One of the key temples believed to be Bali’s spiritual pillars, Uluwatu temple is perched on top of a dramatic clifftop on the southern part of the island. It boasts panoramic views across the Indian ocean, and like its counter part, Tanah Lot, it is also a popular sunset destination. I’d recommend heading here earlier in the day to beat the heat. It is open from 9am-6pm for visitors and there is a 30,000IDR entrance fee ($3). Because of the spiritual importance of this temple you need to have your knees covered, but don’t be alarmed! You don’t need to wear jeans and sweat your bodyweight to gain access, there are sarongs for hire at the entrance for a nominal fee.
At the entrance to the temple grounds there is a small forest that is home to hundreds of cheeky monkeys that are believed to guard the temple from bad spirits. Be careful of your belongings as these monkeys are very sneaky and will steal any loose items when you’re not looking! If they do happen to take something, there are temple ladies who can try to bribe the monkey to drop your belongings for food, but you will have to pay them for it. It’s a good idea to stow your sunglasses away whilst visiting the temple, or you might find yourself buying your own eyewear back!
It takes about an hour to do the entire cliff side walk to the temple but it is totally worth it for the breathtaking views of the cliffs set against the backdrop of the ocean. There are food stalls outside the temple in the car park if your really hungry but I would suggest heading to Uluwatu surf break which is 5 minutes down the road. Don’t be put off by the name, it’s not only surfers that are attracted to this destination, although they are the ones that put its name on the map.
Once a fairly deserted oasis, these days the cliff top is covered in various cafes, restaurants, and souvenir shops. Keep walking through the chaos all the way down to the beach that is hidden inside a cave. The beach is protected from the breaking surf by a towering rock formation. Be cautious – this beach is only safe for swimming during low tide and when there is low swell. Dip your toes in, but I wouldn’t recommend a proper swim as the current is very strong in this area.
For the more adventurous, to the left of the cave there is a narrow gap in the rock which will take you to a shipwreck on a secluded beach. This is only accessible during low tide but is absolutely 100% worth the effort. Take a bintang and catch some sun while you watch the surfers.
When you’ve had your fill of the sun or when the tide starts coming in, head back into the cave and along the rock bridge. At the top of the stairs, you will find yourself at your destination for sunset, Delpi cafe. This cafe is perched on top of a free-standing rock, delighting it’s guests with unobstructed views across the ocean. Order yourself some food, a fresh coconut and settle in to watch the sun disappearing into the waves. You can even pay for a massage while you enjoy all this. (As always, remember to negotiate the price).
Happy Holidaying! X