Unawatuna

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Unawatuna is a small beach resort village in southern Sri Lanka.

6.008128 80.266314
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Hotels

  • 5 star hotels 5 star hotel
  • 4 star hotels 4 star hotel
  • 3 star hotels 3 star hotel
  • 2 star hotels 2 star hotel
  • 1 star hotels 1 star hotel

Cities

  • Metropolis over 100 hotels
  • Big city 50-100 hotels
  • Medium city 20-50 hotels
  • Small city 5-20 hotels
  • Village below 5 hotels

Points of Interest

  • Beach Beach
  • Business object Business object
  • Casino Casino
  • Civic property Civic property
  • Education Education
  • Entertainment Entertainment
  • Golf course Golf course
  • Green space Green space
  • Harbor Harbor
  • Historic site Historic site
  • Interesting place Interesting place
  • Medical Medical
  • Monument Monument
  • Museum Museum
  • Shopping Shopping
  • Skiing Skiing
  • Sports facility Sports facility
  • Theater Theater
  • Winery Winery

Points of Interest in Unawatuna

  • Japanese Peace Pagoda (2 km from Unawatuna). A gift from the Japanese, this amazing pagoda is well worth a visit. To get there you can take a 3-wheeler or to walk (20 minutes) follow the road through Unawatuna (away from the A2) until you reach the small t-junction. Turn left to return to the western tip of the beach and the temple, turn right for the pagoda. Continue up the hill, following the clear signs for Jungle Beach. The pagoda, and the rocks further along the track, offer amazing sunset and wildlife photograph opportunities.
  • Jungle Beach (3 km from Unawatuna). A small beach lost in the the jungle. This is the best place in the area for snorkelling, with easy access to the water and a sheltered bay from the stronger waves and currents in Unawatuna. Access by boat, by tuk-tuk from Unawatuna or alternatively follow the directions to the Japanese Peace Pagoda, continuing along the track towards the sea.
  • Turtle Hatchery, Matara Road, Habaraduwa (About 3 km south of Unawatuna). Day time. A hatchery run by individuals just off the Beach to conserve turtle eggs laid on the wide long beach stretching all the way to the hotels in Koggala. Hawksbill, loggerhead and green turtles nestle here. 300 rps.
  • Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya, Yatagala Unawatuna (Turn off at Eramudugaha junction),  091 2222199. Day&Night. Ancient Buddhist Temple built by Sri Lankan Royalty dating back to 2300 years when a sapling of the Sri Maha Bo Tree in Anuradapura was planted here during the reign of His Majesty Devanam Piyatissa. Donations accepted.
  • Handunugoda Tea Estate. The world's only producer of Virgin White Tea. Visitors will be treated to a free tour of the grounds with complimentary cake and tea at the owner's bungalow overlooking the picturesque jungle and paddy fields of Tittagala. Following that a tour and explanation of the tea processing plant is provided - the machinery may or may not be in operation at the time of visit. Finally guests are invited to sample dozens of teas and can purchase those that they wish. The plantation also produces rubber and grows a host of other fruit and spice producing plants. Although interesting, the tour guides seem to vastly over exaggerate the health benefits of their products. [1]
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About Unawatuna

Activities

Scuba Diving

Sea Horse Divers, Address,  +94 77-6277622, e-mail: 67rohana@gmail.com. One of the many diving centres on the Unawatuna beach, good instructors, possibility to dive for people without license with a discovery dive. 25€ per dive.

Snorkeling

The coral reef allows to discover beautiful fishes and seashells. Snorkels and masks can be borrowed in guesthouses or diving centres.

Swimming

Unawatuna bay is safe for swimmers. From the middle of the beach (Unawatuna Beach Resort area) it is safe to swim to the rock island, however climbing the rock island itself might be dangerous and is not recommended. It will take you one hour or more to go and come back. Giant but friendly sea turtles might pop up close to you.

Boat Rides

Take a boat ride to see the local reefs. In off-season, expect high-pressure sales and reneging of struck deals followed by demands for extra cash.

Walk to Mihirripenna

Total walking time, about an hour and a half. Leaving the tourist area walk along the main road towards Unawatuna town then take a right up the road next to the Unawatuna Tea Room. This takes you up past the town school and sports ground (locally known as the Olympic Ground) then winds through the jungle in a southernly direction. The picturesque and quite setting is a welcome break from the noise and bustle of the town and tourist strip. After crossing the railway line twice, which locals use as a footpath in itself, the road joins back onto Matara Road (the main south coastal road). Turning left will lead you towards a group of cafes and hotels. The Wijaya Beach Cafe provides excellent sunset views over the sea and has a coral reef a short way offshore, taking the strength out of the waves.

Food

In Unawatuna most guest houses have their own restaurant business. All over the beach and inside Unawatuna town you will find places to eat delicious seafood, rice and curry, vegetarian menus, rotty, Italian food etc at reasonable prices. Recommended:

  • South Ceylon Restaurant. Paradise for vegans / vegetarians. Wonderful service, reasonably priced organic food. http://www.southceylonrestaurant.com
  • Peacock restaurant. Comfortable place with affordable food and the best sea views.
  • Unawatuna Beach Resort - for those who prefer extended buffets.

Drinks

  • Riddim, Matara Road,  +94 9112242015, e-mail: florinl@gmx.ch. Restaurant and bar located at the east end of the beach. A bar for the fans of world and reggae music. Parties organized on Wednesday and Sundays.
  • Kingfisher, beach party on Saturdays.
  • Happy Banana, disco party on Fridays.
  • Lucky Tuna, also located on the beach.

Shopping

The streets and beach of Unawatuna offer dozens of places to buy jewellery, clothing, art and other souvenirs. There are no ATMs or money changers, the closest ATM to Unawatuna is in HSBC bank located on Route A2 heading towards Galle.

This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Unawatuna on Wikivoyage.

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