In stark contrast to the lush waterfall-filled jungles and mountains of Bali are the steep hanging cliffs of Uluwatu. Read on for why people rave about Uluwatu – here is my Uluwatu travel guide to help you plan your perfect trip to the Bukit.
Uluwatu on the southwest coast of Bali is the perfect beach destination to kick off or end your island sojourn. The effortlessly sophisticated Uluwatu is also home to one of Bali’s most prominent Hindu temples, precariously perched 70-metres above the sea.
The quiet winding village streets weave lazily towards the cliff – this is where you’ll find all of the Uluwatu boutique and luxury hotels that offer magnificent views and need no marketing – the location and views simply speak for themselves.
If your thighs are in need of a workout start hiking down the massive sea cliffs towards one of the many incredible Uluwatu beaches. The western coast of the Bukit Peninsula is lined with dreamy beaches that surfers from around the world flock to in search of the perfect wave.
Unlike the golden and black-sand beaches of Canggu, another one of Bali’s top surf and beach destinations, you’ll find shimmering rock pools lining the coast as well as unique rock formations adorning the seaside.
Ready to slow down and take a beat in Bali? Here are the best things to do in Uluwatu and top tips for exploring this dreamy surf haven.
You may also like: First time to Bali? Here is my easy 2 week Bali itinerary to help you plan your travels
Where is Uluwatu in Bali?
Uluwatu is located on the southwest coast of Bali, just under an hours’ drive away from Ngurah Rai International Airport. It is just below the fishing-village-turned-resort-town of Jimbaran and spans across a few beach areas including Bingin, Padang Padang and Nyang Nyang.
Travel tips for visiting Uluwatu in Bali
First time to Uluwatu or Bali? Here’s what you need to know before you go.
✈️ The main airport in Bali is Ngurah Rai International Airport. Many airlines fly direct to Bali, and a 30-day tourist visa-on-arrival is available for passport holders from more than 80 countries. The Bali visa fee is US$35 or 500,000 IDR, and can be paid by Visa or MasterCard (not AMEX as far as I know). There is no reduced fee for children and babies. As of November 2022, you can also apply for an electronic visa ahead of your trip here. Save yourself some time and also complete the electronic customs declaration ahead of your trip here.
💱 The currency is the Indonesian rupiah and the exchange rate is approximately US$1/1 Euro: 15,000 IDR or AUD$1: 10,000 IDR. There are ATMs in the airport where you can withdraw a small sum to get you started, and then you can visit a local ATM or money exchange place once you are in Uluwatu.
Legitimate currency exchange shops in Bali advertise the rates clearly and do not charge a commission – we had a great experience with Mr. & Mrs. Butler money exchange in Bali; however, as you would anywhere else, make sure you count your cash before leaving to avoid any later disputes. The majority of hotels, tourist restaurants and supermarkets accept credit card payments, though you will still need cash to pay drivers and for any tips.
🎟️ You pretty much never have to pay full price for admissions tickets in Bali as most tour operators, car charters, spas and major attractions are listed on Klook. Just click here and search for places you want to go, and book online for discounted entry or head on over here to read more about how to use Klook to book travel experiences.
📱 Buy a local Indonesian SIM card. The easiest way to do that is via Klook – you can get a 35 GB (US$12) or 51 GB (US$13) data-only SIM card and pick it up from the airport on arrival. You will need to provide certain information including your passport copy. Buy your local Bali SIM card here. Everyone in Bali including hotels, taxi drivers, spas and equipment rental companies use Whatsapp to communicate, so make sure you have stable internet access throughout your Bali trip.
🏖️ The best time to visit Bali is typically considered to be during the summer months between July to early September, which means this is the peak travel season in Bali and the island receives the highest volume of tourists during these months – many hotels are fully booked and the atmosphere is buzzing.
This is the dry season and Bali receives lower rainfall during the summer months. The rainy season in Bali usually runs during the winter months from December to February and it can be very humid and sticky during this time.
The surf conditions in Uluwatu are also the most consistent in July and August so surfers from around the world head to the island’s peeling waves on the west coast during these months. Want to avoid the crowds in Uluwatu? Consider visiting in the shoulder months in May, June and September.
That being said, there is no “bad” time to visit Bali. One important thing to note for first time visitors to Bali is that Nyepi, New Year’s day in the Balinese calendar, falls in March (the date changes each year) and during this day the island observes complete silence. Shops and businesses close for the day, and everybody (including tourists) is expected to stay indoors as part of the ritual. The airport is no exception – there are no arrivals and departures on the day of Nyepi and some hotels may not arrange check-ins and outs during this day.
Another major holiday to take note of is Galungan and Kuningan, a Hindu celebration which takes place every 210 days. The two major events are 10 days apart, and many Balinese Hindus will spend the festival visiting family temples – many government offices will be closed on Galungan and Kuningan, and some major religious landmarks (like Pura Lempuyang) may close for ceremonies or have different opening and closing times. It is a beautiful time to be in Bali, when all the streets are lined with towering bamboo penjors.
👚 What to wear in Bali: The majority of the population on the island are Hindu, and as a top tourism destination the dress code in Bali is typically fairly relaxed. Vacation beachwear is the norm, so go ahead and pack your dresses, shorts and crop tops.
There is, however, an important exception – if you plan on visiting any temple you will need to cover your legs with a sarong (available to rent at most temples) and make sure that your shoulders are also covered. You will also notice that most women in Bali dress conservatively and wear traditional attire on certain days during the week and to visit temples – it is worth bearing this in mind when you get ready to head out and about around town outside of your resort or hotel.
🗓️ How many days to spend in Uluwatu: For a first time visitor to Uluwatu I would recommend spending no fewer than 4-5 days to explore the region and its many exquisite cliffside beaches.
🚁 Flying a drone in Uluwatu: You can fly a small drone in Bali for recreational, non-commercial purposes without a license as long as you follow a few important guidelines. You should not fly a drone around or over any temple, and many hotels and beach clubs will have their own policies for drone usage on their property, so it’s best to check ahead before you launch your UAV.
Safety in Bali
The vast majority of visits to Bali are trouble free, and tourism is a major source of revenue for the island. Violent crime against foreigners occurs infrequently, but petty crime is not uncommon. As you would anywhere else in the world, keep a close eye on your belongings, especially in crowded areas. There are a number of common scams in Bali: if an offer seems “too good to be true” or overly convenient, it could very well be part of a scam.
I recommend taking certain precautions such as pre-booking airport transportation with a reliable car service and driver, watching your drink when you are out and about, and letting friends and family know of your travel plans and hotel contact information. Read more about safety in Indonesia and Bali by clicking here and here. Here is more information about local laws and customs in Indonesia.
How to get to Uluwatu in Bali
To get into Bali you’ll need to fly into Ngurah Rai International Airport near Denpasar. An airport transfer from the airport to Uluwatu costs approximately 300,000-400,000 IDR (US$20 or so) and takes under 1 hour from door-to-door depending on where in Uluwatu you are headed – there is one main thoroughfare from Denpasar to Uluwatu and the traffic is often at a standstill. You may get lucky if you are traveling in the late evening or early morning.
I recommend Gede (Whatsapp at +62 812 3689 2841) or Sudewa/Ani (Whatsapp at +62 819 9845 3366) for any long-distance transfers in Bali. We found that their rates are extremely fair, vehicles are clean and they can also provide a forward-facing car seat if you are traveling to Bali with young children. You can also pre-book your Bali airport pick up or drop off via Klook here – I generally will only use service providers with a 4.5/5 rating or above to make sure that the quality/safety of their cars and drivers are up to standard!
How to get around Uluwatu in Bali
The best way to get around Uluwatu is either by local taxi, Grab/GoJek or scooter rental; it is possible to get around on foot if you are traveling short distances within an area like Bingin, otherwise Uluwatu is far too sprawling to cover much ground by walking.
You will notice that there are many signs stating that local ride-sharing companies like Grab, GoJek and Bluebird are banned in Uluwatu (especially in places like Bingin); however, in our experience unless you are hailing a Grabtaxi right in front of a local taxi depot or major tourist landmark no one is going to hassle you. We often called Grab cars to pick us up outside of our hotel.
Another popular option for getting around Uluwatu is by scooter, but you may want to consider this option carefully if you are not confident drivingfr a scooter – the roads in Uluwatu are fairly narrow and poorly-lit in the evenings. It can also be very hilly with many blind corners – not the safest of places to be driving in a car, let alone on a scooter.
That being said, because Uluwatu is sprawling it is useful to have your own mode of transportation to get around: just be aware that even the smallest of loose pebbles can cause a serious accident – like it did for us towards the end of our first trip in broad daylight, which resulted in a second-degree exhaust burn that took months to heal (not to mention the huge physical and mental trauma).
My husband has the proper international motorcycle certifications and license (which means that any accidents are covered by travel insurance), and we paid approximately 80-120,000 IDR/day for a petrol scooter in Uluwatu (the rate may vary depending on which hotel you book through), or you can also rent an electric scooter from Noa Bike (contact them by WhatsApp at +62 822 8890 8988) for 100,000 IR/day or 600,000 IDR/week not including scooter pick up/drop off fees. Please ensure that your scooter rental comes with helmets that fit properly and that you have the proper international driving license in case you are stopped by the local authorities.
Don’t get me wrong – I love the flexibility of having our own scooter and having the ability to come and go as you please, but this incident has made me seriously rethink whether we will be traveling by scooter again in the future; it really doesn’t take much to cause a serious accident. All I can say is – understand the risks of driving a scooter in Bali (or anywhere, really) and ensure that you know where the nearest medical centers and hospitals are located in the event of an emergency.
It is also possible to hire a car in Bali but you should know that parking can be an issue so make sure your hotel provides a space for your vehicle; while the streets of Uluwatu are generally easy to navigate and quiet, this is not always the case -especially if you are heading elsewhere such as towards Canggu or Ubud where streets are narrow with scooters zooming by. Your international driving permit may require further endorsement by the local authorities, and you should double check that your travel insurance covers any motor vehicle accidents overseas (and check whether it covers any excesses/deductibles).
Dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s? Great! Looking for the best prices for rental car companies around the world? Click here to book your rental car ahead of your Bali trip. Bookings can be cancelled or amended if your plans change.
Where to stay in Uluwatu in Bali
Looking for the best accommodation in Uluwatu? There are some incredible properties spread across Uluwatu – you’ll want to make sure that you choose strategically based on location, room/property design and service quality.
When you look up Uluwatu all you see are the iconic clifftop views that go on for days – but these can come with a seriously hefty price tag! Many of the top hotels in Uluwatu will book up almost a year in advance and accept direct bookings only – they have enough repeat customers that they simply don’t need to put their entire portfolio of rooms on aggregate booking sites like Booking.com, Agoda or HotelsCombined. Here is one of my biggest booking tips for Uluwatu: book in advance or risk losing out on your preferred choice of accommodation!
We opted to split our stay in Uluwatu across 2 hotels in Bingin, and while these hotels do not have direct beach access they did have delightful sundrenched pools and were fairly close to the stairs down to Bingin Beach.
The Jepun Sari Uluwatu is a stunning new boutique property located about a 5-10 minute drive from the main “downtown” area of Uluwatu or a 5 minute drive from Cashew Tree. As it only has a small number of rooms it is incredibly quiet and peaceful, and its rooms are spacious and comfortable.
The décor is very modern with a splash of tropical touches, and we enjoyed our stay in the poolside cabin. Highly recommended for couples or independent travelers looking for a boutique hotel in Uluwatu – click here to check availability and rates at Jepun Sari Uluwatu. Note that the Jepun Sari does not have a restaurant so you’ll need to head out for all meals, it does have a small pool bar that serves drinks but it may not always be staffed.
We spent the final days of our 2 week Bali itinerary at Gypsea Bali. This brand new boutique Uluwatu hotel will seriously wow you – incredible service, gorgeous rooms and an amazing pool. It is a cruisy 10 minute walk from Bingin Beach or Gooseberry restaurant.
The on-site restaurant has a limited menu that includes delicious Western and Balinese food, so it’s a great option if you don’t feel like venturing out for meals. They have a variety of room options – from standard bungalows to bungalows with private plunge pools as well as two-bedroom villas equipped with a kitchen and pool at the back of the property. Click here to check availability and rates at Gypsea Bali!
Booking tip: You may experience street noise and/or hear street dogs/roosters in the evenings in Uluwatu – unfortunately this is beyond the control of most hotels. If you are sensitive to noise ask for earplugs or ask for a room at the back of the property and away from the road.
Visiting Uluwatu with friends and family? You might also want to consider this incredible 4-bedroom private villa in Bingin: Casa Pantai. It is located just steps away from the stairs down to Bingin Beach, Frencha Bakery and The Cashew Tree restaurant, and provides a full staff and daily cooked-to-order breakfast during your stay. The location really can’t be beat.
Each bedroom has an ensuite bathroom and there is also a small kitchen set up if you need access to a microwave, coffee machine, water dispenser and fridge, and daily room servicing and cleaning.
We especially loved the open-air pavilion where we spent many a lazy afternoons, and the long aquamarine pool for cooling off. For younger children, there is a large shallow play section in the pool. Click here to check rates and availability at Casa Pantai in Bingin.
My brother-in-law’s family stayed at Mu Bungalows so we ended up spending a lot of time at their villa and at the cliff restaurant there – Mu is an extremely popular option for people visiting Uluwatu but the rooms weren’t a good fit for us. The grounds are completely breathtaking and I can fully understand why so many people love it!
Interested in checking out other options for accommodation in Uluwatu? Here are some other highly-rated hotels in the area – we also personally considered staying at these Uluwatu boutique hotels:
The Elementum: Fulfill all your pool dreams here. This boutique hotel in Uluwatu is architecturally stunning, and the rooms are modern yet cozy. Reviewers love the breakfast and coffee, and say that the on-site restaurant is fantastic. The Elementum offers a small number of rooms – some of which have ocean views. Click here to check rates and availability at The Elementum.
Origin Uluwatu: If this is what camping looks like, sign me up. This luxury glamping hotel in Uluwatu has gorgeous, unique tents with air-conditioning units. It is located inland – an 8-10 minute drive from Padang Padang and Bingin beaches. There are also family rooms for those traveling with children. Click here to check rates and availability at Origin Uluwatu.
Legends Beachfront Resort: Right at the base of the cliff in Bingin, the rooms are stunning and had we been traveling as a couple without a baby the nearly 200-steps up and down wouldn’t have fazed us! Children over 2 years old are welcome at Legends. Reviewers love the sweeping ocean views, helpful staff and beautiful rooms. Click here to check rates and availability at Legends Beachfront Resort.
Some additional tips for choosing accommodation in Uluwatu, Bali:
- If you do choose to book on the coast in Uluwatu, just be aware that you may need to walk down 100+ steps to get to beachfront properties – make sure you check before booking!
- Book early, especially when visiting Bali in the peak season! You’ll be surprised how quickly the options whittle down. You may need to contact hotels directly via e-mail or Whatsapp as many do not list all of their rooms on booking engines.
- Arriving late at night? Let your hotel know so that they can have everything ready for you before you arrive.
- Traveling with a large group? Consider booking a villa instead – there are a number of fantastic options in Uluwatu! We enjoyed our stay at Casa Pantai in Bingin.
- Communicate any additional questions or requests with your hotel via Whatsapp ahead of your stay. You can request a high chair or baby crib, airport and intercity transfers or convey dietary restrictions for a smooth trip.
The best things to do in Uluwatu in Bali
Looking up things to add to your Uluwatu Itinerary? This happening corner of Bali has some of the most amazing beaches and views to offer – whether you are a surfer or not, good times and laidback vibes are not in short supply in Uluwatu.
Here are some of the best places to visit in Uluwatu as well as things you won’t want to skip. Wondering what to do in Uluwatu? Read on for my top picks.
1. Explore the grounds of Uluwatu Temple
Uluwatu Temple is one of the most revered Hindu temples in Bali and probably the most famous of all the Uluwatu attractions – it was established during the reign of King Sri Haji Marakata who ruled from 1032 to 1036 A.D., and has since been managed by the reigning morning of the kings of ancient Bali.
The bougainvillea-strewn cliffs surrounding Uluwatu Temple create a magical setting for the otherwise fairly unassuming Hindu temple. A visit to Uluwatu Temple is on every single Uluwatu itinerary out there!
You cannot enter the shrine area itself, but there is a path that wraps around the cliff to give you unobstructed views of Pura Luhur Uluwatu – just be careful of the (somewhat) aggressive wild monkeys which are known to grab sunglasses and bags off of unsuspecting tourists.
Uluwatu Temple also hosts nightly Kecak fire dance performances overlooking the ocean – a Kecak dance is a traditional Balinese Hindu dance that typically reenacts stories from revered Hindu legends.
If you didn’t get a chance to watch a Kecak dance in Ubud then you may want to consider booking a ticket to the Uluwatu Temple Kecak dance – but be warned, the show is extremely busy and you may have to arrive hours before sunset just to secure a good seat.
Entrance to the temple is 50,000 IDR (which does not include your ticket to the Kecak dance) and you will need to wrap a sarong around your waist to enter.
You may also like: Tanah Lot is another incredible Hindu temple that “floats” in the ocean. You can easily visit Tanah Lot from Canggu – here are some of the best things to do in Canggu.
2. Discover the best Uluwatu beaches
Uluwatu is home to some of the best beaches in all of Bali – the white-sand Uluwatu beaches are the perfect place to laze the day away while watching surfers carve the open face of pumping waves.
Somewhat reminiscent of the beaches in the Algarve region of Portugal, many of the beaches in Uluwatu feature rock formations and caves that shelter secret beaches away from the crowds.
You could easily spend 4 or 5 days in Uluwatu roaming the coastline all the way from Dreamland Beach down to Nyang Nyang Beach and around further afield to Green Bowl Beach in the far south.
Unlike the beaches in Canggu, many of Uluwatu’s beaches are lined with rock pools and reef – which means that they are protected from the heavy swell that surfers love. Looking for the best beach in Uluwatu? You’re going to have a hard time picking just the one.
For an easily-accessible white sand beach, head to Dreamland Beach (entry costs 10,000 IDR) – if you have a scooter you can drive past the barricade and all the way down to the beach.
If you’re after one of the most unique beaches in Uluwatu head to Uluwatu Beach (entry costs 5,000 IDR) which is often only accessible during low tide.
Uluwatu Beach and the neighboring Suluban Beach are framed by spectacular rock cliffs. You may also see these beaches referred to as Blue Point Beach.
You’ll need to navigate some rock caverns to make your way to Suluban Beach on the left, but your efforts will be rewarded with this beautiful golden stretch of sand!
This is also where you’ll find the Uluwatu institution, Single Fin beach club high on the cliffs overlooking the ocean.
We also enjoyed our time at Bingin Beach but I wasn’t a huge fan of the walk back up the cliff! There are several beach touts here selling sarongs and other trinkets, but you can also rent a beach umbrella off one of the ladies – perfect to hide from the heat of the mid-day sun.
Venture to the right hand side of Bingin Beach for the rock pools – the kids loved wading in them but just be careful as the mossy parts are very slippery!
Last but not least, perhaps the most famous of them all is Padang Padang Beach – this Uluwatu Beach costs 15,000 IDR per adult or 10,000 IDR per child for entry.
Take the rock steps down to this little slice of paradise – Padang Padang can get busy as there are a few small restaurants here, so people tend to stick around and make a day of it.
Looking for the perfect Uluwatu accommodation near the beach yet away from the crowds? Click here to check availability and rates at Jepun Sari – we loved our stay at this quiet boutique hotel. The air-conditioned bungalows are very comfortable and the pool is gorgeous. It is just a 5-minute scooter ride from the steps leading down to Bingin Beach. Click here to check rates and availability at Jepun Sari – they only have a few rooms so make sure you book in advance.
Alternatively, we also recommend Gypsea Bali, a beautifully-designed boutique hotel in Bingin featuring earthy tones and a traditional grass thatched roof. Perfect for couples and independent travelers, Gypsea also has an on-site restaurant with a limited menu and drinks. Click here to check rates and availability at Gypsea Bali or you can head here to check out other highly-rated hotel options in Uluwatu.
For larger groups we loved our time at Casa Pantai in Bingin, a 4-bedroom private villa. Perfect for families – the shallow pool area is child-friendly, and there is a stunning open-air pavilion and living area for lounging around.
Interested in more options? We also personally considered staying at these Uluwatu boutique hotels: The Elementum (architecturally stunning hotel with the most unique pool), Origin Uluwatu (luxury glamping at its finest) and Legends Beachfront Resort (cliffside hotel with a view that can’t be beat).
3. Surf, surf and surf
Uluwatu is one of the most popular places to surf in Bali for intermediate-to-advanced surfers, and once you set your eyes on the waves you’ll understand exactly why surfers from around the world love the Bukit.
The never-ending sets of waves roll through the breaks throughout the day, and you’ll be hard-pressed to find waves of this quality elsewhere in Southeast Asia. There are an incredible number of breaks up and down this part of the western coast.
Popular surf spots in Uluwatu include Dreamland Beach which is geared towards beginner-to-intermediate surfers; Bingin (a short barreling left-hand reef break) and Impossibles (a long section-y left hander over reef) which are both located at Bingin Beach for intermediate and advanced surfers – be cautious when surfing at low tide as the razor sharp reef is exposed; Padang Padang, a left-hand point break for advanced/professional surfers; and Uluwatu surf break which is another long left-hand point break over reef. The Racetracks section of Uluwatu’s turns on during lower tides.
There are a few other surf spots scattered across Uluwatu but these are the main ones – even if you don’t surf yourself, Uluwatu is a great place to watch advanced surfers carve waves and get barreled.
For more experienced surfers, if you have not brought your own surfboard then consider renting a surfboard for around US$20 per day. As we had heaps of luggage, my husband left his board at home and rented a fun Hypto Krypto for the week. You can rent a surfboard in Bali here – my tip is to check the inventory and see what boards are available, and then message them on Whatsapp (+62 821 4774 4855) for same or next day delivery.
These guys offer delivery and pick up (extra fees apply if delivering or picking up beyond Canggu/Seminyak/Kuta). They have a clear policy regarding damage fees and do not charge if you break the leash but are able to give the broken leash back to them.
Interested in learning to surf in Bali? You may find that the waves and conditions in Canggu are better suited to beginners and intermediate surfers – here is my Canggu travel guide!
4. Get your fill of delicious food and coffee
We had some real mouth-watering meals in Uluwatu. You can’t go wrong with these Uluwatu restaurants:
Cashew Tree: There is a reason why everyone goes to The Cashew Tree, and why it’s been around for as long as it has. The food is consistently tasty and fresh, the service is great and the prices are reasonable. We loved the laidback vibe and spacious grounds – as you can imagine, the children’s playground and sand pit was a real hit with the little ones and gave us (or, at least one parent at a time) a moment to gobble down our meals.
Gooseberry: A slightly more upscale-yet-relaxed restaurant in Uluwatu, we found ourselves at Gooseberry for cocktails time and time again. Breakfast was fabulous, as was the amazing dinner selection. There’s even a small pool on-site if you feel like a quick dip after your meal.
Ulu Garden: A casual eatery near Uluwatu Beach – tucked away off the main road, Ulu Garden opens up out the back into a spacious outdoor area and small children’s play area. They have a decent selection of Western and Asian menu items and a killer coffee.
Abracadabra at Mu Bungalows: For the best view in Uluwatu, head straight to Abracadabra. Overlooking the cliffs of Bingin, this cliffside restaurant in Uluwatu is fully booked almost every single night – bookings are essential. We loved drinking wine and eating fresh pasta here as the sun went down for the evening.
Frencha Bakery: A no-fuss bakery in Bingin with delicious sandwiches and pastries. The paninis are fantastic – a great option for an easy and filling lunch.
Chela: Delicious food with stunning design to match. This restaurant is housed in a beautiful bamboo structure and serves up some great grub and coffee. We loved all of the smoothies, and make sure you try the mouthwatering potato rösti.
Where to stay in Uluwatu: We based ourselves in Bingin – there are a number of excellent boutique hotels here and if you book close enough to the cliffside it is relatively walkable. You can also take the steps leading down to the picturesque Bingin Beach.
Click here to check availability and rates at Jepun Sari in Uluwatu – this peaceful retreat has a number of stunning bungalows that are airconditioned and extremely comfortable.
Click here to check rates and availability at Gypsea Bali – a stunning brand new boutique hotel that is beautifully-designed and features a welcoming joglo area that houses an on-site restaurant.
Still looking around at other options? Head here to check out other highly-rated hotel options in Uluwatu or take a look at these boutique hotels that we also considered staying at: The Elementum (architecturally stunning hotel with a unique dream pool), Origin Uluwatu (luxury glamping tents a short drive from Padang Padang and Bingin beaches) and Legends Beachfront Resort (200 stairs to get down the cliff, but the ocean view rooms are breathtaking).
5. Hit up a beach or day club in Uluwatu
The Uluwatu beach clubs host legendary parties and bring in international DJs from around the world. In general, you may find that the beach clubs in Uluwatu are swankier than those in, say, family-friendly Canggu – just some food for thought as they may not all be suitable for children.
Here are some of the most popular day clubs in Uluwatu, most of which offer day passes or a minimum spend – bookings are highly recommended:
El Kabron: An up-market day club in Uluwatu with an infinity pool and outdoor lounge area. DSLR cameras are not permitted.
Single Fin: Popular with the younger surf crowd and overlooking Uluwatu beach, Single Fin boasts unparalleled views and a guaranteed good time.
Ulu Cliffhouse: A gorgeous sprawling day club with quite possibly one of the best pool views in the area. There is only a minimum spend for day bed use, each fitting 2-4 people (500,000 IDR/day bed from Monday to Thursday, or 1,000,000 IDR/day bed from Friday to Sunday). We also loved the views from Ulu Cliffhouse – there are steps leading all the way down the cliff if you are feeling adventurous!
Sundays Beach Club: Another Uluwatu institution – this beach club in Uluwatu attached to the glitzy Ungasan luxury hotel is a firm favorite among tourists and residents alike. Great for all types of travelers including families and couples.
oneeighty at The Edge: The Instagram-famous Uluwatu day club is home to the glass-bottom sky pool hanging over the ocean.
6. Practice Yoga
Bali is one of the top yoga destinations in the world for a reason. Uluwatu is not only a haven for surf fanatics, but also yoga practitioners. There are a number of drop-in yoga studios along this part of the Bukit peninsula, including Mu Bali, the Space, La Tribu, The Temple Lodge and Istana. Classes range from 120,000 to about 150,000 IDR, and most class schedules are updated and posted on Instagram or their own websites.
Travel tips for visiting Uluwatu with a baby
Heading to Uluwatu with kids? There are a few things you should know first. Uluwatu was the final stop during our 2 weeks in Bali, so I was able to compare it to the first few destinations – Canggu, Munduk and Ubud.
There’s a reason why everyone travels to Bali with children – it’s because Bali is, in general, very baby-friendly! The Balinese staff at almost every place we visited was all too happy to run after our baby and help keep him entertained while we shoveled food into our mouths, and were extremely accommodating with special requests for off-menu baby-friendly meals like steamed vegetables and pasta.
That being said, you may find that Uluwatu is not as child-friendly as some other Bali destinations simply because of the demographic of travelers who typically visit (that is, unless you’re staying at a luxury resort with an on-site kids club and child-friendly restaurant).
There are fewer restaurants with play areas (The Cashew Tree and Ulu Garden are 2 that we loved), many hotels are adults-only and many of the Uluwatu day clubs do not cater to families with young children.
You may need to carefully consider your choice of Uluwatu accommodation with a toddler or young children – staying at one of the cliffside hotels in Uluwatu will be impractical as you will need to walk up and down many stairs each day (god forbid you forget something in the room), and bamboo bungalows (while aesthetically perfect) or rooms with thatched roofs may not offer the sound or light-proofing that your family needs for naps and in the evenings.
Uluwatu is also much more spread out (whereas places like Canggu and Ubud are fairly walkable) which makes it slightly more challenging to get around with young children, and we also had to head out for most meals. This may not be an issue if you’re happy to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at your hotel’s on-site restaurant each day.
After some trial-and-error we did manage to make the trip work for us – here are some additional top tips for visiting Bali with a baby.
Worried about bringing too much luggage? You can rent any baby gear including travel cots and car seats for around US$5 or AU$7 a day. We used Bali Baby Hire – it was easy to coordinate the equipment booking via e-mail and they even dropped off and picked up all the gear for us.
Book a driver with a child car seat. I recommend getting in touch with Gede or Sudewa/Ani (numbers at the top of this Uluwatu travel guide) who can provide a forward-facing child car seat. If you need a rear-facing baby car seat for younger children book one for your trip via Bali Baby Hire.
Stock up on diapers and baby food. You can easily buy diapers and baby food from Carrefour near the international airport or from the local Pepitos supermarket.
Be prepared if your baby gets sick in Bali. Some Uluwatu hotels will have a pediatrician on call, make sure you ask if your baby requires medical attention. Otherwise, head straight to BIMC private hospital in Nusa Dua or Denpasar, or the Uluwatu Medical Care center for non-emergencies. You can also buy baby paracetamol in liquid form from Guardian pharmacies.
Many hotels may not have a cot, or may be adults-only. Double check with hotels if they are able to provide a cot, as they might not even if the hotel’s booking page says that they can. Jepun Sari was not able to provide a baby cot but we brought our own rental, and Gypsea Bali was able to provide one in the room.
The majority of restaurants and beach/day clubs in Bali have high chairs. If you are looking for kid-friendly cafes and restaurants in Uluwatu I recommend The Cashew Tree, Ulu Garden and Gooseberry (which even though does not have a designated play area, has a lovely team who always made us feel welcome, and a small area with pebbles tucked away at the back – and kids love pebbles). Ulu Cliffhouse was also perfect for our toddler, and there were many other families with young children there when we visited.
Last but absolutely not least, here is my top tip for traveling to Uluwatu with kids: need an extra pair of hands to wrangle your little one? There are many experienced nannies in Bali who you can hire by the hour (or day, or even your whole trip) to help you out so that you can actually sit down and eat your meal, go for a surf, practice yoga or go for a massage.
I highly recommend getting in touch with Febri from Feby’lous Bali Nanny or Ani from Mom’s Nanny Care – we have personally used both services. We first met Ani in 2022 and she joined us for a few lunches and afternoon play sessions over the first 2-3 days to see if it was a good fit, and she since joined us again through Bali for three weeks in 2023 – our toddler just loves hanging out with her, and she is incredibly playful and watchful over him.
Get in touch with Febri or Ani as soon as you know your dates for visiting Uluwatu as good nannies are in high demand! The rates are extremely reasonable – 65,000 IDR (US$5 or AU$6.5) per hour with a minimum of 5 hours per day. A small travel fee may apply to cover petrol fees for the nanny to travel to and from Uluwatu.
Where to go after Uluwatu
Uluwatu to Canggu: Canggu is another perfect Bali beach destination with breathtaking sunsets, excellent surf, an endless string of cafes and restaurants and proximity to Tanah Lot temple. Canggu is approximately 30-35 kilometres or an hour’s drive from Uluwatu, though this can take up to two hours because of traffic. Here are some of the top things to do in Canggu.
Uluwatu to Ubud: Ubud in central Bali is one of the top tourist destinations in Bali and often referred to as the cultural capital of the island. It is famous for its emerald cascading rice terraces in Tegallalang, thousands of Hindu shrines, powerful waterfalls and art museums. Ubud is approximately 50 kilometres or a two hour drive from Uluwatu. Here are some of the best things to do in Ubud.
Uluwatu to Nusa Dua: The resort town of Nusa Dua is on the eastern coast of the Bukit Peninsula and a popular option for people who are looking to relax during their Bali vacation. This is where you’ll find many 5-star resorts and hotel chains.
Uluwatu to Sanur: The coastal beach town is an underrated Bali destination, popular with families and people looking for a less frenetic pace and fewer crowds. The white sand beaches are a big draw, as is the long boardwalk spanning the length of the Sanur coast – you can easily rent a bicycle to ride up and down the boardwalk, stopping at restaurants and cafes along the way.
I hope this guide to Uluwatu in Bali helps you to plan your perfect getaway to the Bukit Peninsula!
Ready to book your Uluwatu trip? I recommend checking out Jepun Sari for a low-key beachy boutique hotel stay – there are only a handful of rooms so we found it very peaceful and quiet. We also enjoyed our time at Gypsea Bali, the classic effortless Bali-style boutique hotel with a lovely staff and beautiful restaurant and pool area. Families or groups of friends traveling together might also want to check out Casa Pantai, a private 4-bedroom villa in Bingin. For other options click here to check out highly-rated hotels and accommodation in Uluwatu.
We also strongly considered staying at The Elementum (everyone raves about the pool and restaurant), Origin Uluwatu (for a unique glamping experience in Uluwatu) and Legends Beachfront Resort (stunning cliffside boutique hotel with million dollar views).
You may also enjoy these reads:
- Planning a trip to Bali can be overwhelming. Here is my easy 2 week Bali itinerary for first time visitors
- Canggu is another popular beach destination in Bali. Read this for my Canggu travel guide
- Headed to Ubud? Here are the best things to do in Ubud, Bali’s cultural capital
- If you plan on spending time in the northern mountain region of Bali here is my guide to the best things to do in Munduk and Bedugul
- Southeast Asia is one of the most exciting regions, but there are many common misconceptions about this part of the world. Read this before you travel to Southeast Asia!
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