The best things to do in Uluwatu
Bali’s southern peninsula is known for its white-sand beaches framed by limestone cliffs, great surf breaks, chic beach clubs, and the best sunsets in the world. The Uluwatu area is not only surrounded by natural beauty, but there are also impressive temples and cultural parks to explore. Whether you want to visit Uluwatu for a day or you’re lucky enough to stay, we’ve put together a list of the best things to do in Uluwatu.
Nyang Nyang Beach
Nyang Nyang Beach is a pristine stretch of white sand framed by cliffs located in the Uluwatu area. If you are an early riser, it is an amazing place to watch the sunrise and take a walk on the beach early in the morning. Nyang Nyang beach is famous for the lone shipwreck emerging from the sand and the steep steps down to the beach mean it’s never too crowded. There are two ways to enter Nyang Nyang beach, the west entrance is the easiest way down the cliff with a newly built path leading to the beach. The eastern entrance requires a 20-minute walk up a steep and rocky path, so wear suitable shoes and be prepared.
Uluwatu is a famous surf spot with some of the best and most famous waves you can find anywhere in the world. The waves at Uluwatu are usually fast and powerful, making them ideal for experienced surfers. During the summer months, between June and August, the waves rise with big swells, making it a great time to ride big waves – participant or spectator, the choice is yours! For less advanced surfers, September through November is when the waves are smaller and friendlier. Some of the many popular surf spots include Padang Padang, Balangan, Bingin, Dreamland, and Thomas Beach. There are also plenty of surf schools in the Uluwatu area, especially on the more beginner-friendly breaks.
Karang Boma Cliff
Karang Boma Cliff is one of the best sunset spots in Bali. To get there, Google Maps will take you to the end of a paved road where you will find a trail that leads to the top of the cliff. There is an entrance fee of 10k IDR, but it is definitely worth it for the stunning views. The Karang Boma cliff rises above a stunning reef below with turquoise waters as far as the eye can see. But be careful when exploring the cliff, as there are no security barriers. We would not recommend bringing small children. The best time to visit this beautiful place is definitely at sunset, however if you want to avoid the crowds it is much quieter during the day.
Uluwatu Temple is one of the most popular places to visit in Uluwatu. This magnificent Hindu sea temple is a place of great spiritual and cultural importance to the people of Bali. It is one of the 9 directional temples that are believed to protect the island from evil spirits. First built in the 11th century, the temple is located right on the edge of the cliff, so there are many fascinating views and picture-perfect spots. The temple is also a popular place with monkeys and they even have their own pool. Tourists pay an entrance fee of 50k IDR and it is important to be respectful inside. It is mandatory to wear a Balinese sarong that they will give you at the entrance. The temple is open daily from 7am to 7pm, except for Balinese holidays, so check ahead as the Balinese celebrate many different ceremonies. The temple is easy to access with plenty of parking available.
Kecak fire dance
The Kecak Fire Dance show takes place at the Uluwatu Stage inside the Uluwatu Temple. This legendary show uncovers the epic story of the Ramayana in an amazing event filled with dance and blazing fire. A hundred male singing choir performs the soundtrack along with the captivating fire dancers, all dressed in stunning costumes to tell the traditional Balinese story. The Kecak Fire Dance show lasts about an hour and at the end you can take photos on stage with the entire cast in their costumes. Tickets are available for around IDR 150,000 on various booking websites. Do you want to read more about the Kecak Dance? Then take a look at this article!
Chill out at a beach club
Beach clubs can be found all over Bali, but it’s no surprise that with the stunning views, the Uluwatu area is home to some of our favourites. Cocktails and great food by the pool or on the beach, with a live DJ playing in the background while you enjoy a cocktail or two and delicious bites. You can’t go wrong if you spend a day at one of Uluwatu’s beach clubs. . There are often parties and special DJ appearances from sundown until late at night, so be sure to stay. Our recommendations for the best beach clubs in Uluwatu are Sunday’s Beach Club, Karma Beach Club, and Tropical Temptation. Click here to read about the best beach clubs in Bali!
Feast on a lobster brunch at Alila Villas Uluwatu
This Sunday Lobster Brunch is a full-day experience with live music, delicious food, unique drinks, and access to the pool and cabanas after your meal. The brunch experience begins with 3 different types of Bloody Mary followed by an a la carte selection of delicious lobster brunch entrees. Brunch takes place every Sunday from 12-4pm and you are welcome to stay and enjoy access to their famous pool after the lobster party. It’s a relatively exclusive brunch offering with limited seating, so making a reservation before you go is recommended. You can make your reservation here. Do you want to know more about the best brunches in Bali? Read more about our favorite brunch spots in Bali.
Pantai Cemongkak is a hidden gem located between the popular Dreamland and Bingin beaches. Located behind a cliff but still easily accessible, this beach offers beautiful clear waters, a white sand shoreline, and stunning views from the high cliffs. This beach is a great option if you want a calm and relaxed beach day, as it is much less touristy than Dreamland and Bingin. It can feel like a private beach with its low-key atmosphere. Here is how to get there!
Garuda Vishnu Kencana Park
Garuda Vishnu Kencana is one of the most beautiful cultural destinations in Bali. The park has green areas with flowers, an amphitheater, a street theater, shops, restaurants and an impressive statue that is the fourth tallest statue in the world. The park offers a glimpse of Bali’s fascinating cultural heritage. There are daily events like the Kecak Dance show and special events, so be sure to check out what’s scheduled on their website. However, the centerpiece of the park is definitely the huge 120-meter-tall statue of the Hindu god Vishnu riding the mythical bird Garuda. There is a lot to explore in this park, so plan to spend some time here. The park is located about 20 minutes from the Uluwatu temple and this is how to get there.
Tegal Wangi Beach Sea Caves
Tegal Wangi is a small and relatively unknown beach so you can beat the hordes of tourists. There is a small path that goes down to the beach, which makes access a bit difficult, but with an adventurous spirit it won’t be much of a challenge for most. What makes this beach special are the two picturesque sea caves. The first one is smaller but if you keep walking further down you will find the second, bigger cave. Both caves offer a great setting for photos and the uncrowded beach is nice for sunbathing and enjoying the beauty of this lesser known place. At low tide, you can cool off in the natural tidal pools.
Batu Jaran Hill
Batu Jaran Hill is another high cliff in the Uluwatu area and is another great place to watch the sunset. What makes this particular viewpoint worth visiting is the beautiful view as the waves crash against the rocks. This hidden gem offers one of the best views in South Bali, making it a great place to watch the famous Uluwatu sunset. Batu Jaran Hill is located near the Uluwatu Temple and here is how to get there. Be careful near the edge because there are no fences!
Suka Espresso is a popular cafe and restaurant known for its delicious beers. Their coffee is made with beans sourced from all over Indonesia and Suka has multiple outlets all over Bali. With healthy and fresh food, delicious beers and good vibes, this place is the perfect place to stop and recharge while exploring Uluwatu.
Uluwatu Sunset in Single Fin
Perched high on the Uluwatu cliffs and overlooking the legendary surf break, this famous bar and restaurant is a hangout that you must visit at least once. Single Fin offers the best of both worlds: It’s a little more accessible than some of the beach and cliffside lookouts, but it has a much more down-to-earth vibe than the area’s fancy beach clubs. Single Fin stays true to its surf roots and is a super casual spot that still has all the good stuff, like fabulous cocktails you can enjoy by the pool. With live DJ music and surfer vibes, you can spend the day here watching the surfers catch perfect waves and enjoying great food and drinks. Find Single Fin on Instagram here!
massage on the beach
With so many beautiful beaches all over the Uluwatu Peninsula, spending time at the beach should definitely be on your to-do list. And what better way to relax on the beach than with a traditional Balinese massage? At most popular beaches, you’ll find friendly local ladies offering their expert hands to help you relax to a soundtrack of real-life ocean and beach sounds in the background. They are guaranteed to be much cheaper than the massages you can get at home or even at some of Bali’s lush spas, but these women are still highly skilled masseurs. If massages are your thing, check out our article on our favorite spa experiences.
Sundays Beach Club gets a special mention from us every time for its amazing atmosphere, but we want to make sure you stick around for the evening bonfire at sunset. As the sun goes down on another glorious day at Sundays Beach Club, they set up fire pits on the beach so you can sit on a bean bag and roast marshmallows and s’mores. You’ll love sipping cocktails with the sand in your toes while watching the sunset around a campfire. This is how you get to Sundays Beach Club.
We hope this blog has given you some interesting ideas for your visit to Uluwatu. If you want to stay in Uluwatu, be sure to check out our complete guide to Uluwatu and the Bukit Peninsula here.
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