Are you looking for the best beaches in Uluwatu? Then you’ve come to the right place. After traveling in Bali for 14 years, I thought it was about time to put together a list of the many beautiful white-sand beaches the area offers.
Most of Bali’s beaches are black or grey in color because of volcanic ash from the island’s still active volcanos. Which of course can be gorgeous as well, but I have to admit that I do prefer lighter-colored sand.
Even though many are disappointed by the beaches on the Island of Gods, some who take the time to explore will say they are magical. Especially the beaches in Uluwatu.
Maybe it’s the monkeys trying to steal your things, the hunky surfers, the smiling locals selling coconuts in their makeshift shacks or the majestic temples. I don’t know how to put the magic of Bali into words, so you better go see for yourself!
🐚 Pro tip >> If you don’t feel comfortable driving by yourself, you can book this affordable private driver and ask him to take you to the beaches you want to see or anywhere else on the island!
- Uluwatu beach map
- 15 best beaches in Uluwatu
- Tips for visiting Uluwatu beaches
- Uluwatu travel guide
- Popular Bali travel guides
Uluwatu beach map
While technically only the area around Uluwatu Monkey Temple is called Uluwatu, most travelers refer to the entire west and south side of the Bukit Peninsula as Uluwatu. That’s why I decided to also include a few beaches that are closer to Nusa Dua.
You can find them all on the map below. And make sure to also check out my guide to the best places to stay in Bali for a complete island area breakdown.
15 best beaches in Uluwatu
1. Padang Padang (Labuan Sait)
Padang Padang Beach, known locally as Pantai Labuan Sait, is one of Bali’s most famous and beloved beaches in Uluwatu. This idyllic spot gained international fame after being featured in the 2010 movie “Eat Pray Love”.
The beach is accessed via a narrow passage and steep staircase that cuts through a striking limestone cliff, adding a sense of adventure as you make your way down to the shore.
Once you reach the bottom, Padang Padang unfolds as a breathtaking stretch of fine white sand, enclosed by large boulders and cliffs that create a secluded, cove-like atmosphere.
The turquoise waters are inviting and typically calm, protected by the surrounding rock formations, making it an excellent choice for swimming and leisurely dips in the sea. During low tide, the beach becomes a playground for families, with natural tidal pools and exposed coral that offer opportunities for exploration and relaxation.
Padang Padang gets very crowded, so I recommend you get there super early and then head to one of the lesser-known beaches on this list when the crowds roll in.
2. Balangan Beach
Balangan Beach, a 550m stretch of golden sand bordered by a tall limestone cliff, isn’t just one of Bali’s prettiest beaches it’s also home to one of the island’s longest left-hander surf breaks. T
his little slice of paradise attracts surfers and sunbathers from all over the world, but somehow it doesn’t feel crowded. It reminds me more of the incredible beaches around Kuta Lombok.
Getting to Balangan is easy thanks to clearly marked signs. When you reach a small intersection keep right and you’ll get to the main entrance where parking fees range between 2000 and 5000 IDR for motorbikes and cars. This is the swimmable part of the beach with calmer water and minimal reef.
Keep left at the intersection and you’ll reach the surfing part of the beach. Not great for swimming but it’s where you’ll find most of the warungs and sunbeds.
On my first visit to Bali back in early 2010, Balangan was the first beach I visited after Kuta. And what a difference it was, laidback surfer heaven vs. noisy tourist mayhem.
We stayed in one of the warungs/homestays at the beach for only $5 a night and encountered maybe ten other people. Ah, the good “old” days. Balangan has been one of my favorite beaches in Bali ever since.
You can also stay in Sea View Bungalows on top of the cliff for the best view of the amazing Balangan sunsets. Or Flower Bud Bungalows for a lush, tropical setting (pictured below) just a minute from the beach. Both hotels offer great value for money!
3. Thomas Beach (Padang Padang)
Driving back and forth from Uluwatu in the old days, we always talked about and wondered how to get to the large, deserted white beach we passed by every day. According to locals, this mysterious stretch of sand is the real Padang Padang Beach, also known as Thomas Beach because of the old homestay.
These days it’s much easier to reach the beach thanks to a newly made gravel road. You’ll see the Padang Padang Beach sign from the main road just opposite Suka Espresso. Which by the way is one of the best cafés in Uluwatu.
To get your feet in the sand you have to make your way down a steep set of stairs. At high tide, the turquoise water covers the reef so you can swim and frolic in the water. At low tide, however, the water disappears out to sea, exposing the reef and green moss-covered rocks.
Down on the beach, there are several warungs where you can buy coconuts, cold drinks and enjoy both Indonesian and Western dishes. There are also sun loungers for rent, but I usually opt to just lay on the sand. The best place to swim is the area closest to the entrance where there is little reef in the water.
In addition to the older Thomas Homestay, you can also stay in Ari Homestay, the orange building you see below. But one of the best value places to stay in the area is Kutuh Manak Guest House, just a short walk away from both Padang Padang beaches.
4. Bingin Beach
Bingin Beach is known for its laid-back, bohemian vibe and picture-perfect scenery. It is a favorite among the surf community and those in search of a relaxed, authentic beach experience away from the island’s more commercialized spots.
The journey to Bingin Beach involves navigating a series of narrow paths and steep steps that wind down the cliffside, which can be a bit of a challenge but is well worth the effort.
The beach itself is a stretch of powdery light sand, framed by natural limestone cliffs and dotted with unique rock formations. Come high tide, transforms Bingin into a surfer’s paradise, with consistent left-hander waves that draw a crowd of both local and international surfers.
Bingin Beach is not just about surfing; it has a burgeoning reputation as a hip destination, with a growing number of boho accommodation, from simple guesthouses to stylish villas, built along the cliff.
The beachfront is lined with casual cafes and warungs where you can indulge in fresh seafood, healthy smoothie bowls, and a variety of international and local dishes. Yoga sessions, impromptu jam sessions, and laid-back beach gatherings are common here, making it one of the best places in Uluwatu to meet other travelers.
🌟 Beach Tour & Sunset Dinner
Limited on time? Bingin Beach, along with Padang Padang and Suluban Beach, are included in this full-day tour of Uluwatu!
5. Suluban Beach
Suluban Beach, to the right above, is one of the most unique beaches in Uluwatu. The name ‘Suluban’ comes from the Balinese word ‘mesulub,’ which translates to ‘to crouch under,’ referring to the way you must duck under limestone caves to access the sandy shore.
At low tide, the retreating waters reveal tidal pools and a more expansive area of sand, while high tide brings the waves right up to the base of the cliffs.
Suluban Beach is a well-known surf spot, offering one of the most challenging breaks in Bali, with waves that attract experienced surfers from around the world. The smaller beach to the left is where the surfers paddle in and out, so it isn’t the best place to lie down.
While not ideal for casual swimming due to the strong currents and rocky seabed, the beach is perfect for those who enjoy watching the surf action from a safe and scenic vantage point.
Above the beach, a series of warungs perched on the cliff offers stunning views over the ocean, serving as excellent spots to relax with a cold drink or a meal after navigating the steps and paths down to the beach.
6. Nyang Nyang Beach
Nyang Nyang Beach is easy to reach by motorbike from Uluwatu. Just drive south to the Uluwatu temple, take a left and follow the road until you see a large and faded sign on your right that says Nyang Nyang surfing beach. It is the entrance right after Karang Boma Cliff.
Take in the incredible view from the top while you mentally prepare for the long hike down to the beach. Of all the beaches I have visited in Bali, Nyang Nyang is the least accessible.
There are two warungs next to the parking area on top of the cliff, and often cold drinks to buy at beach level. So bring snacks and be sure to have enough to drink for the hike back up. I almost passed out of the strenuous walk after a hot and humid day in the sun.
Nyang Nyang is the perfect place for a “Cast Away” day out when you want to escape the Bali craziness. There are many shacks along the beach made of driftwood and other materials washed ashore by the tide. The coolest part about Nyang Nyang is all the seashell art hanging from the trees as you can see below.
Nyang Nyang isn’t only a beautiful stretch of sand, it’s also popular with surfers. Uncrowded rides of up to 150 meters can be had when conditions are good. But keep in mind that the wave is best suited for advanced surfers.
Remember to check the tide to pick the ideal time to visit Nyang Nyang, high tide is best for swimming.
7. Nunggalan Beach
Nunggalan Beach is one of Uluwatu’s most secluded and unspoiled beaches, offering a slice of paradise for those willing to venture off the beaten path. This hidden beach is renowned for its dramatic natural beauty, characterized by a long stretch of golden sand flanked by rugged limestone cliffs and lush vegetation.
Reaching Nunggalan Beach is part of the adventure, as it requires a relatively strenuous descent on foot. You must undertake a 20-30 minute hike down a steep and sometimes challenging trail.
The effort, however, is richly rewarded upon arrival. The beach is often less crowded than other popular spots in Bali, providing a sense of tranquility and escape that is increasingly rare on the island.
The clear turquoise waters are inviting for swimming, although caution is advised due to the potential for strong currents and waves. The beach is also home to a notable shipwreck that sits close to the shore, which has become a popular photo op.
With minimal development and few vendors or facilities, Nunggalan Beach offers a truly rustic and natural beach experience. You should come prepared with your own supplies, including water, snacks, and sunscreen, and please make sure to not leave any trash.
8. Green Bowl Beach
Green Bowl Beach is a small white-sand cove also located on the southern coast, next to the abandoned Bali Cliff Resort. It is known as one of the best surf spots on the island and is not suitable for beginners.
To enter the parking area there is a fee of 5000 Rp, which all goes straight back into the local community. Access to the beach is from a long stairway through the jungle. So, unfortunately, this beach is not accessible for people with mobility issues either. Be aware of the monkeys, they will try to steal anything they can get their hands on if you get too close.
Next, to the parking area, there are three warungs selling the usual cold drinks, snacks and coconuts. If you’re in bad shape like me you’ll probably collapse at one of their tables after climbing back up all those stairs in the scorching heat.
Green Bowl Beach is known for its resident bats living in the caves at the beach. During the day you can often see hundreds of them sleeping in the ceiling and if you’re not scared you can some cool shots from inside the cave. Which I somehow forgot!
The only bad thing I can say about Green Bowl is all the hawkers selling bracelets, drinks and sarongs. I know they’re only trying to make a living, but when you are alone at the beach and have five people in a circle around you, it can be a bit much. But don’t let this discourage you, Green Bowl is definitely worth a visit.
9. Melasti Beach
Melasti Beach, located on the southernmost point in Bali, has recently become one of my favorite beaches on the island. It is definitely one of the top 3 best beaches in Uluwatu. The sand is clean, the water is crystal clear and there are several areas without reef which makes it the perfect spot for swimming, especially at high tide.
A couple of small warungs serve the usual noodles and cold drinks and you can rent the usual sun loungers and umbrellas. Remember to bargain, they quoted me 50k per hour but I ended up paying 100k half the day! There is also a large paved area with toilets, though I did not check those out. At the moment both entrance and parking at Melasti are free.
If you’re staying on the Bukit you can easily rent a motorbike/scooter and drive here yourself. You’ll find the exact location on Google Maps, so if you don’t have internet on your phone make sure to download the map before you go. Melasti and Green Bowl Beach are located within just 10 minutes of each other, so you should check out both while you are there!
The winding road travels along the cliff’s edge, providing incredible views of rolling waves and small white sand beaches below. There are several viewpoints along the way that you will definitely want to stop at, so have your camera ready.
With so many beautiful beaches nearby, you should definitely consider staying in the area. Adila Bali is the most amazing villa located just a stone’s throw from both Green Bowl and Melasti. It offers incredible views, the kindest staff and it is so affordable for what you get. So check it out!
10. Pandawa Beach
Pandawa Beach, located on the Bukit Peninsula in Uluwatu, Bali, is a coastal haven known for its striking blue waters, soft white sand, and serene atmosphere that captivates both locals and tourists alike.
Pandawa was once considered a secret beach, hidden behind large limestone cliffs that required laborious treks to access its beauty. However, in recent years, the way has been opened up, and the beach is now easily accessible via a paved road that cuts through the towering cliffs, revealing panoramic views of the Indian Ocean as you descend.
Upon arrival, you are greeted by impressive carved statues set into the cliffs, depicting characters from the Mahabharata epic, which adds a cultural touch to the beach’s entrance.
The gentle, rolling waves make it one of the best beaches in Uluwatu for swimming. Local vendors offer these water sports equipment for rent, alongside parasols and sun loungers for those looking to unwind by the sea.
The beach is also equipped with amenities such as showers, restrooms, and a selection of warungs where you can enjoy fresh coconut, traditional Indonesian dishes, and a variety of snacks.
With its relatively calm waters and wide stretches of sand, Pandawa Beach is family-friendly and suitable for visitors of all ages. It’s also a popular spot for paragliding, offering an exhilarating way to take in the breathtaking coastal views.
11. Dreamland Beach
Dreamland Beach, once a hidden and near-deserted stretch of sand in the Uluwatu area, has undergone a transformation over the years into one of the island’s most well-known tourist destinations.
Originally discovered by surfers back in the 1970s, Dreamland Beach was initially prized for its perfect waves and untouched natural beauty. The beach’s name itself alludes to the idyllic paradise it once was.
In recent years, Dreamland has seen significant development, with the establishment of the Pecatu Graha and New Kuta Beach resort complex, which includes a golf course, hotels, and residential areas.
This development has made the beach more accessible and has brought with it an influx of amenities. However, it has also altered the original laid-back vibe. So while Dreamland is one of the best beaches in Uluwatu, I rarely go there anymore.
🌟 Uluwatu surf lesson
Learn to surf with Rifon, one of the best teachers on the Bukit!!
12. Tegal Wangi Beach
Tegal Wangi Beach is one of Bali’s hidden gems, offering a more secluded and natural beach experience compared to the island’s more famous and crowded counterparts. Located near Jimbaran, this beach is cherished for its rugged beauty and serene atmosphere, making it a favorite among those looking to escape the bustle of tourist hotspots.
Tegal Wangi is known for its dramatic cliffs, which provide a stunning backdrop to the crystal-clear waters and the rocky shoreline adorned with unique rock formations and natural limestone arches.
The beach is accessible via a steep path that winds down the cliffside, revealing a relatively untouched paradise where visitors can enjoy the tranquility of the ocean and the captivating sunset views.
13. Kubu Beach
Kubu Beach is one of Uluwatu’s lesser-known treasures. Tucked away on the western coast of the Bukit Peninsula, near the luxurious Ayana Resort and Spa, this hidden cove is a stark contrast to the more developed beaches around the island, providing a sense of seclusion that is becoming increasingly rare in Bali.
Access to Kubu Beach is somewhat of an adventure, involving a descent down a rugged cliffside path. The journey down is made easier by stairs and paths carved into the rock, but it still requires a bit of effort, which helps to keep the crowds at bay.
If you make the trek you are rewarded with a stunning view of a secluded stretch of sand, flanked by dramatic limestone cliffs. There are large swimmable parts without reef in the water, which is rare in this area.
The beach club, available to the guests of Ayana Resort and Spa, takes up quite a lot of space. However, don’t let that keep you from visiting.
14. Gunung Payung Beach
Gunung Payung Beach is another hidden gem next to Pandawa, encircled by verdant cliffs, soft golden sand and clear azure waters.
Getting to Gunung Payung involves descending a series of steps, which contributes to its tranquility by deterring large crowds. Recently though a shuttle service has become available to take you from the parking lot to the beach.
While Gunung Payung is not as well-known for surfing as some of its neighboring beaches, it is perfect for those looking to escape the typical tourist hotspots and enjoy a more laid-back experience.
The calm waters near the shore are suitable for swimming, and the surrounding rock formations and coral reefs make it an interesting spot for snorkeling when conditions are favorable.
You’ll find a small warung on the beach, toilets and showers. However, I have not tried any of those amenities. Also, there are some beach loungers with umbrellas, as well as kayaks, available for rent.
15. Sundays Beach Club
This luxurious beach club is part of the Ungasan Clifftop Resort and offers a quintessential Uluwatu beach experience with its private, picturesque setting. You descend a scenic inclinator to reach the club, which reveals a stunning stretch of beach encircled by towering limestone cliffs.
Once there, guests can lounge on plush daybeds, soak up the tropical sun, and take leisurely swims in the inviting Indian Ocean. The club provides a serene escape from the busier tourist spots on the island, allowing for a day of relaxation and indulgence in a chic and stylish atmosphere.
Sundays Beach Club is not just about the idyllic beach; it also boasts a range of amenities and activities to enhance the experience. The club’s restaurant serves a delicious array of international cuisine, with a focus on fresh, locally sourced ingredients and seafood straight from the surrounding waters.
As the day transitions into evening, the atmosphere at Sundays Beach Club becomes even more enchanting with ambient lighting and the glow of a beachside bonfire. Guests can enjoy signature cocktails and toast marshmallows under the stars, often accompanied by live acoustic music.
Tips for visiting Uluwatu beaches
Visiting the beaches in Uluwatu, Bali, can be an unforgettable experience. Here’s a list of tips to help you make the most of your time in this stunning region:
- Watch the tides: Most of the beaches in Uluwatu are best enjoyed at mid-tide when more sand is exposed while the water is still deep enough to swim. At low tide, you have to walk across the reef to get to the water. So check tide schedules before you go.
- Wear proper footwear: Some beaches in Uluwatu are accessible via steps or rocky paths, so wear hiking sandals or shoes suitable for walking on uneven surfaces if you’re not a pro flip-flop wearer like myself.
- Bring sun protection: The sun can be intense in Bali, even more so than you’d think. Pack sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the harsh UV rays.
- Stay hydrated: Bring plenty of water to stay hydrated in the tropical heat, especially if you plan to spend the whole day at the beach. To avoid adding to the plastic waste issue, bring a filtered water bottle.
- Respect the temples: Uluwatu is known for its seaside temples, so dress modestly and follow local customs when visiting these sacred sites. Also, watch out for the daily offerings often placed at beach and warung entrances.
- Be cautious of strong currents: The ocean in Uluwatu can have strong currents, so be cautious when swimming, and always heed local warnings. Even when it looks calm you can be swept away from shore.
- Keep valuables safe: Petty theft can happen, as in any tourist destination. So always keep an eye on your belongings. When going swimming, I usually leave my stuff at one of the warungs and buy something from them before or after. I was almost robbed once on Selong Belanak in Lombok.
- Explore hidden gems: The most popular beaches in Uluwatu, such as Padang Padang and Bingin, get super crowded. So don’t be afraid to explore off the beaten track, and the ones I mention above that don’t have all the amenities.
- Water toys: If you’re planning to surf and don’t have your own board, you can easily rent one on the beach. Some of the beaches also rent our snorkeling gear and canoes.
- Beach cleanliness: Always clean up after yourself to maintain the pristine nature of the beaches. Some beaches may not have trash bins, so be prepared to take your rubbish with you back to your accommodation.
- Cash is king: Bring cash as most of the beach warungs, stalls and entrance fees do not accept credit cards.
- Stay safe: Keep an eye out for natural hazards such as sharp coral, sea urchins, or jellyfish. I have even encountered sea snakes at Padang Padang several times.
- Enjoy the sunset: Uluwatu beaches offer some of the most stunning sunsets. Plan to stay in the evening to witness the spectacular colors over the Indian Ocean. Some of the best sunsets I’ve ever seen have been at Balangan Beach.
- Know your limits: If you’re not an experienced swimmer or surfer, be mindful of your abilities and avoid risky activities. I have seen so many surfing accidents both from pros and amateurs. Keep in mind that medical help is a long way away down here.
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Uluwatu travel guide
Here’s a quick overview of things you should know before visiting Bali. Uluwatu is my favorite part of the island, I just love the laid-back vibe. In my experience, it is also the sunniest place during Bali’s rainy season. So be sure to include at least a few days down here in your Bali itinerary.
How to get around in Uluwatu
The main modes of transportation in Uluwatu, and Bali in general, are scooters or motorbikes as the locals call them, rideshares and private drivers. So let’s take a look at the best options for you.
Rent a scooter
I love driving around by myself in Uluwatu, feeling the sun on my skin and the wind in my hair. If you’re comfortable on a scooter, I recommend renting one to get around locally.
You can easily ask your accommodation to arrange a scooter for you. It usually costs around 75.000 IDR a day, if you rent for a longer period you can bargain the price down a bit.
You can also get a scooter delivered to your hotel or homestay. That way you don’t run the risk of being told that there are no more scooters available. It doesn’t get more convenient. All of this is included in the rental:
- Helmet for max 2 persons
- full tank of gas (petrol) upon delivery
- 24/7 road-side assistance
- Mobile phone holder
- First-aid kit and rain poncho (for maximum 2 people)
🛵 Check price and availability here >> Scooter rental with delivery
With a private driver
When I’m doing day trips or traveling across the island, I often book this driver. You can, of course, drive your scooter as well, however, for longer distances I prefer to enjoy the landscape from the comfort of an air-conditioned car. Especially when you’re only in Bali for two weeks and bring your luggage from place to place.
This is a super affordable full-day customizable tour, which means you have the driver for 10 hours and you can go where you want. It’s the perfect option if it’s your first time in Bali and there are a lot of places on your Bali bucket list.
🚘 Check price & availability here >> Affordable private driver in Bali
GoJek and Grab are two popular ridesharing options in Bali that offer affordable and convenient transportation for locals and tourists alike. However, there are some areas in Bali where these services are not allowed due to local regulations aka the taxi mafia.
Places like Single Fin and Melasti Beach have “rideshares not allowed” signs. You can get dropped off but not picked up. However, you can often just walk 5-10 minutes up the street to a more quiet spot and wait for your driver there.
So if you’re traveling on a budget, I recommend downloading at least one of the apps. You can also use both for other services such as food delivery and shopping.
Where to stay in Uluwatu
I often choose to stay close to Padang Padang Beach because you can walk to a lot of bars and restaurants if you want to enjoy a cocktail or two.
My favorite hotel is Pink Coco, an adults-only hotel set just 30 meters up the road from the beach. Because it’s pink with green pools and palm trees. Need I say more? D’Padang Homestay is a more affordable option. Or if you can afford it, the inanely beautiful The Luxe Bali sits on top of the cliff overlooking the beach.
Bingin is my favorite spot in Bali for boho hotels and homestays. Treat yourself to breathtaking accommodation like Sal Secret Spot and BoHo Bingin Beach on top of the cliff. For cheaper but also beautiful options check out Bingin Bienvenue Guest House or Mama Tom Toms on the cliffside.
Surf & yoga retreats
Bali is one of the top destinations in the world for surfing and practicing yoga. The island’s world-class breaks have been popular among surfers since the 70s, long before the Instagrammers and digital nomads took over the island.
Bali is also known for its rich spiritual heritage, with ancient temples, traditional ceremonies, and vibrant festivals. So by combining surf and yoga in a retreat, you’ll get to experience the best of Bali. And there’s no better place to join a retreat than Uluwatu.
If you’re looking for a unique yoga and surf retreat, then S Resorts Hidden Valley in Uluwatu is the perfect one for you. It is my favorite surf and yoga retreat I’ve been to in Bali, due to the personalized experience.
This beautiful resort offers a range of activities and amenities that cater to both surfers and yogis, making it the ideal place to relax and rejuvenate.
🌟 My top pick for surf & yoga in Uluwatu >> S Resorts personalized retreat
Please don’t drink unfiltered tap water in Bali, it contains bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms due to the poor condition of pipes and the tropic climate. If you drink it you will most likely pay the price for it later. Bali Belly is no joke haha!
On the other hand, I have always brushed my teeth in tap water and had drinks with ice cubes in everything from upscale restaurants to local warungs.
Also, please keep plastic water bottles to a minimum as there are waste management issues in most areas on the island. Bring or buy a filtered water bottle or at least a reusable bottle, many hotels and cafés offer free water refills these days.
My favorite bottle for travel, backpacking and hiking.
You can fill it up anywhere, LifeStraw filters bacteria, parasites, chemicals and microplastics.
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