When people visit Uluwatu and Nusa Dua, most commonly Uluwatu Beach and Uluwatu Temple are on everyone’s list with a few other beaches thrown in there. But if you really want to explore the beauty of South Bali, here’s where to go.
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Table of Contents
- 1 Beaches in Uluwatu
- 2 Beaches in Nusa Dua
- 3 Best Temples
- 4 Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park
- 5 Travel Tips for Bukit Peninsula
Beaches in Uluwatu
Unlike South Bali, the Uluwatu beaches are made from white sand like the beaches around Canggu. The waters are a crystal clear blue. This is the tropical paradise Bali as you will see on postcards.
Plus, these South Bali beaches aren’t as polluted as in the North. (Especially if you come in high season.) Many a wedding takes place along the Uluwatu shoreline.
What makes the beaches special is that you can have grand views from atop the cliffs. And some epic waves, popular with surfers. Especially around Nusa Dua you can see them catching the waves throughout the day.
To give you an idea of what beaches in Bukit are there and what they have to offer, read on.
Ever been to a beach where you had to go down a cliff and through a cave? Suluban Beach is one of those. You can park atop the cliff and then make your way through a few souvenir shops and down the cliff.
Just a little North of Suluban Beach lies Uluwatu Beach. From there, you can go into Suluban Cave or up again to a restaurant on the rock, featuring an outdoor swimming pool.
While sunbathing isn’t really an option at Uluwatu Beach, you can go swimming and surfing. Just watch out for the tide in case you leave your towel and shoes on the beach.
Nyang Nyang Beach
Nyan Nyang beach isn’t very busy although it is not so unknown. For a romantic getaway right by the beach, book a stay at the Bubble Hotel Bali.
It is an outdoor hotel room in a giant transparent bubble, from where you have epic sunset views by the beach.
Fancy exploring the bow of an abandoned ship that is entirely covered in graffiti? You can find that in the middle of Pantai Nunggalan. Park your scooter at Plenilunio Villa and make your way down the cliff from there, which takes around 20 minutes.
At Bingin Beach you have big, crushing waves. Surfers will love it! Not for nothing, it is one of the most popular surf spots in Bali. Getting here from Uluwatu Temple takes only 10 minutes by scooter.
If you’re not into surfing, come at low tide to chill on the sandy beach. Just be prepared to walk over slippery rocks if you want to get into the water.
Don’t put Melasti Beach high on your Uluwatu beaches list. It’s currently under construction but you can still visit the top of the cliff and enjoy the views.
Green Bowl Beach
It’s a nobrainer that all along the outline of Bukit Peninsula you are bound to run into a beach. And pretty much all the Uluwatu beaches are scenic. For a more hidden spot, try Green Bowl Beach in Bali.
It stretches over a mere 30 metres and you have to go down a steep cliff but you will avoid the masses! And that’s a pretty good reason as any.
This Bali beach is rather popular and can be easily reached as it connects Bukit Peninsula with the rest of Bali. Not only can you get your surf on, but it’s a great spot for foodies as well.
If you came for snorkelling in Bali, know that Balangan Beach has the a beautiful reef in its bay. You might have to come during calmer days as the left hand breaks are highly attractive to surfers.
Tegal Wangi Beach
This beach is perfect for photography lovers. The hidden Bali beach has only a short and narrow stretch of sand at the foot of a rugged cliff.
Admire both the amazing views both from atop the cliff as well as from below the publicly accessible stretch of sand.
Padang Padang Beach
Also in Pecatu, Padan Padang Beach in Bali might be second in popularity behind Uluwatu Beach. It’s a prime surf beach in Bali with regular surfing events happening here.
Furthermore, it features beach bars with sun chairs (around 25,000 IDR) and can be accessed via stairs. Wear water shoes* if you want to go swimming during low tide. There are many rocks to cross during that time.
Blue Point Beach
If you have a drone, this Bali beach is absolutely irresistible – particularly at sunset. The beach is publicly accessible via stairs down the cliffs. If you don’t want to go down, stay at one of the cafes overlooking the ocean.
Beaches in Nusa Dua
Nusa Dua is not even 90 minutes away from Uluwatu Beach but you should make the detour if you are a passionate surfer. Over here, surfing is fantastic and there are several beaches where the waves are just right.
By the way, Nusa Dua means two islands, by which Peninsula Island to the South and Nusa Dharma Island to the North are meant.
Pandawa Beach originally was named Penyekjekan Kutuh Beach. It’s super close to the abandoned airplane in Uluwatu. You can easily combine it in one go.
A bonus: Most beaches on Bukit Peninsula are below steep cliffs and you have to make your way down steep inclines. However, this one is more easily accessible thanks to the driveway that was built into the rock and all the way to Pandawa Beach.
Nusa Dua Beach
Nusa Dua is full of five star hotels and many of these are around Nusa Dua beach. There are beach clubs and restaurants along the promenade, some even have swimming pools.
Apart from seaside activities, you can play at the golf court and experience Indonesian dance at the Devdan Show. You can easily buy a ticket online and get a private transfer arranged*.
If you come for sunrise and are lucky enough that there is a high tide with high waves crushing on the
limestone cliffs. The Windblow is a popular local attraction because of its 30 metres high water splashes.
Since beaches are below the steep cliffs, getting to the water can be a bit tricky and involve a lot of windy roads. It is a little different at Pantai Baru, however. You can drive right through the limestone cliffs as a road was cut in.
Geger Beach is rather small but very picturesque with the Pura Geger Temple in front of the Indian Ocean. The temple is very pretty but not open for tourists. From the temple, you can follow a trail down to the sandy beach.
Another Nusa Dua Beach is Mengiat Beach with its long stretch of light yellow sand. It is publicly accessible despite many hotels being located right at the beach. The water of the bay is clear. Be aware of a few riptides when you decide to swim or snorkel here.
One of the most impressive religious sites in all of Bali is Pura Mandala. This isn’t just a regular temple. It’s actually a two hectare big complex featuring Balu’s five prominent religions.
You will find a Catholic and Protestant church next to a mosque, a Buddhist temple and Hindu temple. A huge parking lot allows for ample parking and there are regular ceremonies in each sacred building.
Pura Nusa Dharma
Leading away from Nusa Dua beach and on a small park-like peninsula lies the Nusa Dharma Temple. It is a small temple that is publicly accessible. To enter, you have to wear traditional temple attire.
Pura Bias Tugel
Nusa Dharma is not far from Bias Tugel Temple, which lies on the southern one of the Nusa Dua islands.
This historic temple is one of Bali’s many water temples, such as Tanah Lot. On the day of the sixth full moon, you might be lucky to witness a local ceremony.
Upon your visit, take a closer look at the intricate carvings in the dark grey walls. As it sits a bit higher above Geger Beach, you can enjoy splendid views from here.
Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park
The huge cultural park is quite the attraction in Bali. It’s only a 15 minute drive away from Bali’s airport and is hard to miss. After all, it features the tallest free standing statue in the world with a height of 23 metres (75.5 ft). The GWK can be spotted as far as Echo Beach in Canggu.
Both park and statue have only been opened in summer 2018 and the entrance fee is around 5€. (Book online here*) Inside the park, you can admire gigantic figures of Hindu deities. The tallest one depicts Hindu god Vishnu and his mythical mount Garuda.
You can rent a segway to get around easily, time your visit to the regular local dance performances. Plus, there are short animated movies playing several times a day at the Garuda cinema
Travel Tips for Bukit Peninsula
What to Pack
Since you are headed to the beachside, swim stuff is a necessity. Wear your bathing suit underneath, bring a quick dry towel* and sunglasses*. Since sunscreen and tanning lotion* are expensive in Bali, I would pack those as well. Don’t forget to opt for the environmentally friendly kind*.)
If you drive your own scooter, bring your helmet, international driver’s license, a sarong* to cover the hot seat and a light tunic* or kimono* for cooler nights. (And to protect your skin from the tiny insects at dusk. Driving through them kinda hurts.)
Most of these attractions on Bukit Peninsula in Bali are free but it’s always a good idea to have cash on you. Maybe you want to get a fresh coconut or a bottle of water.
How to Get Around
If you are staying on Bukit Peninsula in Bali South, you can easily take a Go-jek to get around to closer locations. (There’s a free app and it’s a must have when in Bali.)
Should you come down from Kuta, Legian or Denpasar, the cheapest way is by Bluebird taxi. Use the free app to avoid getting a fake car off the street and getting scammed.
For a day trip combining several sites, I recommend getting a tour. You can ask in facebook forums or at the “tourist information” shops on Bali’s streets. These are basically just taxi drivers offering day rates for touring you around.
If you want to make sure English is spoken well and you don’t mind travelling in a small group, you can also book an arranged tour. A classic is the Uluwatu sunset and Kecak dance tour, which also hits up Padan Padang beach. Check availability.*
The most popular way to get around Bali, however, is by scooter. If you know how to confidently drive a scooter and want to brave the windy and busy roads of Bali, you can rent one. You can rent your scooter and get it delivered in advance here*.
Scooter day rates are around 50,000 to 75,000 IDR, weekly rental costs between 300,000 and 400,000 IDR and monthly rental is double that.
Where to Stay in Uluwatu
A luxury hotel room or even villa is rather affordable in Bali – for solo travellers as well. Granted, South Bali and Uluwatu hotels especially aren’t as cheap as further up North.
For around 70 USD a night, you can get spacious, Bali-style hotel rooms with access to pools underneath the palm trees at PinkCoco Bali. Check availability here.*
If you’re more the resort loving type, try Le Grande Bali with its huge outdoor pool and sleep design. Each room comes with either a balcony or terrace. Plus, there is a spa and a karaoke facility at this Uluwatu resort! Reserve your stay here.*
For the ultimate instagrammable hotel in Uluwatu, try Mule Malu Tropical Stay. Rooms are painted in bright white with tasteful honey coloured wood details and splashes of colour. There is a working desk, a safe and it’s only 750m away from Bingin Beach. Check availability here.*
Tell me: Which things to do in Uluwatu would be your priority?
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