Pigeon Island National Park: A Dive into Crystal Clear Waters


Just off the coast of Nilaveli in Sri Lanka lies a true underwater paradise—Pigeon Island National Park. With its crystal clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and diverse marine life, this protected marine reserve offers a captivating experience for snorkelers and scuba diving enthusiasts alike.

In this article, we embark on an aquatic adventure to explore the wonders of Pigeon Island, diving into the depths of its azure waters while also discovering the best hotels in the area for a comfortable and memorable stay.

A Glimpse into Pigeon Island’s Underwater Wonderland:

Pigeon Island National Park, named after its abundance of rock pigeons, is home to a thriving marine ecosystem that captivates visitors with its beauty and diversity. As you dive into the clear waters, you’ll be greeted by an explosion of colors and fascinating marine life. The coral reefs here are among the best in the country, boasting an array of hard and soft corals that provide a habitat for numerous species.

Underwater explorers can encounter an array of marine creatures, including colorful reef fish, sea turtles, eels, rays, and even blacktip reef sharks. Swim through the coral gardens, admiring their intricate formations and the vivid hues of the resident fish. The visibility in these waters is excellent, allowing you to fully appreciate the underwater spectacle that awaits.

Best Hotels for an Aquatic Adventure:

To fully enjoy your experience at Pigeon Island, it’s important to choose accommodations that offer easy access to the park and provide a comfortable base for your aquatic adventures. Here are two highly recommended hotels in the area:

Anilana Nilaveli:

Situated along the pristine shores of Nilaveli Beach, Anilana Nilaveli is a luxury beachfront resort that offers stunning views of the Indian Ocean. The resort features spacious and well-appointed rooms, a swimming pool, and a spa for relaxation after a day of diving. The attentive staff and excellent service ensure a memorable stay, while the proximity to Pigeon Island allows for convenient access to the national park.

Trinco Blu by Cinnamon:

Located a short distance from Nilaveli, Trinco Blu by Cinnamon is a charming beachfront hotel that combines comfort with a touch of nostalgia. The rooms are tastefully decorated and offer modern amenities, while the property itself exudes a relaxed and tranquil atmosphere. The hotel’s dive center provides guided diving and snorkeling trips to Pigeon Island, allowing guests to explore the underwater wonders with ease.

Both hotels offer dining options that showcase a variety of cuisines, including local Sri Lankan delicacies and international favorites. Enjoy a meal overlooking the ocean, savoring the flavors of freshly caught seafood and indulging in culinary delights that complement your aquatic adventure.

Beyond the Dive:

While Pigeon Island National Park is the highlight of the area, there are other attractions to explore during your visit. Take a boat trip to nearby Coral Island, where you can witness an abundance of coral formations and marine life. Visit the historic city of Trincomalee, known for its natural harbor and colonial-era fort. Explore the Koneswaram Temple, perched atop a cliff with breathtaking views of the coastline.

For those seeking a more relaxed experience, simply unwind on the pristine beaches of Nilaveli, basking in the tropical sun and listening to the gentle lapping of the waves. Take leisurely walks along the shore, collect seashells, or enjoy a rejuvenating beachside massage.


Pigeon Island National Park is a diver’s paradise, offering a glimpse into the captivating world beneath the surface of the Indian Ocean. With its crystal clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and abundant marine life, this marine reserve is a must-visit destination for snorkeling and scuba diving enthusiasts. Choose accommodations that provide comfort, convenience, and easy access to the national park to make the most of your aquatic adventure. Whether you’re exploring the underwater wonders or simply relaxing on the pristine beaches, Pigeon Island promises an unforgettable experience surrounded by natural beauty.

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