THE VIBE OF ULUWATU
Uluwatu is an area in Bali known for their beaches and surfing. The one area near Bingin Beach gives off a “Greece” vibe with the houses built into the cliffs! We would recommend Uluwatu to EVERYONE. It is great for solo travellers, backpackers, surfers, families, couples, friends, etc! If you’re looking to eat amazing food (they have so many vegetarian/vegan options too!), relax on a beautiful beach, visit amazing temples filled with culture, wake up with monkeys at your doorstep (LITERALLY!!), and experience Bali that isn’t incredibly overwhelmed with tourism yet, VISIT ULUWATU!
GETTING TO ULUWATU
We flew into Ngurah Rai International Airport located in Denpasar, this is the main airport in Bali! It was a 40 minute car ride from the airport to where we stayed in Uluwatu – an area called Bingin Beach. *Be Cautious* There are SO many people at the airport hounding you to be your driver. We realized afterwards we overpaid the driver by A LOT, but we arrived late at night and felt safer taking a cab service vs. a driver at the time.
GETTING AROUND IN ULUWATU
We rented a scooter for SO cheap. They are literally everywhere to rent- walk down the streets and you will find a rental place, promise! We rented for 2 nights and it was 8 USD. CRAZY. They are under 5 USD per day depending on your location in Bali. The people just trust you with it if you have a licence, you don’t have to give/show anything else! We thought this was bizarre as we’ve never ridden a scooter before, but it is VERY easy and quick to learn! Just be careful, everyone rides scooters around, and they drive much crazier than us in North America!
WHERE TO STAY & FOR HOW LONG
Stay anywhere along the west coastline! From Dreamland beach, to Bingin Beach, to Padong Padong Beach. Anywhere along that coastline is an EXCELLENT choice! It’s close to so much and the perfect beach getaway.
We stayed for 2 nights but wish we had 1 more night at least! There is so much to see and do in the area. *Note: It is VERY easy to get lost. All of the houses are built into the hills and it took us an hour to find our Airbnb! There are also endless stairs, we had to walk up and down hundreds each day to get anywhere. It gave off a Greece vibe to us! If you can’t do stairs, you probably shouldn’t visit the beaches!
We splurged because it was our honeymoon, but this was the Airbnb we stayed in. I’m still blown away it exists lol. It was perfection and 200 CDN per night when we went, but looks like it has gone up in price. It’s also good to note that most Airbnb’s in Bali have hosts or workers that work there similar to hotels. There was someone who brought us breakfast in the mornings and cleaned our rooms each day. This was the same for all the Airbnbs we stayed in throughout Bali!
Search below to find your dream stay on our favourite search engine!
For a more budget-friendly options, there are many backpacker lodges, hostels, and surf camps/villas. Here are a list of the best ones:
Karma Backpacker House
SR Hostel Uluwatu
Hideaway Villas Bali
Renaissance Bali Uluwatu Resort & Spa
WHAT TO DO & SEE IN ULUWATU
1. ULUWATU TEMPLE & KECAK FIRE DANCE
Bonus if you go for sunset! One of Bali’s most scenic temples. This was one of our favourite experiences. It reminded Shawn of the Great Wall in China and was SO unique. This is a Balinese temple so it is required to wear sarongs (skirts) when you enter, which are provided for you. Keep in mind there are monkeys running around everywhere that WILL come up to you and steal your things LOL. They stole Shawns sunglasses off his backpack. If you make it here for sunset, you can pay to see the Sunset & Kecak Fire Dance. It was totally worth it, the flames were crazy!
The entrance fee to Uluwatu Temple is 30,000 IDR = $2.15 USD.
Note: No drones are allowed!
2. HEAD TO ONE OF THE BEAUTIFUL BEACHES
Nyang-Nyang Beach – Arguably one of the most beautiful beach in Bali! The pure white sand is breathtaking and it stretches for 2 km, with the prettiest turquoise waters! This is located at the most southern point of the Bukit Peninsula.
Bingin Beach – Spend the day at this beautiful beach surfing, or relaxing at one of the cute restaurants along the water! Note: There are about 50-100 stairs to walk down to get to this beach so just be aware!
Bukit Peninsula Beaches – Balangan Beach or Padang Padang Beach – these are smaller and close by to Bingin following the west coast of Bali! FUN FACT: Padong Padong Beach got famous from the movie “Eat, Pray, Love” being filmed there! This is a paid beach, but equates to about $1 USD to enter
Note: Most of the restaurants along these beaches only take cash! Surprising for 2020, but keep that in mind if you want to grab a bite as there are so many quaint restaurants/bars to check out!
3. SPEND ALL DAY AT AN EXTRAVAGANT BEACH CLUB
Spend a day or afternoon sipping a nice cold drink and sunbathing at one of these famous beach clubs in the area!
Ulu Cliffhouse – This is the one we went to! It was about a 15 minute drive from our place on Bingin Beach. It was EPIC. We had the best time! The food and drinks were amazing! Day beds were very pricy, but the vibe was awesome!
Sunday’s Beach Club – Part of the Ugasan Clifftop Resort, but you can head to the club even if you aren’t staying there! Before going to Bali, this place popped up on our feed constantly, it is definitely on the fancier side of things being about 30 USD to enter!
Oneeighty – The Edge sky pool bar lounge. This is a clifftop day club that has a well known infinity pool off a cliff! You’ve probably seen photos of it! Gets its name for having 180 degree view of the water!
Note: You need to book reservations for the places listed above as they are VERY popular and it can be difficult getting in!
4. VISIT GWK CULTURAL PARK
This is about a 20 minute drive from the main area of Uluwatu, but well worth it! We loved checking out the area and seeing the famous grounds & statue!
5. SURF! OR TRY IT FOR THE FIRST TIME!
This area of Bali is known for its surfing! We couldn’t believe how many people were out on the waves at any time of day! From beginner to expert, there are so many places along the beaches that will help you out if you want to surf! Shawn tried it for the first time and it was a STRUGGLE but loved it! We are NOT surfers but watched others as they attempted the waves of the ocean and it was beautiful!
WHERE TO EAT IN ULUWATU
The Cashew Tree Restaurant – Organic Vegetarian Cafe, our favourite, we even ate here twice!
The Loft – The cutest brunch spot ever!
The Sun and Surf Stay – Great food on the beach
Bukit Cafe – SO GOOD – great healthy options
Lucky Fish – They do a BBQ on the beach each night containing the fresh items they caught that day! A seafood lovers dream
Dinner on the beach at Jimbaran Bay
The Mango Tree Cafe – Mexican
Suka Espresso – Amazing coffee & food – known to be one of the best cafes, breakfast is served until 3!
La Baracca – Italian
& don’t forget to grab a Bintang! The beer of Bali – the radler is also super tasty for a nonalcoholic option!
OVERALL, THIS WAS ONE OF OUR FAVOURITE SPOTS IN BALI!
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KaleyJanuary 8, 2020 at 9:01 pm
Thanks for the great tips! I didn’t think I would be up for a scooter rental but you guys have me reconsidering. We’ll be staying in Nusa Dua area and thought about taking a scooter to some places not too far away like GWK and maybe some of the beaches you mentioned. How are the roads on that side of Bali? I’d imagine they’d be pretty hectic by the airport or Ubud.
thompsontrottersJanuary 11, 2020 at 7:28 pm
Thanks for reading! That’s a tough one because we stayed off a lot of the major roads when scootering since we only visited places along the west coast, but it was SO easy to scooter around, definitely worth it! I feel like it depends what path you take to get there, as some of the driving there is crazy so just be cautious!