Pigeon Island National Park is one of Sri Lanka’s two marine national parks. By the way, The park is located one kilometer off the East Coast of beautiful Nilaveli beach. Well, it is in the Eastern Province and encompasses a total area of 471,429 hectares. Somehow, the park is very well known for containing some of the best remaining coral reefs in Sri Lanka. 

Pigeon Island What to Do

Pigeon Island National Park Geography 

As some know, there are two islands within the park. Well, large Pigeon Island and Small Pigeon Island. The more massive island is the one that is fringed by the coral reef. By the way, the park sits within Sri Lanka’s dry zone. Somehow, the area is receiving a mean annual rainfall of 1,000-1,700 mm or even less. Also, the average temperature of around 27 degrees Celsius. Notably, high in humidity. 

Why is Pigeon Island called Pigeon Island?

Finally, there is some history on Pigeon Island. During the colonial period, the island was used as a shooting range for soldiers. Also, (pirates whose leader was a Norman Captain called Francois Le Clerc) And he is a French national. By the way, While no relics of this use remain, history enthusiasts will be interested to know this fact as they embark on their visit to the island. After all, Pigeon Island was, therefore, a critical factor in the Battles between the British and the French military. In 1909 a whaling hunting station was established at Pigeon Island.

Pigeon Island Boat Tour

Pigeon Island Boat Tour Prices

All prices are subject to change as foreign currency up and down.  

General price list 

  • Two people Rs.2000/= 
  • More than per person 
  • Park entrance fees for seven people Rs.820/= 
  • More than seven people need another boat
  • Snorkeling Equipment One-Unit ( Mask & Fins ) Rs.700/=
  • Safety Jacket 600/=
  • Guide Fees 500/= per person

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Pigeon Island What to Do & Activities 

Given the fact that the park contains one of the country’s best remaining reefs, it should come as no surprise that the main attraction at Pigeon Island National Park is swimming, snorkeling, and diving. Somehow, the coral reef at Pigeon Island is exceptionally shallow, making it extremely easy to explore the beach with nothing more than a snorkel truly. Visitors will have the opportunity to see, explore, and experience dozens of varieties of corals, hundreds of different forms of reef fish (including blacktip reef sharks), and various species of a sea turtle.

Pigeon Island National Park Beaches

Pigeon Island National Park Beaches 

As one might expect from an island park, there are also fantastic beaches that make for a beautiful beach day. By the way, the area is famous as a sunbathing and beach-going destination. There are few more attractive places to enjoy a relaxing day at the beach, listening to the water and taking in the sun than at Pigeon Island. If you are a bird enthusiast, you might also enjoy Pigeon Island for the abundance of rock pigeons that call the area home. The island derives its name from these pigeons, and they are a common sight throughout the islands and the park. 

Scuba Diving

Scuba Diving

If you want a more organized reef experience, it is straightforward to find yourself a diving trip, tour, or excursion that will provide you with a professionally lead reef experience. Poseidon Diving School and Sri Lankan Diving Tours offer trips to Pigeon Island.  Additionally, if you are staying in a hotel in the area, they will likely provide a diving trip or tour of some sort. Of course, an organized dive isn’t essential, and if you want more relaxed diving, snorkeling, or swimming experience, you most certainly can have it. There is equipment rental available, and visitors are allowed to explore the water on their own.

Best swimming

Provide Protections to the Reef 

Divers should be warned that unregulated tourism in the area has lead to a certain amount of degradation of the reef. While the diving is still excellent and among the best Sri Lanka has to offer, it is not quite as pristine as some other sites that diving enthusiasts might have visited in the past. If swimming, snorkeling, or diving isn’t your thing, there are others. 


 Pigeon Island Where to Stay

While there is no accommodation within the limits of the park itself, there are several hotels and guesthouses along the beautiful sandy beaches of Nilaveli. From Nilaveli, visitors can see Pigeon Island National Park from the mainland of Sri Lanka.   The town is only a 15-minute boat ride away and offers a variety of accommodation options for any budget

How to Get East Coast Of Sri Lanka

Colombo International airport in Sri Lanka and you can take a 1.15 hours long flight to Nilaveli airport. Or you could drive, and another way is by train.  By far, the easiest way to access Pigeon Island National Park is via Nilaveli beach. From Nilaveli, there are boat services that run all day between the mainland and Pigeon Island. It is only a 15-minute ride to the island. Notably, there are two prices. One is the boat and park entry fee. Also, there are additional fees for renting whatever equipment you might want to use when you get to the island. As such, visitors should be prepared for these charges so that they can get everything they want out of their visit to Pigeon Island National Park.

How do I get to Pigeon Island?

Like I said earlier that The famous Pigeon Island National Park is located just 1 km off the coastal town of Nilaveli beach in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka.

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