Uluwatu is a laid back area in Bali with beautiful beaches and luxury cliff top resorts and villas. It’s a great place to relax and get away from the crowds.
Uluwatu attracts surfers from all over the world for it’s range of surfing beaches. When People go to Bali they expect beautiful beaches…then they see Kuta Beach and get disappointed. Well, the beaches here won’t disappoint, although not all are great for swimming.
There are many luxurious resorts perched atop of the cliffs which have stunning views. If you can, staying in Uluwatu would add something special to your Bali trip. If not, Uluwatu is definitely worth a visit to explore the beaches, visit a beach club and have a look at the amazing cliff top views. Accommodation and things to do are very spread out, so choose your accommodation wisely or make sure to have a way to get around.
Although part of the beauty of Uluwatu is relaxing, there are still other things to do. Surfing, beach days, beach clubs, visiting Uluwatu Temple and the Kacak fire dance are some. There are also local cafes and warungs, restaurants in hotels and some other restaurants and bars for eating and evenings out.
10 best Attractions in Uluwatu
The best attractions in Uluwatu and Bukit, Bali’s southern limestone cliff-fringed peninsula, include one of the island’s most iconic temples, together with gorgeous coastlines that also serve as world-class surfing playgrounds. With its vast coastal length and exposure to the Indian Ocean, Bukit attracts wave riders from around the globe to its variety of surf spots.
For one of the must-see cultural performances, head to the open amphitheatre right next to the Uluwatu Temple to see the kecak dance against a dramatic sunset backdrop, or head to the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park in Jimbaran. Alternatively, golfers will enjoy the scenic greens at the premier course in Pecatu, overlooking one of the gorgeous beaches, or splash away at the water park next door. Here we present to you the best places to see while in and around Bali’s famous Uluwatu and Bukit area.
Uluwatu Temple, or Pura Luhur Uluwatu, one of six key temples believed to be Bali’s spiritual pillars, is renowned for its magnificent location, perched on top of a steep cliff approximately 70 metres above sea level. This temple also shares the splendid sunset backdrops as that of Tanah Lot Temple, another important sea temple located in the island’s western shores.
Pura Luhur Uluwatu is definitely one of the top places on the island to go to for sunset delights, with direct views overlooking the beautiful Indian Ocean and daily Kecak dance performances. Balinese architecture, traditionally-designed gateways, and ancient sculptures add to Uluwatu Temple’s appeal.
Garuda Wisnu Kencana
Garuda Wisnu Kencana, or GWK for short, is the name of a cultural park on Bali’s hilly southern coast famous for the ongoing construction of a gigantic statue of Vishnu riding on the back of a ‘garuda’ (a supernatural eagle-like being). The completed part of the statue is of the upper part of Vishnu’s body, the head of the ‘garuda’ and Vishnu’s hands.
The cultural park has become one of the favourite places in Bali for art and cultural performances, exhibitions, and conferences. GWK, once completed at 145 metres, will be one of the world’s tallest statues and erected on the top of the hill, with a magnificent panorama of Bali.
Kecak Fire Dance
The Kecak Fire Dance is one of Bali’s most iconic art performances, famous for its dominant use of human vocals in place of gamelan instruments to accompany the dance-drama at its core. Your visit to the island won’t be complete without seeing a show, and the best place to do so is at the cliff-top amphitheatre located just south of theUluwatu Templeon Bali’s southern Bukit peninsulaand at sunset for added drama.
Usually, the Kecak Fire Dance show is included as part of the package if you booked a common tour to the temple, and which perfectly serves as a closing highlight to your day out in Bali’s south peninsula area. However, you can go just for the show and purchase tickets at the amphitheatre’s ticket booth up front. Tickets for walk-ins range between IDR 70,000 and 100,000 depending on low and peak season, and includes pamphlets containing the synopsis of the drama.
Padang Padang Beach
Padang Padang Beach, locally referred to as Pantai Labuan Sait, is one of Bali’s most famous surf spots, located on the north-western coast of the island’s Bukit Peninsula, and just a kilometre southwest of the Anantara Bali Uluwatu. This beach features an exotic setting; a simply stunning one hundred meter-long stretch of sand that is accessible down a flight of stairs through a unique hollow rock entrance. The surf has a steady set of barrels during good weather, attracting wave riders from around the world.
Part of the group of world-class surf spots that line the coast of the southern peninsula, Padang Padang Beach lies several kilometres in between Bingin and Uluwatu, among which surfers usually hop to interchangeably for a different set of challenges and another thrill for the day. This beach is also a regular spot for international surfing events, the Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang being the most frequent.
Suluban Beach is one of Bali’s most unique coasts, concealed by natural limestone formations and accessed via steps and log ramps through narrow gaps in the rock. Canopied by a looming cliff face, this small beach may not be ideal for sunbathers, but serves pro surfers well as a base to paddle out and ride adjacent reef breaks, including around Uluwatu, just to the south.
Nicknamed ‘Blue Point’, Suluban Beach lies at the end of Jalan Mamo in the coastal area of Labuan Sait, the same locality shared by famous surf spots Padang Padang and Uluwatu. Unless you’re staying at any of the villas that have recently popped up here (the likes of Blue Point Bay Villas), getting here from popular areas such as Kuta and Jimbaran is best by hotel shuttle, taxi or motorbike.
Balangan Beach, locally referred to as Pantai Balangan, is one of Bali’s most popular and most scenic, featuring a gorgeous half-kilometre stretch of golden sand bordered between vegetated limestone cliffs and a reef with one of the longest left-hander breaks on the island. This surfing paradise attracts wave riders from around the world, who enjoy most of the south-western Bukit coastline together with Balangan’s sister breaks of Dreamland, Impossibles, Padang Padang, Suluban and Uluwatu further south.
Balangan Beach shares the same vicinity as Dreamland, set only a kilometre apart and separated by a small headland that serves as the famous signature Hole 15 of the New Kuta Golf Course, from where players get the best bird’s eye-view over both beaches and the ocean horizon. The coastline is accessible down the namesake Jalan Pantai Balangan, an approximate 7-kilometre (4.3-mile) ride west from the Garuda Wisnu Kencana cultural park, and 20 kilometres (12.4 miles) south from the main hub of Kuta. Preferably by taxi, or ask your hotel concierge for available shuttle services.
Pandawa Beach, locally referred to as ‘Pantai Pandawa’, is a great addition to Bali’s collection of gorgeous beaches, located on Bali’s southern Bukit Peninsula. The fine, one-kilometre coastal stretch is located in the village of Kutuh, only five kilometres west from the Samabe Bali Suites & Villas and eight kilometres south from the main hub of the BTDC complex in Nusa Dua.
‘Hidden’ behind large carved limestone cliffs that reveal wide views to the Indian Ocean, Pandawa Beach was once also dubbed as ‘Secret Beach’ and it was officially opened in 2012, fast-gaining popularity among local weekenders and international visitors.
Dreamland Beach is among the collection of ‘hidden’ beaches of Bali: stretches of white sand secluded by limestone cliffs that line the rugged coastline of the southern Bukit Peninsula. The beach became highly accessible following the mega development of the Pecatu Graha and Pecatu Indah Resort projects that, at the turn of the millennium, transformed the 400Ha hilly terrain into the ‘New Kuta’, with Klapa beach club, resorts and the New Kuta Golf course onsite.
Despite rampant development over its limestone landscape, Dreamland Beach retains much of its rugged charm on the sand, particularly for beachgoers, day-trippers and surfers who enjoy some of Bali’s best reef breaks near the shore and close paddle outs to the neighbouring world-class reef breaks, namely Balangan up north and Impossibles down south (both for advanced riders). On the sand, you can choose deck chairs and parasols for rent, or enjoy a cheap massage (IDR 50,000 – 100,000 or USD 3.50 – 7). Hard bargaining is advised.
Bingin Beach is one of Bali’s most popular surf spots, and it’s also one of the island’s hidden beaches, obscured by the rugged limestone cliffs on the southwestern Bukit peninsula. While getting to the stretch of white sand requires a difficult walk over uneven rocks, most people agree it is well worth the effort when they experience the gorgeous beachscapes and exciting waves. When you’re not surfing the sensational reef breaks, Bingin offers a treat for photographers or those simply looking for a place to relax and take in the exotic sunsets.
Overland, Bingin Beach offers a somewhat stark and barren topography, but you’ll have the best panoramic bird’s-eye view from the cliff-top. The best time for non-surfers and beach lovers to visit Bingin is during low tide, when much of the stretch of sand is revealed. There are a number of local bars and warungs (traditional food shacks selling cold drinks and light meals) where you can sit back and enjoy splendid views over the coast, featuring scattered boulders and rock pools.
New Kuta Golf
The New Kuta Golf is one of the island’s premier golf courses, featuring a championship standard course and Indonesia’s first links style layout. The par 72 golf course offers enough variety to ensure a satisfying experience for all golfing skill levels. There are 18 holes, with its signature cliff-top hole 15 overlooking the gorgeous Balangan Beach. The whole course covers a vast 85 hectares with turf consisting of seashore paspalum grass. The golf course is right next to the water park of the same name and is only a 20-minute transfer from the Ngurah Rai International Airport in Tuban. Complete onsite facilities include the Link Restaurant serving western and Indonesian favourites, as well as a pro shop, a spa, and a number of meeting facilities.