Can anyone give me some advice on how to get a decent guide and share a boat with other travellers to Pigeon Island at this time of the year please?
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You may be able to contact any Boat operator in Nilaweli area and they'll slot you into any other group using a boat going there & back. You'll find plenty of boats for hire in the beach and near the Ticket office. Yes, you need Tickets to go there.
The boats are shared. Just go on the beach and they arrange it from one of the huts. Or ask in hotel. Everyone who's in tourism and local will be falling over backwards to help
Also, make sure you wear flippers on your feet since the area is literally covered with broken shells & coral. I didn't & ended up with plenty of cuts all over as well as stings from the barnacles,etc., on the rocks under water. If you don't have the gear, you can rent it from the boat operators, only make sure you negotiate & agree on all pricing before starting on the trip.
Thank you all so much for your helpful answers. Best wishes. Andrea
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