Jimbaran Fish Market
Jimbaran is located beneath Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport and above the majority of Uluwatu’s treasures, nestled in a cove above the southernmost part of the island. Navigating your way through the Jimbaran Fish Market may just be the highlight of your trip, getting a feel for the authentic Bali while you take in the heady seafood scent. If you have ordered seafood at any restaurant in Uluwatu or almost anywhere in southern Bali, chances are that you were eating fresh seafood, handpicked by a local from these fish market vendors.
Local tip: Get your fish prepared by a chef at a nearby restaurant; it doesn’t get much fresher than that!
Thomas Beach can be reached a number of ways. Having a driver drop you at Thomas Homestay will lead you to one of the easiest (albeit steepest) ways down. While many of the beautiful beaches are usually littered with people sunbathing and surfing, Thomas Beach always seems to be mostly made up of locals and regulars. There are only a few places to get a coconut or a meal along the beach, another surefire sign that it will never be too touristy.
Local tip: At low tide, to the end of the left-hand side of the beach (if you are looking at the water), keep going, around the bend. Eventually you, will reach a large cave with a sandy floor and ample shade. Shade is coveted in Bali unless you want to rent an umbrella, so this spot is a great find. NOTE: Be mindful of the tide, because if it gets too high, you can end up stuck for hours.
Green Bowl Beach
Green Bowl Beach is almost always deserted. Given the difficulty to get here (both on motorbike through narrow roads and via the long, steep steps that lead to the beach itself), it is not for the faint of heart but certainly worth the effort.
The beach is stunning, with green-algae-covered rocks jutting from the turquoise waters, giving it its name. There are also ample caves to explore and tons of little hidden coves for those that get restless just sitting on the beach all day.
Local tip: Go at low tide, as high tide eliminates the majority of the beach.
The High Cliff at Melasti Beach
This area of Ulutwatu is largely ignored by tourists, as there are few tourist-friendly places to eat or grab a drink. This means your photos will be that much more stunning, sprinkled only by sunlight and the occasional motorbike, rather than flocks of tourists with selfie sticks. The term “plummeting” doesn’t even begin to cover the steepness of this cliff face, and photos simply don’t do it justice.
Local tip: Coordinates to the cliff may help navigation — 8°50’53.8″S 115°09’35.8″E — since it can often be easily confused with the Melasti Beach itself, even by locals.
Single Fin is perhaps one of the most well-known, stunning bar and restaurants in all of Bali, and maybe even the world. If you’re lucky enough to catch it on a day that you’re not squished in amongst hundreds of other tourists, you sure are lucky.
If you’re looking for a more solitary and unique experience, head down the cliff’s stairs to Suluban Cave. This space just oozes mysterious charm. Looking like something out of the set of a movie, the scene changes every minute, depending on the tide. Each time you come back will bring a new surprise.
Local tip: Jump off the stairs and explore the cave fully (if the tide allows it). There are so many little hidden sections of this cave that everyone discovers something new.
Nyang Nyang Beach
This will by far be the most abandoned beach you encounter in all of Uluwatu. A local secret, follow a small dirt path near the famous Uluwatu temple, cross a field and conquer 500 steps down to the whitest, softest sand you’ll find in all of western Bali.
How abandoned is abandoned? There is even a section of a washed ashore vessel left to rot on the sands of the beach. Bring supplies for the day; there is virtually nothing once you reach the beach, and you won’t want to leave anytime soon.
Local tip: Climb the rotting ship for a unique picture and to get a close look at the effects that the sea has on even the toughest metals.
No matter where your accommodation Uluwatu is located, traveling around the entire southernmost tip of Bali is an adventure in itself, definitely worth a trip outside your resort. Rent a motorbike for the real local experience and see what it’s like to experience the real Bali, the magical Bali.