So, you’re on the hunt for the best place in Uluwatu for sunset. The good news? There’s not only one spot with awesome evening-hour shows. There are oodles. The fact is that Uluwatu isn’t a single location, but rather a stretch of several miles of shoreline on the western side of the Bukit Peninsula. That makes it perfect for seeing the last rays of light around 6pm, and plenty of clifftop bars and lookout points know it…
Yep, from chic pool clubs with classy cocktail menus to ramshackle backpacker bars where the icy Bintang beers clink to the sunset, there’s all sorts on offer here. And that’s not even mentioning the hidden beaches, coves, and soaring lookout points that beckon those who aren’t too keen on squeezing into a pumping watering hole.
This guide runs through seven of the top options to help you seek out the best place in Uluwatu for sunset. It’s got fancy venues set to the sounds of Lo-Fi summer chill-hop. It’s got wave-sprayed beaches where you should find yourself alone on the Bali coast. Let’s dive right in…
Sunset Point Uluwatu
With a name like Sunset Point, this one has surely got to be the best place in Uluwatu for sunset, eh? Quite possibly. Set on the soaring cliffs smack dab in the middle of the area, the venue is a whole load more casual than many of the other uber-cool bars on this list. Look for it at the end of an uneven country lane, past groups of overhanging fruit trees and breeze-block garages. Don’t worry, you’re on the right path. Keep going and Sunset Point will open up before you…
A compact little drinkery set over two stories of set concrete, it looks more like the sort of beach bar you’d get on a long-lost Thai island than in one of the most happening corners of Bali. That brings mega chill vibes and a mellow evening atmosphere. It also means the prices aren’t astronomical, which is always good news.
The views from Sunset Point don’t just take in the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean as it stretches westwards. They also encompass the wave-smashed rocks at the base of the Uluwatu Temple and the open beaches and reefs to the north. The best seats are on the front row, where people pack on the beanbags behind a low stone wall.
The Uluwatu Temple isn’t just arguably the best place in Uluwatu for sunset. It’s also one of the region’s top attractions. In fact, we’d say a visit here should be on EVERY Bali bucket list. The site offers a glimpse of the deep and fervent religiosity of this mythical island, amid a patchwork of incense-scented shrines and multi-tier thatch pagodas. Just watch out for the macaques as you stroll the complex!
But back to the sunsets. A whole load of people will actually make their way down to the Uluwatu Temple when the evening approaches. Most won’t be coming for an evening drink. Instead, they come to witness the iconic Kecak Fire Dance. It takes place every evening at 6pm and is, at least for us, one of the most unforgettable cultural experience on the Isle of the Gods – think haunting dances inspired by the Hindu Ramayana.
All that takes place to a backdrop of blazing orange and pink light as the sun dips low. The Fire Dance itself is performed in a bowl-like amphitheater that’s set on a precipitous wall of rock. As you watch the show, you’ll be able to hear the waves frothing below. It’s pure drama.
Single Fin Beach Club – probably our all-round pick for the best place in Uluwatu for sunset!
One thing comes to mind when we think back to those cold cocktails and chill dry-season nights in Single Fin Beach Club, Bali – take us back! Yep, this is unquestionably one of our favorite hangout spots on the whole Isle of the Gods (and that’s saying something, because there’s no shortage of epic bars here). It just seems to have everything going for it, from a sleek design to a standout location to a menu that screams “order from me!”.
When it comes to the golden hour, Single Fin does things right. Pick a seat anywhere on the oversized terrace and you’ll be gazing straight across to the legendary Ulu’s surf break. That offers endless entertainment even before you’ve spied the sunset beyond, in the form of pro boarders smashing the barrel sections and the fat left-hand shoulders of that sculpted wave.
The food and drink at Single Fin also help to elevate the spot to probably our overall top pick when it comes to the best place in Uluwatu for sunset. From premium Bali Hai beer to NZ Sauvignon Blancs to Moet bubbles, there’s all sorts of tipples. Then comes the food, which includes artisan burgers and creative pizzas like the Ulu, with its red peppers and seafood topping.
Karang Boma Cliff
You don’t have to hit a bar to discover arguably the best place in Uluwatu for sunset, you know? There are plenty of natural lookout points that haven’t yet been colonized by the Bintang beer fridges and the burger flippers. The Karang Boma Cliff is one such location. You’ll find it on the southern extremity of Uluwatu, a couple of clicks south from the Uluwatu Temple and north from the shimmering white sand of Nyang Nyang Beach.
Getting to the place where you can kick back and watch the twilight set in might be a little bit of a challenge, but it’s all part of the fun. You’ll need to venture down to Warung TG and up a narrow country lane between the rice paddies and palm groves. There’s a checkpoint where you’ll have to pay 10,000 IDR before a rumbly track to the car park itself. Lock up there and then hoof it the rest of the way.
The reward for straying off the beaten track is a jutting stone that looks like Pride Rock from The Lion King. It pokes out of the side of the Bukit Peninsula to gaze north along the jungle-topped cliffs and west to the open sea. There’s room to sit and chill thanks to the rough grassy covering. Be super careful around the Karang Boma Cliff, though – the drop is steep and there are no walls or fences to stop you falling.
Nyang Nyang Beach
Alright, so Nyang Nyang Beach might not face the deep, deep blue of the Indian Ocean out west, but it’s got a unique place on the south side of the Bukit Peninsula (the southernmost part of Bali) that can offer some seriously glorious evening shows. The main reason we’d head here at the golden hour? There’s usually a fraction of the crowds that you see further north. Single Fin et al are great options, but they’re usually buzzing with life. Nyang Nyang, on the other hand, is often 100% deserted and empty. It’s arguably the best place in Uluwatu for sunset if you’re going for something romantic and meditative.
You’ll have to travel the whole length of the Bukit headland to reach the car park for Nyang Nyang Beach. Then, there’s a zigzagging, hair-pinning dust track through the forests down to the beach itself. The western end of the beach – the best part if you want to watch the sunset – is nowhere near as built up as other parts of south Bali. It’s got teak trees and fan palms instead of big resorts; there are swathes of rocky reef instead of infinity pools.
You could also stay on the high coast hills just above Nyang Nyang Beach. Those offer a lofty vision of the sunset, with the light filtering across the whole empty bay from the west. A couple of decent but relaxed bars cluster atop the hills in those parts. They’re cheap and usually filled with as many locals as travelers.
Bingin Beach is actually a little north of Uluwatu, but we’ve got plenty of love for the spot. It’s one of the first areas we visited on the south-west shoreline of the Isle of the Gods when we came as a fresh-faced backpacker way back when (ah, those were the days!). We’ve returned recently and, despite a touch of gentrification and some better steps down to the sand, can report that not much has changed at all.
There’s still a whole kaleidoscope of awesome sunset bars dropping down from the high cliffs to the shoreline. Our favorites are Tuti’s Warung – try the fresh papaya juice! – and breezy Kelly’s Warung, which has a front-row position overlooking the Bingin surf break (a tubular left over shallow reef where people often score nifty airs).
The south end of Bingin Beach merges with an area known as Impossibles. You can head down that way if the tide is low enough. It gets a little rocky but can be worth it at sunset if you want to escape the crowds. Also keep an eye out for surfers on the breaks down in the Impossible area – the wave is considered one of the hardest (hence the name) in the region.
El Kabron Cliff Club
Ah, the El Kabron Cliff Club. This one’s pure style and class. It brings a touch of the bohemian character of Canggu to Uluwatu. The design is Balinese elegance from top to bottom – think a dramatic clifftop location and a sculpted infinity pool that creeps towards the precipice to offer 180-degree views of the waves below. Two terraces filled with cloud-like sofas and low-rise cocktail tables flank either side of the main area, offering even more loftiness to take in the sunset hour.
Talking of the sunset hour…it’s downright awesome in this chichi cliff club. Chillout tunes spun by some of the island’s best regular DJs take precedence on the decks, which are often set up right above the pool. Champagne long drinks and longball iced teas are the order of the day, while the kitchen serves up creative Tex-Mex taco combos and oyster plates.
We’d say the El Kabron is a full-day activity. You can book yourself a sofa or a day bed for around 300,000 IDR ($20) from morning until night. That gets you a pad right by the pool, but also some credit for food and drink. Look for the El Kabron Cliff Club just south of the New Kuta Golf Club, about eight minutes’ drive north from Padang Padang.