How to enjoy the best snorkeling in Unawatuna Beach

by | May 21, 2023 | Asia | 0 comments

Unawatuna is a popular beach destination in Sri Lanka, famous for its golden sand, turquoise water, and palm-fringed shore. But did you know that Unawatuna also has some amazing underwater attractions that you can explore with just a mask, snorkel, and fins? Snorkeling is a fun and easy way to discover the vibrant marine life and coral reefs that lie beneath the surface of the Indian Ocean. In this blog post, we will share with you some tips and tricks on how to enjoy the best snorkeling in Unawatuna Beach.

Where to snorkel in Unawatuna Beach

There are two main spots for snorkeling in Unawatuna Beach: Unawatuna Bay and Jungle Bay¹². Both of them offer different experiences and sights, so you can choose according to your preference and skill level.

Unawatuna Bay

Unawatuna Bay is the main beach area of Unawatuna, where you can find many hotels, restaurants, and shops. It is also where you can access the Unawatuna Rocks, which are located about five minutes by boat from the shore¹. The rocks are home to a variety of fish, corals, and other marine creatures, as well as a small shipwreck that you can explore¹. The water depth here ranges from 3 to 10 meters, so it is suitable for beginners and intermediate snorkelers¹.

Jungle Bay

Jungle Bay is a secluded beach that lies at the foot of the Rumassala Mountain, about half an hour by boat from Unawatuna Bay¹. It is named after the lush green forest that surrounds it, creating a natural and serene atmosphere. The bay has a very shallow entry point, which makes it ideal for snorkeling from the shore or from the boat¹. You can expect to see colorful corals, sponges, sea stars, anemones, and many kinds of fish here². The water depth here is less than 5 meters, so it is perfect for beginners and families with children¹.

How to snorkel in Unawatuna Beach

Snorkeling in Unawatuna Beach is not difficult, but it does require some preparation and safety precautions. Here are some things you should do before and during your snorkeling adventure:

  • Rent or bring your own snorkeling gear. You can find many places that offer snorkeling equipment for rent in Unawatuna Beach, such as hotels, dive centers, and shops. Alternatively, you can bring your own mask, snorkel, and fins if you have them. Make sure they fit well and are comfortable to use.
  • Book a boat tour or hire a guide. If you want to snorkel at Unawatuna Rocks or Jungle Bay, you will need to take a boat ride from Unawatuna Bay. You can book a boat tour with one of the local operators or hire a guide who can take you there. They will also provide you with safety instructions and tips on where to see the best marine life.
  • Check the weather and water conditions. The best time to snorkel in Unawatuna Beach is from October to April when the weather is dry and sunny and the water is calm and clear¹. Avoid snorkeling during the monsoon season (May to September), when the water can be rough and murky. Also, check the tide chart and avoid snorkeling during low tide, when the water level can be too shallow and expose the corals.
  • Wear sunscreen and protective clothing. The sun can be very strong in Sri Lanka, especially during midday. To prevent sunburns and skin damage, apply sunscreen generously on your exposed skin and reapply after every hour. You can also wear a rash guard, a hat, or a bandana to protect your head, neck, and shoulders from the sun. Avoid wearing jewelry or shiny objects that can attract unwanted attention from fish.
  • Respect the marine environment. Snorkeling is a great way to appreciate the beauty of nature, but it also comes with a responsibility to protect it. Do not touch, feed or harass any marine animals or plants. Do not step on or break any corals. Do not litter or leave any trash behind. Be mindful of your surroundings and avoid disturbing other snorkelers or swimmers.

What to expect from snorkeling in Unawatuna Beach

Snorkeling in Unawatuna Beach can be an unforgettable experience that will enrich your holiday in Sri Lanka. You can expect to see some of these amazing marine creatures during your snorkeling trip:

  • Fish: There are hundreds of species of fish that inhabit the waters around Unawatuna Beach, ranging from small and colorful ones like clownfish, butterflyfish, angelfish, and parrotfish, to larger and more impressive ones like barracuda, tuna, trevally, and snapper.
  • Corals: The coral reefs around Unawatuna Beach are not as extensive as those in other parts of Sri Lanka, but they are still worth seeing for their diversity and beauty. You can find hard corals like brain coral, table coral, and staghorn coral, as well as soft corals like sea fans, sea whips, and sea pens.
  • Other marine life: Besides fish and corals, you can also encounter other fascinating marine life forms while snorkeling in Unawatuna Beach. Some of them are sea turtles, rays, octopus, squid, cuttlefish, sea urchins, sea cucumbers, and nudibranchs.


Snorkeling in Unawatuna Beach is one of the best ways to enjoy your vacation in Sri Lanka. It is a fun and easy activity that anyone can do with minimal equipment and preparation. It will also give you a chance to witness the amazing underwater world that lies beneath the surface of the Indian Ocean. So what are you waiting for? Grab your mask, snorkel, and fins, and get ready for an adventure!

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