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  • Uluwatu: what you need to know

Uluwatu: what you need to know

Once you’ve been to Uluwatu, you’ll want to stay!

Laid-back yet upcoming, surrounded by dramatic clifftops, gorgeous white sand beaches and amazing surfing waves, Uluwatu is a surfer’s paradise, that is for sure, but it is also a wonderful holiday destination for families, romantic couples, beach lovers and yogis.

Uluwatu is home to paradise-like beaches such as Dreamland, Padang Padang, Binging, Nyang Nyang, Melasti and many more. There are magnificent hilltop and beach villas, cool hipster cafes, restaurants, cliff bars and beach clubs, and it could well be Bali’s next-best tourist destination. Get there now before everyone else goes, we would say!

Also read:

The Hidden Secrets of the Bukit Peninsula – Things to do from Jimbaran to Uluwatu

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

 

Uluwatu: Quick facts

  • Uluwatu is located in Bali’s Bukit Peninsula at the southern tip of the island.
  • The beaches are stunning, and they’ve got killer surfing waves – it’s a surfer’s heaven!!
  • Uluwatu is home to Bali’s most epic cliff-top villas
  • The Uluwatu Temple is one of the most important sea temples on the island, protecting Bali from evil sea spirits
  • There is a monkey forest at the Uluwatu Temple
  • You get to see mind-blowing sunsets

Things to do in and around Uluwatu

  • Snorkelling at Padang Padang Beach
  • Low tide walk from Balangan to Dreamland
  • Play golf at the gorgeous clifftop New Kuta Golf
  • See what’s going on at GWK Cultural Park
  • See the traditional Kecak Dance at the Uluwatu Temple.
  • Go paragliding at Nyang Nyang Beach
  • Have a picnic at Tegal Wangi Beach or relax in the natural jacuzzi
  • Head over to nearby Jimbaran Bay for a seafood dinner under the stars
  • Cocktails at Savaya, El Kabron and Single Fin

Shopping in Uluwatu

Uluwatu is not really a shopping destination. However, you can buy some beautiful beach sarongs and more souvenirs from local vendors. You can also drive down to Bali Collection in Nusa Dua—probably the most high-end shopping mall in all of Bali—or to Seminyak, just a 40-minute drive away from Uluwatu.

Family holiday in Uluwatu

Plunge in the private swimming pool in your clifftop garden, go explore all of the beaches around, have fun at Sunday’s Beach Club, meet the local monkeys at the Uluwatu Temple and introduce the kids to the enchanting Balinese culture when taking them to see the traditional Kecak Dance (Starts at sunset time at Pura Uluwatu). Uluwatu is great for families with kids! You can also drive to nearby Nusa Dua to take the kids to Nusa Dua Theatre and see the famous Devdan Show (also known as the Balinese Cirque du Soleil), and you can visit The Pirates Bay Bali, a dream-come-true playground for kids any age. Do note that none of the beaches are safe for swimming in this area. The waves can be very high. Padang Padang is a good swimming beach for families with kids!

Where to stay in Uluwatu

Want to stay up in the hills to get the best sea views from your hillside garden and clifftop bedroom? Do you want to stay near the beach so you can stroll down there with the kids or your surfboard? We’ve got gorgeous Uluwatu villas everywhere! Near Bingin Beach, close to GWK Cultural Park or on the other side at Pandawa Beach and Green Bowl Beach. High-end luxury retreats, boutique island homes, clifftop holiday havens – we can cater to all your villa wishes.

Here are 17 things you MUST DO in Uluwatu in 2024

1. Go for drinks at Single Fin

Single Fin is a famous rooftop bar in Bali, right above the most famous Uluwatu surf break discovered in the 70ties. It’s one of Uluwatu’s best places to go for sunset drinks. You can sit at the bar or out on the large sunset deck. There’s excellent food to try, and in the morning, you can start your day here with Revolver coffee and a smoothie bowl before or after surfing. Enjoy live music every Wednesday evening, and check out the Sunday Sessions with international DJs and live acts. It’s a great place to meet people and have a fabulous time.

what to do in uluwatu - single finn

There are great vibes, sensational views, and party times at Single Finn. During the day it’s more chilled so you can bring the kids. Photo Credit: Instagram @ Single Finn

 

2. See the Kecak fire performance at Uluwatu Temple

Every evening, you can watch a traditional Balinese fire dance performance at the clifftop Uluwatu Temple around sunset time. Arrive a bit earlier to see the temple complex and meet the local tribe of macaque monkeys. Just before sunset, the performance starts, telling the ancient Hindu Saga of Ramayana. It’s quite an experience involving a choir of over a hundred men, beautiful costumes, handmade masks, humour, drama and fire acts. The show takes place at an open-air amphitheatre beneath the sunset- and then the starlit sky.

what to do uluwatu - kecak dance

The Kecak Dance is a fantastic experience and a must-see on your next Bali trip.

3. Stay at a clifftop villa

Who wouldn’t want to wake up to the view of the ocean, the infinite horizon and a private infinity swimming pool surrounded by tropical greenery? Uluwatu has the most spectacular clifftop villas with incredible views and fabulous features. Check out the best villas in Uluwatu here. Uluwatu is also a top destination for weddings and other events. There are fantastic wedding villas in this area of Bali.

what to do uluwatu - villa dewi lanjar

Villa Dewi Lanjar is a 4-bedroom luxury Uluwatu holiday villa rental. Book with Bali Villa Escapes now!

 

4. Experience Uluwatu’s most famous surf breaks

With powerful and consistent barreling waves, “Ulu”, as the surfers call it, is one of the top destinations to surf in Bali. The best places are beneath the Uluwatu Temple and Padang Padang. 5 different peaks make up the waves in Uluwatu and vary in size and swell. When you go surfing in Uluwatu, it is important to be aware of the surfing conditions and honest about your skill level, as the waves can be challenging. If you’re a beginner, take lessons and start at beginner-friendly places such as Binging.

5. Walk in Julia Robert’s footsteps at Pandang Padang Beach

Have you seen the movie Eat, Love, Pray, where Julia Roberts and Brazilian superstar Javier Bardem fall in love? Well, the dreamy beach scenes in this film were shot in Bali at Padang Padang Beach in Uluwatu. The beach is beautiful, with golden sand and clear blue water. It’s a great place to swim and relax for the day, and it’s also a famous surf spot with challenging barreling waves behind the reef a little further away from the shore. Upon entering this beach, you may see some monkeys, too, and remember you will be walking in the footsteps of Julia Roberts.

what to do uluwatu - padang padang beach

Enjoy a day at Padang Padang Beach. Sunbake, surf, swim or simply have a coconut on the beach. Photo Credit: @ Instagram

 

6. Rent a scooter and drive around the Bukit

Nothing is more fun than renting a scooter and driving around the beautiful Bukit Peninsula coastline, exploring hidden beaches and stunning viewpoints. Start at Jimbaran Bay and make a circle passing Balang Beach, Dreamland, Bingin, Padang Padang, Suluban Beach, Nyang Nyang and then onwards to Nusa Dua to see Nusa Dua Beach, Pandawa and Geger Beach. On the way, you can stop at a good-looking cafe, grab some food at a local warung, stop for clifftop drinks, or do whatever. You are free as a bird!

what to do uluwatu - rent scooter

Rent a scooter for about AUD 10 per day and check out Ulu’s best parts. Head off the track and start exploring the best bits of Ulu without a tour guide – so much fun!!

 

7. Lounge at cliff clubs, rock bars and beach clubs

With rugged limestone cliffs and mesmerizing sunsets, Uluwatu has many prestigious cliff clubs, rock bars and beach clubs to check out. El Kabron is the place to be for sunset cocktails and tapas, but there’s also Ulu Cliffhouse and Savaya, where you can lounge and sunbathe in style, spoiling yourself with delicious food, drinks, views and pampering from head to toe. Sunday’s Beach Club is another must-visit. You can spend the entire day and night here. It’s a beautiful beach with lounge beds, bean bags, good music, food, drinks and watersport activities. In the evening, you can have a bonfire on the beach with marshmallows or enjoy an outdoor cinema experience with your feet in the sand. It’s great fun for the whole family!

what to do uluwatu - beach clubs

Some of the best beach clubs in Bali are in Uluwatu. Make sure you go there for a few sunset cocktails, Bintang or a bite to eat as you chill out.

 

8. Have a seafood feast at Jimbaran Bay

The place to be for fresh seafood is at Jimbaran Bay. From sunset until late, when all of the stars are shining brightly in the night sky, you can munch on delicious freshly caught seafood at one of the seafood restaurants on the beach at Jimbaran Bay. One of the most famous beach restaurants is Menega Cafe. Another option is to come here early to grab fish from the fish market and grill it at the villa for a holiday home feast. The beach BBQs at Bingin Beach are great, too!

what to do uluwatu - seafood jimbaran

Take the whole family for a seafood meal at Jimbaran Bay.

 

9. Watch a fabulous sunset

You’ll never get enough of it: gazing at the magical island sunset! Uluwatu has breathtaking sunset views. With your feet in the sand or from a clifftop bar, Uluwatu has many amazing sunset spots.

what to do uluwatu - watch sunset

Sunsets are the best at Uluwatu on the southern tip of Bali—gorgeous views, especially with a few sundowners.

 

10. Explore the GWK Cultural Park

GWK stands for “Garuda Wisna Kencana,” and it features a 122-meter-tall statue of the Hindu God Vishnu and his mythical bird Garuda. It’s one of the largest monuments in the world and truly impressive to see. The 60-hectare park features cultural activities and performances. Beautiful gardens allow you to stroll around and try authentic Balinese snacks and delicacies.

what to do uluwatu - gwk cultural park

Make sure you spend a day at the GWK Cultural Park. Photo Credit: @ Instagram

11. Work out at Uluwatu’s gyms

Do you feel like a bit of a workout and want it with a view? If not for the gorgeous ocean and clifftop views, there are stunning beach babes and tanned surfer dudes. Uluwatu has some amazing gyms with high-quality equipment and classes. Fondue is great for Pilates. At Bali Training Centre, you can join a class of Muay Thai and Bambu Fitness is great for CrossFit.

what to do uluwatu - gyms

Surf, work out, eat, and repeat – ahhh, the Uluwatu lifestyle will keep you young and healthy.

 

12. Eat, drink and hang out at fabulous Uluwatu cafes

While everybody thinks of Seminyak and Canggu as hot spots for trendy cafes and restaurants, Uluwatu is quickly ranking up. Amazing coffee with single-origin beans crafted in any style, delicious smoothie bowls, homemade bread and healthy salads, Uluwatu has many cute, highly Instagrammable cafes with good music, fun people, amazing views and a wonderful ambience. From hipster and trendy to family-friendly and laid-back, if you want to go cafe hopping, Uluwatu is great! We love Drifter, The Cashew Tree, Suka Espresso and Lands End Cafe.

Related: Where to eat in Uluwatu: the best restaurants on the Bukit Peninsula in Bali

13. Jimbaran Hill Paintball Arena

Up for an afternoon of fun with friends and family? Head to the Jimbaran Hill Paintball Arena, and you’re all set. The battlefield has the set of an authentic Jungle village with bushes, bunkers and derelict houses. It’s the perfect playground to get your adrenaline flowing in a free and fun setting.

what to do uluwatu - paintball jimbaran

It’s fun for the whole family at Paintball in Jimbaran. Photo Credit: @ Instagram

 

14. Go Paragliding

Up for even more adrenaline in your blood? Go paragliding at the remote and stunning Nyang Nyang Beach. It takes a little hike to get down to Nyang Nyang Beach and back up the cliff again, but you can also take the easy way and paraglide down from the clifftop above Nyang Nyang. The view, the whole experience, it is fantastic!

what to do uluwatu - paragliding

See Uluwatu from the air and enjoy scenic views when you go paragliding.

 

15. Spa time

At some point, it is time to relax and hit the spa! From 5-star luxury spas to a sandy massage on the beach, you can experience it all in Uluwatu. On the beach, you get the sound of the sea while you dream away and let go of all of the tension in your body. Most spas come with jaw-dropping views and a tranquil ambience where you can fully recharge your being. Go for a full-body Balinese massage, or try one of those pampering spa packages with body wrap, body scrub, facial, manicure and pedicure. Spa packages for couples and families are also available. Check out our favourite spas here.

16. Soak in a natural jacuzzi at Tegal Wangi Beach

The rock pools at Tegal Wangi Beach create natural jacuzzis with every wave that rolls in from the Indian Ocean. The ambience at this beautiful beach is secluded and tranquil, with mesmerizing views, especially around sunset time. You can soak in the natural rock pools and take amazing photos to lure all your friends to visit Bali. A magical place!

what to do uluwatu - Tegal Wangi Beach

Tegal Wangi Beach is a hidden gem – enjoy the warm blue waters and lovely views.

17. Explore Uluwatu’s nightlife

Flashy and sophisticated nightclubs with international DJs, cool bars with live bands, and underground parties, Uluwatu has a buzzing nightlife! Single Fin is not only a surfers’ hub and sunset hang-out spot but also a place to enjoy Uluwatu’s vibrant nightlife with events, DJ sets, and live music. El Kabron Cliff Club turns into another hot spot for nightlife after sunset and dinner in style, and The Cashew Tree is a relaxed, laid-back venue to meet like-minded travellers and enjoy live music.

what to do uluwatu - enjoy the nightlife

Uluwatu has some great nightlife venues where you can party hard!!

 

You can get more information about Bali please read our Bali travel guides.

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