Unawatuna in Sri Lanka is one of the most famous areas in the country. Tourists on a vacation like to spend their time in the southern part of Sri Lanka. This is mainly because the south has the most beautiful beaches in Sri Lanka. With roughly a one hour ride from the capital city Colombo, Unawatuna’s a perfect area to stay for a few days. The town itself is small, has great shopping, guesthouses, trendy restaurants, and quite some activities and sightseeing nearby.
Being Sri Lanka’s most popular beach town is a fantastic place to visit. There is lots to see from beaches, surfing, snorkeling and more. There is a bit more life here than other Sri Lankan beach towns. The nightlife is definitely the most happening in all of Sri Lanka.
Here is a list of our favorite things to do in Unawatuna.
- Rope swing fun at the Dallawella and Wijaya Beach
To this day we’re still amazed that a simple rope swing could have single-handedly turned a country into a travel ‘hot spot’, yet that’s exactly what happened here in Sri Lanka. The rope swing at Dalawella beach, just south of Unawatuna, went viral on Instagram and before long every single visitor to the country wanted ‘that shot’.
It could cost you between LKR 300/= on off-peak days to about LKR 500/= in the peak season. You get about 4 swings so ample opportunity to get your travel buddy to get the perfect picture. Definitely one of the more touristy things to do in Unawatuna- but so worth it!
Relax At Unawatuna Beach
Unawatuna beach is the main strip of beach in Unawatuna and it’s filled with wonderful places to eat, relax and swim. It’s a fairly touristy beach, but I think it’s a great place to relax during the day, go for a swim, or simply dine in the evening.
We dined on the beachfront every evening we were there. It’s a lovely atmosphere and you are right on the beach so you can hear the sound of the waves. There is a LOT of choices when it comes to places to eat with something to suit every budget.
- Enjoy the view from the Japanese Peace Pagoda
Located in the forest on the hillside north of Unawatuna beach is the impressive Japanese Peace Pagoda. Constructed in 2005 by Japanese monks as part of a scheme to build peace temples in conflict zones, the monument serves as a beacon of hope for people all over the world.
It has now become a popular tourist attraction and on, with incredible views over the bay of Galle towards Galle Fort and the perfect place to take in the always impressive Sri Lankan sunsets. Make sure you’re respectful when visiting; this is a working religious monument.
Jungle Beach Unawatuna
Jungle Beach is on the opposite side of the main beach. It’s a bit hidden so a lot quieter than the main beach. It is not as easy to visit as Unawatuna beach but worth the visit if you have time. It’s about a 10-15 min drive from the center of Unawatuna town.
Surfing or Standup Paddleboard
Ready to get in the water? In between Unawatuna and Galle is a good beach to learn to surf. Note that the best season for surfing is between November and May. At Ahikava Surfschool, you can rent a board and maybe have some lessons as well. Grab a paddleboard during sunset, relax and just enjoy the moment.
- Visit The Turtle Rescue Sanctuary
If you like turtles as much as I do, then you’ll want to see the turtle sanctuary in Unawatuna. This is without a doubt one of the best things to do in Unawatuna. It’s like a little hospital for turtles. The turtles are usually saved from plastic and other human-based stuff that causes them to get stuck. You can see turtles with missing (legs?!?), or shells are broken etc, and you get to see and hold baby turtles. Baby turtles are like the cutest thing ever. When they swim, it’s just the most adorable thing– seriously.
- Where to stay in Unawatuna
Hotels and guesthouses in Unawatuna are more expensive than the average price in Sri Lanka because of its popularity. However, you are most likely to find the most affordable properties here. Book with us to get the best hospitality you’ll ever experience in Sri Lanka.
With palm-lined beaches, turquoise waters and a good selection of guesthouses and restaurants, Unawatuna is very popular with travellers. Atmosphere-wise, Unawatuna is lively without being rowdy: think sunset drinks rather than all-night raves. For affordable stays check out our website.