World Sri Lanka Eastern Province Trincomalee Pigeon Island National Park

Pigeon Island National Park , Trincomalee

Type of Destination
Beaches, Wildlife, Adventure
Languages Spoken
Sinhala, Tamil and English
Open Time
8:00 am - 5:30 pm
Ideal Trip Duration
One Day
Pigeon Island National Park Altitude

Best time to visit Pigeon Island National Park

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Airports near Pigeon Island National Park

Eastern Province Pigeon Island National Park

About Pigeon Island National Park

Pigeon Rock Island – one of the two marine national parks of Sri Lanka is located just off the coast of Nilaveli in the eastern region of the country. The island, sprawling its area for 471.429 hectares, is distinguished as large and Small Island. The Island has got its name after the bird, blue Rock Pigeon, which are nested here. This island was used as a shooting range during the colonial era. It is also home to several endangered species of coral reefs which encompasses the large island. Explore the rich land underneath the water that houses vibrant sea animals and plants by scuba diving and snorkelling which will definitely be satisfactory.

This protected area is famous for its crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and diverse marine life, making it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the eastern coast of Sri Lanka.

A Historical Gem: Origins of Pigeon Island

Pigeon Island holds a significant place in Sri Lanka's history, dating back to the colonial era when it served as a strategic naval base. The island earned its name from the rock pigeon population that once thrived here, adding to its charm and allure.

Discovering the Marine Wonders

The main attractions of Pigeon Island National Park are its pristine beaches and underwater marvels. Pigeon Island West and Pigeon Island East are the two main sections open to visitors, each offering unique experiences. Snorkelers can marvel at the colorful coral gardens teeming with tropical fish, sea turtles, and various marine species. The clear visibility and calm waters make snorkeling here a memorable adventure.

Birdwatching and Nature Trails

Apart from its marine biodiversity, Pigeon Island is also a haven for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts. The island is home to numerous seabirds, including the iconic Blue Rock Pigeon from which it derives its name. Take a leisurely stroll along the Nature Trails on the island to observe the native flora and fauna, including mangroves, shrubs, and hermit crabs.

Snorkeling and Diving Opportunities

The pristine coral reefs surrounding Pigeon Island offer exceptional snorkeling and diving opportunities. Snorkelers can explore the shallow reefs close to the shore, while certified divers can venture into deeper waters to encounter larger marine species and fascinating coral formations. Coral Garden, Hollow Reef, and Great Basses wreck are popular dive sites known for their biodiversity and underwater beauty.

Conservation Efforts and Visitor Guidelines

As a protected marine area, Pigeon Island National Park follows strict conservation guidelines to preserve its natural heritage. Visitors are encouraged to practice responsible tourism by avoiding littering, touching or damaging coral reefs, and respecting wildlife habitats. Snorkelers and divers should adhere to safety protocols and follow the guidance of trained guides to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

How to Reach Pigeon Island National Park

Pigeon Island National Park is accessible by boat from Nilaveli Beach, located a short distance from Trincomalee. Boat tours and snorkeling trips to the island can be arranged through local tour operators and hotels in Trincomalee. The boat ride itself offers scenic views of the coastline and the opportunity to spot dolphins and other marine life along the way.

Best Time to Visit and Practical Tips

The best time to visit Pigeon Island National Park is during the dry season from May to September when the seas are calm and visibility is excellent for snorkeling and diving. Here are some practical tips for planning your trip:

  • Entry Fees: Visitors are required to pay an entry fee at the park's entrance, which supports conservation efforts and maintenance.
  • Snorkeling Gear: If you don't have your own snorkeling gear, it can be rented from vendors near Nilaveli Beach or included in guided tours.
  • Sun Protection: Don't forget to apply sunscreen, wear a hat, and bring plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially during sunny days.
  • Respect Nature: Help preserve the beauty of Pigeon Island by refraining from touching or taking souvenirs from the marine environment.

Experience the Magic of Pigeon Island

In conclusion, Pigeon Island National Park offers a unique blend of natural beauty, biodiversity, and adventure for travelers seeking an unforgettable experience in Sri Lanka. Whether you're snorkeling among colorful fish, observing seabirds in their natural habitat, or simply relaxing on the pristine beaches, Pigeon Island promises a memorable journey into the wonders of marine life and conservation.

Boat services are available from Nilaveli beach which cost Rs 2000 per head. The National park is open to visitors from 8 am to 5.30 in the evenings.

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