This post was last updated on August 1st, 2019 at 06:35 pm
Unawatuna, once a beautiful beach with golden sand, palm trees and a coast with turquoise water and great surfing opportunities, is quickly becoming the Kuta of Sri Lanka. The beautiful clear water is still there and if you look well enough you can find deserted bits of beach but there is not much left of it.
Unawatuna, relaxing on the beach
Bulldozers have flattened much of the coast to build hotels and cafes. It may not be the most beautiful beach, but it is still a wonderful get-away from Galle. Unawatuna is only 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) from Galle and is still growing as a city.
Rent a scooter so you can discover the surrounding beaches.
It is one of the most popular seaside resorts in the country for both travelers and locals. And although the charm of the small village has given way to increased commercialization, it is still a pleasant place to stay.
Beaches of Unawatuna
Most people come to Unawatuna for its beautiful beach. It is a fairly busy beach with a lot of people trying to sell something. If you take the time to find a good spot, it is a great seaside resort. Of course, you can also rent a scooter and explore the surrounding beaches.
# 1 Main Beach
The name already betrays it a bit. This is the most famous beach of Unawatuna. You will find the most travelers, locals and also the most bars and activities here. It is popular because it is close to the city center with good restaurants and bars nearby.
It is wonderful to relax on the main beach with its waving palm trees, brown golden sand, and a cozy atmosphere.
# 2 Jungle Beach
Jungle Beach is the second beach where many travelers go. You can find it on the other side of the town. The advantage is that it is a lot quieter here. This is mainly because the beach is more difficult to reach than Main Beach.
In addition, Jungle Beach is not really promoted a lot so many travelers skip this beach. A shame because it is really beautiful here!
TIP – The best way to explore Unawatuna and the surrounding area is with a scooter. You have a lot to see here in the area. You can rent a scooter for around $6 a day.
What else is there to do?
With its commercialization came a lot of fun activities ranging from surfing and diving to yoga and cooking classes. Unawatuna is increasingly competing with Hikkaduwa as the best party town in the country.
# 1 Activities
There are many fun activities to do here. You can take yoga classes here for around 1,000 Rupees ($5.65). There are also a number of spas where you can pamper yourself. You can also make beautiful walks in the area.
Ask at your accommodation for the different routes that you can walk. They often have a map (or they can draw one). You can also surf well here.
TIP – Check out this website for an overview of good surfing schools.
# 2 Diving & snorkeling
You have plenty of water sports here such as snorkeling and diving. There are a number of shipwrecks off the coast that are fun for divers. Renting diving gear costs you around $30 per day. A diving trip often costs the same. A PADI course costs around $230.
TIP – Climb the “hill” on Yaddehimulla Rd. You will have a beautiful view of the beach and the town.
Environment of Unawatuna
Unawatuna may have become a commercial center; the area is still beautiful. Where cafes, restaurants and vendors dominate the beach, in the surrounding area of Unawatuna you can still find a blue sea flanked by hills full of palm trees.
If you travel further into the country you will find beautiful nature with countless tropical birds. And despite the crowds on the beach, you can dive well here with beautiful coral reefs and shipwrecks that lie off the coast.
How do you get there?
Unawatuna is just a 2-hour drive from Colombo. The easiest way to get to Unawatuna is via Galle. This city is only 10 minutes away from here. A bus from Galle costs you 20 Rupees ($0.10) and takes 10 minutes.
A tuk-tuk from Galle will cost you around 400 to 500 Rupees ($2.25 to $2.80), depending on the driver and your negotiating skills.
Best time to visit
The best time to go here is in the months between December and March. This also applies to almost all places around the south coast such as Galle, Unawatuna, Mirissa and Hikkaduwa. These are the driest months and, therefore, the busiest.
The prices for accommodations and activities are going up. October and November are often the wettest months in the area. Temperatures rise around April or May and at the same time bring more rain.
Location of Unawatuna
Click the image to view the location in Google Maps!