The beach of Unawatuna, with foreigners relaxing on the shores
Foreigners Relaxing on the Shores of Unawatuna

Over a long period of time, Sri Lanka is celebrated for its natural wonders, rich biodiversity, and of course – its pristine sandy beaches. And yes, bounded by crystal blue waters, and lined with towering palm trees, Unawatuna is one of the loveliest beaches you will ever get to visit. Of course, it is one of the most significant tourist hotspots on this charming island and attracts hundreds of visitors each day. However, if you are planning to visit this splendid coastal town, this read is simply going to benefit you. Continue reading to get to know about the most exciting things that you can do at Unawatuna!

What are the Best Things to Do in Unawatuna?

Unawatuna, the charming beach in the south of Sri Lanka, is not only famed for its beauty and serenity, but also for the interesting opportunities and the water sports that it offers. The list below specifies the best things to do at Unawatuna!

  1. Relax by the Shores of Unawatuna
  2. Add a Little Adventure to your Trip by Surfing
  3. Rope Swinging at Dalawella Beach
  4. Learn or Try Snorkelling and Diving
  5. Go Whale Watching
  6. Live it up with Delicious Seafood
  7. Enjoy the NightLife
  8. Visit Turtle Hatcheries
  9. Wander around the Southern Coast on a Bicycle
  10. Catch a Glimpse of Sri Lankan Culture
  11. Take a Boat Ride
  12. Try Stilt Fishing
  13. Visit Jungle Beach
  14. Explore the City of Galle

Excited to know about the delight of these wonderful activities? Keep calm, and scroll down!

1. Relax by the Shores of Unawatuna

Unawatuna is blessed with beaches with the best views and climate. The warmth of the golden sandy beach, and the breeze of the vivid ocean of Unawatuna, are all that you need to have a perfect holiday. The green palm trees which line the beach add serenity and majesty to the view. Thus, one cannot think of a beach as lively as Unawatuna, to have a chilling time on the shores.

So, why not relax on the shores of Unawatuna and enjoy the warmth of the sun on your skin? You can also rent a sunbed and relax while you order food and drinks from the beachside restaurants and bars.

2. Add a Little Adventure to your Trip with Surfing

Just like you have heard, Unawatuna is one of the best surf spots in Sri Lanka. Indeed, this is also one of the reasons that attract many to this wonderful beach.

How amazing would it be to surf on the rhythmic sea waves at Unawatuna? If you are a beginner, you can take a surfing course or learn the basics from the best surfing schools in the city. Of course, you can find friendly and helpful guides there. Besides, if you are a pro surfer already, you can rent a surfboard and go surfing on your own.

The best surf spots in Unawatuna are:

  •    Dalawella Reef surf spot
  •    Bonavista Bay Surf Point
  •    Closenberg surf point
  •    Sahana Beach

Take the best opportunity to grow your confidence and have a whole lot of fun by learning to surf on the wonderful beaches of Unawatuna.

3. Rope Swinging at Dalawella Beach

Ever dreamt of having that viral Instagram click, on the rope swing? Dalawella beach, Unawatuna is where you should head to. You can try taking an iconic picture on this coconut tree swing.

However, the best time you should visit here to get a perfect picture is during the early-mid morning when the sun is still rising. Or you can come and have that picturesque view at sunset.

After all, Dalawella beach is one of the places in Unawatuna that would make you create the best memories to reminisce. So, never miss visiting this astounding place, as you explore the delight of Unawatuna!

4. Learn or Try Snorkelling and Diving

Want to live in a fairytale for a few hours? There is a different world you should definitely explore deep under the seas, near the south of Sri Lanka. And yes, diving and snorkelling would be the best for you to observe these natural charms.

Besides, Unawatuna bay is known as one of the best diving spots in Sri Lanka. You can explore many varieties of tropical fish on the far side of the ocean. Also, you can observe the exotic wonders that lie on the sea bed while diving in Unawatuna.

Apart from that, if you are a fan of adventures, you shouldn’t miss snorkelling in the ocean of Unawatuna. You can find schools which give you diving lessons out there. Also, you can hire snorkelling and diving gear from these places for a friendly budget.

Safe swimming and diving are possible here because a reef is keeping the high waves off the Unawatuna bay. So, why not try this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, in the world-famous diving spots at Unawatuna?

5. Go Whale Watching in Unawatuna

What about going on a Whale watching safari while on your visit to Sri Lanka? Of course, it is one of the activities that tops the bucket list of many travellers who arrive on this beautiful island.

Unawatuna is one of the best places you should reach to go Whale Watching. In fact, it is one of the most popular Unawatuna activities because these waves provide the perfect environment for the world’s largest blue whale colony. So, how wonderful will it be if you are able to catch the sight of enormous Whales leaping high?

There’s a high chance that you’ll also get to see dolphins or sea turtles amongst the whales. Hence, this journey will surely give you a splendid experience.

However, you can book a whale watching tour from one of the tour organisers and get yourself boats which are specially made for whale watching. Their rates may depend on various factors such as the number of team members, duration of the tour, as well as the additional services offered.

6. Live it up with Delicious Seafood

Seafood!!! Yes, Sri Lanka is simply the best for it, as it gets the freshest seafood varieties just out from the blue waves that surround it!

However, among the coastal towns in Sri Lanka, Unawatuna is one of the places where you can try the best and most delicious seafood that you will ever taste in your lifetime. A wide range of restaurants and bars are available in this wonderful town that serve special seafood dishes.

Most of the restaurants have a good choice of seafood, and in many places, you can choose fresh fish or crab by yourself. You can either choose a cosy indoor restaurant with good food or just meet the sunset on the beach while sipping your favourite drink and tasting the delicious dishes of Sri Lanka. Why not try both!

7. Enjoy the Nightlife

Of course, the nightlife in a coastal area of Sri Lanka is simply a unique experience!

In fact, you can find many bars, restaurants, nightclubs and rooftop bars in Unawatuna. Indeed, you can simply meander the sleepless streets, to find out your favourite place to chill. Most of the restaurants and cafes stay open throughout the day and night. They have got music and entertainment for the tourists as well as locals, to enjoy along with the good food and drinks. Yes, of course, you can turn up to a beach party and dance all night to good music and have the best night of your life in this lively city by the sea. Such fun would surely magnify the delight of your visit to Unawatuna.

8. Visit Turtle Hatcheries

The next amazing thing you can do in Unawatuna is to visit Sea Turtle Farms and Hatcheries. As you may already know, sea turtles are gems in the Sri Lankan Sea. Five of the seven species of sea turtles in the world visit the shores of Sri Lanka for breeding. Some of them are as follows.

  • Green Turtle (Chelonia mydas)
  • Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata)
  • Olive Ridley (Lepidochelys olivacea)
  • Loggerhead (Caretta caretta)
  • Leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea)

Their main breeding season is from September to mid-April on the West coast and it is from February to June on the East coast.

These hatcheries in Unawatuna ensure the protection of the eggs that are laid on the beaches. This makes sure that a maximum number of the eggs that are laid hatch out. Once the eggs hatch out, the hatchlings are taken and kept in tanks, so that the tourists who visit the hatchery can see them. And why not? You can hold a bit of grown-up in your hands and pose for photographs with them as well. Apart from that, if you visit the hatcheries you can get the amazing experience of releasing baby turtles into the ocean as well.

9. Wander around the City on a Bicycle

 Wandering around this mesmerising city in the south of Sri Lanka, on a bicycle, should be a must-include activity on your bucket list. You can rent a bike from one of the rental points and experience a day trip. On your trip, you can visit the famous beaches including,

  • Dalawella Beach
  • Mihiripenna Beach
  • Unawatuna Beach
  • Jungle beach

Besides, the opportunities that you get to observe Sri Lankan life, enjoy some street food and get to know a few locals as you cycle, and wander, would add even more wonderful memories to your Unawatuna visit!

10. Catch a Glimpse of Sri Lankan Culture

Sri Lankan culture is known around the world, mostly for its religious icons. You can experience these diverse cultural aspects of Sri Lanka, on your visit to Unawatuna as well. Of course, there are several famous cultural monuments in the locality. Some of them are as follows!

Japanese Peace Pagoda

The Japanese Peace Pagoda is one of the most renowned and picturesque places in the vicinity of Unawatuna. As you visit it, you will observe the most wonderful sceneries, along with the greenery and the blue ocean, amusing your eyes with charm. Besides, this temple is also a symbol of peace, and of course, this unique shrine will guarantee peace and solitude to anyone who visits. So, it is a must-visit place to have a perception of Sri Lankan culture and serenity, while you explore this tiny island.

Unawatuna Devol Devalaya

Situated on a hill facing the beach, Unawatuna Devol Devalaya is a very old temple and a shrine in the Unawatuna area. It is a very nice and safe place to visit and enjoy nice views of the beach and the sunset. However, this place is not very crowded, as it is a less-known place among travellers. So, a visit to it will give you ample opportunities to spend some quality time, while soothing your soul.

 11. Take a Boat Ride

Taking a boat ride around the sea, while enjoying the mesmerising views, will definitely be an unforgettable experience while you relax by the beaches of Unawatuna. Besides, a glass-bottomed boat will give you an amazing view of the coral reefs and exotic marine life. The guides are available to explain to you more about the marine life of paradise. The rolling sea waves under the blue skies will set up a magical episode of your tour.

And why not? You can also grab a paddle boat and enjoy the sunset view. All these fun-filled activities will ensure you the most wonderful stay on this beautiful island.

12. Try Stilt Fishing

Stilt fishing is a fishing method unique to the southern coast of Sri Lanka. What happens here is that the local fishermen use stilts to catch fish. Fishermen have to climb onto stilts and settle on the pole for a few hours to catch some fish. It requires a lot of skill and balance.

This novel view of stilt fishermen is a unique attraction for tourists. Stilt fishermen line up at sunrise and sunset. The evening stilt fishing session usually interests foreigners. You can grab a chance to climb up on the stilt and experience stilt fishing and also capture memorable and beautiful pictures.

13. Visit Jungle Beach

Visiting this blissful paradise of Sri Lanka? If so, the Jungle beach is a gem hidden on the Southern coast of Sri Lanka, that you shouldn’t miss out on your visit.

Jungle Beach is a tiny, semi-hidden bay surrounded by jungle. A coral reef is located just a few metres away from the beach, making it a safe space for many water adventures. Thus, you can go whale watching, have a good swim, and bathe amidst the waves out there, other than experiencing its natural beauty. Besides, you can even visit historical ruins, go on jungle hiking and enjoy a lot at this magical beach nestled by the jungle.

The tranquillity of jungle beach will surround you with peace and calmness and bring you a perfect retreat. Obviously, this is the ideal place for a fun-filled vacation.

It’s located at a 10-15 minutes drive from Unawatuna town.

14. Explore the City of Galle

Of course, you guessed it right! Galle is the most famous majestic city in Southern Sri Lanka. So, imagine walking through the streets of this wonderful city lined with colourful shops and restaurants, which ultimately lead you to a beautiful view of the scenic coastline of Sri Lanka! That’s exactly what you get to experience if you wander around the Galle Fort, the major attraction in the city of Galle.

Besides, the Galle Fort has immense cultural and architectural value. Now, the old buildings of the Fort that belong to the colonial era are transformed into beautiful shops, cafes, and restaurants. And yes, there are many shops where you can buy souvenirs and mementoes as well. Further, the Galle Fort consists of many breathtaking ancient monuments including churches, an old dutch hospital and National Maritime Archaeology Museum. Moreover, on your visit, you shouldn’t miss the view of Galle Fort Lighthouse, which is the iconic symbol of the city of Galle.

The amusements won’t end there. So, don’t forget to enjoy a mesmerising sunset view at the Galle Fort. You can take a walk on the Galle Fort’s wall to enjoy the beautiful view of the city and the sea. 

How to Reach Unawatuna?

Reaching Unawatuna is never a big deal. This charming coastal town is easily accessible from any corner of the island. So, you can simply take the bus, train, or even taxis to reach it.

How to Reach Unawatuna from the Bandaranaike International Airport?

You can either travel by bus, train, or taxi from Colombo International Airport to Unawatuna.

By Bus

You need to take the bus numbered 187. It takes you to the main bus station in Colombo. You can take this bus from the parking place which is situated on the left side of the exit of the airport, about 50 metres away. This route will take about one hour and you have to get off the bus at the last stop. Then, you have to look for a bus that goes to Tangalle or to Matara and get off the bus on Matara road. If not, you can also take the bus that goes to Galle and transfer and continue to Unawatuna by tuk-tuk or by another bus.

By Train

If you are travelling by train, first you should get to the main railway station in Colombo which is called the Colombo Fort Railway Station. For that, take the bus numbered 187 and reach the last stop. From Fort Railway Station you can get on the train that goes to Matara and get down from the railway station in Unawatuna. However, you will have to consider the fact that only 3 trains a day stop there at Unawatuna station. Alternatively, you can get by train to the Galle railway station and then go by bus or take a tuk-tuk to Unawatuna.

By Taxi

Taking a taxi is the most comfortable kind of transport. Of course, you can see the booking post at the airport to book one. You also can book a transfer beforehand, from the airport in Colombo to Unawatuna. 

However, it is important to note that taking a bus or a train will cost you less than taking a tuk-tuk or booking a cab.

How to Reach Unawatuna from Kandy?

For this journey from Kandy to Unawatuna also, you can make a choice between the bus, train or taxi.

By Bus

You can take a bus from Kandy Good Shed Bus Station to Kaduwela and then take another bus from Kaduwela to Galle Bus Station. From there, you can take a taxi, a tuk-tuk or another bus to Unawatuna.

By Train

First, take a train from Kandy to Fort Station. Then take a train from Fort Station to Galle Station. Then you can take a taxi, a tuk-tuk or a bus to Unawatuna.

By Taxi

You can take a taxi from Kandy to Unawatuna. It will take about 3 hours and 10 minutes and the distance is around 220 km.

How to Reach Unawatuna from Jaffna?

If you are travelling to Unawatuna from Jaffna, you can even opt for a flight apart from the general options such as the bus, train and taxi.

By Flight

First, take a plane from Jaffna to Ratmalana. Next, you can take a taxi from there to your destination in Unawatuna. However, this option is highly costly, and won’t be available at all times.

By Bus

First, take a bus from Jaffna to Kadawatha and then take another bus from Kadawatha to Galle. From there you can either take a taxi, a tuk-tuk or another bus to Unawatuna.

 By Train

You can take a train from Jaffna to Fort Railway Station and then take another train to Galle station. Finally, you can take a bus, taxi or tuk-tuk to Unawatuna.

By Taxi

Using a taxi will be faster and effortless than using a bus or train. But it will cost you comparatively more. You can get a taxi or book one from Jaffna to Unawatuna and it will take you about 7 hours and 53 minutes to reach your destination. The distance is approximately 500 km.

How to Reach Unawatuna from Trincomalee?

All three general transportation options are available for you to travel from Trincomalee to Unawatuna as well!

 By Bus

First, you can take a bus from Trincomalee bus station to Kadawatha and then take another bus from Kadawatha to Galle. From Galle, you can either take a taxi, a tuk-tuk or another bus to Unawatuna.

By Train

Take a train from Jaffna to Fort Railway Station and then take the next train to Galle station from Fort. Finally, you can take a bus, taxi or tuk-tuk to Unawatuna.

By Taxi

You can take a taxi from Trincomalee to Unawatuna and it will take you around 5 hours. The distance you’ll be travelling is approximately 360 km.

The Bottom Line

By now, you already know that in Sri Lanka, there are so many verdant landscapes, historical sites, and beautiful beaches that one should definitely see and experience in their lifetime. Among them, Unawatuna should definitely be on your travel bucket list. Now, you know why! There are enough and more things for you to do in this beautiful coastal city, and thus create a bunch of amazing memories. So, what are you waiting for? Visit Sri Lanka to RELAX, EAT, SWIM, and ENJOY on the lovely tropical beaches of Unawatuna. Happy and safe travelling!