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“A small but good diving centre”
Review of Colombo Divers

Colombo Divers
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Attraction details
Owner description: Colombo Divers is the only recreational dive center offering diving and dive training in Colombo. In addition Colombo Divers organizes both local and international dive trips, and provides diving assistance around Sri Lanka. Owned and staffed by divers with a passion for diving and a love for Sri Lanka, Colombo Divers offers a range of internationally recognized PADI training courses carried out by certified instructors. All dive trips are led my dive masters with many years of diving experience and an in depth knowledge of local dive sites. Our team has experience in wreck exploration, technical diving, underwater photography and marine research, with extensive diving experience around Sri Lanka and outside. Experience the hidden beauty of Colombo, from shipwrecks to reefs teeming with marine life!
Gothenburg, Sweden
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A small but good diving centre”
Reviewed December 16, 2012

I have done diving at both the Mt. Lavinia centre and the Negombo one.

Both have been great experiences. The instructors are internationally recruited rather than native Sri Lankans which usually helps against the language barrier as the native english can be pretty rough for detail-oriented communication such as diving. But both the crazy and lovely bulgarians I got my Open Water Diver License under and the englishman who supervised my way to adventure diver have been easy to deal with, professional and generally nice people.

The dive centres are small and simple but the gear has been good. No problems there.

The only problems I've had diving in Sri Lanka has been one or two turns of bad visibility (weather, nothing to do about that) or personal issues like seasickness or a pesistent cold.

I've had very good experiences on my dives with Colombo Divers and they have always been flexible and service-oriented. They will get you sorted even when you're short on time.

Visited December 2012
1 Thank lawik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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65 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
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  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Level 6 Contributor
109 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“Colombo Divers - Nilaveli”
Reviewed September 8, 2012

We dived with Colombo divers at the Nilaveli Beach Hotel on the east coast near Trincomalee in September. It was great, we went out to two rocks near Pigeon Island and saw plenty of coral and hundreds of species of fish. The divemaster Olivenzo was super-cool and we enjoyed hanging out with him.

Visited September 2012
Thank wateladze
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jimmyclark, Manager at Colombo Divers, responded to this review, February 21, 2013

We thank you for your review and we are pleased that you enjoyed your time diving with us, saw some pretty cool stuff and had a cool time with Oli the DM.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colombo, null, Sri Lanka
Level 3 Contributor
6 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Colombo Life”
Reviewed June 7, 2012

Colombo is the largest city and the commercial capital of Sri Lanka. It is a busy and vibrant city with a city population of nearly 1 million people.


Colombo is divided into 15 zones and these zones have a designated postal code 1 - 15.

Colombo 1/Fort Area - This is the commercial area and is heavily congested. Fort railway station is the main railway station in Colombo, from which major inter-city trains depart. The main bus terminals are also located in Fort, as are the head offices of several banks and some ministries. While parts of Colombo 1 are more upscale, especially those closer to the Galle Face beach where the Galadhari, Intercontinental and Hilton as well as the World Trade Center are located, other parts are more grimier, the ones closer to the Pettah market.
Colombo 2/Slave Island - This area is also a commercial area, with head-offices of many private sector enterprises located there, and has a major private hospital, Nawaloka in its zone. The Beira Lake forms the center of this zone. The town hall is also located in this area.
Colombo 3/Kollupitiya - This is both a commercial and residential zone, where many offices as well as trendy apartments and colonial day houses are located. Liberty Plaza is a major shopping complex that falls within this zone, as well as the Liberty theater. There are many restaurants and hotels in this area as well. The University of Colombo's many faculties are located in this area.
Colombo 4/Bambalapitiya - This is a more residential area, though the main roads are lined with shops. Majestic City and Unity Plaza are the major shopping complexes in this area and are right on Galle Road. There are smaller ones on R.A. De Mel Mawathe or the former Duplication road, like the Singer show room.
Colombo 5/Havelock town and Kirulapone - This is also a more residential area, though there are many offices and shops in the zone. Apollo Hospital and Asiri hospitals are major hospitals located in this zone.
Colombo 6/Wellawatte - This is mainly a residential area with shops heavily lining the Galle Road. The market is known for its fresh vegetables and fruits. Many apartment complexes have sprung up in this area and they are generally cheaper than the ones in Kollupitiya.
Colombo 7/Cinnamon Garden - This used to be the area where the richest used to live. While that trend might continue, most of the houses in this locale are quite old and Kollupitiya is currently considered the more trendy place with newer and modern apartments, that have every facility from swimming pools to gyms within the apartment complex. However, it manages to retain its atmosphere and there are nice tree lined avenues within this zone. The Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Center is located in this zone, as is the Sri Lanka Rupavahini Corporation (national TV service).
Colombo 8/Borella - A mixture of residential and commercial sections in this zone. An interesting private theatre that stages plays and other performances is located here and is called the Punchi Theatre. The cemetery is also located here and the British School located right next to it.
Colombo 9/Dematagoda - This is considered more of the suburb than central Colombo and the Baseline road goes through it. It has comparatively cheaper housing.
Colombo 10/Maradana and Panchihawatte - This zone has the second main railway station in Colombo. Panchihawatte is more famous for vehicle spare parts shops that line the roads.
Colombo 11/Pettah - It is famous for its cheap, open market and the streets that have cheap but wider varieties of sarees. Very crowded.
Colombo 12/Kochchikade - Close to Pettah. Two famous landmarks in this area are the Ponnambalavaaneeswara temple and the St. Antony's church, both opposite each other.
Colombo 13/Kotahena and Bloemendahl - More known for its jewellery shops and saree shops, this area is a very congested area.
Colombo 14/Grandpass
Colombo 15/Mattakuliya
Other main areas of Colombo

While the following are not considered within Colombo proper, they are the suburbs to the south of Colombo and are located pretty close to the center and have to be mentioned. They are listed here in the order that they come when moving from Colombo towards the south, along the Galle road.

Dehiwela - Relatively cheaper area for housing. Kalubowila hospital, a govt. hospital, is located in this zone. The only zoo of Sri Lanka is also located in this area.
Mount Lavinia - The lovely Mount Lavinia hotel is located in its zone. It is famous for its stretch of beach.
Ratmalana - The zone which follows Mount Lavina and has the domestic airport located in its zone.
Moratuwa - The University of Moratuwa, which is primarily for engineering studies, is located in this region. Arthur C. Clarke was the Vice Chancellor of this university and he founded the Arthur C. Clarke Center of Excellence in this area.

Sights and Activities

Colombo is generally more known for its shopping, rather than for its sights. However, it has some nice sites that are worth visiting.

Temples and churches

The Gangaramaya temple is an old buddhist temple that is worth visiting. So are the Ponnambalavaneeswara temple and St. Antony's church. In Colombo 2, there is an old mosque that is also worth visiting. Other hindu temples are the Vajira pillaiyar koyil, Manicka pillaiyar koyil and the Kathiresan temple in Bambalapitiya.
Other Sights and Activities

National museum - The museum is housed in a colonial building and is worth the visit, if you have lots of time to spend in the city.
Dehiwela zoo
Independence square - A pleasant square that is popular amongst joggers and evening strollers.
Shopping - Colombo is the major shopping capital of the country. The following are the major ones:
Odel located in Colombo 2 is good for clothes, both cheap, user-friendly T-shirts and casuals and the more expensive yet cheaper than western prices designer wear direct from factory outlet clothes. There is a lovely Japanese restaurant in the complex, as well as Deli-france and Il Gelato branches. Recently, they have opened a food court at the entrance and have many major restaurants having stalls there, including Bay Leaf, supposedly the best Italian restaurant in the city.
Majestic City - While Odel caters more to tourists, foreigners resident in the country and Colombo residents, Majestic City is a shopping complex catering to more locals. There are five levels of shopping areas and the top floor houses the cinema, a popular hangout for teenagers. The basement area has a food court where numerous affordable restaurants have set up stalls and there is a variety of food and fresh juices available. The food court is always crowded and it is quite difficult to find a free table. The remaining floors all have shops that sell everything from clothes, toys, cd's, tea, souvenirs and gifts, leather products, sports goods and accessories etc. There is also a branch of the Cargills Supermarket chain located on the first floor close to the KFC outlet.
Unity Plaza in Bambalapitiya - Though this is a smaller shopping complex adjacent to Majestic City, it does not face competition from its larger neighbour. This is mainly because Unity Plaza focuses on specialized shopping. This is the place people generally go to for buying software and computers and its parts, as well as repairing computers. There is also a bookshop located on the first floor, the Vijitha Yapa bookshop.
Liberty Plaza in Kollupitiya - Similar to Majestic City but with some electronic shops like Photo Technica, Siedles etc. also included. The shopping complex is less ordered than Majestic City and it is difficult to navigate.
Crescat Boulevard - The newer upmarket shopping complex located closer to the Galle Face Beach.
Besides these major shopping complexes, there are the numerous individual specialized shops. The following are some of the most popular amongst tourists:

Barefoot in Galle Road, Bambalapitiya is very popular for its handwoven products ranging from clothing to toys and souvenirs.
Lakpahana in Reid Avenue, Kollupitya is great for souvenirs from Sri Lanka. Very affordable and is preferred by both Sri Lankans and foreigners.
Sri Lanka Tea Board in Kollupitiya - Great for buying tea. Another tea place is the Mlesna outlet at the Majestic City, which is located opposite the Cargills supermarket.
Stone and String in R.A.De Mel Mawathe, Kollupitiya is good for buying jewellery at affordable prices. Great as gifts.

Events and Festivals

Esala Perahera - This festival, also known as the "festival of the tooth", is a Buddhist celebration commemorating the day when a sacred tooth relic of Buddha was brought to Sri Lanka. Lavish parades are held during this event, with processions of elephants and local performers dressed in vibrantly colored celebratory clothing (during this event, even the elephants sparkle). Visitors can expect to see many different kinds of traditional dances, including the awe inspiring fire-dance. This event is held every year in July or August.
Wesak Festival (Buddha's Birthday) - As a primarily Buddhist country, this is a widely celebrated event all over Sri Lanka. This event commemorates the birth, life, enlightenment, and death of Buddha. For this event, the city streets are decorated with beautiful lanterns and lights. Some light displays are so elaborate that they visually depict important moments in Buddha's life. Parades are held, and thousands of devotees make their way to temples to worship and bring gift offerings to Buddha. This lavish event is typically held on the first full moon during the month of May.
Deepavali Festival (13 Nov 2012 - 17 Nov 2012) - Sri Lanka also has a devout Hindu population, and the Deepavali Festival is one of the most highly anticipated events of the year for practicing Hindus in the region. Deepavali is also known as the "Festival of Lights", where many rituals take place in order to banish off all shadows from one’s house and life. The lamps represent the victory of good over evil and the hope for an bright and prosperous future. Adherents light small lanterns/lights all over their home and residence. Beautiful light parades are held throughout town, and extravagant fireworks shows illuminate the night sky. This festival is held annually, celebrated in October or November, and lasts for 5 days.
Sinhalese and Tamil New Year (13 Apr 2013 - 14 Apr 2013) - Although many in Sri Lanka also observe the Western New Year (Jan 1), the official new year, according to the local lunar calendar, is celebrated April 13-14th. This New Years holiday is celebrated by a variety of religious rituals (all timed specifically to lunar movement), families get together, share food and desserts, and play traditional games.
Colombo Marathon (07 Oct 2012) - This marathon is growing in popularity and is held every year in October. The city's picturesque beaches and lush tropical scenery are the backdrop to this unique race. All of the entry fees are donated to a local charity that supports school-aged children.


Colombo has a tropical climate, meaning hot and humid weather year round. Temperatures average around 30 °C during the day and around 20 °C at night. February and March are the warmest months, July and August the coolest, but differences are very small. Rainfall is possible year round, but is higher during the April to June and October/November, with over 300 mm of rain a month. January-February (only 75 mm a month) and July-August are somewhat drier.

Visited June 2012
1 Thank explorsrilanka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Colombo Divers, Negombo Dive Centre”
Reviewed February 26, 2012

We travelled to Negombo for 5 days of diving but were cut short to three due to protests over fuel price increases that stopped all boats going to sea.
The dive centre is a typical beach side centre attached to the Jetwing Beach and Jetwing Blue hotels. Its a small shop with some rental gear, a couple of European staff running it and a team of locals running the boats. The boats are small, capable of carrying three divers at a time.
The local staff are very friendly and helpful, unfortunately the attitude of the European instructor and his partner was not quite so good. Rather that displaying a professional attitude as you'd expect from a PADI centre they seem to be on a free holiday and act rather immature. Standards are not maintained and the centre is a bit of a mess.
The diving however was good. Putting the issues to the side, the dives are good with a nice variety of sites within 45 min of the beach.
Most of the dives are onto rocky outcrops and reefs with a large variety of life. The locals running the boats, particularly Shakir (Divemaster) and his father who has been on the boats in Sri Lanks for 30 years, have excellent knowledge of the local area and dive sites. They're great to dive with and a made the week a pleasure despite it being cut short.

2 Thank Iliyas C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jimmyclark, Manager at Colombo Divers, responded to this review, February 21, 2013

Thank you so much for your comment, we like to here of every bodies stay with us at Colombo Divers, Negombo.

It is sad to here that you did not have the best experience with the European instructors. They have now left and we are running with a new-look team which we happy and our divers seem to be happy with.

Your notes were mentioned to Vincent and Sherik and made a big smile on their faces.

We thank you again for your contribution.

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