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Finding Uluwatu’s best surf breaks

Uluwatu is filled with diversity and must-see wonders, but it is inherently recognised as one of the premier destinations for surfing enthusiasts. 

The region’s positioning in the southern Indian Ocean makes it a consistently good surfing spot for both new and experienced patrons all year round. Here are a few of the best surf breaks the region has to offer.

Uluwatu Beach 

Perhaps the most legendary of Bali’s surf spots, Uluwatu Beach sits underneath the beautiful 11th century Pura Luhur Temple.

The sandy stretch and its array of attributing bays essentially feature five amazing breaks in one — The Peak, Racetrack, Outside Corner, Temples and The Bombie. Depending on the time of day and swell, each of Uluwatu Beach’s peaks has its own unique features but requires an experienced surfer to fully enjoy their tidal power. 

To gain access from the car park, and the selection of cafes and facilities lie above, traverse down some stairs into a wondrous cave setting where you can swim straight out into the breaks. If you require more sand to leave your belongings or sunbathe, take a left and discover a bay with ample space to spectate the surfers from a distance.  

Uluwatu’s five main surf areas all break left down the reef, with various sections that change with the size of the swell. Temples is the least crowded section due to its distance from the shoreline, while The Bombie is responsible for some of the biggest waves ever ridden in Indonesia and is a must-see spectacle for any surfing enthusiast. 

The Peak is located directly in front of the cave and is, therefore, the most popular, so be prepared to be patient and allow for surfing etiquette. Outside Corner is perhaps the most iconic peak, but is really reserved for experienced surfers, while Racetrack is a fast and long ‘rippable’ section with makable barrels draining off the reef. Best at low tide, it is found to the right of the cave and angles towards Padang Padang Beach.

Padang Padang Beach

Known as the ‘Balinese Pipeline’, this sandy beach located on the Bukit Peninsula is just three kilometres north of Uluwatu Temple and is accessed via a winding path down the cliff-face. There are two surf breaks at Padang Padang — Padang Padang Left and Padang Padang Right — and they’re not to be confused as one is more challenging than the other. 

Padang Padang Left is the more infamous with a reef break that features all the tubes, wave height and speeds an expert could want. Like Hawaii’s famous Pipeline, it requires significant skill to attempt. During low tide it is dangerous and best left to the professionals as jagged rocks and sharp coral reefs lie below the shallow water. 

If you aren’t an expert, then you’re advised to stick to Padang Padang Right — a picturesque peak ideal for beginners and intermediate surfers with a long, unbroken wave at high tide. 

The beach itself is a small pocket of paradise, magnificently protected by the majestic cliff faces that surround it. At most times of the day, these provide an abundance of shady spots to seek some refuge from the hot sun, but there’s still plenty of space to bronze and watch the surfers ride the ocean’s bounding waves.

Bingin Beach 

In contrast to neighbouring Dreamland Beach, Bingin Beach is rocky, rugged and more difficult to access, lending itself more to a surf culture.

Being off the beaten track has its benefits though, which comes in the form of smaller crowds and a quieter, more laid-back atmosphere. There’s a scattering of restaurants and bars overlooking the bay, but the real action is out in the crystal clear waters. 

The five-star wave experience is big, powerful, challenging and easily able to stimulate and fascinate the fussiest of adrenaline-seeking surfers. As a result, the break here should be left to the experienced and professionals.

Balangan Beach

There’s a good reason why this beach has such an array of surf schools located here — it provides a safe environment for all levels. 

From beginners and children taking their first lessons, to intermediate and advanced students seeking the best breaks, this location offers the perfect waves in abundance. 

Located north of Padang Padang Beach, this sandy bay is ideal for those seeking relaxation and seclusion. There’s a scattering of local warungs and day beds, so visitors can sit back and enjoy Balangan’s beautiful scenery with a cool and refreshing beverage. 

This idyllic stretch of pristine coastline ranges from huge waves on days with serious swell to multiple peaks and a long wall during quieter days and in medium and low tides.

Nyang Nyang 

This stunning spot is a popular surfing destination more so for its picturesque surrounds rather than swashbuckling waves. Despite this, the beach does feature a short right-hander break and a larger and trickier peak at its north-end.

Located south of Uluwatu Temple, the secret paradise of Nyang Nyang is only accessible via a rocky path off of the main road and then a taxing 600-step journey on foot down to the beach. 

The secludedness of this bay means you’ll find very little in terms of facilities and people — other than a few local children spearfishing. But if you brave the journey down, you’ll be able to surf your own private waves and enjoy magnificent untouched white sand.

*Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, opening times and closures are subject to government guidelines.

Here are a few of the best surf breaks the Uluwatu region has to offer.

Bali’s positioning in the southern Indian Ocean makes it a consistently good surfing spot. The best surfing spots to find while staying in Uluwatu are Uluwatu Beach, Padang Padang Beach, Bingin Beach, Balangan Beach and Nyang Nyang Beach

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