Uluwatu is a cliffside area on Bukit Peninsula. It is located on the southernmost point in Bali and is world renowned for being a surf destination. But Uluwatu isn’t just a surf destination as it offers quite a few interesting activities including some of Bali‘s most iconic spots.
Although just 30 minutes ride from the busy streets of Kuta and popularity is ever increasing, Uluwatu is still pretty much laid back. Bukit Peninsula is rather big and to get the most out of a trip, having your own transport would be best. Streets are not busy so opting for your own wheels is a great option.
We initially planned to stay only a few days in Uluwatu but ended up spending more and traveled to other parts of the peninsula. Must add that we are not surfers so this wasn’t part of our activity.
Most beaches on Bukit Peninsula are good for surfing but not ideal for swimming. This is why we wrote an article highlighting the beaches where we swam and are suitable for swimming.
>>Before your trip to Bali make sure to read these Bali Travel Tips.
Things To Do in Uluwatu
Uluwatu Temple for Sunset and Kecak Dance
Uluwatu Temple is the most popular attraction on Bukit Peninsula. The temple is built right on the edge of a cliff and the main draw here is the impressive views that overlook the cliffs’ side and the crashing waves underneath.
One way to get the most out of your trip to Uluwatu Temple is to plan your visit for sunset and then stay for Bali’s iconic Kecak Dance performance at the temple itself.
The Kecak Dance takes place in the amphitheater which is located inside the temple. The artistic performance is predominated with chanting sounds by a large chorus, beautiful costumes and a fire dance.
The entrance fee for the temple is 50k IDR (3.50$) and 100k IDR (7 $) for the performance.
Tips: Get to the temple by 4 pm in order to allow for some time taking in the beautiful views from the top and buy the performance tickets as soon as they start selling.
Be aware that monkeys roam the temple so avoid having food and put away sunglasses.
Enjoy the Amazing Views from Karang Boma Cliff
Karang Boma is very close to Uluwatu temple and in fact part of the temple can be seen from here. What makes this viewpoint stand out is the contrasting white color of Karang Boma cliff and that the rock formation protrudes outward onto the ocean.
The cliff can be clearly seen from another viewpoint just a few metres away. Although there isn’t any safety railing along the edge, it is quite safe as the viewing area is big. But don’t get too close, plants and grass make it unclear to judge where the edge is.
Enjoy Sundown at Sunset Point Uluwatu
As you will surely find out while in Uluwatu, sunsets over the west coast are amazing and not to be missed. Our preferred spot for watching the sun setting down must be Sunset Point Uluwatu Bar.
This bar is popular for watching the sun sink into the ocean which comes as no surprise. The views are one of a kind and are coupled with a chilled vibe which makes it a good spot to unwind.
Explore the Beachside at Suluban Beach
Suluban beach is most popular for its surf though we spent a morning here exploring the beachside at low tide. Entrance to the beach is through a cave and on one side the bay is covered with scenic rock formations while on the other a shipwreck lies on the sandy part.
Enjoy a Lazy Afternoon at Thomas Beach
Looking for a relaxing spot by the beach away from the hustle and bustle of Bali? Then Thomas beach is the perfect spot for you.
A short bumpy ride off the main road and a flight of stairs lead to this beautiful yet quiet beach. Although not the calmest sea, Thomas Beach is one of the beaches in Uluwatu where we swam. Sunbeds and umbrellas are available for rent though at one side of the beach there are some trees providing shade. The surf is great for beginners and surfboards are available for rent.
Sunset (or Sunrise) at Balangan Viewpoint
Balangan viewpoint is on the north western side of Bukit peninsula and is known for being a good sunset spot. Instead we decided to come here for sunrise which turned out to be a great option.
The vantage point overlooks Balangan’s cliff side bay to one side and another bay to the other. From this other side, the sun rises from behind the cliffs making for a nice sunrise while at sea we could already watch surfers riding the waves just underneath.
Trek Down a Hill to Nunggalan Beach
Fancy a trek down a hill to a deserted long stretch of beach? Then you might want to visit Nunggalan Beach which is located south on Bukit Peninsula. Nunggalan beach does not get a lot of visitors and we had the beach to ourselves when we visited.
Other Things To Do on Bukit Peninsula
Swim, Relax and Enjoy Sunset at Melasti Beach
Melasti beach is one of the few beaches on Bukit peninsula that is good for swimming. Besides being a good option to take a dip, Melasti was also a favorite of ours for a beautiful sunset. The sun doesn’t actually set right in front of the beach but sinks behind a cliff to the further end of the bay. Some beach bars are set up along the bay though on our visit were closing once the sun started to set.
We visited Melasti in the afternoon and after enjoying the spectacular views from the top, we explored the long coastal stretch and later took a dip in the crystal clear water while enjoying the sunset.
Tip: You might want to combine a visit to Melasti Beach after that to GWK Cultural Park since it is just 6 km away from Melasti. The cultural park is a new attraction in the south of Bali with some parts still under construction. The park’s highlight is the huge Monument of Vishnu, a Hindu god, riding Garuda a bird like creature. Regular traditional shows are also organised at the park.
Sunrise at Gunung Payung and a Walk along Deserted Beaches
Starting out early morning especially while holidaying might not be appealing. Though we always tend to be rewarded with magical moments and sunrise at Gunung Payung was one of them. This beach is rather unpopular so it was no surprise when we were the only ones enjoying sunrise. From over the hills which overlook the shallow waters, rock plates and the reef, the views were breathtakingly beautiful and serene. At the top there are some warungs where we opted to eat noodles for breakfast.
A road dug through the rock hills takes you down to the beach from where we walked to other deserted beaches and arrived at Timbis beach. Water at Timbis was crystal clear and we could not help but take a dip in the refreshing sea. The hill on top of this beach is popular for paragliding and we enjoyed watching the paragliders up above us. The next beach after Timbis beach is Padang Bay which can be accessed either by walk or unlike the other beaches by bike or car.
It is not recommended to walk to the other beaches either from Padang Bay or Gunung Payung during high tide.
Spend an Evening in Nusa Dua
Nusa Dua is located to the east of Uluwatu and is the luxury, high end area of Bukit peninsula. In spite of us not travelling in luxury, we still enjoy a fancy night out and Nusa Dua was definitely great.
Nusa Dua is perfect for a late afternoon stroll along the beachside followed by dinner at one of the sea front restaurants. A promenade passes through the various restaurants overlooking the beach, pontoons and small peninsulas with temples.
Tip: Being so close to the Waterblow, you might want to check out this spot while in Nusa Dua. The main attraction is watching the waves crashing against the rocks and a blowhole.
Sunbathing at Pura Geger Beach
Pura Geger is a quiet beachside area close to Nusa Dua which is ideal for sunbathing and relaxing by the beach. We visited this area in the afternoon at low tide and though I couldn’t resist not taking a dip in the crystal clear water must say that sea level was quite shallow. Away from the small sandy part and on the other side, the beachside is predominately rocky and we spent some time exploring the area.
Sometimes we just need that vacation, even when we’re actually on vacation.
Spending an afternoon, evening or even a whole day at a beach club is like a break away from the occasional holiday stress.
If you happen to be anywhere around Uluwatu you’ll be in no shortage of such a treat.
Beach clubs are scattered all around the southern Peninsula. And just get better and more stunning the more you search.
Most of the beach clubs offer loungers and have beautiful pools thus expect to pay steeper prices on food and drinks.
Single Finn – one of Uluwatu’s popular beach club, great for sunsets thus does get much attention for a sun downer.
Omnia – infinity pool and great all day round. Stunning ocean and cliff views.
Karma beach Bali – highly rated and thankfully not so popular, thus great for chilling and relaxing. You can reach the place with a cable car.
Beach clubs are marked in Yellow on map.
Map of Attractions in Uluwatu & the rest of Bukit Peninsula
Click on the right most button to enlarge the map, get the map legend and search the map.
Once you have shortlisted a couple of accommodations you can plot these on the map above to check how they relate to Bukit Peninsula’s main attractions.
Getting around Uluwatu and Bukit Peninsula
We explored Uluwatu and Bukit Peninsula by scooter. The daily cost of renting a scooter for 24 hours is 50k IDR or 3.50$. If you do not feel comfortable driving a scooter, the other option is hiring a car with a driver for a number of hours. Rate per hour varies and amongst other things depends on your negotiation skills and the itinerary. Alternatively, taxis can be pre-booked online.
District 6 is a popular restaurant that can easily be reached after visiting Sunset Point Uluwatu.
The restaurant does get a lot of attention especially once the sun has gone down as everyone heads here for a great meal. District 6 serves some mouth watering western dishes including pizzas, burgers and delicious salads.
Breeze Cafe is located on the north western side of the peninsula and is also not too far from Sunset Point Uluwatu. The restaurant is a great option for those wanting to indulge in some authentic Indonesian dishes.
We stumbled on this restaurant on our way to a close by beach. What attracted us was the beautiful fresh beach look design and the food was also great. Jacqueline had grilled tuna steak and was cooked to perfection, grilled on the outside and red inside. And as they serve Vietnamese food I had a Banh Mi which I barely managed to eat.
Food court in Jimbaran
Along Uluwatu Street is a food court with a large selection of dishes from around the world. We can’t really find the name of this food court but we have a name of a stall located here. If you google Kedai Citrawangi this is a stall inside the food court.
Chinese, Indonesian, pork, pizza and sushi stalls are found here. Also prices are on the low side and you can get a full meal including a beer for 50/60k IDR (5.60$ / 4.30$).
>>After Uluwatu we traveled to Ubud, Bali’s artistic town. Then we moved further north and settled for some days in Pemuteran. After we went east and explored east Bali while having our accommodation in Amed.
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