Outdoor and Adventure Guides

Sri Lanka, an island surrounded and filled with reserves of water, and imposing mountains, is a destination where tourists and locals alike can take part in many adventure and extreme sports. From diving, to surfing, snorkelling, white water rafting, sailing, trekking, hiking and many more, the opportunities for outdoor activities only keep growing.

If you yourself are an adventurer or have always craved or loved the thrill of extreme sports, a job in this sector of the tourism industry will certainly suit you well. Let’s look at some of the jobs that are available and the opportunities that are to come.

Jobs in this industry are specific to each destination and the type of activities that they promote. For instance, a surfing company based in Arugam Bay would like to have instructors who are certified in surfing, who have taken part in competitions and know how to ride the waves. But a hiking guide may not be their best fit.

Outdoor Adventure Guide

Find out how you can convert your passion into your profession by pursuing a career as an Outdoor Adventure Guide.

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Job Roles


Surf Coach/Instructor: In order to teach surfing, one needs to have had enough surfing experience. Employers will be looking to see just how long you have been surfing for, if you have taken part in international or local events and if you have had any prior experience teaching. You may also need to know how to maintain equipment and assist in the sale of the same at the school or store.


Dive Guide/Instructor: Scuba divers need PADI certification – the world’s most popular and widely recognized course in diving which is also offered by local schools. It goes without saying that you need to have skills such as swimming as well as be physically fit. There are several steps to take before you can become certified to teach. The best place to learn how is from the nearest PADI course centre.

Hiking and Trekking

Apart from some of the more extreme sports, hiking and trekking are favoured because they do not require special skills. Instead, it is more about stamina and endurance. Hiking is also one of the fastest growing outdoor activities here in Sri Lanka and overseas. Jobs in this field include trekking guides. You will undoubtedly be expected to be familiar with the terrain and paths, and also have basic first aid skills.

Whale Watching

Sri Lanka has many gentle giants dwelling in our seas. A job in this sector would include either guiding, taking a boat out to sea or sharing knowledge about these mammals and their habitats. If you would like to work in this field, it would help to speak to a company that engages in whale watching activities to know more about the opportunities available and the qualifications needed.

Other Fields:

  1. White water rafting
  2. Hot air ballooning
  3. Deep sea fishing
  4. Sailing
  5. Canoe expeditions
  6. Windsurfing

Knowledge and Skills

The knowledge and qualifications you require vary from one job to the other. While one requires that you are a skilled surfer, another will require you to be a certified diver. The same goes for skills sets. You need to be proficient in English because in each of these sectors the common denominator is the fact that you need to directly interact with tourists and locals alike. The rest of the skills required will vary from each job or profession to the other.


  • Good communication skills
  • Physical fitness and stamina
  • Extensive knowledge of equipment
  • Knowledge of safety precautions
  • Passion for the activity or sport
  • Eager to learn more

Hiring Process

The hiring process may vary from employer to employer, as well as from activity to activity. The general practice will be a face to face interview with an HR representative or even directly with the owner of the business. They will assess you on your skills, experience and interest in the activity or sport.

Salary Scale

Like other informal jobs in the hospitality and tourism sector, the salary scale for those engaged in outdoor, extreme or adventure sports varies from company to company and from skill set to skill set. You can earn anywhere from Rs. 40,000 to Rs. 100,000 or more.