Uluwatu has an actual twilight buzz. Many surfers from all over the world flock here every calendar year merely to get in the waves. When it comes to discovering hidden beaches, Uluwatu provides more than enough unique spots in Bali, ranging from limestone beaches to calm and remote beaches. In fact, the beaches are the strongest magnet that pulls people to visit the Uluwatu area. Trekking across the route into these secluded beaches is indeed a true adventure.
Nyang Nyang Beach is well deserving of the title ‘hidden beach’, and with that in mind, trekking is a must to access this beach. You will need to check out a dirt road near to the Uluwatu Temple and keep a lookout for an indicator stating “Nyang Surfing Beach”. Next, you cross a field where you will see a beverage stall before alighting the 500 steps down the cliff that conceals the beach to finally see it with naked eyes. The cliff itself is covered with greenery and will take about 15 minutes to make your way down. The difficult part; walking down the narrow and sometimes steep flight of stairs that leads to the beach. Bear in mind that you should make your way back to the top of the cliff before dark, as the journey back up the steps and across the field will become more difficult.
About 15 minutes south of Nyang Nyang Beach, Green Bowl Beach is relatively easy to locate, but quite remote and off the tourists’ radar. The road is quite straight forward and signboards are everywhere. You will need to follow a convoluted path towards the entrance of the beach. A small fee is required either for the entrance or parking space. You will be directed to a derelict staircase surrounded by trees filled with monkeys. The trekking starts here as you must conquer the hundreds of steps down to the beach before you are rewarded with the very clean, rocky beach below. You can continue exploring in the caves nearby, but stay alert for the bats.
You can also explore the abandoned plane at Gunung Payung. It is a 30-minute walk from Pandawa Beach where you will find a massive Boing 737 abandoned plane laying just off the main street of Gunung Payung, hidden behind a huge steel fence. Please bear in mind that this is not an official tourist spot, therefore to get inside it is a bit tricky, which involves climbing and jumping off the fence. If you manage to get inside, you can get into the plane, and even climb on top of it.
Located in Ungasan Village, Balangan Beach has a different but irresistible charm. Peace and quiet, this beach offers a secret access to a more secluded part of the beach. You can trek along the beach to discover these spots, but be sure to leave the beach before the sunset, otherwise the high tide will trap you until the next morning.
Jimbaran Bay Beach delivers the most romantic trekking experience in the southern part of the island. You can walk along the shore, while enjoy the calming sounds of the ocean lapping against the shore. If you go for a sunset walk, you can witness the last rays of sunlight disappear into the horizon.
Along the seaside road that goes from Jimbaran to Uluwatu, you can find Bingin Beach. The beach is not easy to spot for first time vistors, and therefore bringing a friend who knows the area would be beneficial. From the start of the Uluwatu road, drive for 15 minutes, after which you will reach a cliff with steep stairs that will take you down to the beach. Finding the stairs is a bit of a challenge as you need to walk and make a few turns around houses and local establishments. The stairs itself are very steep, and can be a bit tiring when heading down. However, once you are on the beach, you will thoroughly enjoy the breathtaking view. It is recommended to visit Bingin Beach during low tide as during high tides the ocean completely reclaims the beach.
Suluban Beach is a home to many surfers, and you’ll find a diverse group of people surfing around here. To reach the beach is quite hard work, as you need to take a long walk through local eateries and surf shops. After that, you need to traverse down via some steep stone steps, across the bridge and through a cave on the left before finding a small beach that will lead to, what some surfers might describe as heaven.
Finally, the last area you should trek are the clifftops of Uluwatu Temple. Situated on top of a very tall ocean cliff, the trek offers relaxation and peace as you ascend the stairway. The stairway showcases Bali’s crafty and unique handiwork which were created by Balinese ancestors. The path is shrouded by trees from end to end so you are adequately shaded the entire way. While you are walking along the stairway, you will definitely notice monkeys around you, which are believed to guard the temple from bad influences. Uluwatu Temple offers visitors an unforgettable stunning view of the horizon that you can not miss. Once here, do stay for a bit longer to watch the Kecak Fire dance performance arranged against a backdrop of Uluwatu’s breathtaking cliff views.
The most important thing to note before you start trekking at these places is that you need to have a good pair of walking shoes. Climbing the 500 odd stairs back and forth will put some strain on your feet, and you need to get used to that. Don’t waste your time using GPS to find these places as it is better to stop every once in a while and ask the locals. It is also recommended to drive a scooter instead of a car or a big bike, as the access road to some of these places are tight and bumpy.