Dalawella beach is located on the south coast of Sri Lanka in the Unawatuna area. Though the main beach is pretty nice it’s also a touristy place because of the two main attractions that attracts many people to this beach. You can swing at the famous palm tree rope swing and make instagrammable pictures at the ‘Ship Rock’, a rock formed as the bow of a ship. Despite that it can get crowded at this beach, you really have to put Dalawella Beach on your Sri Lanka itinerary as it’s one of the best things to do in Sri Lanka! Read in this blog post everything about Dalawella beach and the things to do!

How to get to Dalawella beach

Dalawella beach is easy to find as it’s located close to the main road, only with some small alleys in between. You can rent a scooter and explore the south coast on your own, but most of the time you need to leave your passport to be able to rent the motorbike. Because we never want to leave our passport with others, we didn’t choose to rent a scooter this time. So we explored Unawatuna beach and Dalawella beach by Tuk Tuk. The driver dropped us at a turquoise sign to Dream Cabana Guest house which leads via an alley to the beach. When you reach the beach you’ll see the famous Dalawella beach swing on your right side. This is actually not the main beach of Dalawella. So if you want to get to the bigger stretch of sand of Dalawella, you have to walk along the beach. 

dalawella-beach-sri-lanka-sunset

Best time to go to Dalawella beach

Because 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! There are more things to do at the beach, which I will go into in the next paragraphs. 

sunset-dalawella-beach-sri-lanka

Things to do at Dalawella beach

There are actually many awesome 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. Read further to find out about all the details of the best things to do at Dalawella beach!

Dalawella beach swing

The Dalawella palm tree swing has been an overnight success thanks to Instagram. The founders of the palm tree swing are the owners of Dream Cabana Guesthouse and make a good profit nowadays from the tree swing. Especially with sunset this spot is very popular, so be prepared for some company!

How to get to the palm tree rope swing

The location of the palm tree swing is in front of the Dream Cabana Guesthouse. It’s actually not the main beach of Dalawella beach nut right around the corner. If you type into Google Maps ‘Dream Cabana Swing’ or The Palm Rope Swing’, it will give you the exact location.

How much does the palm tree rope swing costs

In the first place the people from Dream Cabana Guesthouse made the palm tree rope swing for themselves. Just for some fun, little did they know it would turn into a huge instagram hit and one of the most talked spots of Sri Lanka. Nowadays the palm tree rope swing is on many travellers bucket list for Sri Lanka. Due to it’s popularity, the guys from Dream Cabana Guesthouse ask now a fee of 500 rupee to go for a few swings at the palm tree swing.

palmtree-swing-dalawella-beach

Ship Rock

Besides the palm tree rope swing, there is another really cool photo opportunity at Dalawella beach. This rock is formed like the bow of a ship and is therefore being called as the “Ship Rock”.  Especially with sunset this spot is very cool as the sky in Sri Lanka 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 will create a really nice silhouette. This will be a great reminder of the wonderful Sri Lankan sunsets!

How to get to the Ship Rock

Facing the sea with your back to the palm tree rope swing, 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 Sri Gemunu beach resort. There is no fee to take pictures or the Ship Rock.

ship-rock-dalawella-beach-sri-lanka-sunset
ship-rock-dalawella-beach-sunset-sri-lanka

Snorkel to spot turtles or watch the baby turtles being released

Dalawella beach is also popular to spot sea turtles, so consider renting a snorkel to search for them in the lagoon. If you’re at Dalawella beach at night or after sunset, keep your eyes peeled as it’s a popular nesting spot for turtles too! Since turtles are endangered, locals are doing their best to help the baby turtles 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 turtles you have to go all the way to the right side of the beach, this part is on Google Maps also being called as “Turtle Beach”.  You can talk to the guys at Dream Cabana as they will often show you the turtle babies if they happen to have any hatch that day to release later.

baby-turtle-sri-lanka
turtle-sri-lanka

Witness the ‘Stilt Fishermans’

Just a little bit further down Dalawella beach you can see the Stilt Fishermans which is an old traditional fishing method in Sri Lanka. Stilt Fishing requires much skill and balance and allows the fisherman to sit a couple of meters above the water causing minimal shadows and little disturbance to the sea life. This results in a higher chance of catching their dinner. Although this is an authentic Sri Lankan tradition, nowadays the ‘fisherman’ are sitting there just for the tourists. Be aware that if you want to take a picture they ask (a ridiculous amount of) money for it! Or you have to have a tele lens so you can catch them in your lens from far away 😉

stilt-fisherman-beach-sri-lanka

Things to do around Dalawella beach

There are many more thing to explore along the south coast of Sri Lanka. You can go to the cosy and laid back beach town Hiriketiya to learn surfing. But there are many more amazing beaches in Sri Lanka on the south coast which you might want to check out. Secret Beach in Mirissa is one of the hidden gems of Sri Lanka’s south coast. You can also go dolphin and whale watching in Mirissa and Trincomalee. Those are the best places in Sri Lanka for whale watching with opposite seasons. Visiting Coconut Tree Viewpoint is also a thing you must include on your things to do list in Sri Lanka. Together with a day trip to Galle, which an Unesco World Heritage Site where you can visit the Galle Fort and lighthouse. 

dondra-lighthouse

Weather South Sri Lanka

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. Although on the south coast along the beaches it will always be a bit warmer than more inland.