The 6 Best Day Trips From Unawatuna

Want to know the best day trips from Unawatuna? Unawatuna is a paradise beach town on the south coast of Sri Lanka. It’s full of deli’s, cafes and restaurants that offer treats from all corners of the world. Days can easily be spent here on a sun lounger on the wide palm fringed beach watching the world go by. But if you can pull yourself away there are some unmissable day trips to be had. Here’s my pick of the best.

1. Wijaya Beach – Frog Rock

widjaya sri lanka frog rock

Sunset at Frog Rock

Just a 5 minute bus or Tuk Tuk ride south will take you to Wijaya beach. It’s great for snorkeling with the odd green turtle swimming about but watch out for the dangerous rip tide. Unlike neighboring beaches a sunbed will cost you a few dollars but make sure to hang around for night fall when Frog Rock will be beautifully silhouetted in front of the setting sun.

2. Koggala Lake and Sea Turtle Hatchery

Hawksbill sea turtle hatchling Sri Lanka

A Hawksbill Turtle hatchling

You can hire mopeds or arrange a tour (we used Kumari tours) to go and see Koggala lake and the sea turtle hatchery. Here you can see turtles that have been injured and rehabilitated as well as eggs and hatchlings waiting to be released. On the way spot traditional stilt fisherman at work on the shore.

3. Galle Fort

Tuk Tuk in Galle

Galle Fort is a perfect day trip from the nearby beach town of Unawatuna. It was built by the Dutch in the 18th century as a headquarters and has stayed culturally removed from the normal towns of Sri Lanka. The beautiful old buildings benefit from UNESCO world heritage status and have now been occupied by some of the trendiest shops, cafes and restaurants in the country. Have a look at my post of the top things to do in Galle.

4. Go Wildlife Watching

Baby Elephant Sri Lanka

While Yala can be done as a day trip it’s an awfully long way and by the time you get there there will have been hundreds of other jeeps that have scared all of the wildlife away. Instead visit the Elephant transit home of Udawalawa National Park where you can even participate in feeding the elephants. Or even closer is Kanneliya rainforest which was designated a biosphere reserve in 2004 and is one of the last remaining rainforest of its kind in Sri Lanka.

5. Swim With Turtles In Hikkaduwa

Hikkaduwa Green Turtles

Just 40 minutes up the road you can find another stunning Sri Lankan beach. Hikkaduwa is probably most well known for its beautiful coral reef and snorkelling and diving opportunities. It’s waters are also ideal for a swim as the beach is shallow with no real dangers or big waves. The most famous residents in Hikkaduwa are a few large and very well fed green turtles. Check out my post on Hikkaduwa for how to find them.

6. Catch A Wave In Mirissa

Mirissa beach Sri Lanka

Famous for it’s surfing and young crowd Mirissa is a must see on the south coast of Sri Lanka. There is so much to do and see here why not stop for a night or two? But it can also make a great day trip as it’s only 45 minutes on the bus from Unawatuna. Fall in love with the chilled vibe and even more relaxed waiters at the beach bars, just don’t be in a hurry to get anywhere! Have a look at my list of the top 5 things to do in Mirissa. and top 5 foodie spots.

Unawatuna is a perfect base for a stay on the south coast of Sri Lanka with easy transport links and a good tourism infrastructure. There are some really great and easy day trips from Unawatuna to make it worth staying for a little longer than you first thought. Still not sure where to stay?

Check out my post Mirissa, Unawatuna or Hikkaduwa? Where to spend a couple of weeks on the south coast of Sri Lanka.

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Jo Williams

A Brit that got fed up of the 9 to 5 corporate life, I sold everything to become a full time wanderer. Having travelled to over 70 countries so far, I share my money-saving tips and secrets from inside the travel industry. Hoping to inspire you to work less and travel more.