Unawatuna is a pretty fishing village with excellent sandy beaches and palm groves. According to the Discovery Channel, this beach is one of the “top ten” best in the world. There are no large tourist complexes and fashionable hotels in the resort, most of the vacationers here are “savages” who come for a month or more.
There are few attractions in Unawatuna, but they are there. The most famous of them is the Japanese Peace Pagoda. This pagoda, like 79 others around the world, was built by the Japanese and presented to this village as a sign of friendship and peace.
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How to get to Unawatuna
The easiest way to get to the beach through Galle is by bus (20 LKR, 10 minutes on the way) or rickshaw (400-500 LKR). A taxi to the airport will cost from 7000 LKR and at least 5 hours on the way, depending on the traffic in Colombo.
Beaches and infrastructure
Unawatuna Beach is located a couple of kilometers from the city right in the middle of the jungle and is fenced off by a strip of coral reef. This is an absolutely safe place for swimming: the entire coast is sandy, there are no strong currents here, and the entrance to the sea is gentle.
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Once it was a wild beach, but tourists quickly made their way here, and in the high season it is quite crowded. True, this did not particularly affect the infrastructure of the beach. Of course, there were some beach cafes, umbrellas and sunbeds for rent, and even a shower and toilet. However, the feeling of “wild beach” persists to this day.
The proximity of the coral reef creates excellent conditions for snorkelling. It is not even necessary to sail far from the coast to see the beauty of the local underwater world. There are no large shops near the beach, only souvenir and jewelry shops with cheap but good jewelry, as well as workshops where you can buy handicrafts. A whole series of cafes and restaurants stretched along the beach line, which, in addition to the bar, offer their guests sun loungers and umbrellas.
Entertainment and attractions of Unawatuna
There are few attractions in Unawatuna, but they are there. The most famous of them is the Japanese Peace Pagoda. This pagoda, like 79 others around the world, was built by the Japanese and presented to this village as a sign of friendship and peace. This is a traditional Buddhist stupa built in 2004, by the way, a piece of a meteorite, which was found here a year earlier, is embedded in one of its walls. Entrance to the pagoda is free.
The Unawatuna temple is located on a stone cape at the southern point of the beach. It is a white stupa with a spire, on the territory there is a gazebo with a statue of Buddha inside. A single monk lives in the temple, he is also the caretaker.
The Grama Niladhari temple is on the road to Galle. Its main attraction is a sacred tree, and the wall of the temple is painted from the inside with colored paints – images of scenes from the life of the Buddha. Entrance to all temples and pagodas is free.
Once in Unawatuna, you should definitely take a walk in the jungle at least once. Despite the fact that there are houses of local residents and there are paths, this jungle is really impassable in places, dense mangroves, and you can meet tropical animals. One of the most popular tourist attractions is glass-bottom boat rides. This pleasure is quite cheap, since the boats are very spacious, and you don’t have to swim far – all exotic fish and corals are visible almost near the shore.