelling. The clear bases allow those in the boat to see directly into the sea. They are a reasonable second alternative but are not the most comfortable or environment friendly. However, the view is fairly clear without having to get completely soaked or having to hire special equipment. The boats are available for hire around the beach zone of Hikkaduwa.
However, it is important to note that it is easy to be taken for a ride by the locals, in a very different sense, if you do not know the area. Hence having a guide who sees to your best interests in order to negotiate would be very advantageous. Hikkaduwa is also a great and fun place to spend a few days relaxing.