Unawatuna beach

Unawatuna is considered to be the best beach in Sri Lanka. The Discovery Channel called it the best beach in the world. The lagoon is located about 5 km away from the old southern Galle Fort. You can easily combine relaxation sessions on the beach with visits to the numerous sights.

Beach description

The ideal natural aquamarine pool with a sloping golden shore is worth visiting for both experienced travellers and those who haven't yet visited many countries. The bay, surrounded by capes on both sides and protected by coral reefs from the sea side, will make your stay here calm and quiet.

The narrow path among coconut palms creates an additional barrier for highway noises. Unawatuna is, however, easy to reach, if you walk between the small shops, cafes and snack bars that are aplenty here.

Tourists are mostly "wild", just like the beach itself. It can get crowded during high season, and families with children, lonely travellers and couples will enjoy the local beauty very much. The swimming is completely safe: the descent is smooth and sandy, fast currents are non-existent here.

There are no luxurious hotels or restaurants on the beach, which makes it appealing for many visitors. But basic conveniences are of course present:

  • Shower and toilet are installed.
  • You can rent umbrellas and sunbeds in many cafes.
  • Many water sports and other activities are available here.
  • Parties, mostly of a certain theme, are regularly held.
  • Swimming, surfing, yoga, beach tennis, culinary lessons, cold beer, coconut with straw - do as much as you like.

The underwater world is thoroughly explored by tourists with all kinds of equipment. You can watch sea turtles, moray eels, sharks, blue whales and smaller specimen. "Above water" explorers of the sea bottom don't lose anything, as the nearby corals provide a great opportunity to look at the tropical underwater dwellers through glass bottoms of boats.

It all makes for a perfect slow vacation. You can lay on your sunbed with a cocktail in your hand or climb boulders at the beach so the tide can wash you. Thoughts about endlessness and such come here during sunset, accompanied by the noise of primal ocean.

When is the best time to go?

The best time to travel to Sri Lanka is the period from November to April, when the weather is dry. In summer, the rainy season takes place in Sri Lanka, however, the prices this season are much lower. So if you are not afraid of rainfalls (which commonly take place at night, and by morning the ground dries up), a trip in the summer can be a great option for a budget holiday. 

Video: Beach Unawatuna


Unawatuna remains untouched by civilization thanks to its location among jungles and coconut groves. There are no tourist complexes or supermarkets here, but visitors can stay in comfortable hotels and guest houses, eat at the nearby cheap restaurants and cafes and buy souvenirs in the local shops and jewellery shops.

You can frequently hear local merchants near hotels, offering your auto rickshaw rides, tours and various products (including marijuana). Ayurvedic massage and spa enthusiasts are offered many opportunities.

You can watch monkeys right from the bungalow terraces of the 3-star Flower Garden Hotel, which feels like 4-star. You can also book one of the suites of a two-story building. The area, covered in lush flowers and palms and isolated from the road noises, is well-guarded. Suites are cleaned every day, and the food is great. Each of the two pools has a zone for children. Tired travellers relax in a spacious hot tub, while the suites have everything necessary for a cup of tea or coffee. Chipmunks and monitor lizards replace cats here, and bats eat the unsupervised fruit over nights. You can exchange money here at the reception.

You can spend the evening in a restaurant on the coast, there's no variety in activities. Some restaurants, however, organize open air movie nights, and the movies are in Russian language.

Gastronomical tourists are offered a wide array of seafood: many different fish and crabs. Blue marlin or tuna steak are the tastiest.

The 10-minute auto rickshaw ride to Galle will cost you just 200 rupees. The local fish market is full of fresh seafood, like the enticing good-smelling shrimps. The supermarket has everything in store for you, excluding alcohol. You can buy any fruit at Unawatuna, without leaving it as well.

Weather in Unawatuna

Best hotels of Unawatuna

All hotels of Unawatuna
Thaproban Pavilion Resort and Spa
rating 8.5
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Thaproban Pavilion Waves Unawatuna
rating 8.3
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Villa Thawthisa The Boutique Hotel
rating 7.7
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Useful information

  1. The road from Colombo Airport to Galle takes about 3 hours via a lively road in a crowded bus or a much more comfortable rented car.
  2. You can visit Unawatuna any time of year. The best period is from August till September. It's frequently raining in Autumn and Winter here.
  3. You will need to wear slippers if you decide to explore the jungles or boulders on the beach.
  4. If you give money to beggars, it'll be hard to get away from them.

Where to visit:

  • Jungle Beach, accessible by boat from Unawatuna.
  • The ancient stone Buddhist temple Yatagala Rejamaha Viharaya.
  • The tropical Sinharaja forest in Galle district (covers almost 100 km2).
  • Dutch Galle Fort.
  • Koggala Lake and its islands with unique ecosystem.
  • Turtle nursery.
  • Canoe tours along old channels and lagoons.

The beach participates in ratings:

52 place in rating TOP-100 of the best beaches in the world 1 place in rating South Asia 1 place in rating Sri-Lanka
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