Pigeon Island Marine National Park
The Pigeon Island Marine National Park (PIMNP) was declared a marine national park in the year 2003 and is one of the best places to witness Sri Lanka’s stunning marine fauna. The park is made up of two islands, namely “Pigeon Island” and “Crow Island” and a few rocky islands surrounding them. Pigeon Island being the larger of the 2 islands, and having a fringe reef around it of depths less than 5 – 6 m, offers the best snorkeling in the area, so it’s no surprise that’s where all the action is. A few ardent divers sometimes visit the smaller Crow island whose deeper reefs are better suited for diving escapades.
Lying only 2 km from the tranquil shores of the Nilaveli beach, one can easily hire snorkeling equipment and a boat to Pigeon Island at the park ticket office counter. The island is quite small an unevenly eroded giving it a dumbbell like appearance with two rocky heads to the West and the North-East separated by a small sandy strip which creates a small cove shaped beach on the Northern side of the island and long beach on the Southern side. The boats drop you off at Southern beach right next to a Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) hut, where you can leave your valuables (if you must) while you explore the reef. Continue reading “Snorkeling at Pigeon Island National Park”