You have probably heard or read about Uluwatu’s fame for it’s great surfing waves. Nonetheless Uluwatu has a lot more to offer than only waves. In our opinion we explored some of the most beautiful secluded beaches and areas in this southern part of Bali. There is also less mass tourism, less resorts and less traffic which makes Uluwatu a great spot to explore by scooter.
Depending of your purpose of holiday there are a few options; the coastline is mostly made out of cliffs so it is difficult and expensive to find an accommodation right next to a beach or ocean. Although for around 70 euro you could sleep in the ‘Bubble hotel‘ where you can sleep in a transparent bubble on a cliff with a view on the ocean. If that isn’t your thing then you can do what we did and choose to go for the cheaper option (6 euro / night) at the ‘Karma Backpacker House‘ which is more in the center of Uluwatu with beaches only 10 minutes away by scooter.
As there is less traffic and less tourism, Uluwatu is a great place for renting a scooter. The roads are well paved and only the main road is a bit more busy especially during rush hour. You can also hire a private driver or use the Grab app (see our article here for more info) if you are afraid to drive the scooter yourself.
Sightseeing route (two days)
Our hostel was located in the center of the southern peninsula so the first day we headed West towards Dreamland beach.
A small road will take you right up to the white sandy beach with waves crashing onto the shores. On the left of the entrance you find some beautiful cliffs and a very old looking wooden house on the cliff-face. Be cautious though when trying to enter the water because of the waves and the strong currents.
Drive up to the main road and and go south towards Bingin beach. You will have to pay a parking (5000 IDR) and entry fee (5000 IDR) to enter the small path towards the beach. Most likely you will be able to spot monkey’s jumping in the treetops or running right along side of you. This beach was one of the most touristy and crowded ones but also the smallest. Surf boards are available for rent on the beach with small waves breaking on sandy beaches which makes it fairly good spot for beginners. Also this is a place where you can take out your snorkel and see a variety of underwater species!
About this time you might start to feel hungry. On the way there are several options to have lunch at depending on the money you would like to spend. For example you have ‘Ulu Cliff house‘ which has a beautiful infinity pool and a lookout on the cliffs but the prices definitely more on the expensive side.
Same (but little bit less expensive and without a pool) for ‘Single Fin‘ beach club and ‘Cashew Tree‘. If your plan is not to spend a lot of money on food there will always be some traditional Warung’s along the way.
The ‘Uluwatu temple – Pura Luhur‘ is just along the way and lies on a big cliff. Entrance fee is 30K IDR and every evening around 18.00 o’clock there are live traditional dance performances. We skipped this temple because we had reached and surpassed our temple quota for this month.
Last but certainly not least ‘Nyang Nyang beach‘. Parking is on top of the cliff which also gives you a magnificent view on the ocean. A short but steep hike down will take you to it’s stunning beach surrounded by cliffs. Most probably you will be one of the few tourists there which gives this beach a special vibe. Once you got down from the hike go right towards the rock formations and boulders in the water. Behind these rocks lays a secret gem especially with sunset! One of the most beautiful spots we have seen on our Bali trip.
For the second day we headed out south. There are also several beaches along this coast that are worth going to. Our favorite was ‘Green Bowl Beach‘ with it’s very high waves for surfers and a relaxing pool of still water for sunbathers. Also even though this pool of water is shallow it is very well suited for snorkeling. Find your way through the coral and encounter different colorful fish species.
Lastly, from all over Bali you will be able to see a very big shadow popping up high in the sky. At first you would think this is smoke from a factory or a radio tower from the airport. Nonetheless, it is a 120 meters tall statue that was planned to be established as a landmark or mascot of Bali.
It is built inside the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park (GWK) and devoted to the Hindu God Vishnu. You can either go inside the park which will cost you around 60K IDR or, as we did, scooter yourself to a hidden lookout point from where you can see the statue as well as a view of the coast.