The Best Things to do in Uluwatu, Bali in Indonesia

The 15 Best Things to do in Uluwatu, Bali

Possibly the most laid-back place on the planet, Uluwatu is blessed with swanky cliff-top resorts, beaches that were practically made for surfing, and sophisticated beach clubs where you can experience life as a celebrity. If you need to escape your hectic routine and replace it with a little piece of paradise, there’s no way Uluwatu will disappoint.

Even though it’s quieter than Bali’s other resort areas, like Ubud and Canggu, you’ll never be stuck for what to do in Uluwatu. The lush verdant hills, ancient spiritual temples, world-class surf breaks, lofty limestone cliffs, and delectable foodie scene will provide you with plenty to get on with when you need a break from all the rest and relaxation. 

With so many things to see and do, you may not know where to begin. To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of the absolute best things to do in Uluwatu for you. Stick to these fun and unique Uluwatu bucket list recommendations, and there’s no doubt you’ll have an amazing time exploring one of the most beautiful and alluring parts of Indonesia! 

15 Fun and Unique Things to do in Uluwatu, Bali

1. See Monkeys At a Cliff-Top Temple

Unique Things to do in Uluwatu, Bali: Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple

The Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple is not only one of the best sights in Uluwatu but one of the most incredible things to see in all of Bali. Perched on a towering cliff overlooking the waves that thunderously crash far down below, this mesmerizing religious building will leave you speechless.

Built in the 10th century as a Hindu place of worship, the sacred temple is dedicated to the spirits of the sea, which is why it enjoys a lofty location high above the ocean. As well as its intricately carved architecture and carefully handmade sculptures, the temple is also known for the hundreds of monkeys that call the place home. 

You really won’t have to keep an eye out for them when you’re exploring. All the winding pathways that work their way through the temple’s complex are covered in families of friendly (and sometimes annoying!) macaque monkeys. Make sure you keep a strong hold on your belongings – especially when you’re taking pictures. The monkeys are known to be fond of anything that’s not theirs. 

Explore the Uluwatu Temple

2. Dance Under the Stars

Fun Things to do in Uluwatu, Bali: Ulu Garden

You’ll find bands and artists playing live music all over this relaxed town. But when it comes to an incredible experience you’ll be telling everyone about for years, you’ve got to head to Ulu Garden. This incredible location hosts one of the top Uluwatu activities every single evening.

Each night, a different performer takes to the stage to wow the audience with their talents. Depending on when you go, you could experience everything from jazz and acoustic sessions to Balinese and reggae music. To make your evening better, each night is themed – from noodle and curry nights to rib and pop-up market nights. There’s so much going on here that you’ll definitely want to return more than once. 

Even when there’s nothing going on, Ulu Garden is still a spellbinding place to be. Set in the beating heart of town, the breezy tropical garden completely changes its character as the sun rises and falls. During the day, it’s a chilled-out place to relax for lunch. But after sunset, it transforms into a high-octane music venue that invites you to dance under the stars.

3. Take a Boat Trip Along the Coast

Uluwatu, Bali Bucket List: Boat Trip

When you’ve had your fill of relaxing at your luxury hotel, one of the top things to do in Uluwatu is to head to the coast and sign up for a boat trip. You’ll find plenty of kiosks along the coast with sellers offering all kinds of excursions at sea. Our favorite is the one that takes you out on a small, local fishing boat known as the Black Pearl.

After you climb on board, your little wooden boat will skirt Uluwatu’s coastline, giving you a unique view of the spectacular cliffs you can’t see any other way. Because of the coast’s small size, you’ll have the chance to carefully sail into hidden coves and stop at clandestine bays that the bigger boats can’t reach. Make sure you take your swimming gear and a towel with you because you’ll definitely want to jump in the ocean. 

Don’t worry about bringing your own drinks. There’s a cooler onboard filled with icy cold drinks that you can help yourself to.

4. Visit the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park

Must do things in Uluwatu, Bali: Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park

Also known as GWK for short, the Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park is one of the best things to see in Uluwatu. Tucked away in the hills of Jimbaran, this iconic attraction is best known for the Hindu statue of the god Vishnu accompanied by his mythical guardian eagle. 

The eye-catching monument stands at a whopping 400 feet tall and is set on a pedestal that’s already 150 feet high. It’s impossible to describe just how tall this is – you really have to see it for yourself.

Vishnu is just one of the remarkable statues in the park. As you wander around, you’ll discover many other statues depicting various Hindu gods – although they’re not quite as tall and intimidating. The 148-acre complex also features loads of souvenir stalls, a great selection of dining venues, and even a cinema that shows an interesting short film on the mythical beast Garuda.

If you feel exhausted at just the idea of walking around a place so big, we’ve got a surprise for you. You can rent a segway at the entrance and work your way around the entire park without taking a single step! 

Get a Garuda Wisnu Kencana Ticket

5. Devour Babi Guling

Cool Things to do in Uluwatu, Bali: Babi Guling

When you need a break from all the Uluwatu sightseeing, stop at a local restaurant and order yourself a great big plate of babi guling. One of the most delicious things you could ever get your hands on, babi guling is a dish made of suckling pig that’s almost impossible to find outside of Bali.

The name translates into English as “turning pig” because the pig is turned by hand on an open fire while it’s being cooked. Each plate is piled high with a mixture of delicate meat, crispy skin, flavor-packed stuffing, steamed rice, fresh veggies, and spicy sambal. One small plate is more than enough for a full meal!

Best Things to do in Uluwatu, Bali: Babi Guling

Decades ago, this popular dish was reserved exclusively for major celebrations and religious ceremonies. But because it’s loved so much by visitors as well as locals, you can find it in restaurants throughout Bali today. 

Warung Ubay is one of the best places in Uluwatu for babi guling. This casual dining spot has a tropical vibe, decorated with bamboo columns and straw ceilings, and serves some of the most delectable, authentic, and budget-friendly babi guling you’ll ever come across. 

Taste Bali’s Iconic Babi Guling

6. Go to the Balangan Viewpoint

Fun Things to do in Uluwatu, Bali: Balangan Viewpoint

Whether you’re a professional photographer or you’re just looking for content to fill your Instagram account, a snap of Balangan Beach from this prestigious location will definitely be a sparkling gem in your collection. This well-known beach doesn’t look like much when you’re at sea level. But when you’re looking down at it from a towering cliff, the stretch of sand looks nothing short of magical. 

The Balangan Viewpoint is located on the tall cliff at the northernmost end of the beach. Because it’s so high, it’s a pretty tough climb. But as long as you keep up your stamina and remember why you’re trekking uphill, the view will be more than worth it.

From this lofty viewpoint, you can see the entire beach. Its golden sands, tree-clad cliffs, craggy rocks, dazzling aquamarine ocean, and surfers that look like tiny ants can all be captured in a single shot. While the view is spectacular at sunset, the place is also full of wedding photographers at this time of day. Because of this, it’s best to avoid sunset hours and arrive a little earlier to enjoy the view in peace.

7. Witness the Kecak Fire Dance

What to do in Uluwatu, Bali: Kecak Fire Dance

Visit the Pura Luhur Uluwatu temple at sunset, and you’ll discover one of the most incredible and unique things to do in Uluwatu. Every day at 5:45 pm, this spiritual temple transforms from a popular tourist attraction into a performance area for the spectacular Kecak Fire Dance.

Also known as “The Monkey Chant,” this one-of-a-kind show features a live rendition of an episode taken from the Ramayana epic. A group of incredibly talented actors and dancers take to the small stone stage and put on a phenomenal show you’ll remember forever. We don’t want to give too much away, but you can expect traditional Balinese costumes, dramatic stunts, and plenty of fire. 

Due to the lack of music, the atmosphere can feel a little bit eerie throughout the performance. Music is replaced by trance-like chanting, which begins slowly and gradually speeds up throughout the show. Even though no words are spoken, the movements and chanting make it fairly simple to understand what’s going on.

Head to the amphitheater next to the temple about 15 minutes early to get a good seat. As the sun sets behind the stage, it provides an impressive and fiery backdrop to enhance the story.

Watch Kecak Dance Performance

8. Indulge Your Body with a Beach Massage

Unique Things to do in Uluwatu, Bali: Beach Massage

Ticking off all the top Uluwatu attractions can be exhausting. When you need to take a little break, reward all your hard work with a massage. Don’t worry about a massage costing you a small fortune. They’re remarkably affordable throughout Bali and likely to be considerably cheaper than they are at home.

One of the best places to indulge yourself with a massage is on Uluwatu Beach. As you’re lying on the plush sun loungers, enjoying the glorious sunshine, you’ll see local women wandering up and down the shore offering massages. 

You don’t even have to get up. Simply roll over and they’ll treat you to the ahh-inducing massage you deserve directly on your bed. These massages usually cost just $ 5-$10 USD, making them an incredible value for the money.

If you want something a little more professional, you can spend a few hours at one of Uluwatu’s day spas instead. The Istana is one of the most glamorous day spas in all of Bali. Located just steps away from the ocean, this relaxing paradise boasts everything from meditation retreats and sensory deprivation tanks of hyperbaric chambers and, of course, an amazing massage menu.

9. Have a Relaxing Day at Padang Padang Beach

Fun Things to do in Uluwatu, Bali: Padang Padang Beach

This town is famed for its gorgeous beaches, and spending a full day on a sandy shore is one of the must-do things in Uluwatu. If you’ve only got time to visit one beach during your stay, we suggest you make it Padang Padang Beach, also known as Pantai Labuan Sait.

As one of the coolest surfing spots on the island, you don’t have to be a professional wave rider to have a good time here. The perfectly golden sand, dazzling blue water, and natural shade provided by towering trees make this place beyond breathtaking. You’ve got to work your way down a tricky flight of stairs to get here, but the rocky steps are worth traversing for the chance to spend a day in paradise.

Must do things in Uluwatu, Bali: Padang Padang Beach

Look out to sea and you’ll spot countless surfers waiting for the perfect wave. Gaze inland and you’ll see families of macaque monkeys playing in the trees. Although the depths are best left to professional surfers, you can still enjoy the shallow parts of the sea and cool off when the sunshine gets to be too much. 

Experience Uluwatu’s Best Beaches

10. Eat up Your Proteins and Veggies with Gado Gado

What to do in Uluwatu, Bali: Gado Gado

Whether or not you’re a fan of greens, one of the best things to do in Uluwatu when you’re feeling hungry is to grab a plate of gado gado. This vegetarian dish is a type of Indonesian “salad” that’s loaded with so many delicious ingredients that even the most committed carnivore won’t be able to turn it down.

A plate of gado gado is usually filled with tofu, tempeh, bean sprouts, cucumbers, chayote, long beans, carrots, and a hard-boiled egg. As if that wasn’t enough flavor already, the whole thing is dressed with a special peanut sauce that’s got a little kick. The result is a plate that’s absolutely bursting with flavor and texture. There’s really nothing like it, and you’ll be craving this dish as soon as you land back home. 

Ayu’s Food From The Heart is where you’ll find the most incredible gado gado in Uluwatu. This colorful and welcoming cafe serves huge portions of gado gado that also include slices of fresh tomato, hard-boiled eggs, and chili peppers. It’s worth ordering one of their freshly-squeezed juices to go with it because the peanut sauce is seriously hot here!

11. Take a Ceramics Class

Best Things to do in Uluwatu, Bali: Ceramics Class

When you’re feeling artsy, one of the coolest things to do in Uluwatu is to join in with a ceramics class held at Jenggala. Suitable for kids and adults (as well as experienced crafters and complete newbies), these short classes invite you to get creative and make your own ceramics entirely from scratch.

If that sounds like a little much for you, you can decorate one of the pre-made pieces instead. Whatever you decide to do, your finished work of art will make a wonderful souvenir or a gift for someone you wished was with you on your adventure.

Cool Things to do in Uluwatu, Bali: Ceramics Class

Every step of the ceramics-making process is done at Jenggala, from the shaping and firing to the decorating and glossing. If you want to make one entirely from scratch, it takes about 4-5 days, so make sure you plan ahead. If you haven’t got time, you can always buy one of the kits to take home.

12. Go Surfing at Suluban Beach

Unique Things to do in Uluwatu, Bali: Suluban Beach

Whether you’re a total surf pro or you’ve never even sat on a board before, one of the most fun things to do in Uluwatu is to get out into the ocean and catch a wave. Almost every beach in this part of Bali has excellent surf conditions, but many surfers agree that Suluban Beach is the absolute best.

Also known as Blue Point Beach, this stunning bay features a narrow stretch of sand lapped by waves that are perfect for riding. It’s a little tricky to get to – you’ve got to descend a very steep staircase and work your way through rocky openings to get there. But when you do, you’ll be rewarded with a stunning beach that’s perfectly positioned for surfing.

Even if you don’t actually want to try catching a wave yourself, Suluban Beach is still definitely worth a visit. Surfers from all over Bali come to this place for the long, powerful swells and continuous barrels. They’re so incredibly talented that you can spend hours just watching them. 

13. Chill Out at a Swanky Beach Club

If you want to feel like a VIP, one of the top things to do in Uluwatu is to spend a day at one of the resort’s cool beach clubs. While the town is best known for its cliff-top clubs that practically float in the air, Uluwatu is also home to a handful of elegant beach clubs where you can relax on soft, golden sands and take a dip into the sparkling sea whenever you like.

Because all the beach clubs in Uluwatu are so spectacular, it’s almost impossible to pick a favorite. But Sundays Beach Club has to be up there. Booking in advance does get you some perks, but even if you’ve left it until the last minute, you can usually just walk up and get in.

A VIP booking will get you a plush sun lounger in the best location, complimentary use of a beach towel, free Wi-Fi access, and unlimited use of stand-up paddleboards, snorkeling equipment, and kayaks. One of the best things about this beach club is that it stays open past dark when sunset bonfires and outdoor movies are held.

14. Watch the Sunset from Karang Boma Cliff

Must do things in Uluwatu, Bali: Karang Boma Cliff

Uluwatu boasts some spectacular sunsets, and no matter how many or how few evenings you spend here, you’ve got to dedicate one to watching the stunning natural show. There are loads of great places to watch the sunset in Uluwatu, and our favorite is from the top of Karang Boma Cliff.

Also known as Uluwatu Cliff, this beautiful cliff top is located on the south side of the Pura Luhur Uluwatu temple. You can reach it by passing through the separate parking area that’s clearly signposted for the sunset viewpoint. 

Not only is the view from the cliff superb, but the view of the cliff itself is mesmerizing. Try to stand on the land that directly faces the cliff and see if you can get the ocean and the sky in the background. This position makes for an incredible shot – especially if you catch it at sunset. If you’ve got a drone, you’ll even be able to capture yourself in the picture! 

Watch Sunset from Karang Boma Cliff

15. Cool Off with Es Campur

Uluwatu, Bali Things to do: Es Campur

When the intense Balinese heat gets to be too much for you, devouring a bowl of es campur is one of the best things to do in Uluwatu. Similar to a snowcone, but so much better, es campur is a type of shaved ice dessert piled high with all kinds of delicious toppings. Its name translates into English as “mixed ice.” If you’ve ever had nasi campur (“mixed rice”) before, it’s essentially the same concept – but with ice shavings instead of rice.

The shaved ice is mixed with coconut milk and condensed milk, giving it a wonderfully sweet flavor and creamy texture. Toppings can include almost anything sweet, such as cantaloupe, papaya, lychees, and cubes of colored Jell-O. If you’re not into fruit, you’ll find plenty of places selling more indulgent variations, with things like caramel, chocolate, and Nutella, too. 

What to do in Uluwatu, Bali: Es Campur

Es campur is available all over the place in Uluwatu, from street vendors with carts dedicated to the stuff to fancy restaurants that place elevated versions on their dessert menus. 

There you have it! The 15 best things to do in Uluwatu. What’s your favorite thing to do in Uluwatu? 

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  • Nicola Quinn

    Nicola is a freelance writer with an insatiable hunger for travel. She swapped her home in the UK for the sunny Canary Islands when she was just 11 and she has been based there ever since.

    From crawling on her hands and knees inside pyramids in Egypt to swimming with baby sharks in Bali and searching (fruitlessly!) for the Northern Lights in Iceland, Nicola takes every chance she gets to explore new places.

    The incredible experiences she has around the world fuels her writing and inspires her to plan even more adventures for the future.

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