Jungle Beach, Sri Lanka
What is the Jungle Beach in Sri Lanka?
Located just northwest of the beach Located within walking distance of Unawatuna and a quick jaunt from Galle, Jungle Beach in Sri Lanka is the most accessible and easiest choice for enjoying a day of snorkeling.
Jungle Beach is a tiny, semi-hidden bay surrounded by jungle. Although the beach is hardly a ‘secret,’ many tourists mistakenly pay extra for snorkeling trips that include a boat ride to Jungle Beach.
The reef at Jungle Beach is pretty well dead, however, you’ll still encounter plenty of small marine life and may even get lucky enough to see one of the sizable sea turtles that make regular appearances on the beach.
Options for Getting to Jungle Beach
First and foremost: Ignore anyone on the path who offers to show you the way to Jungle Beach! These ‘guides’ are con artists and will take you on an unnecessarily complicated route through the jungle and then ask for money.
Just carrying a snorkel mask through Unawatuna will bring lots of offers from tuk-tuk drivers for a trip to Jungle Beach. Catching a ride means missing out on the pleasant, 30-minute walk and lots of opportunities to see birds, flowers, large butterflies, monitor lizards, monkeys, and other wildlife along the way!
Alternatively, you can rent a scooter in Unawatuna — the best place for rentals is at the corner of the beach access road and main road to Galle
Dive shops offer boat rides from Unawatuna to Jungle Beach, however, you’ll pay a premium and will be under time constraints; the boat waits for you as you snorkel.
Snorkeling at Jungle Beach in Sri Lanka
The reef and snorkeling begin only 30 feet away from the beach — directly in front. You can also snorkel around the rocks on both sides of the bay, but beware of waves pushing you too close to the sharp edges. The current is weak and waves typically aren’t an issue at Jungle Beach.
Among schools of colorful reef fish, you may also encounter crabs, moray eels, trigger fish, parrot fish, barracudas, and maybe even a turtle.
Allocate a few minutes on the way out for looking around the large Japanese Peace Pagoda located just above the beach. The Sunset Point, marked by a sign on the road to Jungle Beach, offers far better sunset views than those in Unawatuna, but you’ll need a flashlight for the walk back.
Renting Snorkel Gear
You need to take your own snorkeling gear with you to Jungle Beach.
Snorkel gear can be rented in many shops and borrowed from some guesthouses, however, you’ll get far better equipment and a mask that doesn’t leak from one of the dive shops in Unawatuna.
Sea Horse Divers — located on the northeast side (to the left when facing the water) — of the beach at Unawatuna rents professional snorkeling equipment for only a few dollars per day