If you’ve only been to the Kuta region, it’s easy to believe that all of Bali’s beaches have elbow-to-elbow beachgoers. But the calm shores of Balangan Beach in Uluwatu sit a short drive away.
Before you get excited about being able to swim at Balangan Beach, though, know that by “calm,” I mean crowd-wise. The waves at Balangan are strong, making them unsuitable for swimming.
Nevertheless, Balangan Beach offers one of the most unique Uluwatu beach experiences because of its viewpoint. I’ll give you tips on the must-knows of visiting it so that you can have a fun (and safe) time.
Accessibility Note: Balangan Beach isn’t wheelchair accessible, but a portion of the viewing area is accessible. Scroll to the “Wheelchair Accessibility” portion of this post for more details.
What Is Balangan Beach Known For?
Balangan Beach is known for its viewpoint over the Balangan Cliff, excellent surfing, and laid-back warungs (local restaurants).
You’ll hear jingling cowbells upon your arrival, for loose farmers’ cows frequent the area.
A pack of dogs will also make their presence known, though they’re easy to befriend once you’ve passed their “stranger danger” test (or a local shoos them away).
Although Balangan Beach is known for many good qualities, its also known for its rough water that stirs up mud, particularly during the monsoon season. So, the water often has a murkier appearance in Balangan compared to other beaches in Uluwatu.
I found this to be the case even during the monsoon season, when Balangan’s water was muddier than nearby beaches on the same day, under the same weather conditions.
Location of Balangan Beach
Balangan Beach is located in the southwest portion of the Bukit Peninsula in Uluwatu.
That’s likely a mouthful if you’re new to researching your Bali trip. But here’s the important part—you can park in one place, as the Balangan viewpoint and beach are within walking distance of each other.
To give you a Balangan Beach location visual, check out the map below.
When you’re searching for Balangan on Google Maps, you’ll likely see “Pantai Balangan.”
Pantai is the Indonesian word for beach. So, go ahead and have Google Maps take you to Pantai Balangan—you’ll arrive right where you need to be.
How to Get to Balangan Beach, Bali
Balangan Beach makes an excellent stop on a beach-hopping trip around Uluwatu (check out my guide on Uluwatu beaches for more details).
But assuming you head there directly from your hotel, below is a map of how long you can expect the drive to take from several popular tourist areas in Bali.
|Ubud to Balangan Beach||1 hour, 40 minutes|
|Kuta to Balangan Beach||55 minutes|
|Seminyak to Balangan Beach||1 hour, 5 minutes|
|Canggu to Balangan Beach||1 hour, 25 minutes|
Keep in mind that these times are estimates. You can expect your trip to take longer if you travel by car rather than by scooter.
It’s also best to set “Balangan Cliff” as the destination point in your GPS. That way, you can enjoy the Balangan viewpoint before making your way down the cliff to the beach.
Does Gojek/Grab Operate at Balangan Beach?
Despite its remote location, the local Balangan community is anti-Gojeck and Grab.
So, you’re allowed to arrive at Balangan Beach via Gojek or Grab. But these ride services can’t pick you up from the Balangan parking lot.
The good news is that you don’t need to walk far to arrive at a place where Gojek and Grabs are legal in Balangan. Simply walk past the entrance area and down the main road 100 feet or so.
I called my Gojek at the nearest intersection, having a show of chickens pecking around for food as I waited for my ride. To my grateful surprise, cell phone reception wasn’t an issue there.
The entrance fee to visit Balangan Beach, Uluwatu, is 2,000 IDR per person. You’ll also need to pay a parking fee of 5,000 IDR for scooters and 10,000 IDR for cars.
I arrived at Balangan Beach via Gojek early on a rainy morning. No one was around except for a group of territorial dogs.
It wasn’t until I returned from the beach that a woman was opening her warung, and someone else was seated at the little wooden stand where you pay for your entrance ticket and to park.
Since there aren’t many people or shops nearby, I recommend arriving at Balangan Beach, Bali, with small bills so that you don’t have to make the locals scramble to find you change.
Parking at Balangan Beach
There isn’t parking directly at Balangan Beach, given that the beach sits below a steep limestone cliff.
However, you have two parking options when arriving at the Balangan parking lot on top of the cliff—parking by the Balangan Paradise Hostel and warungs or at the cliff’s edge near the viewpoint.
If your goal for visiting Balangan is strictly to surf, park by the hostel/warungs since they’re closer to the beach entrance.
But the reality is that walking across the dirt field-turned-parking lot will only take you a couple of minutes.
So, don’t lose sleep over where to leave your ride.
About the Balangan Viewpoint
The Balangan viewpoint has a cross-like shape, with a viewing platform in the center and two platforms jutting mid-way from either side.
Walking between these platforms is easy, but you’ll need to watch your step—small sets of stairs and uneven terrain abound.
Furthermore, the platforms don’t have railings.
That’s wonderful for getting up close and personal with Uluwatu’s plunging cliffs. But take care if you’re visiting with young children.
You can also walk down some steps to a lower viewing area on the cliff. Some locals were fishing from there the day I visited.
Many loose cows were around—but not on—the viewing platforms when I was at Balangan. My presence clearly entertained them, as they watched my every move.
But if you’re afraid of walking beside loose cows, you might not feel comfortable visiting the Balangan viewpoint platform if they’re nearby.
Hiking Down to Balangan Beach
Once you get your fill of ocean views from the Balangan viewpoint, head towards the Balangan Paradise Hostel. The Balangan Beach entrance is located to the right of the hostel when you’re facing its front entrance.
On a pillar of the hostel, you’ll see a black sign with white letters that says “beach” with an arrow. Follow that sign.
After a short walk, you’ll come across a wide cement staircase.
Head down those stairs, and enjoy the views as you arrive at the beach.
The staircase isn’t anything like that of Green Bowl or other beaches in Uluwatu. It’s short and won’t take you long to climb down and back up.
However, it’s a steep incline, and some of the steps are quite high. So, people who aren’t in ideal shape may struggle.
Balangan Beach Amenities
The beach amenities that Balangan Beach offers include:
- Surfboard rentals
- Beach chair and umbrella rentals
- Warungs for food and drinks
- Restrooms for a small fee
The good news is that you won’t have to push your way for a spot in the sand or at a table to enjoy the amenities at Balangan Beach, given that it doesn’t receive many tourists.
On the flip side, Balangan’s amenities have a lower budget feel to them.
So, Balangan is a great place to have a backpacker-like beach experience. But you’re better off heading to other beaches in Bali if you want an upscale beach outting.
Things to Do at Balangan Beach
Below are some of the best things to do during your time at Balangan Beach.
Balangan Beach is a favorite spot for experienced surfers in the know. “Experienced” is the key word here—you should never attempt to surf at Balangan without an instructor if you’re new to the sport.
Like many beaches in Uluwatu, Balangan’s waves are left-handers with a steep wall.
Although short waves are common at Balangan, if you get lucky, a wave could remain intact for 300+ meters of the reef’s length.
Surfing at Balangan Beach is best during the dry season when the tide is going out. That said, you can pretty much count on encountering waves anytime you’re out on the water from April to October.
Be careful if you surf at low tide, though. The reef bottom is sharp, and serious injuries can happen.
2. Take a Surf Lesson
Admittedly, Balangan Beach isn’t the ideal place to learn how to surf in Bali. But that doesn’t stop surfing instructors from drumming up business for surfers looking to hone their skills.
The waves at Balangan Beach are an excellent fit for surfers with intermediate skills who want to improve their technique beside an experienced guide.
You’ll encounter several companies offering lessons, including the Balangan Beach Surf School.
3. Visit the Viewpoint
You’ll want to leave an extra offering for the Hindu gods if you go to Balangan Beach without visiting the viewpoint—it’s basically a tourist sin.
I’ve already talked about what you can expect from the viewpoint, so I won’t get repetitive on you.
The only thing I’d add is to keep the weather in mind. If you arrive when the sun is out, it’s best to visit the Balangan viewpoint before heading to the beach.
Yes, the Balangan Cliff will always be there. But the views are infinitely better on a clear day (coming from a regretful me who arrived before a rain shower during monsoon season).
Furthermore, try to arrange your timing so that you’ll be in Balangan for sunset. The views are spectacular from there, according to the travelers I spoke with.
4. Drink a Bintang
Bintang is Indonesian beer. If you haven’t already tried it, there’s no better place than at one of the cute little warungs overlooking Balangan Beach.
While you’re at it, consider ordering nasi goreng or another local dish.
Although you can rent beach chairs at Balangan, the reality is that this isn’t the best sand beach in Bali. Rocks encroach into the sandy areas, and the beach isn’t among the cleanest in Uluwatu (more on that shortly).
So, if you’re traveling with someone who loves to surf, you might find it more comfortable to watch them do so from a warung rather than from the sand.
5. Sign Up For a Beach Yoga Class
Balangan Yoga and Love is a company that runs yoga classes on Balangan Beach.
They typically run a few classes per day, offering a wonderful opportunity to allow you to connect with yourself and nature.
Since Balangan isn’t packed with people and hotels, it’s one of the most peaceful beachfront places to practice yoga in Bali.
Bali’s Trash Problem
If you visit Balangan Beach, Bali, during monsoon season, expect to encounter a fair amount of trash in the water and on the shore. Even traveling there during the dry season isn’t a guarantee of seeing the beach in a pristine state.
That’s because trash blows in from Java and other nearby islands.
Sadly, Indonesia is one of the biggest marine polluters worldwide. Approximately 1.3 million tons of plastic enter the ocean from the country every year.
The locals do what they can to keep Balangan Beach clean. But since it isn’t as popular among tourists and the locals don’t receive as much of an income, I didn’t find it as clean as beaches like Padang Padang.
What to Bring to Balangan
You don’t need to bring anything fancy for your Balangan, Bali beach trip. But below are some items worth packing.
- Water (you can purchase water in the parking lot and at the beach, if needed)
- Snacks if you don’t want to buy them at the beach
- Small rupiah bills
And, of course, your surfboard if you brought it with you to Bali.
Places to Stay at Balangan Beach
The Balangan Paradise Hostel is a budget-friendly accommodation option for staying at Balangan Beach. But other Balangan Beach hotels offer ocean views.
Furthermore, you can book a villa accommodation that’s more inland, offering a serene jungle environment. Puri Balangan Villa, Aurora Villa Balangan, and Villa Balangan are options worth looking into.
A Note on Wheelchair Accessibility
Balangan Beach isn’t ideal for wheelchair accessibility. However, you’ll be able to see a portion of the cliff view if you drive up close to the Balangan viewing area.
Since the parking lot is essentially an open dirt field, there will be plenty of space for you to get out of a van with your wheelchair. I recommend avoiding this area if it’s been raining, though, since it gets muddy.
The path leading to the Balangan viewpoint is dirt and uneven, with some potholes. There’s a section of the viewpoint that’s relatively accessible, with some small ledges you’d need to pop over.
However, you’d need someone to carry you up the five concrete steps to see the view over Balangan Beach.
For details on other accessible things to do on the island, check out our guide on wheelchair accessibility in Bali.
FAQs About Balangan Beach
If you still have questions about Balangan Beach, Uluwatu, read on to see if I answer them below.
Is Balangan Beach safe?
As a solo female traveler, I felt very safe visiting Balangan Beach. Although I arrived when few people were around, Balangan feels like a safe countryside destination. I had no hesitations about walking to the viewpoint or going to the beach alone.
That said, the waves at Balangan Beach aren’t safe for the casual swimmer. Rip currents are common, and it’s easy to cut yourself on the hard coral ocean floor.
Can you see monkeys at Balangan Beach?
Yes, you can see monkeys at Balangan Beach. Be sure to watch your belongings, as they’ll sometimes go through them or take them altogether in search of food.
Monkey sightings are common throughout Uluwatu. So, you might see monkeys when driving through Uluwatu’s jungly roads on your way to the beach too.
When is the best time to visit Balangan Beach?
The best time to visit Balangan Beach, Bali, is from April to October when there’s less rain, giving you a clearer view of the Balangan cliffs. These months also offer better surfing opportunities.
Is Balangan Right for You?
I’m glad that I visited Balangan and would do it again—but on a clear day—to enjoy the views. However, I wouldn’t recommend Balangan as a full-day beach excursion for non-surfers.
Given that there are so many beautiful beaches in Uluwatu to explore, non-surfers are better off making Balangan Beach part of an Uluwatu beach-hopping itinerary instead of their sole beach destination.
Do you have questions about visiting Balangan, Bali? Leave a comment and I’ll do my best to help.
I’d also love to hear from you after your experience. What recommendations do you have for those visiting Balangan Beach? What’s your favorite beach in Bali to date?