Last updated on April 27th, 2020
If you’re looking for the best beaches in Bali, head straight to the Bukit Peninsula just south of the island. Here’s where you’ll find the chilled-out surfer hotspot of Uluwatu, my favorite place in Bali!
Long known for its towering cliffs, gorgeous rock formations and golden soft sand paired with crystal clear waters (and of course picturesque sunsets and world-class waves) the Uluwatu beaches are hard to beat.
Padang Padang, Bingin Beach, and Uluwatu Beach are some of the commonly known beaches in the area. But, if you’re really looking for the best beaches in Uluwatu – be it to surf, explore, suntan, or just escape the crowds – then this post has you covered!
Here is my list of the 12 best beaches in Uluwatu to add to your Bali bucket list!
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Best Beaches in Uluwatu
A lot of what you see on social media portrays the best beaches in Uluwatu as untouched and uncrowded.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but for the most part, this is not true!
There has been a huge influx of tourists into Bali over the past decade, and it just keeps getting busier and busier and unfortunately, the beaches aren’t like they once were.
If you venture further west of Uluwatu, you’ll find the backpacker hot spot of Canggu which has several beaches with waves suited for all levels of surfers. The vibe here is far more lively than Uluwatu, and the atmosphere is electric and so it’s a great place to check out after your visit to the Bukit Peninsula!
If you’re looking to explore deserted beaches, I suggest you head to Lombok which is the island just next to Bali. I was completely blown away by its unspoiled coastline!
This is where I found the bluest waters I’d ever seen and there’s very little development in the area – probably how Bali was back in the day.
Don’t believe me? Check out this guide to the best beaches in Lombok!
But when it comes to Bali beaches, you’ll find the best ones around the Bukit Peninsula.
So, here’s my guide to the 12 best beaches in Uluwatu!
1) Balangan Beach
Balangan Beach is one of the most underrated beaches in Bali and tops my list as the best beach in Uluwatu.
What’s not to love! Balangan Beach has the best of everything. It’s a great beach to swim, surf and hang out, and the cherry on top: it’s easy to access.
The beautiful stretch of beach is made up of soft, white sand and has a relaxed atmosphere to it.
There are a few local warungs that serve delicious Nasi Goreng, and you can easily spend hours lazing on the lounges.
The only downside is that at low tide it’s not the best swimming beach due to the reef being so close to the shore, but this goes for all Uluwatu beaches. If possible, check out Balangan Beach on a mid or high tide.
The Best Beach in Uluwatu. Full Stop.
Make sure you take a walk to the famous viewpoint which is at the far end of Balangan Beach. This spot is a popular sunset photo shoot location, so it can get busy during the late afternoon.
What Balangan is actually famous for are its waves which attract surfers in their numbers – both beginners and more experienced. If you’re learning to surf, it’s best to visit Balangan on a mid to high tide when the reef is less exposed.
Check out my full Balangan Beach travel guide here!
What you need to know about Balangan Beach
- Getting there: Balangan Beach is easy to access and requires no strenuous hike. Your GPS can take you to one of two parking areas. The first is by the viewpoint, and the other right in front of the surf break. You can walk from one side of the beach to the other in a few minutes so it doesn’t really matter where you end up parking.
- Entrance: 3 000 IDR scooter parking at the viewpoint.
- Things to do: Go surfing, check out the viewpoint, have lunch on the beach.
- Where to stay: Flower Bud Bungalow Balangan offers gorgeous private bungalows just a short walk from the beach.
2) Nyang Nyang Beach (Nunggalan Beach)
Nyang Nyang is without a doubt one of the best beaches in Uluwatu. It’s a gorgeous, long stretch of beach with white sandy shores and great waves.
The entire stretch of beach is often referred to as Nyang Nyang, but it’s actually made of 2 beaches: Nyang Nyang and Nunggalan. They’re basically the same thing so don’t get confused between the two.
Nyang Nyang Beach is also a hit with surfers as it gets quite a bit of swell but be careful when swimming here as the currents can be strong.
If you visit Nyang Nyang on a low tide, it’s not the best swimming beach in Uluwatu as the reef is mostly visible, but you’ll find a few small rock pools to take a dip in. The area in front of the Bubble Hotel is a great spot to swim.
There are very few sun loungers and warungs on Nyang Nyang Beach and for the most part, it’s relatively empty and unspoiled by development.
There’s also an iconic shipwreck right on the water’s edge which is quite a popular photo spot.
The best beach in Uluwatu to escape the crowds
Yes! If there’s one beach in Bali that doesn’t attract tourists in their masses, it’s Nyang Nyang Beach.
It never gets too crowded because of just how big it is – there’s enough space for everyone.
Another reason why Nyang Nyang is one of the least touristy beaches in Uluwatu is that reaching the beach isn’t easy. It’s a pretty long, steep trek to the bottom and going back up again is quite the workout.
I strongly advise that you do not visit Nyang Nyang during the heat of the day! Not only will the walk be unbearable, but there is very little shade on the beach. Go at about 4pm to be safe.
What you need to know about Nyang Nyang Beach
- Getting there: There are two ways to get to Nyang Nyang Beach. The first is to park at Nyang Nyang Warung and walk 15 minutes down the excavated road toward Nyang Nyang Beach. This is the easiest way to access the beach but there is no shade and it can get extremely hot. The more adventurous (and exciting) way is to go to Villa Plenilunio and park your scooter near the path. This route is a lot steeper than the first option, the path is uneven and slippery, but if you’re reasonably fit, it’s a great choice as it’s sheltered by trees.
- Entrance: 5 000 IDR parking fee.
- Things to do: Go paragliding, take a long stroll along the beach, go surfing, have lunch at Nyang Nyang Warung.
- Where to stay: The Ulus Klumpu is situated right on the cliff above Nyang Nyang Beach with incredible views. It’s affordable and great value for money.
3) Bingin Beach
If there’s one beach in Uluwatu that I keep coming back to, it’s Bingin Beach!
Like most beaches in Uluwatu, Bingin is a great one to explore. If you’re up for it, take a walk to Pantai Cemongkak (at low tide) which is the beach alongside Bingin, or venture even further to Dreamland Beach.
The surf here is also ideal for both experienced and beginner surfers, but the swell can get big. If you’re learning to surf, make sure you check the waves before you hit the water.
The Best Beach in Uluwatu To Chill
Not much has changed about this chilled, relaxed beach along the south coast of Bali. Bingin has always been a surfer hangout and has a laid-back atmosphere that attracts travelers looking to take a break from the stresses of life.
It’s a great place to grab a Bintang and soak up the sun!
Bingin Beach isn’t as popular as the likes of Padang Padang and Dreamland, and this could be a result of the effort it takes to get there.
There is no parking near Bingin and so you need to walk quite a distance and make your way down a steep flight of stairs to access the beach.
What you need to know about Bingin Beach
- Getting there: Park in one of the many parking lots near Bingin Beach and walk through the paved alleyway toward the beach, but before you reach it, you’ll need to walk down 150 stairs.
- Entrance Fee: Parking 5 000 IDR.
- Things to do: Watch the surfers from one of the beach bars, relax on the beach, drink a coconut, explore the nearby beaches at low tide.
- Where to stay: Shankara Bingin is a short walk to the beach and is the best place to stay in the Bingin area.
4) Uluwatu Beach (Suluban Beach)
Uluwatu Beach, otherwise known as Suluban Beach or Blue Point Beach, is one of the best Uluwatu beaches to surf and watch the sunset.
Entering the beach, you pass through towering cliffs before arriving at a small cove where you can watch the surfers taking on the massive waves in the distance.
Pantai Suluban has made a name for itself in the surfing community thanks to its powerful left-hand surf break. It’s quite a far paddle out and the swell can get big, so I don’t recommend you surf here unless you’re an experienced surfer.
Of all the beaches in Uluwatu, Suluban Beach is best visited on a low to medium tide as you can explore the surrounding rock pools as well as the numerous sandy beach areas close by.
The best beach in Uluwatu to watch the sunset
After your swim, head to one of the many warungs on the cliff, grab a Bintang and get ready to watch the most incredible sunset.
Single Fin is the most popular spot, but the others have equally as good of a view and are far more affordable (and relaxed).
What you need to know about Uluwatu Beach
- Getting there: The easiest way to get to Uluwatu Beach is to head to Single Fin and park in the parking area. You then make your way down concrete stairs that hug the cliff where you’ll pass several warungs and bars. It’s quite a bit of stairs to climb, but worth every step.
- Entrance: 5 000 IDR parking.
- Things to do: Swim in the rock pools, explore the rugged coastline, go surfing, watch the sunset.
- Where to stay: Tregge Surf Camp is very close to Uluwatu (Suluban) Beach and is a great option for couples and budget travelers.
5) Melasti Beach
A few years ago, Melasti Beach was a hidden gem in Bali and could’ve easily been the best beach in Uluwatu but there’s been rapid development in the area with resorts and beach clubs taking over.
But this doesn’t take away from the gorgeous white sandy shores and crystal clear water that made Melasti Beach so attractive in the first place. It’s incredible!
As you enter Melasti Beach, you’ll hear the music from Palmilla Bali Beach Club. With its infinity pool, swaying palm trees and bar swings, Palmilla is a photographer’s dream. Drinks here are quite pricey and start at 130 000 IDR ($10) for a cocktail and 50 000 IDR ($4) for a small Bintang.
If beach clubs and crowds aren’t your thing, continue further down Melasti Beach where you’ll find the quieter stretch of beach. There are a few local warungs and the atmosphere is far more relaxed here.
The Best Beach For Families in Uluwatu
There are many families who choose to visit Melasti Beach as it’s a great swimming beach for the kids. The sea isn’t rough and there are lots of other children running around and playing in the water.
Melasti Beach also has lifeguards overseeing the waters and you can easily rent a sunbed and umbrella for a few hours, making it one of the best beaches in Uluwatu for families.
What you need to know about Melasti Beach
- Getting there: The road is tarred the entire way and access to Melasti Beach is right by the parking area.
- Entrance fee: 10 000 IDR per person, 2 000 IDR scooter parking.
- Things to do: Have a cocktail at Palmilla Beach Club, walk to the quieter part of the beach, lounge under an umbrella.
- Where to stay: Villa Melasti offers gorgeous rooms close to Melasti Beach. It’s a bit further from the busy streets of Uluwatu so it’s a great place to stay if you’re looking for a peaceful atmosphere.
6) Thomas Beach
Tucked away between Padang Padang and Uluwatu Beach lies Thomas Beach, a hidden gem and one of the best beaches in Uluwatu.
It’s often skipped by tourists who choose to visit the more popular Uluwatu beaches – meaning that it doesn’t get too crowded.
The beach is lined with local warungs and surf huts where you can sip on a Bintang, order delicious Nasi Goreng or rent a surfboard.
When the swell is right, Thomas Beach is a great spot to surf, especially for beginners, as it doesn’t get too big and the water is less crowded than some of the other beaches in Uluwatu.
But, you may be slightly disappointed if you visit Thomas Beach on a low tide as there isn’t much of a swimming area during this time.
What you need to know about Thomas Beach Uluwatu
- Getting there: You’ll drive a short distance on an unpaved path and park your scooter at the top of the cliff. From there, you need to walk down a staircase of over 100 steps to access the beach. It’s quite steep and having to walk up again isn’t fun, but at least you’ll be getting some exercise!
- Entrance fee: Free.
- Things to do: Relax on the beach, have lunch at one of the warungs, learn to surf.
- Where to stay: Kutuh Manak Guest House is ideally situated between Thomas Beach and Padang Padang Beach. The pool here is extremely inviting and you won’t want to leave!
7) Pandawa Beach
Pandawa Beach is located on the far end of Uluwatu, closer to Nusa Dua, and is certainly worth a visit thanks to its clear turquoise water and soft white sand.
The beach is hidden behind huge limestone cliffs, but it’s not the “secret beach” it once was. It’s one of the more developed beaches in Uluwatu and attracts tourists looking to get those Insta worthy snaps.
Unlike some of the other best beaches in Uluwatu, Pandawa is a great swimming beach on both a high and low tide as the reef isn’t as close to the shoreline.
On a low tide, you can snorkel around the reef and spend your time wandering along the coast, and on a high tide the waves are suited for experienced surfers and body boarders looking for less crowded surf.
The Best beach in Uluwatu to spend the day
You can easily spend hours on Pandawa Beach, sipping on a coconut, tanning, reading, swimming and surfing. There are also several small coves and beaches nearby which are fun to explore.
I found a quiet spot near the end of the beach and spend 4 hours here, completely disconnecting from everything else.
What you need to know about Pandawa Beach
- Getting there: Pandawa Beach is easy to access, with a newly built road leading right to the entrance of the beach.
- Entrance fee: 15 000 IDR per person
- Things to do: Take a walk along the coast, relax under an umbrella, enjoy the clear water
- Where to stay: Puri Pandawa Resort is situated close to Pandawa Beach offering an escape for those looking for a peaceful and tranquil stay in Uluwatu.
8) Padang Padang Beach
Pantai Padang Padang, is one of the most popular beaches in Uluwatu and it’s no secret as to why it’s a crowd favorite!
The soft golden sand and world-renowned surf break have attracted travelers throughout the years.
It’s a small beach and can get pretty crowded. But, on the bright side, there’s lots to explore if you venture further away from the main area, especially during low tide when the rock formations and caves are accessible.
I first heard of Padang Padang when I was reading the book “Snowing in Bali” – if you haven’t read it, you really should!
Basically, before Bali was a tourist hotspot, and the beaches in Uluwatu were more secluded, a drug lord hid all his money beneath the sand on Padang Padang Beach… I’m talking millions!
The Most Popular Beach In Uluwatu
But, it’s not as secluded as it used to be, and there’s no treasure hiding beneath the shores!
Overall, Padang Padang is a great beach to go swimming or surfing but it can get pretty crowded so don’t plan on spending too much time here.
What you need to know about Padang Padang
- Getting there: There is a car park right alongside the entrance to Padang Padang Beach. To access the beach, you need to make your way down a few stairs before entering a small cave (and you’ll most likely be followed by monkeys).
- Entrance: 10 000 IDR per person, 5 000 IDR scooter parking.
- Things to do: Explore the nearby secluded beaches, go surfing
- Where to stay: Padang Padang Inn is a stone’s throw away from the beach. Considering it’s location, this spot offers extremely great value for money!
9) Dreamland Beach
As with Melasti Beach below, Dreamland Beach in Uluwatu is no longer the hidden paradise it once was thanks to the various resorts which have popped up right alongside the beach.
But it’s still one of the best beaches in Uluwatu, especially for families and surfers looking to catch some waves.
The sand is soft, and the water is a beautiful turquoise color but the beach can have a big shore break and dunk those swimming close to the water’s edge.
Dreamland Beach is much bigger than Bingin and Padang Padang and can be spotted a mile away thanks to the scores of Air Asia umbrellas lining the shore.
What you need to know about Dreamland Beach
- Getting there: To access Dreamland Beach, you’ll need to enter the estate that leads to Klapa Resort. Follow the road for quite a while. You’ll pass the golf course before reaching the parking area. The beach is a short walk from here and is easily accessible.
- Entrance: 5000 IDR scooter parking.
- Things to do: Chill on the beach, go for a swim, take a walk to the nearby viewpoint.
- Where to stay: The Bali Boarding House is a bit further from Dreamland Beach compared to the beachfront hotels. But it offers great value for money and a central location.
10) Green Bowl Beach
When I arrived at Green Bowl, I was expecting to find one of the best beaches in Uluwatu Bali. But unfortunately, it doesn’t quite live up to the hype.
To access the beach, you need to scale down 300 + stairs. And they’re steep. I noticed a few older and unfit tourists really struggling to get back to the top so take caution when visiting Green Bowl.
Of all the Uluwatu Beaches, this is probably the most strenuous to get to – actually, Nyang Nyang is worse on a hot day!
If you’ve done a trip to Nusa Penida and made the effort to get to the iconic Kelingking Beach – which you totally should – you’ll be pleased to know that the climb down to Green Bowl Beach isn’t quite as strenuous. If you’re in good shape reaching the beach shouldn’t be a problem and you’ll welcome the extra bit of exercise after all the Mie Goreng you’ve been feasting on.
The Least developed of all the Uluwatu Beaches
One of the best things about Green Bowl Beach is that it’s the most secluded of all the beaches in Uluwatu. There are also two caves where you can relax under if you don’t want to bake in the boiling hot sun.
Unlike all the other Uluwatu Beaches, Green Bowl is the only one that doesn’t have warungs and daybeds on the beach. There are a few ladies selling bracelets, sarongs, Bintangs, and coconuts but they can get extremely irritating, asking every person, every 2 minutes, to make a purchase!
I noticed how they were picking up litter, collecting used bottles and ensuring the beach was clean, and so my irritation levels slowly began to dwindle, and I purchased a coconut for 35 000 IDR ($2.5). This is pretty much the same price you’d pay on the other Uluwatu beaches.
The sand at Green Bowl Beach isn’t as fine and soft as the other beaches in the area and the current is pretty strong so if you’re looking for an easy beach to access and spend a few hours, perhaps give this one a skip.
But, Green Bowl Beach is one of the best beaches in Uluwatu to surf uncrowded waves as there are only a handful of surfers in the water each time. It has a powerful right and is only recommended for experienced surfers.
If you enjoy the remote and secluded setting of Green Bowl Beach, you’ll love the small mountain village of Sidemen, Bali. I highly recommend you head here after you’ve explored these beached in Uluwatu!
What you need to know about Green Bowl Beach
- Getting there: Park in the designated parking area, buy water from the cafe, and walk down 250 + stairs for about 10 minutes.
- Entrance: Free.
- Things to do: Go surfing, chill in the cave and read a book, take a walk to Melasti Beach at low tide.
- Where to stay: Green Bowl Beach Villas is situated in a remote location close to Green Bowl Beach in Uluwatu. The views from the pool are unspoiled and it’s a great place to escape the crowds.
11) Tegal Wangi Beach, Uluwatu
After visiting all of the beaches in Uluwatu, I stopped off at Tegal Wangi Beach – which is actually closer to Jimbaran. I’d previously heard that Pantai Tegal Wangi had gorgeous caves and so I was super excited to explore!
Well… the cave isn’t a “cave” as such. It’s more like an arch in the cliff and if you take a photo from the right angle, it gives the impression that the picture is taken from the inside of a massive cave – which it isn’t!
I was slightly disappointment about the “cave” thing but super impressed with the natural formations and beauty of Tegal Wangi Beach.
The area surrounding Pantai Tegal Wangi is arguably one of the least developed areas in the Bukit Peninsula. There are one or two vendors selling corn, soft drinks, and Bintangs, but that’s about it.
The “Second Best” Beach In Uluwatu to watch the sunset
The main attraction for Pantai Tegal Wangi is the incredible views of the sunset. If you arrive after 5pm, you’ll find the cliff lined with locals as well as international travelers, all vying for the best seat in the house.
It is gorgeous and the views are unspoiled so if you have the chance, go check it out!
If you’re looking for a beach to spend the day at, this isn’t the one. Why?
Well, Tegal Wangi Beach is lined with massive rocks (which just adds to the beauty) but these rocks cover most of the shoreline and so the swimming area is very small. There is also quite a rough shore break.
What you need to know about Pantai Tegal Wangi
- Getting there: The best way to get here it to follow Google Maps to Tegal Wangi Beach. You’ll reach the parking area where you can buy a snack before walking 100m down a dirt path to the cliff. The climb down to the beach is just a bit further but not as steep as some of the other beaches in Uluwatu.
- Entrance: Free. Scooter parking 2 000 IDR.
- Things to do: Watch the sunset, take photos.
12) Karang Boma Cliff
Whilst this isn’t a beach, Karang Boma Cliff offers some the the best views of the Uluwatu coastline.
This viewpoint sits high up on a cliff and is one of the furthest points of the Bukit Peninsula. I highly recommend that you stop off here and check it out when exploring the best beaches in Uluwatu.
It’s right next to Nyang Nyang Beach so can be easily included in your Uluwatu itinerary.
Important Information for visiting Uluwatu Beaches: Check the tides
The tides in Bali are quite dramatic and so it’s important to check out the tide charts before you explore the beaches in Uluwatu.
On a high tide, the waves can reduce the size of the beach and smash up against the cliffs. This is the case at Bingin Beach and Uluwatu Beach.
But, on a low tide the sharp reef can be visible, hidden caves re-appear and rock pools are easy to access. This is the best time to explore the coastline.
If you’re looking for the best beaches in Uluwatu to swim at, I recommend you visit the above beaches on an outgoing tide.
How to get to the best beaches in Uluwatu, Bali
Exploring the Uluwatu Beaches makes for a fun day out but they are quite far from each other and so you need to have transportation organized for the day.
You can easily spend a few hours at one beach before making your way to the next and then ending off watching the sunset at Uluwatu Beach!
But don’t be fooled, getting from one side of Uluwatu to the other is actually pretty far and you’ll need at least 2 days to explore the beaches I’ve listed above.
My advice is to either rent a scooter or hire a driver for the day who will take you to the best beaches in Uluwatu.
Explore Uluwatu by scooter
Renting a scooter is the best way to adventure around Uluwatu. The traffic here isn’t as crazy as Kuta and Seminyak, and there are often hidden shortcuts and spots that can only be accessed with a scooter.
But, having said that, driving a scooter in Bali can be dangerous and you need to be cautious. Always wear a helmet, drive slowly and carry your international driver’s license with you (yes, I’ve been stopped twice by the police).
Here’s my complete guide to renting a scooter in Bali with everything you need to know!
If you’re looking for a bike rental in Uluwatu, I highly recommend Arjuna Rent Bike and Car (+62 812 9577 9081). Daily scooter rental is 60 000-80 000 IDR ($4-$6) dependent on the type of scooter you select.
If you’re traveling in a large group or prefer not to use a scooter, you can hire a driver for 500 000-700 000 IDR ($36-$50) for the entire day.
- Allow 2 hours per beach you visit in Uluwatu.
- Day beds and umbrellas can be rented for 50 000 IDR ($3.5).
- Surfboards cost 50 000 IDR for 2 hours ($3.5).
- Bring lots of water with you to the beach.
- Accessing some Uluwatu beaches can be tough with long walks and many stairs so ensure you’ve done your research first.
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