I came to Bali with the sole objective to surf.

Originally, I wanted to stay in Canggu for a week, but after I traveled to Uluwatu to watch the World Surf League or WSL Uluwatu CT final heat, I decided to stay where the pros are.

It wasn’t a completely blind move. I had met a fellow surfer, Marco, while watching Johanne Defay and Tatiana Weston-Webb make multiple cut-backs on something like seven-foot waves. He told me that Uluwatu was the place to surf, even for a beginner to intermediate surfer like me.

So, I took my chances.

It turned out to be the best Bali decision I’ve ever made.

There are some truly amazing foodie experiences in Uluwatu

Here are my favorite places to eat and check out in Uluwatu:

1. Suka Espresso

Not only did it have the best Flat White around (in my opinion, of course) every day at Suka Espresso, but the food is also all sorts of good for you: delicious, fresh, and locally grown. The place’s interiors are also decorated with up-cycled furniture, so it’s extra sustainable.

2. Padang-Padang beach

padang padang beach

This beach might be the place with the most tourists in Uluwatu, but not without cause! It’s the place to be if you want to surf; there’s a section of the wave that rides to the left and one to the right.

I surfed with a couple of Brazilians (visiting for the WSL, I assume) and – inadvertently – with an unknown giant gray marine animal beneath the surface that freaked us all out.

“What is it?!” Everyone shrieked at me in panic, thinking perhaps I would know since I look Balinese. It looked more like a walrus than a shark, though. As Willy the Walrus is the mascot of the Circus Waterpark in Bali, I shall continue to believe that I surfed with a walrus.

3. Single Fin

Sunday nights in Uluwatu are great for people who love live music, but it was also here where I watched advanced surfers slay barrels while eating brunch at ten in the morning. They have a make-your-own-omelet option cheaper than getting one of their ready-made omelets, so that was a bang for my buck.

4. Dreamland


Dreamland is another great beach to surf, but I especially liked it to watch the sunset from the hill. I kept getting a different price from the board rentals, but in the end, the cheapest I got was IDR 150.000 for two hours.

5. Uluwatu Temple

Uluwatu Temple

Take care of your sunglasses because the monkeys are out to get them! Besides that, the temple arguably has the best sunset view in Uluwatu. The sunset dance is something I’m glad I didn’t miss (there were zero seats left, and I had to squeeze in — good thing I’m small). The colors of the sunset enhanced the engaging performance of the Kecak fire dance.

6. Kelly’s Warung

This restaurant overlooks another surf break. It’s interesting to swing by Kelly’s Warung because it is packed with restaurants and home stays built into the hill that it’s almost a labyrinth trying to get to it.

7. Bukit Cafe

I went here almost as much as I went to Suka. First, because it was conveniently right beside my homestay. Secondly, because the food is good.

8. Thomas Beach

The road to this beach is across Suka Espresso, which is how I discovered it in the first place. I went here during low tide right before the sunset, and it was indeed a soulful experience. The tide was so intense I could walk on the corals for about 20 meters. It’s also great for observing sea creatures.

9. La Baracca Bali

I went here twice to La Baracca Bali, a pasta-and-pizza place. As you can tell, I like to go somewhere more than once if I want the food. They also served my pizza within 15 minutes. Now that’s good service!

Nightlife in Uluwatu

Uluwatu is no Seminyak, but that’s not why you’re here anyway! We loved Hatch Bar, a quirky and creative place that reminded us somewhat of Berlin, especially during techno and deep house night. Along with the food, you can play beer pong, Jenga, foosball, and many other board games to inspire good old phone-free human interaction at your table. There’s also a dance floor and DJ platform, but the music only gets quiet if you want it to; the place is enormous, and you can sit further out.

Ulu Cliffhouse is the place to go in Uluwatu for a Mykonos vibe. The views are stunning, and you can walk down the cliff to another platform overlooking the beach or go to the sea. Many people lounging on the day beds from mid-morning just soaking up the atmosphere, a DJ spinning by the pool (not too “party” during chill season), and several special guests and fun events on weekends.

Editor’s note: The author first travelled to Bali on June 2017 and returned one year later for more adventures. Her first taste of Uluwatu was via TripGuru’s “5 Beaches Tour” of Bali’s southern coast. Little did she know that one year later, she would find herself back at Padang Padang to surf with newfound friends.

TripGuru offers bespoke group tour experiences in BaliLombok, and other select destinations in Indonesia. Book your tours here.



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