For some reason Uluwatu felt like a little bit more effort and a greater commitment than visiting anywhere else in Bali, possibly because it’s down south in the Bukit, which means there’s less to continue onto afterwards. If your plan is to find some excellent surf spots and Bali’s best beaches, it’s totally worth the trip.
- Accommodation is pricey. Well, only if you’re used to the abundance of filthy-cheap hostels found elsewhere. If you visit Uluwatu first on your trip to Bali it may seem reasonably cheap. Homestays and budget hotels are actually more affordable than the very limited number of hostels and offer a much nicer experience.
- It’s all about the beaches. Uluwatu doesn’t have a great deal to do or see, but the beaches are truly breathtaking. Even the busier beaches like Blue Point Beach will force you to pop a cheek-to-cheek smile when you catch your first glimpse of clear blue sea and magnificent rock formations. The real beauties though, are the hidden beaches…
- Find Nyang-Nyang beach. A long journey down a seemingly-empty road and then a troublesome trek down the side of a cliff will land you at a beach that will deliver a truly peaceful day. Not a single tourist around – just the clearest water and untouched sands as far as the eye can see. You’ll have to do a bit of research to find out how to get there, but Nyang Nyang beach is worth finding early in your travels to Uluwatu. Take plenty of food and water as there’s absolutely nowhere to buy any once you’re there, it really is that untouched!
- Don’t bother with Pecatu. The only cheap hostel in the Uluwatu area was in Pecatu and you’ll find yourself lost for things to do. There’s no shops, places to eat or things to see. The drive to find anything just makes you realise you’ve chosen the wrong area to stay.
- Uluwatu is still developing. Even when you reach the more touristy areas, the most you’ll find is three hotels, five restaurants and a small shop. There’s people absolutely everywhere, but the locals are still catching up so you don’t get hassled quite as much as in busier destinations (although it does still happen). I don’t understand why Uluwatu is still rather quiet as it’s been a major draw for tourists for a very long time.
- Surfers are everywhere. Due to the fantastic beaches delivering wonderful waves all day long, the exquisite sunset views and every beach having a bar to overlook them, surfers flock to Uluwatu. This is reflected in the type of hotels and restaurants you’ll find. There’s not lots of them, but they’re mainly geared towards surfers. There’s not locals everywhere offering cheap surfing lessons and board hire like in Kuta, though.
- See the Kecak dance. One of few things to do in Uluwatu is head to Uluwatu temple before sunset, have a look around and then watch the fire dance as the sun sets in the background. It’s a little more expensive than other shows in Bali, but still completely affordable. It lasts an hour and does have a bit of a humurous spin on it to appeal to the tourists and keep it entertaining.
I loved Uluwatu and can see why many surfers stay there for the duration of their visa, but if you’re not there to surf you’ll probably get a little bored once the amazing beaches lose their magic. It’s a place I will definitely visit again in the future and reccommend to anyone looking for Bali’s most beautiful spots, but have a plan of where to head next because if you’re stuck there too long it can become a drag.