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Experiencing Slow Travel in Uluwatu

Discovering new countries, things to do and places of interest is easier than ever before—it is quite simply available at the touch of a button. The true essence of travel can sometimes be lost in the hurried nature in which we move from one destination to the next, eager to discover more and more. 

Enter the concept of ‘Slow Travel’. This movement emphasises the beauty of slow living and enjoying a destination more authentically and mindfully. Instead of trying to fit in as many experiences as possible into an allotted period of time, the slow travel concept invites us all to swap the fast pace for the slow, taking the time to fully connect with a location—whether that be its people, culture, food and music.

Uluwatu in Bali is the perfect place to live slow. Utterly laid back and idyllic, this rugged cliff top location offers beaches, sunsets and brunch spots galore, as well as countless ways to experience Bali in a more conscious and mindful way. Discover our recommendations, but remember to experience them how you like, with intention and purpose.

Climb aboard a traditional Balinese fishing boat

Ride along the rhythmic waves of the Indian Ocean and gain a different perspective of Bali aboard a boat cruise in Uluwatu. In a traditional rustic Balinese fishing boat, named a Jukung, you’ll be able to appreciate the picturesque beaches of the Bukit coast, including Balangan, Thomas, Padang-Padang, Dreamland and Uluwatu. The team at Black Pearl Jimbaran Bay offer sunset trips, as well as fishing trips in the morning and evening. Revered as Jimbaran Bay’s most iconic fishing charter, this is your chance to leave your modern cares behind and explore the waters around Uluwatu like a real local, catching anything from a barracuda to a big grouper or giant trevally. Whichever experience you desire, the Black Pearl team will bring it to life.

Dinner with a view

There’s nothing more purposeful than sitting down to enjoy a delicious dinner in front of an absolutely sublime view of the endless ocean. Thankfully, Uluwatu is home to some of the island’s most scenic dining spots.

The Pool Lounge at The Ungasan Clifftop Resort overlooks their 25-metre infinity pool and out towards the Indian Ocean. Seating options include poolside sunbeds or a shaded cabana, with food characterised by Indonesian fusion with an international quality. From local warung favourites and grilled fish, to pasta, pizza and small dishes, as well as an extensive selection of cocktails and wines, the menu has been meticulously crafted by multi-award-winning Executive Chef, Shaun Thomson, to bring cliffside cuisine to your plate.

Explore Suluban Beach

Suluban Beach offers authentic tranquillity in Uluwatu. Featuring a collection of caves and coves, a shipwreck that lies on the beach, locally-run cafes, as well as optimal surfing conditions, Suluban is a haven from which to slow down and appreciate the leisurely art of living, or to take to the waves and let the forces of nature guide you through your surfing experience. The best time to visit is during low tide, which permits ideal access to explore the area’s many small rock openings and hidden coves. Half of the beach is shaded by the looming cliff face, so you’ll easily be able to find some respite from the sunshine and simply while the day away.

Find your flow with yoga

Finding your flow and rebalancing your mind, body and soul is an easy task in Uluwatu. From open-air classes to ocean-view shalas, to simply finding your own beach or cliff spot location from which to practise your own yoga poses, do some self-guided pilates or have a well-deserved stretch, Uluwatu serves up a fantastic selection of serene open-air settings. 

There are many local yoga retreats and wellness centres that offer the chance to rejuvenate yourself amid nature’s embrace. Breathe Yoga offers a weekly schedule of classes including Yin Yoga, Hatha, Vinyasa, Aerial and Ashtanga, all within an open-air space in Ungasan, Bali. The Ungasan Clifftop Resort can also offer a personal trainer or yoga instructor upon request for guests.

Enjoy a Balinese cooking class

Embrace the art of slow living by immersing yourself in traditional Balinese cooking. With a local Balinese chef as your guide, you’ll learn to prepare an array of exquisite dishes first-hand. Turis Cooking Class located at Pandawa Beach in Kutuh Village introduces you to the local ingredients and cooking techniques of Bali food through a selection of interactive classes, including the creation of aromatic spices and pastes. Many of the packages available feature a visit to the traditional fish market in Jimbaran to source the freshest seafood, poultry and vegetables for several dishes that you’ll create from scratch. The traditional Balinese dishes on the menu include Lawar, Sate Lilit Ayam and Dadar Gulung, all Balinese cuisines that are a true delight to discover and create for yourself. After creation, you’ll be able to savour the sumptuous flavours.

Watch the sunset

Bali would not be Bali if it were not for its breathtaking sunsets. Nowhere is that more apparent than in Uluwatu, of which the spots to watch the sun go down are in plentiful supply. Enjoy the steady transformation of the sky’s colours in your own individual way. Sit in a clifftop restaurant and survey the sweeping vistas that decorate the sky as it reflects off of the Indian Ocean, or grab a towel and a good book and encounter it from a beachfront spot. 

Sundays Beach Club offers the perfect setting for ‘slow travel’ evenings beneath the glow of the setting sun. Whether you take your seat at the ocean view bar or relax on a beanbag on the beach, live music, bonfires and a carefully curated food and drink menu will set you up for a gloriously tranquil and slow-paced evening. Offering the perfect opportunity to embrace your surroundings and experience the moment with mindful intention, Sundays is a true slice of paradise, where sunsets take on a unique individuality for each and every visitor who experiences them.

Discover Uluwatu’s local handicrafts

Get a real feel for Uluwatu by exploring some of the area’s local shops and handicrafts. Renowned in the area, Uluwatu handmade Balinese lace (krawang) showcases exclusive designs that bring to life the vision of generations of traditional craftsmanship. The lace is stretched on bamboo hoops and sewn by hand on foot-powered machines, with the thread built layer upon layer. From casual wear to evening dresses, bed and table linens, the lace garments and decoration that can be found in Uluwatu is a real showcase of the area’s expert artistry.

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