Unawatuna Island: A Coastal Haven of Serenity, Culture, and Adventure

Unawatuna Island is a hidden gem located in the southern coast of Sri Lanka. This tiny island, only a few kilometers in length, boasts a stunning beach, crystal-clear waters, and a thriving marine ecosystem. It is a perfect destination for anyone looking to relax and unwind in the lap of nature. In this article, we will explore the island in detail, covering everything from its history to its attractions and activities.

History of Unawatuna Island

The history of Unawatuna Island can be traced back to the ancient Sinhalese civilization. It is believed that the island was used as a trading hub by the Sinhalese, who were known for their maritime skills. The island was also used as a strategic point to defend the southern coast of Sri Lanka from invaders. During the colonial era, the island was occupied by the Portuguese, Dutch, and British, who left behind a rich cultural heritage that is still evident in the architecture and cuisine of the region.

Getting to Unawatuna Island

Unawatuna Island can be accessed by road or by boat. The nearest airport is the Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo, which is approximately 150 kilometers away. From there, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to Unawatuna. The journey takes about three hours by road. Alternatively, you can take a train from Colombo to Galle and then take a tuk-tuk to Unawatuna. The journey by train takes about two hours.

Accommodation on Unawatuna Island

Unawatuna Island offers a range of accommodation options to suit every budget. From luxury resorts to budget guesthouses, there is something for everyone. Some of the popular options include the Amari Galle, Jetwing Lighthouse, and Thaproban Pavilion Resort & Spa. If you are on a tight budget, there are plenty of guesthouses and homestays that offer comfortable and affordable accommodation.

Attractions and Activities on Unawatuna Island

Unawatuna Island is a paradise for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts. The island is surrounded by pristine beaches that are ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxing. Some of the popular beaches include Unawatuna Beach, Jungle Beach, and Dalawella Beach. The beaches are also popular for snorkeling and scuba diving, with plenty of opportunities to spot colorful coral reefs, tropical fish, and marine turtles.

If you are interested in exploring the history and culture of the region, there are plenty of attractions to visit. The Galle Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that dates back to the 16th century. The fort is a testament to the colonial era and offers stunning views of the Indian Ocean. Other popular attractions include the Japanese Peace Pagoda, the Rumassala Sanctuary, and the Handunugoda Tea Estate.

For adventure seekers, there are plenty of activities to keep you occupied. You can go on a whale watching tour, take a boat ride to watch dolphins, or go on a safari in the nearby Yala National Park. The park is home to a wide range of wildlife, including elephants, leopards, and crocodiles.

Food and Cuisine on Unawatuna Island

Unawatuna Island offers a diverse range of cuisine that reflects its multicultural heritage. The local cuisine is heavily influenced by Indian, Dutch, and Portuguese flavors, resulting in a unique fusion of spices and ingredients. Some of the popular dishes include rice and curry, string hoppers, and kottu roti. Seafood is also a staple of the local diet, with fresh fish and prawns being readily available.

If you are looking for a taste of international cuisine, there are plenty of options available, including Italian, Chinese, and Japanese restaurants. For those with a sweet tooth, there are plenty of dessert options, including traditional Sri Lankan sweets such as dodol and kavum.

Sustainability and Conservation Efforts

As tourism grows on Unawatuna Island, it is important to ensure that the environment is protected and preserved. Several organizations and initiatives have been set up to promote sustainable tourism and conservation efforts on the island. These include beach clean-up campaigns, recycling programs, and eco-tourism initiatives that support the local community. Visitors are encouraged to practice responsible tourism by reducing their carbon footprint, supporting local businesses, and respecting the natural environment.


Unawatuna Island is a hidden paradise that offers something for everyone. From its stunning beaches and rich cultural heritage to its diverse cuisine and range of activities, the island is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Sri Lanka. By practicing responsible tourism and supporting conservation efforts, visitors can ensure that this beautiful island remains a pristine and sustainable destination for generations to come.

What is the best time to visit Unawatuna Island?

The best time to visit Unawatuna Island is from December to March when the weather is dry and sunny. However, the island can be visited year-round, with the monsoon season occurring from May to September.

Are there any cultural or religious customs that visitors should be aware of?

Sri Lanka is a multicultural and multi-religious country, and visitors should be respectful of local customs and traditions. Dress modestly when visiting religious sites, remove your shoes before entering temples, and avoid public displays of affection.

Is it safe to swim in the waters around Unawatuna Island?

The waters around Unawatuna Island are generally safe for swimming, but visitors should be aware of strong currents and rip tides. It is recommended to swim in designated areas and follow the instructions of lifeguards.

What is the currency used on Unawatuna Island?

The currency used on Unawatuna Island is the Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR). Visitors can exchange their currency at banks and exchange offices, or withdraw money from ATMs.

I Laksitha ,nature,history lover and blogger,

Related Stories


The Magnificent Nine Arch Bridge in Sri Lanka: A...

Have you ever heard of the Nine Arch Bridge in Sri Lanka? If not,...

1 of Beauty Bambarakiri Ella Falls

BambaraKiri Ella Falls Rathtota, Matale, Sri Lanka Bambarakiri Ella waterfall is a beautiful and tall waterfall...

Little Adam’s Peak For Best Hiking Experience

Little adam's Peak Little Adam's Peak Height- 1141M In Sri Lanka, Ella is very famous all...

Sigiriya: 8th Wonder Of The World

The Majestic Rock Fortress of Sri Lanka In the heart of the resplendent island of...

Sembuwaththa Lake is My no 1 Lake

Beautiful lake "Sembuwaththa lake " "The environment is Awe-Inspiring" Deep -  9m to 12m Sembuwaththa lake is...

Dunhinda Waterfall Sri Lanka:A Spectacular Natural Wonder

Are you looking for an adventure that involves mesmerizing natural beauty, lush greenery, and...

Popular Categories