Unawatuna is a leading tourist attraction in Sri Lanka, known for its golden sandy beaches and coral. It is located in the district of Galle and is 108 kilometres south of Colombo. Rich in biodiversity, Unawatuna has 60 species of endemic birds which include herons, terns, kingfishers and sandpipers. Some of the rarer species found in this beautiful city are lesser whistling duck, white-breasted waterhen, black bittern and Loten’s sunbird. There are wonderful varieties of fish, turtles, corals and shipwrecks. The turtles lay eggs in their nests by wading to the shore.
Unawatuna lies inside route A2 to Galle on the Matara main road. You turn off at the 122-kilometer post, at the original village in Yaddehimulla. If you are travelling from the Bandaranayake International Airport in Katunayake, there are 150 kilometres to Unawatuna. There is the Southern Expressway which allows locals and tourists alike to go in a faster and easier mode.
Transportation Options from Colombo to Unawatuna
When travelling by car from Colombo to Unawatuna through the busy Colombo roads, it takes over three hours. However, if you are travelling on the Southern Expressway straight from the Katunayake Airport, it can take up to 2 hours. If you are specifically travelling by taxi, it will cost you between LKR 9,000 to 10,000. There are many taxi cabs and services at the airport itself which allows tourists to pick and choose according to rates and comfort.
There’s a bus which travels on the Southern Expressway which is air conditioned and has recliner comfortable seating. The bus starts its journey from Maharagama, and it costs LKR 500 which is quite affordable even to the local person. It takes from 1 to 2 hours to get to your destination.
Tourists can take the train another affordable means of travelling to Galle from Colombo. It is cheaper than an air conditioned bus and will cost 250 LKR in 2nd class. The 1st class may be a little more expensive. Most trains have 3rd class as well. However, it can get crowded, and you may end up not having your own seat. If you are starting your journey at Colombo Fort, there will be trains leaving at 8.35, 10.30 and from Maradana at 13.40 and 15.50.
Unawatuna is a coastal city and can walking is one of the best options when you are in the city itself. Visitors can make use of the tuk-tuk which can be either hired for an entire day or to be dropped off in a particular destination. Round tours and longer trips can be arranged with vans or cars. There is also a public bus service which operates from the main bus station in Galle. It is a 5 kilometer journey which takes 15 minutes and cost 21 rupees.