8 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN UNAWATUNA – SRI LANKA

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Unawatuna, in my opinion, 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 have put this complete guide of the 8 Best Things To Do In Unawatuna to help you plan your trip!

 

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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 personally took a bus from Hikkaduwa to Unawatuna Beach which takes around one hour and the cost is 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 the bus drivers in Sri Lanka 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

 

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!

 

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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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Galle Fort

Take a day trip from Unawatuna to Galle and visit the old Dutch Fort which is 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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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 favorite things to do in Unawatuna.

 

Reusable Water Bottle: Stay hydrated with Hydro Flask! I take this water bottle with me on all of my adventures. Hydro Flask keeps your water icy cold all day and you’ll also be helping out the environment by reducing the use of single-use plastics.

GET IT HERE

 

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Dalawella Beach – Palm Tree 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 Unawatuna in Sri Lanka just to have a turn!

Full Blog Post ∼ Dalawella Beach Swing

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Local Street Food In Unawatuna

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.

 

Activated Charcoal Tablets: Want to avoid food poisoning? I’m sure most of us have been a victim of travelers diarrhea from eating street food. Organic Charcoal Tablets are fast-acting and will rid your system of bad bacteria that causes stomach upset.

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Food in Unawatuna

 

Yoga In Unawatuna

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.

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Early morning yoga class – Unawatuna things to do

 

Yatagala Temple Unawatuna

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 the places to stay to suit the needs of budget backpackers, luxury travelers and everyone in between.

See the list of accommodations in Unawatuna 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.

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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 UNAWATUNA

Another option for accommodation in Unawatuna is to stay at an Airbnb, which generally has some great deals!

WANT TO SAVE $$$ ON AIRBNB? GET MY AIRBNB MONEY SAVING GUIDE

 

MORE SRI LANKA TRAVEL GUIDES

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

 

LONELY PLANET – SRI LANKA

One of the best books to take on your trip is the Lonely Planet Sri Lanka Travel Guide!

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JOIN MY FACEBOOK TRAVEL TRIBE

Do you have any questions about things to do in Unawatuna?

Join my Facebook Travel Tribe and send a message at any time for a quick response!

 

WHAT TO PACK FOR UNAWATUNA

 

Everyday Backpack: One of the best backpacks on the market! The Nomatic 20L Backpack is perfect for on the go adventures. Featuring multiple storage spaces for valuables,  drink bottles, chargers, notebooks and more. This sleek backpack was designed for you.

Get yours now!

 

Universal Power Adapter: Don’t leave home without one! I highly recommend getting this Universal Power Adapter so that you are able to charge all of your electronics when you’re on the road. Compatible in Asia, UK, Europe, Africa, USA, SA and Australia.

Get yours now!

 

Hidden Money Belt: I never go on a trip without one! The best thing is they are always out of sight, hidden beneath your clothing. With RFID blocking, they are perfectly designed to keep your credit cards, cash and other valuables safe when you’re out adventuring!

Get yours now!

 

Waterproof Phone Case: A waterproof phone case is a must-have item! This universal case will keep your phone safe from water damage, sand and scratches during your adventures. Suitable for all smartphone models.

Get yours now!

 

Portable Charger: One of the best portable chargers on the market! The Anker Power Bank keeps your phone and accessories charged on those longer adventures. Featuring 2 USB charging ports, rechargeable battery, works with iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Oppo and Android.

Get yours now!

 

Microfibre Travel Towel: To pack a towel or not to pack a towel? A standard bathroom towel can take up a lot of space in your travel bag. Get your hands on a quick-dry Microfibre Travel Towel which is perfect for the beach, backpacking, camping and general traveling.

Get yours now!

 

Rain Jacket: A light-weight rain jacket is an absolute must when traveling! North Face waterproof rain jackets come in both men and women sizes, featuring a breathable mesh lining and adjustable hood that can be tucked away inside the collar.

Get yours now!

 

Kindle: The best alternative for books! Kindle e-readers are perfect for long haul flights, reading on the beach or a quiet evening away from the bars. Kindle’s are waterproof with rechargeable batteries and adjustable light settings to suit indoor/outdoor conditions. 

Get yours now!

 

Packing Cubes: My favorite item in my backpack! Perfect for organizing your shirts, pants, jackets, socks, underwear and more. This 5 Set Packing Cubes makes packing easier and more efficient, adding extra space in your bag for your next trip.

Get yours now!

 

Activated Charcoal Tablets: Want to avoid food poisoning? Most of us have been a victim of travelers diarrhea from eating street food. Organic Activated Charcoal Tablets are fast-acting and will rid your system of the bad bacteria that causes stomach upset.

Get yours now!

 

MY CAMERA GEAR

 

Everyday Camera: The most affordable mirrorless camera on the market! I personally use the Sony A7ii Mirrorless Camera on all of my adventures. It’s compact, lightweight and super easy to use for all levels of photography. A 28-70mm Sony lens is also included. 

Check Prices Here

 

Drone Camera: Take your photography to new heights! The DJI Mavic Pro 2 Drone is at the top of the game when it comes to high-quality images and video, easy to control functions and traveler-friendly capabilities. I guarantee you won’t regret purchasing one.

Check Prices Here

 

GoPro Hero 8: One of the most popular cameras on the planet! I love using the GoPro Hero 8 for all of my underwater shots and fast-paced adventures. The GoPro Hero 8 captures the best moments with its wide range of functions that are very simple to use!

Check Prices Here

 

Camera Bag: My favorite camera bag I have ever owned! The Lowepro Protactic 450 AW II Camera Bag features a waterproof rain cover, drink bottle holder, padded compartments for cameras, drones, lenses, accessories and it also has a laptop pocket. 

Check Prices Here

 

Selfie Stick: Everyone loves a good selfie, right!? The Sandmarc Metal Edition Selfie Stick is sleek, stylish and can extend to 1.2m. I find it much easier to take photos and videos with the GoPro when it is mounted to the Sandmarc Selfie Stick!

Check Prices Here

 

Camera Tripod: The Joby GorillaPod is suitable for all cameras. This tripod is easy to use and perfect for setting up a time-lapse video or even using it as a selfie stick. The legs are flexible so you can wrap it around a tree or a pole to get creative with your shot.

Check Prices Here

 

GoPro Dome: Have you ever wanted to capture those under/over water shots with the GoPro? This epic underwater GoPro dome housing is the best camera accessory to have to create the perfect 50/50 shot. I use mine every time I am in the ocean!

Check Prices Here

 

Memory Card: The best thing about SanDisk Extreme Pro is that it delivers maximum speed for images and videos. Having 64GB of storage means that you can store hundreds of files on this SD card for 2-3 days and not have to worry about running out of space.

Check Prices Here

 

External Hard Drive: As a photographer, my images and video files take up a lot of space on my MacBook so I use the WD Elements External Hard Drive to store everything. With 4TB worth of storage space, this is more than enough for 1 year worth of content.

Check Prices Here

 

ONLINE ENGLISH TEACHING

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Teaching English online is one of the easiest and most flexible jobs out there! Become a Digital Nomad today where you get to choose your own hours and work remotely from anywhere in the world by teaching English online. All you need is a laptop, good WiFi connection, a TEFL certificate and you’re good to go!

Click here to obtain your TEFL certificate with MyTefl

 

MY SHOP

Before you go from this things to do in Unawatuna post, don’t forget to check out My Online Shop!

I’ve got a wide range of digital products for sale and I’m sure you’ll find something that will come in handy during your travels!

SEE MORE → MY SHOP

 

FINAL THOUGHTS OF UNAWATUNA

I hope you have enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions about what to do in Unawatuna, please leave me a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Safe Travels!

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