Pigeon Island National Park
At a distance of 1 km from Nilaveli Beach and 24 km from Trincomalee Railway Station, Pigeon Island is a marine national park situated off the coast of Nilaveli. It is a popular getaway from the city of Trincomalee and among the popular places for scuba diving & snorkeling in Sri Lanka.
Undoubtedly one of the best places to visit near Trincomalee, the Pigeon Island National Park was declared a marine sanctuary way back in 1963 and designated as a national park in 2003. This national park is the 17th in the country and one of the two marine national parks in Sri Lanka, the other being Hikkaduwa. The pristine and beautiful Pigeon Island National Park comprising of two small islands - Large Pigeon Island and Small Pigeon Island. Pigeon Island is one of the several protected areas affected by the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.
The national park is home to the vibrant marine life, stunning rock formations, and endangered rock pigeons, based on which the national park gets its name. Pigeon Island is also known to have the best coral reefs in the entire country. With a 200 m long and 100 m wide coral reef with nearly a hundred species of gorgeous corals, the Large Pigeon Island has an unmatched live coral reef with a high ecosystem and significant reef habitat. Surrounded by rocky islets, the Small Pigeon Island is a promising ground for feeding and breeding over 300 varieties of coral reef fish.
Pigeon Island is a heaven for people who are looking for a good snorkeling spot. The clear water makes the snorkeling easy and safe starting from 1 feet of water to 6-7 feet. One can witness a variety of underwater life ranging from Trumper fish, angelfish, parrotfish, eels, coral gardens, blacktip sharks along with Hawksbill sea turtle, Leatherback, Green sea turtle, Olive Ridley and Loggerhead with other unique varieties of vertebrates and invertebrates. Besides, one can enjoy swimming, fishing, diving and windsurfing in Pigeon Island.
Pigeon Island can be accessed by boat from Nilaveli Beach. The Pigeon Island National Park Ticket Office is on the Nilaveli Beach in front of the Anilana hotel, from where one can purchase the entry tickets to the island & hire snorkeling equipment at the beach. Summer and Winter seasons are the best time to visit Pigeon Island. However, the peak season to visit the island would be in summer during June when the weather is pleasant and suitable for water sports. While, winter months between November - April is also enjoyable as it is less crowded during winter.
Timings: 8 AM - 5 PM
Entry: USD. 10 for Foreign Adults, USD. 5 for Foreign Child, USD. 5 for SAARC Nationals, LKR. 5000 for Boat