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Unawatuna and around

Unawatuna and around

The village of Unawatuna is one of Sri Lanka’s most popular resorts. There is a fine stretch of beach, although it has somewhat narrowed in places due to erosion and encroachment by local businesses. Numerous guesthouses dot the village, and restaurants, shops and tour operators abound. There are also street vendors trying to sell souvenirs or touts offering services such as texis and guided tours.

Despite becoming increasingly commercialized, Unawatuna still attracts visitors with its laidback charm and year-round swimming. A semi-circular belt of sand, the beach is set in an attractive bay protected at both ends by a headland. The water here is calm for most of the year and there are a number of watersports on offer, including snorkeling and wreck-diving. Other interesting activities include cookery lessons and yoga classes. Unawatuna also offers a vibrant nightlife, although it can sometimes get very noisy; music blaring from bars at all hours of the night during high season is commonplace.

At the western end of the beach is a dagoba, from where there are some good views over the surroundings area. Another attraction is Rummassala, a rocky outcrop behind the village. Legend states that it is a fragment of the Himalayas dropped by the Hindu monkey god Hanuman as the made his way back to Lord Rama, carrying the herb needed to save his wounded brother, Lakshmana. Another bit of the mountain is said to have fallen on Ritigala. Higher up the Rumassala hillside is the modern, white Japanese peace pagodafrom where visitorscan enjoy the great views of the Galle Fort. The hill also known for the number of the rare plants and medicinal herbs that grown on it.

On the other side of the hill is Jungle beach. Often largely, deserted, this is the good spot for snorkeling and can be a welcome relief from the busy main beach. Visitors can either hire a three-wheeler or walk the flatter, longer route around the hill to get to the beach.