Welcome to Unawatuna, a coastal paradise nestled in Sri Lanka. With its pristine beaches, rich cultural heritage, and vibrant atmosphere, Unawatuna offers a plethora of unforgettable experiences for travellers. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the top things to do and see in Unawatuna, ensuring that your visit is filled with adventure, relaxation, and discovery.
Things to Do and Experience In Unawatuna
01. Exploring Unawatuna’s Enchanting Beaches
1. Unawatuna Beach: A Tropical Haven
Unawatuna Beach is a true tropical paradise. With its golden sand, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and swaying palm trees, it offers a breathtaking setting for sunbathing, swimming, and beachside relaxation. Don’t miss the chance to snorkel and discover the vibrant marine life just off the shore.
2. Jungle Beach: A Secluded Escape
For a more secluded and serene beach experience, head to Jungle Beach. Nestled amidst lush greenery and accessible through a short hike, this hidden gem provides a tranquil oasis. Enjoy snorkelling in the calm waters, explore the surrounding jungle trails, or simply unwind in a hammock and soak in the peaceful ambience.
3. Dalawella Beach: Perfect for Sunsets and Surfing
Dalawella Beach is known for its stunning sunsets and is a favourite spot for avid surfers. Watch as the sky transforms into a kaleidoscope of colours while enjoying the gentle ocean breeze. If you’re a beginner surfer, the waves here are ideal for honing your skills or taking your first lesson.
02. Uncovering Unawatuna’s Cultural Heritage
1. Visit the Japanese Peace Pagoda
Perched atop Rumassala Hill, the Japanese Peace Pagoda offers not only a spiritual experience but also a panoramic view of Unawatuna and its surroundings. Take a tranquil walk around the pagoda, soak in the serene atmosphere, and capture memorable photographs of the breathtaking vistas.
2. Explore the Historical Galle Fort
Just a short distance from Unawatuna lies the historic Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This well-preserved fortress showcases the colonial heritage of the region, featuring Dutch and British architectural influences. Stroll along the fort’s ramparts, visit the quaint shops and cafes, and immerse yourself in the fascinating history of the area.
3. Discover the Rumassala Temple (Japanese Peace Pagoda)
Located at the base of Rumassala Hill, the Rumassala Temple is a sacred place of worship with a serene ambience. Explore the intricate temple architecture, witness the rituals and ceremonies, and take in the spiritual tranquillity that surrounds the area. Don’t forget to enjoy the panoramic views of the coastline from the temple premises.
03. Engaging in Exciting Water Sports
1. Snorkeling and Diving: Explore Unawatuna’s Marine Life
Unawatuna is a paradise for snorkelling and diving enthusiasts. Grab your snorkelling gear or join a diving excursion to discover the vibrant coral reefs, tropical fish, and even sea turtles. With several dive sites in the vicinity, including the famous Coral Gardens, the underwater world of Unawatuna is a must-see.
2. Surfing: Ride the Waves at Dewata and Bonavista Points
Unawatuna’s Dewata and Bonavista Points offer excellent surfing conditions for both beginners and experienced surfers. Rent a surfboard, catch a wave, and experience the thrill of gliding across the water. Lessons are available for beginners, ensuring a safe and enjoyable surfing experience.
3. Stand-Up Paddleboarding: Serene Adventures on the Water
For more relaxed water activity, try stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). Glide along the calm waters, explore hidden coves, and enjoy the picturesque coastal views. SUP is a great way to combine fitness, tranquillity, and exploration while soaking up the beauty of Unawatuna.
04. Embarking on Nature Adventures
1. River Safari along the Madu Ganga
Hop on a boat and embark on a serene river safari along the Madu Ganga. Marvel at the lush mangroves, spot vibrant bird species and visit small islands with ancient temples and traditional industries. The river safari offers a unique perspective on the natural beauty and cultural heritage of the region.
2. Hiking to the Rumassala Hilltop
Put on your hiking boots and venture up to Rumassala Hill to experience breathtaking views and lush greenery. The trail takes you through a tropical forest, and at the summit, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic vistas of Unawatuna Bay and the surrounding landscapes. It’s a nature lover’s paradise.
05. Indulging in Unawatuna’s Culinary Delights
1. Sample Fresh Seafood at Beachside Restaurants
Unawatuna is renowned for its delectable seafood offerings. Visit the beachside restaurants and savour mouthwatering dishes prepared with the freshest catch of the day. From grilled prawns to spicy fish curries, the flavours of the ocean come to life in the local cuisine.
2. Try Local Sri Lankan Cuisine: Rice and Curry
Don’t miss the chance to indulge in Sri Lanka’s signature dish, rice, and curry. Experience an explosion of flavours as you savour aromatic curries, fragrant rice, and an array of accompanying sides such as symbols and chutneys. Unawatuna boasts several restaurants and eateries where you can sate your culinary cravings.
3. Experience a Cooking Class: Learn Traditional Recipes
Enhance your culinary skills and immerse yourself in Sri Lankan culture by joining a cooking class. Learn to prepare traditional dishes using local ingredients and age-old techniques. Discover the secrets behind Sri Lankan spices and create authentic flavours that you can recreate back home.
06. Relaxation and Wellness in Unawatuna
1. Yoga and Meditation: Rejuvenate Your Mind and Body
Unwind and find inner peace with yoga and meditation sessions offered in Unawatuna. From beachfront yoga classes to tranquil retreat centres, there are plenty of opportunities to rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul. Let the serene surroundings and experienced instructors guide you on a journey of self-discovery and relaxation.
2. Spa and Wellness Retreats: Pamper Yourself
Treat yourself to a rejuvenating spa experience in Unawatuna. Indulge in a range of spa treatments and therapies, including Ayurvedic massages, body scrubs, and facials. The tranquil ambience and skilled therapists will ensure that you leave feeling refreshed, revitalized, and ready to take on new adventures.
3. Sunset Strolls and Beachfront Relaxation
Unwind with leisurely sunset strolls along Unawatuna’s picturesque beaches. Feel the sand between your toes, listen to the soothing sound of the waves, and witness the vibrant hues painting the sky as the sun dips below the horizon. Find a cosy spot on the beach and let the soothing atmosphere wash over you.
07. Exploring Nearby Attractions
1. Whale Watching in Mirissa
Embark on a thrilling whale-watching excursion from the nearby town of Mirissa. Board a boat and head out to the deep waters, where you can witness majestic whales in their natural habitat. Get up close to these magnificent creatures, including blue whales, the largest animals on Earth, and create unforgettable memories.
08. Shopping and Souvenirs in Unawatuna
1. Boutique Stores and Local Handicrafts
Unawatuna is dotted with charming boutique stores and shops offering unique handicrafts, clothing, and souvenirs. Browse through locally made products, including handwoven textiles, jewellery, and artwork. Support local artisans and take home a piece of Unawatuna’s vibrant culture.
2. Gemstone Shopping in Galle
Just a short distance away from Unawatuna, the city of Galle is renowned for its gemstones and jewellery. Explore the gem stores and find exquisite pieces featuring Sri Lanka’s famous sapphires, rubies, and other precious stones. Take the opportunity to purchase a stunning keepsake or a special gift for your loved ones.
3. Street Markets and Local Vendors
Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere of Unawatuna’s street markets and interact with local vendors. From colourful sarongs and handicrafts to spices and fresh produce, the markets offer a vibrant array of goods. Engage in the bargaining culture, savour local street food, and embrace the bustling energy of the local markets.
Unawatuna truly is a destination that offers a perfect blend of adventure, culture, relaxation, and natural beauty. Whether you seek thrilling water sports, want to immerse yourself in history and culture, or simply desire to unwind on stunning beaches, Unawatuna has it all. Let the charm of this coastal gem captivate you as you embark on an unforgettable journey filled with incredible experiences. Plan your trip to Unawatuna today and create memories that will last a lifetime.