Places to visit in Unawatuna
Unawatuna, with its pristine beaches, breathtaking natural beauty, and plenty of exciting things to do, is a must-visit destination in Sri Lanka. If you’re planning a trip to this tropical paradise, be sure to check out the top places to visit in Unawatuna. Unawatuna is a charming coastal town located approximately 120 km south of Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka. It’s a destination that offers an array of activities and attractions for all types of travellers, from families to solo adventurers. Unawatuna is famous for its stunning beaches, with Unawatuna Beach being the most popular. In addition to the beaches, Unawatuna has several historical and cultural attractions that are worth visiting. One such attraction is the Japanese Peace Pagoda. Another must-visit spot in Unawatuna is Rumassala Hill. Unawatuna also has several restaurants and cafes offering local delicacies, making it a food lover’s paradise. The town has a vibrant nightlife with several bars and clubs, perfect for those looking to dance the night away. Unawatuna is a destination that has something for everyone, from its stunning beaches and exciting activities to its cultural and historical significance. It’s a must-visit destination in Sri Lanka that should be on every traveller’s list.
1. Unawatuna beach
Nestled on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, Unawatuna beach is a picture-perfect paradise that beckons travellers from all over the world. Snorkelling and scuba diving are the most popular activities to do here and for a good reason. The clear waters of the Indian Ocean provide an excellent opportunity to explore the diverse marine life of the region. Unawatuna beach is known for its vibrant coral reefs, home to much colourful fish, sea turtles, and other marine creatures. Scuba diving, on the other hand, provides a more in-depth experience of the underwater world. The PADI-certified dive centres in Unawatuna offer diving courses for beginners as well as experienced divers. Apart from snorkelling and scuba diving, there are many other water activities you can enjoy at Unawatuna beach. You can go on a boat ride to explore the nearby islands or try your hand at fishing with the locals. Surfing is another popular activity, with the beach offering excellent waves for surfers of all levels. So why not add Unawatuna beach to your list of places to visit in Unawatuna and experience the beauty and tranquillity of Sri Lanka’s southern coast?
2. Japanese Peace Pagoda
The Japanese Peace Pagoda is one of the most iconic places to visit in Unawatuna, where visitors can experience the beauty and spirituality of Buddhism. The Pagoda was built in 2005 and is one of the 80 such pagodas in the world. It is a beautiful white structure with a golden dome that glows in the sun. The Peace Pagoda is not just a stunning piece of architecture, it also holds a lot of significance in the Buddhist community. It was built to promote peace and non-violence in the world and is a testament to the enduring peace-loving nature of Buddhist culture. The Pagoda is surrounded by lush greenery and overlooks the tranquil waters of the Indian Ocean. Visitors can walk around the Pagoda and take in the beautiful scenery of the surrounding area. The Pagoda is also home to a small museum that displays artefacts related to Buddhism and the history of the Pagoda. Also, visitors can learn about the construction of the Pagoda and the history of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Visiting the Japanese Peace Pagoda in Unawatuna is a unique experience that should not be missed.
3. Jungle Beach
Jungle Beach is a secluded haven that provides visitors with the perfect opportunity to unwind and escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean lap gently against the golden sand, inviting you to take a dip or simply relax and soak up the sun. Activities at Jungle Beach are varied and cater to all tastes. Snorkelling and diving enthusiasts can explore the coral reefs teeming with colourful marine life, while nature lovers can embark on a jungle trek to spot exotic birds and animals. The accommodation at Jungle Beach is equally impressive, with luxurious cabanas and villas that offer breathtaking views of the ocean and jungle. Each unit is designed with sustainability in mind, using natural materials and renewable energy sources. One of the best things about Jungle Beach is its accessibility. It’s just a short tuk-tuk ride away from Unawatuna, a bustling town that offers a taste of local culture and cuisine. If you’re looking to venture further afield, the historic city of Galle is just a 20-minute drive away. So, Jungle Beach is a breathtaking destination to add to your list of places to visit in Unawatuna, offering a unique blend of tropical jungle and serene beach.
4. Rumassala Hill
Rumassala Hill is one of the most spectacular places to visit in Unawatuna, offering visitors an unforgettable hiking trail. The hill is believed to be an ancient Ayurvedic site, with a history that dates back to the time of Ramayana, an epic Hindu mythology. It is said that the hill was used by Lord Hanuman, one of the characters in Ramayana, to collect medicinal herbs to cure Lord Rama’s brother Lakshmana who was critically injured in battle. The hill is accessible through a well-maintained hiking trail that takes around 45 minutes to reach the summit. The trail is a perfect blend of adventure and natural beauty, offering stunning views of the Indian Ocean and the surrounding landscape. As you climb up the hill, you will come across several species of plants and animals that are unique to the area. The hill is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including rare bird species such as the Sri Lankan junglefowl and crimson-fronted barbet, and rare reptiles like the green pit viper and the hump-nosed viper. Rumassala Hill is a destination that should not be missed if you are visiting Unawatuna.
5. Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya
Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya is a must-visit destination for those exploring places to visit in Unawatuna. It is a majestic temple that exudes peace and tranquillity. Built more than 2300 years ago, the temple is considered one of the oldest and most sacred Buddhist sites in the country. As you enter the temple, you will be mesmerized by the stunning architecture and intricate carvings that adorn the walls and ceilings. The temple features a unique blend of traditional Sinhalese and South Indian architectural styles, making it a fascinating sight to behold. The highlight of the temple is the imposing Buddha statue, which stands tall at 35 feet and is believed to have been carved from a single rock. The statue is surrounded by smaller statues of Buddha, as well as other deities such as Vishnu and Ganesha. Visitors can also take part in meditation sessions at the temple, where they can learn about the teachings of Buddhism and find inner peace and balance. If you are looking for a peaceful and serene destination that offers a glimpse into Sri Lanka’s rich cultural heritage, then the Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya is worth a visit.
6. Galle Fort
While exploring the beautiful southern coast of Sri Lanka, Galle Fort is an interesting place, and it’s conveniently located close to other popular places to visit in Unawatuna. Galle Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is rich in both history and natural beauty. The fort was built by the Portuguese in the 16th century and later fortified by the Dutch, making it a unique blend of European architecture and Sri Lankan culture. Visitors can explore the ancient ramparts, bastions, and gates, which still stand strong after centuries of wear and tear. The fort is also home to a thriving community of artists, writers, and entrepreneurs, who have transformed its winding alleys and charming courtyards into a hub of creativity and innovation. Visitors can browse through art galleries and boutique shops, indulge in delicious local cuisine, or simply soak in the atmosphere and take in the stunning views of the Indian Ocean. One of the most popular attractions in Galle Fort is the Galle Lighthouse, which has guided sailors into the harbour for over 150 years. The lighthouse stands tall and proud, offering breathtaking views of the fort and the sea beyond. It’s a perfect spot for a photo opportunity, especially during sunset, when the sky is painted in a palette of vibrant colours.
7. Koggala Lake
Koggala Lake is a beautiful body of water located near Unawatuna, offering stunning views and a variety of activities such as boating, fishing, and bird watching, making it one of the must-visit places to visit in Unawatuna. The lake itself covers an area of approximately 28 square kilometres, making it the largest lake in the southern part of Sri Lanka. Surrounded by lush greenery, the lake provides a perfect backdrop for a relaxing day out with family and friends. The area is also home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, making it a popular spot for nature lovers and bird watchers. The best way to experience the beauty of Koggala Lake is by taking a boat ride. One of the main attractions at Koggala Lake is the Martin Wickramasinghe Folk Museum Complex, which is dedicated to the famous Sri Lankan author Martin Wickramasinghe. The museum provides an insight into the life and times of the author and the traditional way of life in Sri Lanka. Another must-visit attraction is Cinnamon Island, which is located in the middle of the lake. Here, you can learn more about the process of cinnamon cultivation and even purchase some fresh cinnamon to take home as a souvenir.
8. Mihiripenna Beach
Mihiripenna Beach is one of the most tranquil places to visit in Unawatuna, providing visitors with a serene atmosphere to enjoy the natural beauty. It is a hidden gem located between the popular towns of Unawatuna and Thalpe. The beach is a long stretch of soft golden sand, fringed by coconut palms and lush greenery. The clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean gently lap the shore, inviting visitors to take a refreshing dip or go for a swim. One of the best things about Mihiripenna Beach is its unspoiled and pristine surroundings. The beach is free from the usual hustle and bustle of other popular beaches, allowing visitors to enjoy the beauty of nature in peace. Mihiripenna Beach is easily accessible by road, and there are several accommodation options available in the area. Whether you are looking for a luxury villa or a budget guesthouse, there is something to suit every taste and budget. Mihiripenna Beach is a must-visit destination for beach lovers who want to experience the natural beauty and serenity of Sri Lanka. With its pristine surroundings and tranquil atmosphere, the beach is sure to leave a lasting impression on all who visit.
9. Unawatuna Sea Turtle Hatchery
Unawatuna Sea Turtle Hatchery is one of the most unique places to visit in Unawatuna, providing visitors with an opportunity to witness the conservation efforts to protect endangered sea turtles and learn about their behaviour and habitat. The sea turtle hatchery is run by a team of dedicated conservationists who work tirelessly to ensure the safety of the sea turtles that come to the beach. The team collects the eggs that are laid on the beach and safely incubates them in a protected environment. Once the eggs hatch, the baby turtles are released into the ocean, giving them the best chance to survive in the wild. Visitors to the hatchery can witness the baby turtles being released into the ocean, which is a truly unforgettable experience. They can also learn about the different types of sea turtles that visit the shores of Sri Lanka, including the green turtle, the hawksbill turtle, and the loggerhead turtle. In addition to the conservation efforts, the hatchery also runs a turtle feeding program, where visitors can feed the adult turtles. With its educational tours, turtle feeding program, and baby turtle releases, the hatchery provides visitors with an unforgettable experience that they will cherish for years to come.
10. Dalawella Beach
Dalawella Beach is one of the top places to visit in Unawatuna, offering visitors a tranquil and picturesque escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. With its pristine waters, soft sandy beaches, and serene atmosphere, it is no wonder that Dalawella Beach has become a popular destination for tourists looking for a relaxing vacation. The beach is surrounded by lush green vegetation and palm trees, which provide visitors with a picturesque backdrop to enjoy the beauty of the ocean. The warm and crystal-clear waters are perfect for swimming, snorkelling, and other water activities, making it an ideal destination for families and solo travellers alike. One of the unique features of Dalawella Beach is the rope swing, which has become an iconic attraction. In addition to the beach, Dalawella also has a range of restaurants and cafes that offer a variety of local and international cuisine. Visitors can enjoy a refreshing drink or a meal while taking in the stunning views of the ocean. Whether you are travelling solo, with friends or family, or on a romantic getaway, Dalawella Beach is sure to provide you with an unforgettable experience.