Uluwatu is a place where seaside cliffs plunge into the water, creating dramatic scenery that compliments the sky as it comes alive every night with colours.
Uluwatu is white sand beaches, epic surfing waves, long nights with cocktails in hand and coasting along the rolling hills. There are a number of things to do in Uluwatu that make this destination a highlight on everyone’s Bali itinerary.
Uluwatu’s home is on the southern shores of Bali in the Bukit Peninsula beside Nusa Dua and Jimbaran. It’s home to cliffside resorts, a relaxed atmosphere and a whole lot of beaches.
And though there may not be a ton of Uluwatu activities, the few that there are make Uluwatu incredible. A stay here will chill you out and leave you ready to explore more of Bali.
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Things to do in Uluwatu
Find what to do in Uluwatu and what to see in Uluwatu to help you plan the ultimate Uluwatu itinerary.
All prices are quoted in Indonesia rupiah. Check up to date conversions here.
Visit Uluwatu Temple
Uluwatu Temple is one of the most famous temples in Bali along with Tanah Lot in Canggu and Pura Ulun Danu Beratan near Munduk. Uluwatu Temple is one of the coolest things to do in Uluwatu as it’s one of the six key temples that are Bali’s spiritual pillars.
The spiritual significance is not the only reason why you should visit this Balinese Hindu temple.
It’s the incredibly scenic sights that you’ll get from the cliffs that draw visitors to this place. Uluwatu Temple sits on a steep cliff 70 metres above sea level overlooking the Indian Ocean. It’s also where you can catch an epic sunset.
Beware of the monkeys here, they are seriously something else and are the worst behaved monkeys I have seen in all of Southeast Asia. Make sure you do not wear sunglasses (even glasses if you can manage) or jewelry.
Don’t bring in plastic water bottles or food. I had a monkey jump on me here, a friend had her phone stolen out of her hand by a monkey and I even saw one try and take a guys flip flop right off of his foot!
The Uluwatu Temple entrance fee is 30,000 and round-trip transfers are available.
Watch a kecak ‘fire’ dance
A stop at Uluwatu Temple isn’t just in order to see the temple itself but also to see the well-known kecak ‘fire’ dance. Yes, there is fire involved. It’s not the fire that makes this Balinese dance so iconic though.
It’s unique even to Balinese dancing because no music is used but instead human vocals from a large group of men as the dance is performed. Like all Balinese dances, it tells a story.
Watching the kecak dance in Uluwatu is the #1 place in all of Bali to see it, at the amphitheater at Uluwatu Temple because you get to see an incredible sunset behind the performers.
Soak up the sun at these top beaches
Besides the temple, Uluwatu is most famous for its stunning white sand beaches and surfing. While not all beaches are ideal for swimming, they certainly are worthy of visiting to hangout in the sun, to watch surfers, see boat ruins and more.
Uluwatu beaches are one of the best things to do in Uluwatu. Some of the best beaches in Uluwatu are:
- Padang Padang Beach (a scene from Eat, Pray, Love was also filmed here and is okay for swimming)
- Bingin Beach (stick to swimming on the left-hand side)
- Melasti Beach (my personal fav and okay for swimming)
- Dreamland Beach
- Balangan Beach
- Nyang Nyang Beach
Many beaches charge entrance fees that typically range from 10,000-15,000 rupiah.
Join a surf and yoga retreat
Surfing and yoga often go hand-in-hand and Uluwatu has a number of Bali retreats that offer both so you can spend your days in the sun while riding waves and your evenings and mornings stretching it out. With retreats that are only a couple of days to those that are a week long, you could easily book a Bali yoga retreat as your entire trip or add it on to your already incredible vacation!
READ MORE: Best Bali Surf & Yoga Retreats
Easily another one of the top things to do in Uluwatu is sunset. It’s one of the best places in Bali to watch sunset from, mainly because of its location on the southwestern coast and the steep cliffs that give you an amazing viewpoint over the Indian Ocean.
For a unique sunset experience watch the Uluwatu Temple sunset.
If you’ve been there and done that then a stop at Single Fin is in order so you can sip on a cocktail while watching the surfers hit the waves below as the sky explodes with colour. Some other stellar places for sunset are Rock Bar and Delpi Rock Lounge.
Have a travel photoshoot
What can you do around Uluwatu that will lead to epic pictures and memories? Hire a vacation photographer! I did through Localgrapher to get some stunning shots of the beaches of Canggu.
Uluwatu is even more stunning than Canggu though, so if you want some beautiful travel memories that will last a lifetime and also make you look amazing then why not hire a travel photographer to capture those moments? It’s a priceless travel souvenir that you’ll be able to cherish forever.
READ MORE: Step Up Your Travel Pictures with a Vacation Photographer from Localgrapher
Have a Sunday session at Single Fin
Single Fin in Uluwatu is the equivalent to Old Man’s in Canggu and is one of the best things to do in Uluwatu at night. It’s the top spot to party and Sunday’s are their biggest night. Single Fin beach club is worth visiting any day of the week though for sunset or to enjoy food and drinks overlooking the surfers.
It’s a great view any day and they’ve got awesome music, great food and delicious drinks so don’t miss out on visiting one of the best places in Uluwatu!
Visit the beach clubs
Uluwatu is known for its epic beach clubs that are either on the beach or on the edge of a cliff for stunning views over the blue waters. These cliff beach clubs are unique to Uluwatu and are unlike any of the other beach clubs in Bali. A day of beach club hopping is the perfect way to experience the top choices.
A few of the top ones to visit include Sundays Beach Club, that has direct access to the beach, Omnia which is the most unique beach club in all of Bali with million dollar views, Oneeighty which has one of the most insane infinity pools you’ll ever see, Ulu Cliffhouse which is known for its DJ’s, and Karma Beach Club Bali, a more private and secluded club right on the beach.
Zen out at YinSide Yoga
Uluwatu is a very chilled out area of Bali and it’s the perfect spot to lean more into the practice of yin yoga, the most relaxing kind of yoga out there.
The YinSide studio is a dreamy place to practice yoga with instructors that will guide you effortlessly through classes designed for surfers, for relaxation and to get your energy moving through your body.
Founder Hayley Wenn is an absolute pleasure to practice with and her vision for this studio and the eco-friendly products that support local Balinese people that are sold in the shop are truly worth checking out.
You can find the class scheduled on the YinSide Yoga Instagram and be in the know for when retreats are offered!
See the cave at Suluban Beach
Suluban Beach, nicknamed Blue Point, is not an ideal beach for sunbathers but a trip here is in order to see the cool cave that you have to walk through to reach the water. It’s a hot spot for surfers who use it as a point to surf out from into the strong waves.
To get down to the beach you have to walk down many steps and work yourself through the limestone cave (more stairs lead you down).
It’s an Instagram worthy beach, its cool to watch the surfers paddle out and if you walk up the steps on the opposite side then you’ll find yourself at a luxury beach club with a pool and local warung with epic coastal views.
Have Green Bowl Beach all to yourself
One of the more secluded places to go in Uluwatu is Green Bowl Beach, a paradise for beachgoers who wish to have some solid beach time to themselves. Because getting to this beach requires walking down 75 metres of steep stairs down a cliff means that only those who are adventurous enough dare to go.
If you choose to make the decent then you’ll be rewarded with a small 30 metre white sand beach almost to yourself. It’s best to go during low tide when it’s also best for snorkelling.
Soak in the jacuzzi pools of Tegal Wangi Beach
This beach is not very known by the locals, despite it being in a very obvious destination, just below the temple of the same name that sits atop the limestone cliff that rises up from the sand. It was kept secret for quite a while by wedding photographers for its scenic, rugged coastal views.
When you visit the beach make sure you check it out just before sunset during the ‘blue hour’ for epic sunsets and during low tide when the ‘jacuzzis’ are made accessible.
Surf the epic waves
Uluwatu is a surfers paradise for the stellar waves that hit along the coast. You’ll find an abundance of Uluwatu surf camps around here and lessons too as the waves are one of the top Uluwatu attractions. Some of the best surfing beaches are:
- Uluwatu Beach
- Balangan Beach
- Nyang Nyang Beach
- Green Bowl Beach
- Suluban Beach
There are even more places to surf, but these are just some of the top places to surf in Uluwatu.
I can’t think of a better area in Bali to go paragliding as Uluwatu has the most dramatic views from above. So why not get strapped in with an instructor who will tandem paraglide with you and fly over a sea temple, the cliffs and more before landing right on the beach!
Go on a day trip
As wonderful as Uluwatu is, it is also a great jumping off point for the Nusa Islands. Nusa Penida is the most famous of the three, known for Kelingking Beach (T-Rex Cliff) and its other top spots that are oh so picturesque.
From Uluwatu it’s a shorter drive than other areas of Bali to get to Sanur where the boats take off from so you can spend less time in a car and more time exploring!
Read my detailed Uluwatu accommodation guide to find the best places from budget to luxury, hostels to hotels and villas.
How to Get to Uluwatu
Uluwatu is a great destination to start your Bali trip in because it’s one of the closest destinations to the Bali airport. It’s a 45-minute drive and you have the option to find a taxi once at the airport or book a private driver to pick you up. Many places to stay in Uluwatu will help you organize a private driver and some even offer shuttles. Expect to pay 125,000 for a taxi or private car.
I personally recommend arranging a transfer before you arrive to avoid the hassle of dealing with taxis.
From other areas of Bali you can choose to take a taxi, hire a private car or use Grab, Uber or Go Jek (the Indonesian version of Grab and Uber).
The price will vary depending on what area you are coming from with taxis being the most expensive, private drivers being well priced and ride sharing apps about the same price, sometimes slightly cheaper.
Getting Around Uluwatu
Uluwatu is big and there is no way that you will be able to walk to the majority of places you’ll want to go sightseeing in Uluwatu. Unfortunately, private drivers run the area and are ridiculously expensive. But you still have options.
The cheapest option is to rent a motorbike which costs 50,000 per day which can get you to all of the activities in Uluwatu. The roads in Uluwatu are smooth but there are plenty of hills and curves. You will have to pay for parking which is never more than 5,000. I highly recommend having experience before driving a motorbike in Bali.
If you don’t want to drive you can use Grab, Uber or Go Jek for drop-offs for all places to see in Uluwatu. Many areas in Uluwatu do not allow drivers from these apps to pick up at the main tourist sites. Some accommodation options have shuttles organized that are affordable.
Enjoy your time in Uluwatu!