Renowned for the golden beaches that encompass the island, Sri Lanka has long attracted tourists seeking sand, sun-bathing, swimming, water sports, deep sea fishing and diving. Quaint coastal hamlets have expanded to welcome tourists staying in homely guesthouses, mainstream hotels or luxury boutique villas by the sea. Fringed by palm trees, with soft sand and azure waters, these beaches make an ideal holiday location beside the Indian Ocean.
The vibrant town of Unawatuna remains one of the top holiday destinations, even considered by some to have one of the best beaches in Asia. During the Dutch colonial period, the Dutch settlers, who fought for Galle in 1640, built houses for their officers in this town, some of which are seen to date, in their untouched exteriors.
Today, the town is alive during most times of the year, drawing tourists and fun-seekers to its tranquil beaches. The coral reef and shipwrecks in this area can be explored through the many scuba diving and snorkeling activities offered by various diving centres along the beach. Rich in biodiversity, Unawatuna is home many endemic birds as well as an enthralling variety of fish and turtles. The Turtle Hatchery of Habaraduwa gives visitors the opportunity to observe the hatching process of endangered turtle species.