Unawatuna has a modest range of diving, snorkelling, surfing and other watersports on offer, with two good diving schools: Submarine Diving School, at the western end of the beach, and Unawatuna Diving Centre, around the bay to the east. Both offer the usual range of PADI courses, plus single and introductory dives and wreck and deep dives (there are no fewer than eight wrecks in the vicinity, including an old wooden English ship, the Rangoon, lying at a depth of 30m), though they’re rather more expensive than in nearby Hikkaduwa. Diving is best between October and April.

You can snorkel off the beach at Unawatuna, although it’s not wildly exciting; you might see a few colourful tropical fish, and there’s a little patch of live coral where the waves break in front of the Submarine Diving School. The best two snorkelling spots are Rock Island, about 1km offshore, and around the headland facing Galle at Jungle Beach, where you’ll find live coral and fish. For the former you’ll need to hire the Submarine Dive School’s glass-bottomed boat, which can also be used to reach Jungle Beach. Alternatively, Jungle Beach is reachable by tuktuk, or by foot (though it’s a convoluted 45-min walk, and very easy to get lost; ask for directions locally). Submarine rent out expensive snorkelling equipment, as do a couple of cheaper shacks on the beach nearby. Check all equipment carefully, as there are plenty of dud masks and snorkels in circulation.

A lot of locals surf at Unawatuna, though the waves aren’t nearly as good as at nearby Hikkaduwa or Midigama. Boards can be rented at the Submarine Diving School.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Sri Lanka features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Video: 5 reasons to visit Sri Lanka

Video: 5 reasons to visit Sri Lanka

From remote, palm-dotted beaches to ancient temples and some of Asia's best wildlife-watching opportunities, Sri Lanka has something to offer every kind of trav…

19 Jan 2018 • Olivia Rawes videocam Video
Your Sri Lanka itinerary: 5 trip ideas to explore the country

Your Sri Lanka itinerary: 5 trip ideas to explore the country

Sri Lanka is deceptive. On a map of the world it appears to be tiny, but the moment you arrive you’ll realise that within its diminutive borders it packs in a…

18 Jan 2018 • Stuart Butler insert_drive_file Article
10 Sri Lankan foods you need to try

10 Sri Lankan foods you need to try

The tear-shaped Indian Ocean island of Sri Lanka is a true culinary treat. Through years of colonisation and trade, many cultures have influenced its cuisine, c…

17 Jan 2018 • Sarah Gilbert insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

Mandatory - can not be deselected. Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

PHPSESSID,aelia_cs_selected_currency,cookie_notice_accepted,RS,bp-message,bp-message-type,id,UIDR,w3tc_logged_out,__cfduid
__cfduid

Statistics

Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.

__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid,__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xt
__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid
__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xtc

Marketing

Marketing cookies are used to track visitors across websites. The intention is to display ads that are relevant and engaging for the individual user and thereby more valuable for publishers and third party advertisers.

__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID,__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll,c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs
__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID
__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll
c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs