If you are looking to escape from the crowds, then Dalawella beach is where you want to visit. Unawatuna beach is perfect for swimming but it is crowded with visitors and is still busy.
Dalawella beach stretches for miles, and is separated by several coves and bays. If you’re looking for some peace and quiet beach, you can walk a little further up the beach (just past the first cove), and almost no one else is going to be in sight. However, you cannot swim in these areas, which is why the first part of the beach is most crowded.
There are actually many wonderful things to do at Dalawella beach! It’s not only about the famous palm tree swing during sunset or the Ship Rock, but you can also go snorkeling, witness a local way of fishing which is called ‘stilt fishing’ over the reef and some other things.
The Palm Tree Rope
Once you are at Dalawella Beach, the exact location of the palm tree rope is actually in front of a Dream Cabana guesthouse.
The guys at Dream Cabana built the swing for themselves as something fun and it’s evolved into one of the most talked about spots in Sri Lanka. It’s crazy how something built by a few mates in Sri Lanka has become an item on the bucket list.
The Dream Cabana swing was originally free but they’ve all started paying for a go between 200 and 500 rupees now. It’s not too much and it’s a lot of fun so you definitely should be doing it.
There are now at least eight separate swings along the beach at Dalawella. If you’re not concerned about the photo and just want to do it for fun, either of them will do. But if you want to catch a good picture you’ll probably have to decide which one is better for yourself.
The Ship Rock
There’s another very cool photo opportunity at Dalawella beach alongside the palm tree rope swing. Facing the sea with your back to the rope swing of the palm tree, you have to walk to the left for a few hundred meters on the beach until you see the Ship Rock. The Ship Rock is located in front of the beach resort of Sri Gemunu.
This rock is shaped like a ship’s bow, and is thus called “Ship Rock.” This spot is very cool especially with sunset as the Sri Lankan sky can turn into pink orange and purple at the same time. If you or your travel buddy is standing on the rock and the other person takes pictures from below, you’ll make a very cool silhouette. This will be a great reminder of the wonderful Sri Lankan sunsets!
Witness the ‘Stilt Fishermen’
Just a little further down Dalawella beach you can see the Stilt Fishermen which is an old traditional form of fishing in Sri Lanka. Stilt Fishing requires a great deal of skill and balance and allows the fisherman to sit a few meters above the water which causes minimal shadows and little disturbance to the sea life. While this is an ancient tradition in Sri Lanka, the fisherman now sits there only for the visitors.
Be aware that they are asking (a disproportionate amount of) money for it if you want to take a picture! Perhaps you need a tele-lens so that you can capture them in your lens from a distance.
Snorkel to spot turtles or watch the baby turtles being released
Dalawella beach is also famous for spotting sea turtles, so consider renting a snorkel in the lagoon to find them. If you are at Dalawella beach at night or after sunset, it’s necessary to keep your eyes peeled as it’s a common nesting spot for turtles too!
As the tortoises are endangered, locals are doing their best to help the baby tortoises survive by protecting the eggs until they hatch and then releasing them back into the ocean at night when there is less risk from predators. To spot the tortoises, you will have to go all the way to the right side of the beach, which is also called “Turtle Beach” on Google Maps.
The Scenic Sunset at Dalawella Beach
It wouldn’t be complete considering Dalawella Beach if one didn’t mention the scenic sunset at Dalawella Beach.
As the sunset colours in Sri Lanka can get really epic, the best time to visit Dalawella beach is with sunset. Especially with the two beautiful photo opportunities like the palm tree swing and the ship rock. Although, if you want to enjoy some sunbathing time and go for a swim, you might want to arrive earlier at the beach to enjoy some Vitamin D and the beautiful stretch of sand!
When to visit Dalawella Beach
The best months to visit the south coast of Sri Lanka are from January until April and from July until September. In between those months you have more chance of rainfall because of the monsoon. Temperatures in Sri Lanka will be great and warm throughout the year when calmer seas and lower rainfall make the ideal weather for explorers. . Although on the south coast along the beaches it will always be a bit warmer than more inland.