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11 amazing things to do in Uluwatu, Jimbaran & the Bukit in Bali

When you mention fun things to do in Bali, most people generally think about areas such as Seminyak, Canggu & Ubud.

But no one really recognises the Bukit area as a place where you go for some fun.

Everyone associates this area with great surf. After all, you are in the heart of surfers’ territory with great names like Padang, Dreamland, Impossibles, Balangan, Uluwatu, Bingin and Greenbowl. Just the thought of this gets most avid surfers frothing at the mouth.

But for those of you that haven’t experienced the wonders of surfing, the whole of the Bukit tends to get a ‘ho-hum’ reaction from most people who have never been there or who tend to do the ‘same same’ holiday in the Seminyak area.

People tend to think of the Bukit as a place where honeymooners go, or families hibernate to escape the crowds in their luxury holiday clifftop villa overlooking the ocean ( which is actually not a bad thing to do) or where couples have their weddings.

Well, folks, Jimbaran, Uluwatu, Pandawa, Ungasan, for that matter, the Bukit area is jam-packed with exciting things to do.

Also read: Where to Stay in Uluwatu – Uluwatu’s all-time best Villas

Have a read and I m sure you’ll be wanting to spend some time up here exploring all these holiday gems on the Bukit.

1. Explore Suluban Beach  at Uluwatu

All surfers know that to get to the Uluwatu surf, you have to enter through Suluban Cave. It’s a mystical place and looks like a movie set from Hollywood, with high walls and stairs leading to a temple. Walk around the cave at low tide, and you will find a hidden beach perfect to enjoy a bit of sun baking and the warm waters of Uluwatu.

It’s only accessible at low tide and can get crowded with everyone wanting their must-have  Instagram selfie.



2. You have to visit Greenbowl Beach

No one really comes here to Greenbowl, as it can be a bit tricky to find. Plus, once you get here, you have to walk a few hundred steps down the cliff to get to the beach finally. But, once you’re there, it’s so worth it. A hidden beach, best at low tide, you can, in some cases, have the whole place to yourself, except for the odd surfer and monkey. At the time of writing this, Greenbowl we have noticed, is starting to get really popular, so get here before the rest of the world discovers this place. It’s a fantastic example of how Bali’s raw beauty was a decade ago.

There are a few local cafes at the top of the cliff where you can have a refreshing coconut juice after a hard day’s sun baking and surfing.

Bali Villa Escapes tip: save some energy for the walk back up the cliff as it can be a killer – there are ladies at the top of the cliff who will give you a massage for $10 / hour – make sure you take advantage of this.

greenbowl beach bali

things to do in uluwatu bali - greenbowl beach

Find villas around Uluwatu where you can easily get to Greenbowl  – for Ungasan Villas, click here

3. Head to the Rock Bar at sunset for cool tunes & a few cocktails

On the cliff face, 14 metres above the ocean, lies the famous, uber-cool and very popular Rock Bar at the Ayana Resort. A chilled-out place where everyone comes for sunset cocktails, dinner, and to relax with the sound of the waves and warm tropical evening breeze. The menu is extensive, with 5-star cuisine and an extensive wine list. There is also a resident DJ playing tunes to complement the vibe.

The Rock Bar is super popular, so you have to either book in advance or get there well before 5 pm to get a table or a prime seat at the bar. It’s a great night out, and if you’re staying anywhere in Bali, we strongly recommend a visit here.

Bali Villa Escapes Tip: you have to get a cable car down to the bar, so queues can get long – so be early rather than late to avoid being frustrated if you are not the patient type.

To make your booking at the Rock Bar – visit their website here.

things to do on the bukit bali - rock bar

things to do on the bukit bali - rock bar

4. Take the family for a scrumptious seafood dinner at Jimbaran Bay

If your craving fresh seafood, then Jimbaran Bay is the place to head at sunset time. Here, you’ll find restaurants dotted along the beach showcasing their daily catches of fresh seafood and shellfish. Having dinner here under the stars is an amazing experience, and if you’re coming to Bali with a group of mates, it’s a fab night out!

It’s a romantic setting if your want to pop the question while at the same time, the tables on the sand make it a fun family outing.   You’ll also be serenaded by walking musicians that ply their tunes up and down the beach for a few tips.

You don’t have to book as there are ample places, but getting that prime table close to the water might be hard – so get there early.

What you can do is pick your own pick, lobster or prawns from the display or the tank and get them to cook it for you. This way, you know it’s going to be fresh.

Bali Villa Escapes Tip: If you’re coming from Seminyak, Canggu or Ubud, it’s an easy taxi ride, but traffic can be a nightmare (especially along Sunset Rd), so give yourself ample travel time.

things to do on the bukit - jimbaran bay seafood

5. Indulge yourself with a massage at  Karma Kandara

You’ll feel like you are in 7th heaven or, even better, like a superstar with the royal treatment you’re going to get with a massage at the villa resort of Karma Kandara.

What separates this place from your average Balinese day spa is the sensational deck area where you can have your massage. It’s simply breathtaking!

You peer out over the lush gardens into the crystal clear waters as your professionally trained masseuse drains all the worries and stresses away with their delicate touch. This is a must-do experience and well worth the effort and cost of getting there. It’s a tad more expensive than other places, but the killer view is so worth it.

To see the price list and make a booking, visit the Karma Kandara website

Bali Villa Escapes tip: go for the detox infrared sauna & the anti-aging therapies!

P.S. – guys, this is the perfect gift for your partner – she’ll love it!!

karma kandara spa jimbaran, bali

6. Start surfing at any of the beaches on the Bukit

The whole Bukit is well known for its world-class surf. There are so many fabulous breaks here, but the only issue is that they are reef breaks and mainly for the intermediate to advanced.

If you are a newbie to the sport, try the waves at Balangan or Padang Padnag if the surf conditions are not too large. You can easily rent boards here, and there are also local guys that will take you out, give you a few tips and surf with you to ensure you don’t get in trouble. There are also lots of surf schools in the area if you are keen to pick up the sport.

If you are an advanced surfer and want to rip it, you already know that Uluwatu, Bingin and Greenbowl are amazing breaks.

Bali Villa Escapes Tip: wear booties as rocks and coral are on the bottom of these beaches. This will protect your feet, and you can hire these.

Also read: Surfing the Bali coasts: Newbies and Advanced

learn to surf in bali

7. Make sure you are at Single Finn, Uluwatu, on Sunday night

I think you have to be in your 20s or 30s for this one as the music is loud and the atmosphere is geared towards the tanned, young & beautiful bodies.

Overlooking Uluwatu on the cliff, Single Finn is an iconic place that was the first place in the Bukit to really offer any form of nightlife. Anyways, on Sunday night, it goes off!! Cocktails, beers, wine and finger food, are the order of the day here, and it plays host to everyone from around the Bukit to get together and let their hair down.

Bali Villa Escapes Tip: the weekend traffic up to Uluwatu can be manic, so leave plenty of time if you’re coming from Seminyak. Jalan Raya Uluwatu gets jam-packed with tourist buses. Probably better to rent a clifftop Uluwatu villa for a few days with your mates to cut down on travel times and really get to know the area.

Related article: 19 Bali Holiday Villas with Incredible Ocean Views

single finn bali on sunday

what to do in uluwatu - single finn on sundays

8. The amazing  Melasti Beach (Ungasan)

This is well off the beaten track and is mostly frequented by those willing to explore the island a bit. One of the most deserted beaches in the Bukit, it’s worth the effort to come here for the sheer beauty of the cliff face.

If you’re after that must-have Instagram pic, then Melasti is it!

Bali Villa Escapes tip: head to Pandawa Beach next door for some well-earned cocktails to enjoy the sunset.

The High Cliff at Melasti Beach (Ungasan)

The High Cliff at Melasti Beach (Ungasan)

9. Party all day & night at El Kabron

You can do this at El Kabron, an authentic Spanish restaurant on the cliff overlooking the ocean at Uluwatu. There’s a swimming pool so you can cool off with a cocktail as you stare out into the Indian Ocean.

There’s also an indoor dining area if you want to eat and drink out of the sun.

There are house DJs who will mix relaxing tunes during the day, but as the night creeps in, the place turns into a bit of a party zone where sangria, paella and good times are on tap.

It’s an institution in Uluwatu with drop-dead gorgeous views. Perfect for getting the whole group together where you can all enjoy fun times with a few cocktails thrown in. Bucks nights, and hen’s nights are also welcome.

things to do in uluwatu - el kabron

things to do in uluwatu, bali - el kabron

10. Explore the Bingin area

Just off the main road as you head towards Uluwatu, on the right is a turn-off that will take you to the small but popular beach area called Bingin. Favoured by surfers, couples, honeymooners and families wanting complete peace and quiet, this beachside area has its own unique and specific charm not found anywhere else in Bali.

It’s got loads of lovely holiday villas, small restaurants and a few cafes where you can chill out. But, you don’t come here for the food; you’re here for the uncrowded beach, the waves and the ‘surfie vibe’ and the cute beach cafes where you can get your post-surf smoothie bowl. It’s a bit of a hike down to the beach, so take care, as the stairs can be slippery. Once down there, you’ll never want to leave.

Bingin is a place that grows on you the more you visit it. Its simplicity, and friendly ex-pats who have decided to call Bingin home make it a must-visit location.

Bali Villa Escapes Tip: try staying at 6-bedroom Villa Bayu 1, which is close by, for a couple of days. You can book it here.

what to do in the bukit bali - visit bingin beach

11. Visit Uluwatu temple

We have to throw a bit of culture in on your Bali holiday. After all, how much alcohol, beach life and food can you have:)

Uluwatu Temple on the cliff at Uluwatu is also known as Luhur Uluwatu Temple. Perched on the cliff, it offers visitors gorgeous views over the ocean as they explore the temple grounds.

Also, stay for the Kecak Fire Dance (a Balinese dance & music drama) that’s sure to keep you mesmerized with their tunes. I can bet anything you have never seen or heard like this.

Bali Villa Escapes Tip: there are cheeky monkeys all over the temple that will steal anything from you that’s not bolted down, such as; sunglasses, jewellery, cameras, phones etc. So put all of these things in a bag before you go in.

kecak fire dance uluwatu temple bali

cheeky monkey at uluwatu temple

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About the author

Steven is a die-hard Bali island addict and committed surfie. When he's not writing or taking videos of the latest restaurants or cool places, he's at Echo Beach surfing or riding his scooter around Seminyak, Berawa or Canggu. Steve is part of the Bali Villa Escapes marketing team and has been living in and out of Bali for the last 15 years.