Frequently Asked Questions
Everything you need to know about diving with Divinguru® in Sri Lanka.
Find your answer here
Why to choose Divinguru®?
Because our first priority is Safety followed by Customer Service. We have small groups maximum of 5 divers accompanied by our Divemaster or Instructor.
Our multilingual international team makes sure you have the best underwater experience in Sri Lanka.
We speak English, German, Czech, Hungarian. Course materials are available in many other languages.
What's a day like with Divinguru®?
Arrival (8:30 | 13:30)
Diving with us starts early, we meet at 8:30 at the dive center. Yo fill out the necessary paperwork and make your payment. We accept both card and cash.
Then you are sized up for your equipment, if you aren’t already carrying your own equipment. Once all the equipment is set up, you will have a comprehensive but compact dive and boat briefing with your group.
This consists of important information about the dive sites, important local and special dive procedures, safety procedures, recall procedures, attractions of the dive site, marine life, dive profile, signs & signals, etc. Dive planning is quintessential to good, peaceful and fun dives, and we aim for nothing but perfection.
Departure (9:00 | 14:00)
Once the equipment is loaded on the boats with the help of our staff, we take off to our dives sites, of which most can be reached within 20 minutes.
A two-tank boat-dive consists of two dives. If there is a significant difference in depth between the two approached dive sites, the deeper dive will be dived first (we dive with PADI and therefore avoid reverse profiling). If a diver hasn’t dived for a minimum of 6 months, it’s recommended to take a Refresher dive first.
Depending on the No-Decompression Limits, a dive is usually a maximum of 45 minutes.
The surface interval (depending on the planning of the Dive Computer and the dive profile) is usually covered by the drive to the next dive site. In the meantime, the equipment is prepared for the next dive. We will NOT go back to the dive centre between dives, unless absolutely necessary.
Hydration is very important, even more when diving, please make sure you drink enough water. We also carry water bottles with us on the boat.
Return (11:00 | 16:00)
Half-day activities usually finish between 11:00 – 12:00h (afternoon dive trips finish around 16:00h), whereas full day courses finish around 17:00h.
After your return to the diving school, every diver washes his used equipment. Then we encourage you to talk about your underwater experience with tea and cookies. Our guides help you to complete your logbook entries and identify different species that you witnessed during your dives.
Diving helps create a bond between people, all coming from different parts of the world, but all sharing the same love for the ocean, and we provide a platform for just that.
Can I dive on NITROX?
Yes, we are one of a few dive centres in Sri Lanka offering diving on Enriched Air Nitrox. The best thing is, there is no additional fee for that! With Divinguru® NITROX if for FREE!
Of course you have to be certified as PADI Enriched Air Diver (or equivalent license). Don’t worry if you’re not holder of this license, with us you can get your PADI certification in one day! And later enjoy diving on EANx for free!
Do you provide free hotel transfer?
Yes, we offer free pick-up and drop-off service by a tuk-tuk. Pick-up starts approximately 30 minutes (or depending on the distance) before check-in in our diving centre.
We offer free pick-up/drop-off between the distance:
Unawatuna (south coast): from Hikkaduwa to Mirissa. (Hikkaduwa, Boosa, Gintota, Galle, Unawatuna, Dalawella, Mihripenna, Talpe, Habaraduwa, Koggala, Ahangama, Midigama, Weligama, Mirissa)
Nilaveli/Trincomalee (east coast): from Trincomalee to Kuchchaveli (Trincomalee, Uppuveli, Nilaveli, Kuchchaveli).
How can I get from the Airport to Unawatuna?
From Colombo Airport you can take a bus to the Colombo Fort Private Bus Station. From there
How can I get from the Airport to Nilaveli/Trinco?
More information on their website: www.helitours.lk .
The purchase of the tickets is only possible in person at the Colombo Helitours Ticket Office or at the China Bay Airport in Trincomalee.
You can book your seat online here: www.superline.lk , www.busbooking.lk
Diving in Sri Lanka
What's the best diving in Sri Lanka?
The main attractions in Unawatuna and in Sri Lanka are a lot of wrecks around the coast line suitable for all diving levels. We offer diving at the famous wreck “RANGOON” that goes down to 32 meters, the Wreck SS Orestes that goes down to 22 meters, and the Galle Ship Wreck at around 18 meters.
In Nilaveli/Trincomalee clear calm sea is waiting for you. You’ll be surrounded by different colorful fish of the Indian Ocean and magnificent hard and soft corals. The most popular is the Pigeon Island, located a few minutes from Divinguru® Nilaveli, where you can experience snorkeling with turtles and black tip reef sharks.
For more details about dive sites in Sri Lanka, click here.
What marine life I can see?
Every dive is unpredictable and unique, that’s why diving is so exciting. As we go off the shore we are in the real nature and not in a zoo so we cannot promise or guarantee to see particular wild animals. However we guarantee that our team makes maximum to find them and fulfill your expectations.
Marine life you may see include: Stingrays, Eagle Rays, Turtles, Moray Eels, Nudibranchs, Cuttlefish, Octopus, Barracuda, Trevally, Angelfish, Triggerfish, Soldier Fish, Surgeon Fish, Pufferfish, Fusiliers, Lion Fish, Sea Stars and many other coral reef fish. Whale Sharks can be spotted on both east and south coast. Black Tip Reef Sharks you find on the famous Pigeon Island, located a few minutes from our Divinguru® Nilaveli Resort. Whales and Dolphins can be spotted around Trincomalee while Whale Watching. If you get really lucky, time to time you might see them in Unawatuna too.
Is better to dive in the morning or afternoon?
We highly suggest mornings as the sea can be rough in the afternoon. However we always check the forecast so we can advise you the best time.
Do we dive from shore or boat?
All dive/snorkeling sites we reach by boat from our diving centres. For beginners we have shallow dive sites located a few minutes from the shore. However the furthest dive site for advanced divers can be reached only in 20-25 minutes from our diving centre.
What is the deepest dive site you dive?
Generally said, you find more deeper dive sites on the south coast than in the east.
In Unawatuna (south coast) we offer diving at the famous wreck “RANGOON” that goes down to 32 meters. If you’re not a big fan of wrecks, you can enjoy diving around rock formations with fascinating underwater topography.
More corals occur on the east coast. Here you can find shallow dive sites with clear visibility and different variety of hard and soft corals. If you plan to do deep diving, the deepest dive sites are around 15 to 20 metres in average. However there are dive sites around Trincomalee which go down to 25-30 metres.
Which dive sites I should dive?
Depends what you would like to see and what you are interested in. In Sri Lanka we have many amazing dive sites with wrecks, coral reefs, swimthroughs, rock formations, schools of tropical fish, etc. For more details about dive sites in Sri Lanka, please click here.
Our Divemaster or Instructor will show you the most interesting dive sites in that particular area and suggest the best dive sites suitable for all divers in the group. Considering not only your demands but mainly your certification limits.
What should I bring for diving?
Diving certifications, log book, diving insurance (if available), your medical statement will get you to the water faster.
Sunscreen, bathing suit, towels and changing clothes are also recommended. Feel free to bring snacks and drinks with you.
You can leave your personal belongings in the dive center, but please be aware that we do not take any liability for lost items. Please only bring what you really need.
Beginner scuba guide
What is my first step in scuba diving?
Diving is an exciting sport opening door to the fascinating blue world. You’ll be surrounded by tropical fish, corals and a completely new experience. To find out, whether you like it as a hobby or you would like to continue on the advanced or professional level, first you need to try it out!
The best start is with our Try Diving or Discover Scuba Diving programme. Both are constructed for complete novices. No previous scuba diving experience required. This is only one dive, the whole experience takes 2 to 3 hours.
If you feel comfortable in water and want to become a certified diver, the best option is the PADI Open Water Diver Course. This course takes 4 to 5 days and afterwards you are life-time certified as a PADI scuba diver! Later you can continue to more advanced levels.
What are the requirements to learn scuba dive?
The common requirements for most of the courses are:
• The minimum age is 10 years old. Student divers who are younger than 15 earn the PADI Junior Open Water Diver certification, which they may upgrade to PADI Open Water Diver certification upon reaching 15. Children under the age of 13 require parent or guardian permission to register for PADI eLearning.
• All student divers complete a brief scuba medical questionnaire upon their arrival to our diving centre. We highly recommend you to go through it and fill the questionnaire out before your holiday to avoid further delays and inconveniences.
If none of these apply, sign the form and you’re ready to start your diving experience. If any of these apply to you, your doctor must, as a safety precaution, assess the condition as it relates to diving and sign a medical form that confirms you’re fit to dive. Download the scuba medical questionnaire.
• Before completing the PADI Open Water Diver course, your instructor will have you demonstrate basic water skills to be sure you’re comfortable in the water, including:
– Swim 200 metres (or 300 metres in mask, fins and snorkel) without stopping. There is no time limit for this, and you may use any swimming strokes you want.
– Float and tread water for 10 minutes, again using any methods you want.
Do I need to be able to swim to dive?
The answer differs according to the experience you’ll participate in.
-Yes, but you don’t have to be a strong swimmer. However we will test your abilities during your PADI Open Water Diver Course. You are required to be able to swim 200m and to float unassisted for 10 minutes.
If you are not there yet then taking a couple of swim classes will improve your confidence and overall enjoyment.
I wear glasses, can I still dive?
Yes absolutely. One option is to dive in contact lenses – daily disposables are best in case you lose one during some of the mask skills which can happen from time to time. Or you may just want to keep your eyes closed if water enters the mask, until your clear it.
If you are not a contact lens wearer then a prescription mask is a great option. The best is to invest into your own before your diving holiday. This would enhance all of your future dives.
If you are long sighted (have difficulty reading but are okay with distances), then you can buy prescription stickers that you apply to the lower section of a regular mask – much like wearing reading glasses.
What is the best time to visit Sri Lanka?
Our diving centres are open according to the monsoon seasons. Like this we can ensure the best diving conditions for your dive trip!
Best time to dive and visit our diving centres:
Unawatuna (south coast):
15th October to 10th April
Nilaveli, Trincomalee (east coast):
15th March to 30th October
What is the underwater visibility and temperature?
Please note that the visibility of the water depends on many factors (tides, wind, etc.) which disturb the bottom composition. We cannot guarantee great visibility at all times. However we check the forecast frequently so we can advise you the best time for diving or other activities.
Underwater Visibility: In average 5 to 30 m, depends on the weather conditions, the current and tides.
Outside Temperature: 26 Degrees Celsius to 32 Degrees Celsius the whole year round.
Water Temperature: 27 Degrees Celsius to 29 Degrees Celsius the whole year round.
Is the sea rough in Sri Lanka? What about seasickness?
Generally we can say that the sea is calmer on the east coast more than in south of Sri Lanka.
However the Indian Ocean is not a calm ocean. There is always at least a light swell. If you tend to get sea sick or if it the first time for you on a boat in the Indian Ocean, we advise you to take seasick pills in the morning of the trip (about 1 – 2 hours BEFORE you enter the boat).
You can find them in every pharmacy in Sri Lanka. We recommend the brand “Avomine” or “Celenid”. Please consult your doctor or pharmacist in advance before using these drugs.
How does the monsoon season look like?
During the off-season the sea becomes rough and heavy rain influences the dive conditions. Usually monsoons carry more humid air from the Indian Ocean. Sometimes there are strong winds and rains but on average never longer than an hour or two. Bathing and swimming is possible also during the monsoon season.
However diving it’s not possible due to the rough sea conditions and very poor visibility. But no worries! We are shifting between the monsoon seasons so we can offer the best diving conditions.
From mid November onwards the diving on the east coast is influenced by the north east monsoon. Our Divinguru® Nilaveli and Divinguru® Trincomalee are closed. We are moving to the south coast where we open our Divinguru® Unawatuna.
Once the south west monsoon comes to the south (Divinguru® Unawatuna), around mid April, we close our diving centre and move to the east coast.
Best time to dive and visit our diving centres:
Unawatuna (south coast):
15th October to 10th April
Nilaveli, Trincomalee (east coast):
15th March to 30th October
Can I study the theory at home?
Yes, you can study at home and after your arrival to our diving centre you complete the fun and most important practical part of your training.
But please keep in mind that you are responsible for studying and your own learning process. Without theory we might not be able to take you diving. Please read the following section about PADI eLearning.
Advantage/disadvantage of Scuba Diver Course
The PADI Scuba Diver Course is an intermediate step towards full scuba certification for people who can’t finish their Open Water training or only want to dive with a PADI Professional. So if you’re short on time to complete the entire Open Water course but wish to become a certified diver, the Scuba Diver course is right for you.
The PADI Scuba Diver course is a subset of the Open Water Diver course. It allows you to dive only under direct supervision of a PADI Divemaster, Assistant Instructor or Instructor to a maximum depth of 12 metres/40 feet.
However we highly recommend to participate in the full PADI Open Water Diver Course, the most-recognized scuba certification in the world. After success completion you can plan and execute dives with a certified buddy or dive professional to a maximum depth of 18 meters/60 feet.
I'm Open Water Diver, what's the next step?
The next step is the PADI Advanced Open Water Diver. This will extend your depth limit to 30 metres and give you more advanced knowledge to become a greater diver. This can be done in 2-3 days. You can start immediately after completing your Open Water Diver Course.
I'm AOWD, what's the next step?
Who should take the Emergency First Response course?
A common misconception about people wanting to take the Emergency First Response Course is that you must be a diver. No. Whether you are a diver or a non-diver, absolutely anyone can benefit from this course. There is also no restriction made on age or physical condition.
If you feel you need to build confidence as a rescuer or need to learn/practise lifesaving skills, the EFR course is the best choice!
The EFR training prepares you to effectively handle potentially life-threatening situations because emergencies can happen anywhere and anytime. Is better to be ready!
What are benefits of Rescue Diver course?
The PADI Rescue Diver course teaches you techniques to avoid and manage problems and improve your confidence as a diver. During the course you’ll become a better buddy by enhancing your ability to identify potential problems and by practicing dive emergency protocol.
You learn to prevent and manage problems in the water, and become more confident in your skills as a diver, knowing that you can help others if needed.
Can I do the Enriched Air Nitrox course with you?
Of course you can! Anyone who has completed the PADI Open Water Course can do the Nitrox Course. This course itself is “a dry course”, no dives are required. However you can combine it with one dive, this allows you to put the theory work into practice.
Then with Divinguru® all Enriched Air certified divers have nitrox for free!
Padi eLearning Guide
What is the advantage of PADI eLearning?
You can study independently at home (or somewhere else online) before your holiday. Like this you can shorten your course duration about one day. Later, when you come to our diving centre, you finish your training with your PADI Instructor in the water.
Please remember that PADI eLearning is a prerequisite and must be completed before we start the underwater course training.
How can I purchase PADI eLearning?
1. Book your course with eLearning on our website through our booking form and wait for the confirmation email.
2. Then you have to purchase your eLearning product on PADI website. Use one of the following links and our store number to purchase your product.
For Divinguru® Unawatuna use this link, Store No S-36133
For Divinguru® Nilaveli use this link, Store No S-23912
For Divinguru® Trincomalee use this link, Store No S-26837
3. Choose your eLearning product and create your PADI account.
4. Purchase your product and follow instructions listed on the PADI website and in email(s).
5. Start your learning.
6. Final training record. Print and sign or send the result of the final examination as well as the completion of all repetition questions to us by e-mail.
Can I study offline?
Yes, you can study both online and offline.
PADI eLearning website (online only):
You can access from any device. You can use a mobile browser or desktop/laptop browser to complete your scuba training online whenever you have an internet connection.
PADI Training app (both online and offline use):
The best experience is to study online, however, you can also download all the material or the individual chapters to study offline in case you have poor or no internet connection. If you reconnect to the Internet, the learning progress will be updated.
The PADI Training app is available for Apple iOS and Android.
Download the PADI APP(s):
“PADI” (required for electronic certification cards, etc.)
“PADI Training” (for eLearning study)
“PADI Adventures” (for travel and bookings)
How is it with PADI fees?
You will pay the fee for the PADI eLearning online directly to PADI – not to us!
The price for the PADI course with eLearning (on PADI website) include the PADI eManual and all the certification costs. There are no other fees.
Please note, that you have to also book your course with eLeaning on our website. (the price is reduced by the costs of the classroom session and PADI fees)
Is PADI eLearning cheaper than the theory in dive centre?
Is diving equipment included?
All our dives and courses include basic diving equipment: shorty wetsuit, regulator, BCD, mask, fins, weights and tank. Additional accessories such as torch, dive computer, compass, dive camera, etc. can be rented at extra cost at the dive center.
Is there a discount for bringing my own equipment?
Yes we are offering small discount for divers who can bring their own equipment. Please note that the discount is valid only if you bring at least your own BCD + regulator! However, we cannot offer discounts for small items such as only masks, fins or only a dive computer.
What's the brand of the rental equipment?
Mainly we have full sets of ScubaPro equipment. As we use it on a daily basis we are able to check the equipment at any moment for any issues. The equipment is well maintained and checked before it goes into your hands.
What is the size of the tanks?
We use 12 l aluminium scuba diving tanks. Junior tanks are available on request.
Can I store my own equipment in the diving centre?
Yes, you can clean, dry and store your own equipment during your stay in our equipment room.
Do you offer accommodation?
Yes, in our new Divinguru® Beach Resort in Nilaveli we offer accommodation and beach restaurant on site. You can book directly on our website your diving package with accommodation. For more details about pricing visit our Rates & Offers page.
Is your resort family-friendly?
Yes! We offer cozy Family Apartments or spacious Sea View Bungalows with a private plunge pool. All our watersport activities are suitable for kids. The Nilaveli beach, where our diving centre and resort is located, is family-friendly too. You can enjoy wide long sandy beach with crystal clear sea.
Do you have diving packages with accommodation?
Yes! We’ve prepared for you the best deals for diving combined with accommodation at our Divinguru® Beach Resort. Please visit our Rates & Offers page.
Payment & Prices
Are PADI fees included?
All our prices are with no hidden fees and include rental equipment (if selected). For more details about prices, please visit our Rates & Offers page.
However all prices for PADI courses are without certification and teaching materials (except PADI eLearning). PADI fees, of total 70 €, go directly to PADI and you pay them in our diving centre.
How can I get the best price for diving?
Book online (at least 48 hours before the activity starts), pay deposit of 50 % in advance and get online discount for your dive trip, snorkeling or any other underwater experience. We have fixed prices however you can check our Rates & Offers page for upcoming special offers.
Do you have fixed prices?
Yes, all our prices are fixed and same for both residents and foreign tourists. We offer online discount and other special offers, you can check these here.
Booking & Cancellation
Why I have to book online?
We are diving every day and our Instructors have a busy schedule. The best is to book online in advance, like this we ensure you a place on the boat and the most suitable group to join.
Since some courses may last up to 1 week and we like to offer individual services, we highly recommend you to book as early as possible to guarantee your desired dive schedule.
How do I make my booking?
1. After you decided on your accommodation type, diving package or course, just fill out the reservation form on Book Now page. Please make sure to enter correct details.
By sending the reservation form you also confirm to agree with our Terms & Conditions.
Directly after you did send the form, you will receive an automated acknowledgement of receipt. This is not a booking confirmation!
If you were in contact with our Service & Booking Team before, you still need to go through this booking process and send the form. This is the only way we can guarantee your booking.
2. Once our service team has processed your booking request, you will receive an email from us. This is either a confirmation of your booking or a suggestion of alternative availabilities and your options.
If you do receive a booking confirmation, we will also send an invoice over 50% of the total booking amount.
We try to answer all enquiries within a maximum of 48 hours. However, since we get a lot of requests, it can take a little longer at times.
Only a booking confirmed by email from our Service & Booking Team guarantees your booking.
3. Apart from your booking confirmation we additionally will send an invoice for 50% of the total booking amount. This is a deposit and will be charged regardless of amount and duration of the booking.
The remaining amount of your booking should be paid at arrival to our diving centre.
This and all other information will be sent to you together with your booking confirmation. Should you still have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us via contact form or an email.
When and how do I pay the rest of the payment?
Once you’ve paid 50% deposit in advance, the rest will be due upon arrival at the dive centre before diving. You can pay in cash (Euro, USD and Sri Lanka Rupee) or by card (MasterCard or Visa), payment made by Card will be subject to a 4 % Bank Charge. There is also an ATM nearby.
What is your cancellation policy?
Cancellations made 90 days or more before the reservation date are free of charge. We will refund you complete deposit of 50 %.
Cancellation made 45 days to 89 days before the reservation date will be charged 25 % of the total reservation amount. We will refund you the half of your deposit.
Cancellations made 44 days or less before the reservation date will be charged the full deposit of 50 %.
Cancellations made 30 days or less before the reservation date or “No Show”, will be charged the full reservation amount.
We want to assure you and all other customers a great diving experience and high-quality service. We have to plan each day, boat and group in advance. Please understand that we cannot refund late cancellations.