Viktorija Panovaite
Uluwatu sunset

Uluwatu beach in Bali – where magic happen

Sometimes on my mind I have exact places which I want to visit. Sometimes just let myself to get lost and stop somewhere on the way. Most of the time, the second choice gives me more surprises. Small trip to Uluwatu beach wasn’t exception.

I got suggestion to go to Uluwatu beach after the daytime. I thought it’s a bit too long way just to stay there for couple of hours (from my place, near Sanur, it’s ~1 hour one way). I suggested just to go on that direction and stop somewhere where we will find a sign “pantai” (in Indonesian language it means “beach”), just to enjoy the sunset (in that area it’s really beautiful ones).

Somehow all beaches on the way we missed (Green Bowl, Balangan, Dreamland, Bingin, Padang-Padang) and still arrived to Uluwatu beach.

First of all, this beach name a bit confusing. In internet you can find 3 different names: Blue point beach, Suluban or Uluwatu beach. After some research I understood why it’s called differently. “Suluban” is the original name and people just gave extra name “Blue point” because of the water color when you look to it from the top of the cliffs. “Uluwatu” beach is different one, straight under the famous temple Uluwatu (Pura Luhur Uluwatu). You can find this beach just on the left side through cave when you are heading to Suluban beach (no signs – just try to find the entry in the cave or follow others).

Suluban beach
If you will go straight – it’s Suluban beach. If you will turn left (where is the rock) will be Uluwatu beach

Second, it’s not proper beach where you have plenty of space for bathing or other activities. It doesn’t have soft sand (mostly covered by stones and small pieces of corals). As well going for swimming in the Indian ocean you will need pass many rocks in the water.

Uluwatu beach
Uluwatu beach surrounded by cliffs, stones

Third, this place called one of the best places for experienced surfers, so you should understand that the waves are high and strong. Also the best time to enjoy swimming is in the morning and daytime. It becomes like a natural swimming pool forms between the beach and reef. Later the water comes up and hide all rocks under the water, so you can harm yourself while swimming in strong waves.

Uluwatu beach sunset
Black dots in the ocean – surfers waiting for the “right” wave

In any case this place is really worth to visit, like it’s something different from usual beach views of South part of Bali. And you don’t need to be a surfer to enjoy this place. There are many local eating places “warungs” where you can just take a drink, relax and have the romantic sunset view. If you are lucky, you can see turtles swimming in the turquoise water as well. Probably one of the most known places to have really good time is “Single Fin bar”. It’s a bar situated on one the edge of the limestone cliff overlooking Uluwatu beach and Indian Ocean. As well they have live music every Sunday.

Uluwatu beach
The beach like “locked” among cliffs

But what is so magical about Uluwatu beach?

Beside an unusual beach view, high cliffs, beautiful sunsets, some people say, that cave through which you need to pass to Uluwatu beach is magical. Why/how magical this cave I don’t know but I have my own interesting story to tell.

Usually sunsets comes ~5.30-6 pm in South part of Bali. While enjoying time in Uluwatu beach I saw that many people start to leave the beach even before 5 pm. I thought that probably they want to see other places or do something else. After we decided to go out as well, we turned to direction that we came in and where a bit surprised. We didn’t find the cave exit through which we pass inside. We looked around maybe we missed it. But no. We were a bit confused how come it happen, where is the exit. But suddenly in front of us came black local dog that we saw before playing in the beach. He just looked at as, went couple steps forward, again looked at as, like calling “fallow me”. First time I remember one scene from documentary movie (I forgot the name) when guy told – “if you don’t know which direction to choose, follow the animals that you will meet on your way”. So, I said – “yeah this dog going home and know where is exit”. So I started just talk with dog saying “go doggy go home” and he started to walk straight and we followed after him. Our exit wasn’t too far but it was covered already by tide, that’s why we didn’t see it. The waves each moment became higher and stronger, so we needed to wait to pass it and not to get totally wet. I think if we would wait a bit longer, we would need to swim through the exit. And it’s not the easiest way, like there are many big rocks. When we were passing inside we needed even to lean.

So how not to call it magic? When the dog appears from nowhere and waiting for us to show the way?

Uluwatu beach
Black dog which show us the way back

Before entering the beach there are no signs informing about timing when people need to return and not stuck there. Suluban beach is more open, so you can easily see and know how to get out. Even there are people who are standing on the cliffs and starts to whistle for swimmers and those who are in the beach that it’s time to go from there, like it’s becomes danger to stay. But in Uluwatu, nobody informs you.

If you are not sure if worth to go to Uluwatu beach, you can read some other travelers review about it and here are some more nice pictures of this place which probably will convince you to come here.

Tips for visiting Uluwatu beach:

  • Location: Jalan Pantai Suluban, Pecatu, Jimbaran
  • There is no entrance fee but for motorbike parking you will need to pay 3 000 Rp, for a car 5 000 Rp.
  • It’s a beautiful place for pre-wedding, wedding pictures and other photo sessions but if you want to make them on “special place” you need to pay extra “fee”.
  • You can find there not only eating places but as well some souvenirs shops, showers. But after 5 pm almost everything is closed. Even only 1 toilet was open.
  • I think, if you are not a surfer to spend there whole day you won’t have much things to do. But you can visit my mentioned beaches above during the daytime and stay in Uluwatu beach for a sunset. Or after staying in Uluwatu beach in daytime and go to Uluwatu temple (it’s only 10 min. drive from the beach), to see the sunset there and enjoy the Kecak dance performance. As well you can stay for a longer time in Bukit Peninsula (here are some good deals for hotels in Agoda, Booking or TripAdvisor) and discover really nice places, not only my mentioned beaches and enjoy other activities.

 

Would you like to visit Uluwatu beach? If you have been in Bali, which beach you recommend to see?


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36 thoughts on “Uluwatu beach in Bali – where magic happen”

  1. Looking at your pictures made me miss my home country in the Philippines. The beaches look exactly like these. I’ve never been to Bali yet, but will definitely visit there someday.

  2. Who doesn’t love a good sunset eh? I definitely prefer the sandier beaches but love the difference of rocky beaches. Bali keeps getting higher and higher on my list.

  3. Bali! Wait for me! The beaches of Bali are legendary – I’ve heard so much about them. I’ll make it out there one day…

  4. The beach looks like a beautiful experience, but your tips are great, especially if the exits fill up with water at a certain time of day! Really important info! I love the dog story…and yes, it is a bit magical :)

  5. The beach looks beautiful :) thanks for the tips on timing – I would have thought there would have been signs there to warn people about getting stuck, though I guess it could turn into a pretty good story later on if you were to get stuck on a beach in Bali for the night!! Glad you found your exit in the end :)

  6. Oh, that dog appearing as if from nowhere was surely magical – as is this beach. I prefer these kind of secluded beaches than rambling around teems of people and noise. Magic does happen!

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