Uluwatu has an actual twilight buzz. Many surfers from all over the world flock here every calendar year merely to have a go in the waves. When it comes to discovering hidden beaches, Uluwatu provides more than enough unique spots in Bali, ranging from limestone beaches to calm and remote beaches. In fact, the beaches are the strongest magnet that pulls people to visit the Uluwatu area. Trekking across the route into these secluded beaches is indeed a true adventure.
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The most important thing to note before you start trekking to these places is you need to have a good pair of walking shoes. Climbing the 500 odd stairs down and back forth will put some strain on your feet, and you need to get used to that. Don’t waste your time using GPS to find the place, better to stop every once in a while to ask local people. It is also recommended to drive a scooter instead of a car or big bike, as the access road to some of these places are not friendly for big vehicles.
Starting down at Jimbaran, Jimbaran Bay Beach delivers the most romantic trekking experience in the southern part of the island. You can walk along the shore while enjoying the calming sounds of the ocean caressing the shore. If you go for a sunset treat, you can witness the last rays of the day’s sunshine disappear into the horizon.
About 15 minutes drive up, you will find Balangan Beach with its different irresistible charm. Peace and quiet, this beach offers secret access to the more secluded part of the beach. You can trek along the beach to discover these spots, but be sure to leave the beach before the sunset, or otherwise, the high tide will trap you until the next morning.
On your way back to the main road of Uluwatu, you can make a quick lunch at Clay Craft Restaurant. Located inside Renaissance Bali Uluwatu Resort & Spa, not only you can have both International and Indonesian culinary selections but you can also join the pottery demo at the Clay Craft Pottery Studio inside the restaurant where you can get down and dirty while learning the art of pottery. For full info, visit this web www.renaissancebali.com.
After lunchtime, you can continue your exploration heading north of Uluwatu. On your way to Padang Padang Beach, you can stop at Bingin Beach. The beach is not easy to spot for first-time trekkers, and therefore bringing a friend who knows the area would be beneficial. The road distance is about 15 minutes after which you reach a cliff with steep stairs that will take you down to the beach. Finding the stairs is a bit of a challenge as you need to walk and make a few turns around houses and local establishments. The stairs themselves are very steep and can be a bit tiring climbing down. However, once you are on the beach, you will thoroughly enjoy the breathtaking view. It is recommended to visit Bingin Beach during low tide as during high tides the beach gets subdued in water.
Next to Bingin Beach, Impossibles Beach is less crowded as compared to other surfing spots on the island. Surfing on the waters at Impossibles Beach is for experienced surfers only. Stand for its name, Impossible, the access to the beach is quite difficult to get through due to it has a challenging hurdle. The long stretch of reefs on this area offers a few take-off spots. The waves here can be tricky and fast. At certain times during the day, there is a combination of good swell and wind that can together ensure surfers get a long ride. The waves on this spot are fast, allowing the pro-surfers level to further hone their skills and enjoy a long ride on the waves.
Back to the main road of Labuan Sait, the sandy area of Padang Padang Beach is quite well-known not just among surfers but also leisure travellers. Surfers find great enjoyment surfing here as the left and right breaks are consistent. The reef break offers a great challenge to professional surfers. For beginners and novice surfers, the right area with calm and unbroken waves makes surfing an enjoyable activity. For additional note, Padang Padang Beach regularly hosts international surfing competitions throughout the year, and during these events, the beach can be so crowded.
About 5 minutes drive north, you will arrive at Suluban Beach. This is the home to surfers. To reach the beach is quite hard work, as you need to make a long walk passing through local eateries and surf shops. After that, you need to hike down via stone stairs, passing through the bridge into the cave before finding a small beach that will lead to the heaven of the surfers.
The next area you can trek would be the clifftop views of Uluwatu Temple. Situated on top of a very tall ocean cliff, the trek offers relaxation and peace as you ascend the stairway. The stairway showcases Bali’s crafty and unique handiwork which was built by its ancient dwellers. It is caressed by trees at both ends so you are adequately shaded the entire way. While you are walking along the stairway, you will definitely notice monkeys around you, which are believed to guard the temple against bad influences. Uluwatu Temple offers visitors an unforgettable stunning view of the horizon that you will not want to miss.
On your way home, if you still have time, there are a few other stops worth checking out. About 10 minutes from Uluwatu Temple, Nyang Nyang Beach is well-deserving of the title ‘hidden beach’, and therefore trekking is a must to access this beach. You will need to check out a dirt road near Uluwatu Temple and keep a lookout for an indicator stating “Nyang Surfing Beach”. Next, you cross a field where you will see a beverages stall before alighting the 500 steps over the cliff that covers the beach to finally see it with naked eyes. The cliff itself is covered with forests and will take about 15 minutes to go down. Now, here comes the difficult part, involving walking down a narrow and sometimes steep flight of stairs that leads to the beach. Bear in mind to make your way back to the top of the cliff before dark as the journey back over the steps and the field will become difficult in the dark.
About 15 minutes down south of Nyang Nyang Beach, Green Bowl Beach is relatively easy to locate, but quite remote and off the tourists’ radar. The road is quite straight forward and signboards are everywhere. You will need to follow a convoluted path towards the entrance of the beach. A small fee is required either for the entrance or parking space. You will be directed to a derelict staircase surrounded by trees filled with monkeys. The trekking comes in this part, to conquer the hundreds of steps down to the beach before you reach a very clean, rocky beach. You can continue the exploration at the cave nearby, but keep alert from the bats.
Still, around the neighbourhood, you can also explore the abandoned plane at Gunung Payung. Here, you will find a massive Boing 737 abandoned plane lying in the sideway of the main street of Gunung Payung, hidden behind a huge fence of steel. Please bear in mind that this is not an official tourist spot, and therefore to get inside is a bit tricky, involving climbing and jumping off the fence. Once inside, you can get on the plane, and even climb on top of it.
After a long day exploring the Uluwatu area, Pandawa Beach will be a perfect destination to call it a day. Still, at Gunung Payung area, this beach is used to be known as a ‘secret beach’ with the fact that only surfers and enterprising locals were able to locate it. However, like everything else on the busy tourist island, though, only a matter of months the beach was no longer secret. The local government officially declared Pandawa Beach as a tourist destination in 2012.
While you are at Pandawa Beach, you can enjoy your sunset at Roosterfish Beach Club. Featuring a large beachside pool, a restaurant and a bar with fun unexpected cocktails, Roosterfish is a true destination beach club that delivers quirky, playful experiences and Bali’s friendliest day out! As the first and only beach club on Pandawa Beach, Roosterfish is all about playful experiences. It’s fun. It’s not pretentious. For full info, visit this web www.roosterfishbeachclub.com.
Should you need a recommendation of a place to stay around the neighbourhood, you can head back to Renaissance Bali Uluwatu Resort & Spa. All their rooms and suites feature locally inspired art, natural wood and earth tones with oversized chic bathrooms that include free-standing tubs. All rooms have balconies overlooking either the ocean or the lush lands of the Bukit. You will love their main infinity pool with views over the ocean and Balinese coastline, the saltwater pool and a separate pool for the little ones. Resting in a spacious room with delicious breakfast will add the perfection of your memorable experience in Uluwatu. For full info, visit this web www.renaissancebali.com.