Uluwatu - 3 reasons you need to go!
Hey Guys, Damien here
I first went to Uluwatu 10 years ago on a surf trip with my mates. Back then it was nothing more than a sleepy surfer town with a few small warung's (restaurants) and one or two guests houses for accommodation. Uluwatu is one of the most renowned surf spots in Bali and attracts crowds of surfers all year round. In recent years it's become more popular with tourists for other reasons. Having spent the last couple of weeks based in Seminyak, we ventured to Uluwatu 4 times - here are our top 3 things to do!
How to get there?
Uluwatu is located on the south-western tip of Bali, roughly 30km from Seminyak / Legian area. Although not far, the irritating and unpredictable Bali traffic can mean this journey can take up to 90 minutes on a bad day.
Hiring a driver to get to Uluwatu will cost around 25,000-40,000 RP ($25-40AUD) for a round-trip, depending on how long you stay and how good your negotiating skills are. We used Wayan, our local driver and good friend twice this trip, with our quickest trip taking 30 minutes, and the longest taking 90 minutes. There is no logic to the traffic - so planning to go early or later in the day won't really make a difference (sorry!).
Hiring a motorbike is the quickest option. It took us about half an hour to get there on the bike, and roughly 45 minutes to get back. Bike hire cost us RP80,000 ($8) for the day, however you can get better rates for long term hire. Petrol is cheap, we filled our tank for RP20,000 ($2) which easily got us there and back. Winding roads and busy streets makes it a pretty chaotic journey on a bike, so I wouldn't suggest this for non-experienced riders.
What to do?
Here's a list of our favourite 3 things to do in Uluwatu:
1. Go to a Beach Club: Whether you want to chill out on the beach, have a nice meal, get a massage, or party on the beach there are a couple of must-visit beach clubs in Uluwatu! The two best clubs are Karma Kandara and Sundays Beach Club. We visited Karma twice and Sundays once, they are both phonemenal places to go if you enjoy good food, drinks, and the beach. We first went to Karma with my parents, we had an awesome day chilling on the beach, drinking Bintang's and cocktails, and having a delicious lunch. Mum, Dad, and Brit also got a massage, which sounded very luxurious. The massage rooms have breathtaking views over the cliffs, looking out to the Indian Ocean.
Our second trip back was for the Karma Beach Glow Party - We were lucky enough to be invited to Karma Beach for this epic event. This was without a doubt one of the best things we have done in Bali. Drinks on the beach, awesome DJ's pumping out tunes, bonfire on the beach, fire dancers, glow in the dark paint, and an epic dance floor on the sand are just a few of the reasons why we can't recommend it enough.
Sundays Beach Club is a little cheaper than Karma (RP300,000), it arguably has a better beach for swimming and also more space to chill on the sun beds. Both of the clubs allow you to spend some of your entry cost on the bar at the beach - this generally pays for a meal or a couple of drinks. We didn't have a bad meal at either club. We spent a few hours with Brit's mum and her husband Glen down at Sundays and it was definitely a day to remember!
2. Beach hopping: Uluwata is home to some of Bali's best beaches. If you're anything like us, the beach of Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak just don't cut it. We visited 4 of the best beaches over 4 days in Uluwatu.
1) Green Bowll beach: I first visited this beach 10 years ago, and all I remembered was it was in the middle of nowhere and had a painful stairway to down a steep cliff. I was stoked to find that it has barely changed! Green Bowll is a remote little beach in Uluwatu that is perfect to spend a day chilling out away from the crowds of Bali. We spent a few hours relaxing on the sand and swimming in the aqua blue waters of Green Bowll recovering from our Karma Beach hangover. There are a couple of ladies selling fresh coconuts, bracelets, and sarongs, but thats it! The only challenge is getting back up to the carpark - the stairs will have you wishing you stayed on the beach for longer!
2) Balangan Beach: Balangan beach is probably the best swimming beach I've been to in Bali. White sand, clear water, and a great view point to check the surf - it's located on the Kuta side of Uluwatu - a must see.
3) Uluwatu beach: Depending on the tide, you can't always swim here. This beach is a popular spot for both surfers and tourists. The beach itself isn't the best for swimming, but the walk through the hanging caves to get there is spectacular. It's also nice being able to have a drink at some of the best sunset bars in the world while watching the surfers below the cliff. We spent a day here with Christian Le Blanc (@lostleblanc) - it was great to get some drone tips from an amazing videographer.
4) Padang-Padang Beach: Padang-Padang is a great family-friendly beach that only a few kilometres from Uluwatu. There are great waves, a few food stores, heaps of monkeys, and plenty of space to chill on the sand. The only problem about this place is that is gets super busy!
Green Bowll Beach
Balangan Beach lookout
3. Single Fin: Our favourite sunset bar in the world. No trip to Bali is complete without a visit to Single Fin. Perched atop the cliff on the south-western tip of the Bukit Peninsula, it is by far the best place to have a few sun-downers. They also serve up great food! They host a party every Sunday, kicking off at around 4pm - hot tip: get there early because it gets packed!
Hope you have enjoyed our Uluwatu content - feel free to comment below with any questions that you may have
Love Damo's style? He's wearing SKWOSH CLUB shorts. Go check them out for some eye candy.. oh and some kick ass designs!