Southern tip of Bali Island a mesmerizing paradise for surfers and tan hunters. The Bukit peninsula, officially called Bukit Badung, starts about 4km south from Kuta with a charming fisherman village called Jimbaran, and builds up into a limestone plateau that dangles off the southern tip of Bali.
Blessed with countless white sand beaches, amazing views and mighty Indian Ocean presence, this area is far less populated and visited by the tourists than the notorious Kuta-Legian-Seminyak streets, making it a quiet place to sit back and relax in one of the many stunning resorts or cozy beachfront homestays around the area, depending on your budget 😉
If you start your Bukit peninsula discovery trip from Kuta, the first place to visit is Jimbaran fishing town. Situated only a couple of kilometers south from the international airport, you´ll find the white sand Jimbaran beach (rarely suitable for surfing) which is well known for its barbecued seafood dinner and daily fresh fish market (at the north end of Jimbaran beach).
If you would like to do some shopping at Jimbaran, there´s just one western style boutique mall before the Le Meridiane resort called Jimbaran Corner, where you will find decent wine stores, some restaurants (sushi place for example) to dine in and couple well-designed shops with local handicrafts. If you are more in to unique and high quality souvenirs you should consider visiting Jenggala Keramik factory. Other than that, there´s little to do in Jimbaran itself as it is mostly covered with high end resorts and local family communities.
Rather than spending 1000$ per night at some world brand hotel in Jimbaran, travel a bit south on the main road (Jl. Uluwatu) and you´ll find yourself in Balangan (if you don´t miss the right turn :). On the way there, consider also visiting the Garuda Wisnu Kecana cultural park (GWK) where along with other art objects you could see the main attraction, the massive Garuda Wihsnu statue. Balangan itself is quite remote place with fast left hand reef brake for experienced surfers, that offers you a beautiful white sand beach to relax and plenty of local warungs to taste the real Indonesian cuisine.
If you don´t have high standards for your accommodation you may try to get a room in one of the beachfront homestays for only 10$ per night – perfect place for surfers as the houses are literally 10 meters from the Ocean. If you prefer to have a bit more privacy and for example hot water, there´s some truly romantic cliff top bungalows and hotels to choose from – for example Balangan Sea View Bungalows, Flower Bud Bungalows Nr.1 and Nr. 2, as well as La Joya resort.
While the Balangan area is a considerably “fresh“ destination for surfers, Uluwatu has been known for years now. From the 1970´s, Uluwatu has gained much popularity over the seas and is probably one of the most famous surf breaks in the world. However, believe it or not, there are so many other awesome places to stay, eat and surf before you get there while you are in Bali. One of them is definitely Padang Padang.
This charming little cliff top place offers you a small white sand beach and great surf break (works best in dry season April – September) with plenty of accommodation options around and yummy places to eat – Buddha Soul, Om Burger, Jiwa Juice Cafe and Mango Tree Cafe to name a few. Also worth to mention one tasty pizza place (Italia Pizzeria) just couple of kilometers before the Padang Padang beach, when you are turning off the main Uluwatu road and cruising down the hill. Though there´s not so many temples and cultural sights to see around Padang Padang, but it´s truly worth to visit if you fancy great views, cool vibes and sandy beaches. If you are traveling with a medium budget and haven´t yet found your next cozy place to stay, you might check out Bali Bule Homestay and Jepun Bali Homestay.
Travelling even more south you´ll sooner or later find the famous Uluwatu. The place which puts Bali on world surfing maps and continuously seduces thousands of world class surfers to enjoy this miracle every day (surf is best in dry season). Don´t worry if you are not that good at surfing or you don´t surf at all – there´s ultimately beautiful Ocean views and Uluwatu temple that you must see. The temple has been built right on the top of the Uluwatu cliff and features some of the best views on Indian Ocean you could ever imagine. Naughty monkeys will be your companions if you discover this spiritual place, so watch out for your valuables.
Uluwatu has an interesting, rustic little beach down below and many local warungs and western places to enjoy cool drinks and great food. One of these places is called Single Fin. They have managed to blend spectacular views, delicious food and tasty cocktails. If you would like to stay around Uluwatu area, look up for Blue Point and Suluban – these keywords are easiest way to find your „dream“ accommodation in Uluwatu, whether you have a higher, medium or lower travel budget.
Green Ball Beach & Nusa Dua
After Uluwatu, there´s really nowhere else to go besides Nusa Dua. On the way there, if you have enough strength to walk up and down more than 300 steps you could check out the mysterious Green Ball beach and its challenging surf break (working almost all year around).
There are just 3 or 4 local warungs to eat or buy some basic snacks which means that this place is still undiscovered by the vast array of surfers / tourists, leaving you a rare opportunity to sometimes even enjoy the beach only by yourself. If you are not in to taking any physical challenges and kindly share the space with other fellow travellers, keep going a bit more to the east from Green Ball and you´ll find the Pandawa beach with it´s super convenient access, lots of places to eat and many rental chairs to relax as comfortably as possible.
Moving further east there´s the Nusa Dua. This has been a massive project to create an artificially all year around green environment and trash free space for higher budget travellers. It´s hard to find cozy homestays and medium budget accommodations on the beach because it´s is all covered with 5 start resorts and fancy hotels. Nusa Dua has been specifically designed for wealthier travellers and people who prefer to have more security and western style during their vacation. There´s not much to see and to do besides the beautiful hotels, enjoy the white sand beach and some great surf breaks around (working best in wet season).
- It is best if you have your own transport to move around, like scooter or a car, because distances between different places are not very short and could take you hours if you decide to walk. That goes with all the destinations in southern part of Bali Island.
- Usually there´s is always some small entrance fee to the beach or for the parking. Spare some change for that!