8 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN UNAWATUNA, SRI LANKA

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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’.

Search All ∼ Flights to Sri Lanka on Skyscanner.com

 

Have you got travel insurance for Sri Lanka? I know that nobody likes to talk about this stuff but accidents can happen and having World Nomads Insurance can save you thousands of dollars if something goes wrong. 

 

HOW TO GET TO UNAWATUNA

The local buses are by far the cheapest and most convenient means of transport between destinations in Sri Lanka.

I took a bus from Hikkaduwa to Unawatuna Beach which took around one hour and the cost was 50 Rupees.

The buses are clearly labeled in English on the front windscreen of the location they are headed. Make sure you hold on tight because these bus drivers are the craziest drivers I have ever seen.

See All ∼ Homestays & Resorts in Unawatuna

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8 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN UNAWATUNA SRI LANKA

1. Jungle Beach Unawatuna

If getting off the beaten path is your thing, then I know just the spot for you! Make your way over to Jungle Beach Unawatuna 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 Unawatuna. You will come across a fork in the trail, the trail to the north is an easy walk through the bush and over to the other side of the headland emerging at Jungle Beach Unawatuna. 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 emerging at Jungle Beach Unawatuna.

The tucked-away Jungle Beach Unawatuna is a great spot for a swim and one of the best things to do in Unawatuna. There is also a bar and restaurant on the sand under the palms to enjoy some food and drinks!

Free ∼ $40 AirBnb Discount

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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, the famous Japanese Peace Pagoda in Unawatuna.

A Buddhist stupa to inspire peace among all races. There is no entrance fee to visit the Japanese Peace Pagoda, though please be respectful, wear suitable clothing and take off your shoes when wandering around the sacred site.

Tip: If you visit here in the late afternoon you will be blessed with an amazing view for sunset.

See All ∼ Homestays & Resorts in Unawatuna

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3. Galle Fort

Take a day trip to Galle to visit the old Dutch Fort which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Galle Fort is a historical, archaeological and architectural heritage monument. The Galle Fort even withstood the 2004 boxing day tsunami.

Galle is located 15-minutes north of Unawatuna Beach. The best way to get to Galle Fort is to jump in a tuk-tuk or rent a scooter for in Unawatuna for approximately 1000 Rupees per day.

See All ∼ Tours in Sri Lanka with Klook

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4. Galle Lighthouse

On the outer walls of Galle Fort is the Galle Lighthouse. Discover the old lighthouse down by the water which is surrounded by palm trees and beautiful beaches. The Galle Lighthouse is another great viewpoint for sunset and one of my favourite things to do in Unawatuna.

See My ∼ Ultimate Travel Packing List

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5. Dalawella Beach – Palm Tree Rope Swing

2km south of Unawatuna Beach is Dalawella Beach. This spot is up there with one of the most beautiful stretches of beach I have been to. A palm tree oasis, golden sands and electric blue water await, so be sure to add it to your list of things to do in Unawatuna!

This is also where you can find the Instafamous Palm Tree Rope Swing on Dalawella Beach. This palm tree rope swing blew up on Instagram and it is now the reason why some people are coming to Sri Lanka just to have a turn!

Full Blog Post ∼ Dalawella Beach Swing

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6. Local Street Food

Cafe’s and seaside restaurants fill up the seaside town of Unawatuna. During high season, December – March, 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 traveler 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 and a personal favorite of mine.

See All ∼ Homestays & Resorts in Unawatuna

7. Yoga Classes

Unawatuna has a number of Yoga studios for those Yogi’s out there and also for people who have never tried yoga and are willing to give it a go. Daily yoga classes are available at Thambapanni Retreat, Yoga With Asiri, Sri Yoga Shala and The Secret Garden Dome.

I attended a yoga class at The Secret Garden Dome and it was one of my favorite things to do in Unawatuna to relax and unwind after a few days of adventuring.

See All ∼ Tours in Sri Lanka with Klook

Early morning yoga class – Unawatuna things to do

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.

I spent one-hour exploring the Yatagala Temple and it is not to be missed on your list of things to do in Unawatuna.

See All ∼ Homestays & Resorts in Unawatuna

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BEST PLACES TO STAY IN UNAWATUNA 

There are hundreds of homestays, private villas, and beach resorts to choose from in Unawatuna, so I have narrowed it down to a few of my personal favorite places to stay to suit the needs of budget backpackers and luxury travelers. See the list of accommodations below that I personally recommend:

Luxury: Thaproban Pavilion Waves Unawatuna

The best 5-star resort in Unawatuna! Thaproban Pavilion Waves offers beachfront accommodation, outdoor swimming pool, sun terrace, a bar, billiards table and dartboard. The rooms are modern and fitted with air-conditioning, flat-screen tv, equipped kitchen, seating area and private bathroom. American or Asian breakfast is included.

Check prices on Agoda | Check prices on Booking.com

Mid Range: La Villa

I personally stayed at La Villa and highly recommend this accommodation to anyone visiting Unawatuna. The staff are very friendly and great cooks. The rooms are spacious, comfortable, air-conditioned, private ensuite and free wifi is available. The staff can help you organise snorkeling trips and other activities in Unawatuna. Perfect for couples and friends travelling on a budget.

Check prices on Booking.com

 

Budget: Green Gecko Hostel

The best and cheapest hostel in Unawatuna! The Green Gecko Hostel has dorm rooms available with a shared bathroom. The property has free wifi and a buffet breakfast is included for guests. Perfect place to stay for solo travellers and friends.

 Check prices on Booking.com

FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN UNAWATUNA, SEARCH ON AGODA OR SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM

 

AIRBNB SRI LANKA

Another option for accommodation in Sri Lanka is to stay at an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals in Sri Lanka.

Get your $40 Airbnb discount here!

 

MORE SRI LANKA

Sri Lank Travel Guide: 2 Week Sri Lanka Itinerary

Hikkaduwa Travel Guide: 7 Things To Do In Hikkaduwa

Unawatuna Travel Guide: 8 Things To Do In Unawatuna

Ella Travel Guide: Best Things To Do In Ella

Udawalawe Travel Guide: Udawalawe Safari Tour

 

MY CAMERA GEAR

• DSLR Mirrorless Camera: Sony A7ii 

• Drone Camera: DJI Mavic Pro 2

• GoPro: GoPro Hero 7 Black

• Everyday Lens: Sony F2.8 24/70mm

• Camera Bag: Lowepro Protactic 31L

• Selfie Stick: Sandmarc Metal Edition 1.2m 

• Tripod: Joby Flexible GorillaPod

• GoPro Dome: Underwater GoPro Dome

• Power Bank: Anker Powerbank

• External Hardrive: WD Elements 4TB

 

WHAT TO PACK FOR SRI LANKA?

• Waterproof Phone Case: Universal Waterproof Case

• Reusable Water Bottle: Hydro Flask Water Bottle

• Rain Jacket: North Face Rain Jacket

• Water Shoes: Slip-on Water Shoes

• Day Bag: Nomatic 20L Day Bag

• Power Adapter: Universal Power Adapter

• Packing Cubes: 4 Set Packing Cubes

• Microfibre Towel: Quick Dry Travel Towel

• Travel Insurance: World Nomads Travel Insurance

• Money Belt: Hidden Money Belt

 

I hope you have enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions on what to do in Unawatuna, please leave me a comment below!

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