After exploring Bali for two weeks with a full on itinerary including Canggu, Ubud and Nusa Penida as well as Lovina and Munduk in the North and seeing more waterfalls and rice terraces than ever before, I was ready for some beach time. Read on to find the best spots to eat, stay, sunbathe and surf in Uluwatu, Bali.
My favourite beaches in Uluwatu
Green Bowl Beach
Green Bowl was my all time favourite beach in Uluwatu. It is a small secluded beach, tucked away from all the popular surfing spots. However, make sure to check the tides before you go, as at high tide there is no beach! At low tide there are a lot of rocks surrounding the beach, so not ideal for swimming and also not as photogenic in a drone shot. It actually took us three attempts to come and visit this beach, as first time it was high tide, with no beach, and second time it was low tide and the water was 2 metres out, which definitely didn’t look at pretty. I would recommend coming right in between tides to see this beach. There is also a small temple hidden away in the small caves in the rocks. There was one surfer while we were there but otherwise it was very calm.
Padang Padang Beach
Padang Padang beach is open from 7am, and costs 10k each for admission. A popular spot for surfers and jam packed during the day, it’s a perfect sunrise spot. The sun comes through the trees and hits the beach through the rocks. With just a few surfers doing their early morning lessons, we had the place to ourselves. During the day it’s a great sunbathing spot, with lots of umbrellas and ladies selling sarongs. The water also seemed a bit calmer here and we actually managed to get in for a swim. We paid 100k for the umbrella between two of us. There are plenty of people selling drinks but I would say head up from the beach for lunch as the options are limited.
This another tucked away beach, with no real parking area, we parked essentially in someone’s back garden and I’m sure when it gets busy you pay a few thousand to park. After parking you walk to the entrance to the beach and there is a long set of steps the whole way down. Once you are down there are a few nice cafes and lots of surf schools.
Pantai Tegal Wangi
This is a very popular sunset spot, especially amongst locals. This beach gets very busy at sunset, and it will be hard to find a place to park it’s so busy. I actually think it would be a beautiful sunrise spot and only wished we had more time to add this in. The best time to come is also at low tide, when you can see the hundreds of rock pools just on the beach. There are also lots of people fishing for squid.
Another great spot to sunbathe, with one of the largest stretches of white sand, it’s a great spot to sit for the day and relax. We were asked for 100k for two sun loungers but once we bought some drinks, we only had to pay 50k extra for the loungers. The walk down to Thomas beach is actually one of the less strenuous ones, but the road to the parking really is a dirt path so take is slow. We were on a bike and some parts of the way I had to get off and walk.
Also known as Uluwatu beach, this is one of the most popular surfing spots in Uluwatu. There is a road down to the beach with a parking area before you head down a long set of stairs to the caves and beach below. We actually had a great time watching the surfers from above, there are plenty of cafes set up on the rocks with views out over the sea.
And for the most epic viewpoint?
Uluwatu Rock – also known as Karang Boma Cliff
This incredible rock that looks like it has been carved out of the rock and like it could crumble at any minute is up a small road, just to the right of the Uluwatu Temple. As it is not marked at all, and such a small road, we found ourselves to be the only ones there even though it was the middle of the day. The views from either side of the rock as absolutely breath taking. As it is set higher up than the temple and the surrounding cliffs, you can see right to the other side of the cliffs on a clear day. The water below is a perfect blue colour, but don’t get too close to the edge!
Uluwatu Temple – We didn’t actually go in as it was so busy but here are some drone shots. BTW you can’t drone here, we were flying nearby and managed to get some pics!
Where to Eat in Uluwatu
I don’t often eat out, and even when I’m away from home I tend to cook a lot of my own meals but Bali really is the place to eat. From beautiful smoothie bowls to the most delicious eggs you’ll have for breakfast, I couldn’t wait for each next meal!
When I looked up where to eat in Uluwatu, a lot of the same places were coming up, but driving around I could see that there were so many more places than I had originally thought. I will be outlining all the best places to eat, which I couldn’t find anywhere else before stumbling upon them on our journey.
The Rolling Fork
This gorgeous Italian restaurant does THE most delicious breakfast. I had the poached eggs with sourdough, salmon and smashed avocado and Boyan had the pancakes. The pancakes were no regular pancakes; with loads of fruit, granola, coconut flakes and syrup, they were simply divine. The interior is so pretty too and there are also places to sit outside in the garden area. It is located on the main road as you drive down to Padang Padang Beach, perfect on the drive back after sunrise at the beach.
Prices – Under 100k per meal (Less than £5)
If you love pizza then this is the perfect place. With incredible Italian food and a great vibe, Casa Asia gets very busy in the evening! We managed to get a table but it might be better to book in advance in the evening. They have a huge pizza menu so there is one for everyone.
A very popular spot, on the main road up from some great beaches. I would recommend the poached eggs with toast and avocado for breakfast which comes with rocket and homemade butter. For lunch I had the Hummus Bowl which I couldn’t recommend more. Usually I’m not a fan of healthy bowls, but the flavours were amazing. Boyan had the chicken burger which came with amazing sweet potato fries.
Another great brunch spot! Presented beautifully, I had the poached eggs on toast with smashed avocado as usual, but this one was definitely the best I’ve had. Even comes with pesto on the side, delicious! The pancakes were also some of the best we have ever eaten, super squidgy and full of flavour. Also make sure to try a smoothie, made with almond milk they are very thick and filling but so yummy.
The Mango Tree Café
This spot caught my eye on the drive up from Padang Padang Beach, as it has a nice open seating area. The breakfast menu looked great, but we made it just in time for lunch. I would recommend the Beer Battered Mahi Tacos (68k) and Grilled Rib Eye Tacos (78k). They also have a great bakery section, I would recommend the banana bread!
Unique Rooftop Bar at Rimba Jimbaran Resort
As you drive to this place, you will have to first pass a security check point and then only after here can you drive down the road for 5 minutes to reach the main bar and hotel. You don’t need to be a guest at the hotel and we didn’t reserve at all, just rocked up and got a great seat to watch the sunset. There is also a lovely infinity pool so bring a swimsuit to dinner! We had the nachos to start, followed by a chicken burrito and battered fish tacos. This is also one of the only places to get a Coron if you like them!
It is a bit more expensive however, the fish tacos were only 75k but the burrito was 145k, so a bit pricier than other places in Uluwatu, but the view was worth it.
How to get around Uluwatu –
I would definitely recommend getting a scooter while you are here if you can. Some of the main roads can get very busy, so it’s much faster on a scooter to get around, as well as easier to park. There are taxis but I’m not sure on prices as we just rented a scooter.
Scooter for the day – 100k
Fuel – 15k per litre
How to get to Uluwatu –
From the airport, a taxi transfer will cost you around 250k. From Ubud, it is a 2 hour journey and depends where you start on the total cost of the journey.