On the south coast of Sri Lanka, just a few minutes away from Unawatuna you will find Dalawella Beach. This absolutely awesome spot may just be the best beach in the whole country. Check out why we think it deserves the title!
Sri Lanka is blessed with mile after mile of beautiful golden sand so I don’t make this claim lightly. We live for awesome beaches and Dalawella Beach ranks up there as one of the most amazing. From rope swings to turtles, it’s got it all. If you are planning a trip here, there is no way you can leave this off of your Sri Lanka itinerary.
We were kind of confused as to the difference between Wijaya Beach and Dalawella Beach when we arrived on the south coast, but were informed by the locals that it is actually the same place – just another name for it. While it isn’t located in Unawatuna, it is only a short journey away and is way better than the main Unawatuna beach.
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Getting to Dalawella Beach
As mentioned above, the best place to stay when visiting Dalawella Beach is Unawatuna. To get to Dalawella Beach from Unawatuna you can grab a tuk tuk which takes less than 10 minutes and should cost around 200 – 300LKR ($1.13 – $1.70 USD). We advise getting dropped off at Dream Cabana hotel as this is where the famous Dalawella palm tree rope swing is and walk around the corner to the lagoon.
You can also catch the local bus here if you are on a budget trip in Sri Lanka and really want to do it the cheapest way possible. It passes through Unawatuna approximately every 20 minutes so you shouldn’t have to wait around for too long.
Reasons to Visit Dalawella Beach
1. The Palm Tree Rope Swing
This rope swing has shot to fame recently on Instagram and has become a hotspot for tourists and for good reason. The bent palm tree hangs over the beach and the rope swing allows you to swing out over the water. It is absolutely unreal for sunset and makes for some seriously beautiful photos, although it can get quite busy at this time.
It costs 500LKR ($2.83 USD) to have a swing, but we reckon it’s probably worth it for the best beach swing in Sri Lanka. To find the rope swing just search for Dream Cabana hotel and you will see the swing right in front of it on the beach.
2. Wijaya Rock
Located a few hundred metres further east down the beach is Wijaya Rock. This big chunk of rock sticks out of the sand and juts into the ocean. It also has a horizontal palm tree growing alongside it making it a really cool photo spot. In addition to the rope swing, this is another sweet place to catch the sunset and keep an eye out for the turtles swimming below.
The Dalawella Beach turtles are famous in this region as there are so many of them swimming right off the beach here. They often swim right into the lagoon, meaning you don’t even have to snorkel to have an epic encounter with these beautiful creatures. Just wade through the water and watch them swim in the crystal clear ocean.
If they aren’t swimming in the lagoon, then you can spot them from the top of Wijaya Rock or just rent a snorkel from the beach and go swimming with them. We threw the drone up at sunset and there were loads of turtles swimming around just a few metres from shore.
4. The Lagoon
Located slightly further down from Wijaya Rock is the lagoon. This waist deep, crystal clear water is an absolute oasis. The water temperature is perfect to chill out in, the outer reef protects you from the waves and if you get lucky you might even have some turtles swimming around you. We spent a couple of hours floating around the lagoon, trying not to get sunburnt.
5. Dallawella Beach Restaurants & Bars
There are a couple of restaurants located right on the beach meaning you can east some Sri Lankan food and grab an ice cold beer all while watching the sun go down on this stunning beach.
Where to Stay in Unawatuna
We stayed for a few nights at Mr Funk’s Hostel. It cost 2600LKR ($15USD) per night for a private double room with a fan. It is a really chilled little spot just outside of town. A really cool garden, simple clean rooms and a relaxed vibe made this a great place to stay. They also do group dinners most nights. The food we had was so delicious plus it created the perfect social and friendly atmosphere. The only drawback is that it’s slightly out of town but we think it was worth the extra 5-minute walk.
If you are planning a trip to Sri Lanka, then Dalawella Beach has to be on your itinerary. We were only in Unawatuna for a few days but we made sure we visited this beach several times in that short period. It is a beautiful palm tree lined beach that has so much going on it almost isn’t fair to all the other beaches in Sri Lanka. I know I’ve already said it, but make sure you do not miss this epic beach. Have you been to Sri Lanka recently? Let us know what you think the best beach is in the comments!
*Please note, prices are a reflection of our experiences while traveling Sri Lanka in March 2019 and are subject to change. Prices quoted in LKR were the exact prices we paid and USD conversions are listed for your convenience.