Things To Do In Unawatuna
Unawatuna should be renamed to ‘Hakuna Matata’! This coastal village on Sri Lanka’s south west coast has to be one of the most beautiful places I have come across and indeed I felt as if there were ‘no worries’.
I am making my way around the southern tip of Sri Lanka, stopping to explore as many beaches and villages as I can. The local buses are by far the cheapest and most convenient means of transport between villages. I took a bus from Hikkaduwa to Unawatuna Beach which took around one hour and cost me 50 Rupees. The buses are clearly labelled in English, on the front windscreen, of where they are headed. Make sure you hold on tight because these bus drivers are the craziest drivers I have ever seen.
There are many homestay’s, private villas, and beach resorts to accomodate you during your stay. As usual, I travel on a budget and therefore I booked a private room at La Villa, a beautiful homestay just a short walk from the beach and on the edge of the jungle. I was made very welcome by the owners Anura and Lala who were very accomodating and the most friendliest locals I have met. I would also like to mention the abundance of wild life that you will experience when you stay here, absolutely blissful. A private room with a/c and bathroom is 2000 Rupees per night.
8 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN UNAWATUNA SRI LANKA
1. Jungle Beach
If getting off the beaten path is your thing, then I know just the spot for you! Make you way over to Jungle Beach on foot, which is on the opposite side of the headland from Unawatuna Beach. There is a dirt trail that leads you towards Jungle Beach. You will come across a fork in the trail, the one trail to the north is an easy walk through the bush and over to the other side of the headland, the second trail will take you down to some small, rocky cliffs on the seaside. This is the off beaten path I was talking about. From here you can scale around the boulders and over rock pools, eventually popping you out at Jungle Beach. This tucked away beach is a slice of paradise and a great spot for a swim. There is also a sand bar and restaurant under the palms.
2. Japanese Peace Pagoda
Direct your gaze up on top of the headland and you will spot a big white sculpture, standing tall above the trees, that is in the shape of a bell. This is in fact a Japanese Peace Pagoda. A buddhist stupa to inspire peace among all races. There is no entrance fee to visit this site but please be respectful and wear suitable clothing and take off your shoes. If you visit here in the late afternoon you will be blessed with an amazing view for sunset.
3. Galle Fort
Take a day trip to Galle to visit the old Dutch Fort which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a historical, archaeological and architectural heritage monument. The fort even withstood the 2004 boxing day tsunami! Galle is 15 minutes north of Unawatuna. Jump in a tuk-tuk to get you there or rent a scooter for 1000 Rupees per day.
4. Galle Lighthouse
Also in Galle, be sure to visit the lighthouse down by the water which is surrounded by palm trees and beautiful beaches. Another great viewpoint for sunset.
5. Dalawella Beach – Palm Tree Rope Swing
2km south of Unawatuna Beach is Dalawella Beach. This spot is up there where with one of the most beautiful stretches of beach I have been to. A palm tree oasis, golden sands and electric blue water! This is also where you can find the Instafamous Palm Tree Rope Swing. This is one for the bucket list. You can read my latest blog post of this location HERE.
6. Local Street Food
Cafe’s and seaside restaurants fill up the village that is Unawatuna. It is high season at the moment (January) and the prices for food and drinks are around 1000 Rupees ($10) for a meal and 500 Rupees ($5)for a beer. If you are a budget traveller like myself, and want to spend 250 Rupees ($2.50) on a meal, try one of the local street food vendors and order a plate of Kottu Roti. A traditional Sri Lankan dish with roti, vegetables, egg and spices. It is considered the equivalent of a hamburger, in terms of popularity. A personal favourite of mine.
7. Yoga Classes
Unawatuna has a number of Yoga studios for those Yogi’s out there. Daily classes are available at Thambapanni Retreat, Yoga With Asiri, Sri Yoga Shala and The Secret Garden Dome.
8. Yatagala Temple
Yatagala Rajamaha Viharaya is about 4kms east of Unawatuna. A 2300 year old buddhist place of worship. The temple is made up of 4 huge granite boulders that create a natural cave that is used as a meditation hall. Newer developments include a peace pagoda stupa and a giant Buddha statue.
OTHER POINTS OF INTEREST NEAR UNAWATUNA BEACH
Don’t forget to check out the other awesome locations near by to Unawatuna. See below for more detailed Sri Lanka travel guides:
These are my pick of Top Things To Do In Unawatuna! I could easily spend a week here, mellowing out on the beach and amongst the jungle surroundings but it’s time to keep tracking south!
I hope you enjoyed this article and please feel free to leave any comments below!
Happy Adventuring 🙂