Unawatuna

Unawatuna beach

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

Get in

The real live Unawatuna lies inside of Route A2 Galle - Matara main road. Unawatuna is located just 5 km south of Galle. The original village where it all started, Yaddehimulla, you turn off the main road just before 123 km Post. The tarred road, a kilometre in length, brings you to the best area of Unawatuna with all the guest houses, homestays, restaurants, hotels, internet cafes, tuk-tuk stands, boutique hotels etc.

Most of them are on the world wide web with their own websites. If you search on any major search engine with keywords like Unawatuna, Unawatuna homestays, etc. you will find a host of sites offering varied style of accommodation.

By plane

Unawatuna is 150 km from Colombo's Bandaranayaka International Airport in Katunayaka. Public transport from Bandaranayake International Airport to Colombo is available just outside the airport. The journey through busy Colombo roads take over 3 hours by private vehicles. Most hotels and guesthouses offer an airport pick-up service for a hassle-free quick get-away (8500 rps).

By train

From Colombo downtown, catch the Matara-train (with ocean-view) and jump off in Galle (takes almost three hours, 180 rps) and take either a tuk-tuk (300-400 rps) or local bus (15 rps) from Galle to Unawatuna. Recommended from Colombo downtown to Galle are aircon mini-buses that take three hours as well (230 rps).

By bus

Alternatively take the route 138 bus to Maharagama (one to one and a half hours) then hop on Sri Lanka's only highway bus (470 rps) to ride the rest of the way to Galle in a modern air-conditioned coach in around an hour. The highway is currently being extended to the airport to the north and along to Hambantota on the South Coast.

There is also a recently introduced direct bus service from the Hill Country which stops at various locations along the south coast including Mirissa and stops at Unawatuna before terminating in Galle.

Get around

By tuk-tuk

The easiest way to get around is by tuk-tuk. Day trips to Dutch Fortress in Galle (200 Rupees one-way), Martin Wickremasinghe Museum in Koggala, Hikkaduwa (1,000 Rupees one-way), Mirissa (900 Rupees one-way), Ahangama can be fun on a tuk-tuk. Deal with the driver, make sure there are NO hangers on, or you will be taken for a ride. They can be hired for the whole day, just the trip or to be dropped off some destination. Most of them can be contacted by mobile phone. Get an idea of their charges before hand.

By private transportation

Longer trips and round tours can be arranged with car or vans. Sunrise Tours near the Wella Devalaya got well maintained cars and vans.

By bus

Public transport trains and air-con buses are the cheapest mode of transport. There is a regular public bus service to and from Galle's main bus-station. The 5km journey takes 15 minutes for 19 Rupees. From here you can get buses onto Colombo (bus, luxury-AC minibus (approx. 230 Rupees) or using the express service (which uses the new express highway) (470 Rupees) or any other destination north along the A2. Galle train station is next door to the bus station.

See

Do

Scuba Diving

Sea Horse Divers, Address,  +94 77-6277622, e-mail: . 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.

Buy

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.

Eat

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.

Drink

Sleep

You will find a huge amount of nice guesthouses in Unawatuna. Guesthouses on the beach are usually the most expensive and they become cheaper if you move away from the beach.

Budget

Mid Range

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, September 04, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.