Sunset at Uluwatu Temple, Bali, Indonesia


One of the attractions in Bali, Indonesia that had always eluded me on every visit was a trip to Uluwatu Temple in the South West portion of the island. The Ulutwatu Temple is a Balinese Hindu cliff top temple that features spectacular sunset views looking out over the ocean. We were organized enough on this trip to get down to Uluwatu Temple, in order to enjoy a tranquil sunset.

This post is one chapter on our trip to Bali and Singapore. This trip was redeemed through Lifemiles, AAdvantage and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) loyalty programs. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Activity: Sunset at Uluwatu Temple, Bali, Indonesia

“Sunset at Uluwatu Temple is an exceptional place to take in a sunset in Bali”

Getting to Uluwatu Temple:

One afternoon we kicked off the beach early. From the Westin Resort Nusa Dua Bali, we took a ridiculously cheap Uber Black Car over to Uluwatu. Our ride came to 71,500 Rupiah, or about $5.25 USD for the one way. With the hotel wanting about $100 USD for a hotel van and guide for 4 hours through the tour desk, this was a steal paying local rates. We got out the door at about 4:30 PM, which was probably about 30 minutes too late for my liking. Our driver picked us up and took us the 20 KM and 60 minutes over the island to Uluwatu which is the water temple that overlooks the sea between Bali and Java.

Our Uber Black Ride over to Uluwatu Temple
On the Way to Ulutwatu
Arriving to Uluwatu Temple

The area was quite packed with tourists, and there was an evening dance show that was also on between 6-7 PM that we didn’t partake in. Uluwatu was a place that I really wanted to get the opportunity to see, since I’d given it a miss on my last trips to Bali. Dependent on where you are staying, it’s not exactly convenient to get to. I’d always previously stayed up in Seminyak when my travels took me through Bali, which seems a whole world away from the southern half of the island.

Visiting Uluwatu Temple:

Uluwatu is a temple that over looks the water. It’s unique since it’s high up on a cliff. There is a side near the open air cultural auditorium, and there is another side closer to the temple. Each side had their own small crowds.

The Walkways above Ulutwatu
Sunset Goers at Uluwatu
The Temple of Uluwatu

Since the area is west facing, it’s an area known for it’s sunsets.

Sunset Views to the West

My son found it to be pretty cool. You can just tell when kids are engaged and learning by the size of the smiles on their faces. There were no boring posed family photographs today; we’re doing something that you haven’t seen before.

MrsWT73 and WT73Jr enjoying the view

Watching the Wild Monkeys at Uluwatu:

We also had our Bali first encounter with wild monkeys here. My son found them absolutely fascinating and interesting to see and look at. They were a bit of a nuisance variety- turning over trash bins, ripping of people’s water bottles and snatching sunglasses away from unsuspecting tourists and running up onto buildings with them. It is said that you can sometimes get back your items through the exchange of fruit, as the animals have learned reciprocal reward behaviour. It was really interesting for an 11 year old to see and watch.

Cliff Top Monkeys checking us out
Uluwatu’s Monkeys
A Monkey with a Relieved Water Bottle

Our visit was designed to take in the beauty of the hill top. It was neat to see the views off the cliffs and the sounds of the surf coming up.

Surf Break Views at Uluwatu
Hillside Flora at Ulutwatu
Hillside Flora at Uluwatu Temple
Orange and Grey Tinged Skies at Sunset

We didn’t make it down to the beach level, nor super far along the walk along on the cliff top pathways. We had a nice, but cloudy sunset and left a little bit wiser.

Our driver was kind enough to wait around for us for a very cheap separately negotiated $5 USD for 90 minutes and we took an Uber ride back with him at Uber rates. He was super professional and kind. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the opportunity to use his services again on this trip. We didn’t see many taxis out that way after sunset so make sure you arrange for a ride so you don’t get stuck out there. Overall, this side trip to Uluwatu from the hotel using UberBlack was $15 USD round trip including the wait fee. It was a totally worthwhile expense and a nice addition to a stay in Nusa Dua.

Our visit to Uluwatu:

The Temple at Uluwatu was an excellent and worthwhile stop on any visit to Bali. We took in the beauty of the place at sunset, and enjoyed the sounds of the surf between errant monkeys running wild through the cliffside. Like many things in Bali, while it takes a little time to get to, the time spent was well worth the reward.

If you’ve visited Uluwatu Temple, did you find it worthwhile time spent?

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