Kuta’s busy beaches and animated vendors aren’t the idyllic Balinese getaway that some tourists have in mind. So, if you’re ready to relax on quieter shores, make a beeline to Green Bowl Beach, Bali.
Or perhaps better put, make a monkey line—you may need to maneuver around stubborn (but adorable) monkeys on the countryside road leading to Green Bowl.
So, pack up that beach bag, grab a surfboard or binoculars for surf watching, and read on for the must-knows about visiting secluded Green Bowl Beach.
What Is Green Bowl Beach Known For?
Green Bowl, Bali is known for being off the beaten path, offering excellent waves for experienced surfers, and having a staircase with 300+ steps that cut into the side of a limestone cliff.
Oh my, those stairs!
I recommend being in average to good shape to tackle them. You’ll also need to pack a dose of grit for when Bali’s heat and humidity envelop you along the way.
Although “Green Bowl” is the most common name for this beach, locals call it Pantai Green Bowl.
Pantai means “beach” in Indonesian. It’s common for Google Maps to use “Pantai Green Bowl” as this beach’s official name, so keep this in mind if you’re using it to navigate there.
Location of Green Bowl Beach
It’ll be hard to imagine that an off-the-radar turquoise gem like Green Bowl straddles these beaches if you take a sightseeing trip around Uluwatu.
Below is a map to help you get oriented with the Green Bowl area.
Although Green Bowl may seem like a doable walk from other nearby beaches in the Bukit Peninsula, this is a case where looks are deceiving. Rocky cliffs jut into the ocean throughout Uluwatu.
So, while the cliffs offer stunning scenery and small pockets of secluded beaches like Green Bowl, they make it impossible to walk between neighboring shores.
How to Get to Green Bowl Beach
Getting to Green Bowl Beach involves traversing narrow Balinese streets, potholes, and monkeys. This little-known destination makes for a stark (and welcome) contrast from the crowded roads you’ll encounter from Canggu to Denpasar.
Below is a chart highlighting the approximate time it’ll take for you to travel to Green Bowl from popular tourist hubs in Bali.
|Ubud to Green Bowl Beach||1.5 hours|
|Kuta to Green Bowl Beach||45 mins|
|Seminyak to Green Bowl Beach||55 minutes|
|Canggu to Green Bowl Beach||1 hour, 15 minutes|
When estimating how long it’ll take to get to Green Bowl Beach, your mode of transportation matters.
Going by scooter is always faster than traveling by car. You might have heart failure when people weave through traffic, but it’s undeniably efficient.
Does Gojek/Grab Operate at Green Bowl?
Gojek and Grab are permitted to arrive at the Green Bowl entrance gate to drop you off. However, they’re not allowed to enter for drop-offs or pickups.
Luckily, unlike Nyang Nyang Beach, you won’t have to walk down a side street to get to the main road where you can catch a ride.
Instead, the entrance gate to Green Bowl sits on top of the parking lot, and the parking lot gives way to the staircase to the beach.
So, when you arrive all sandy and sweaty from hiking back up the stairs from Green Bowl, you’ll only need to walk a few dozen feet before calling for a ride. Don’t be surprised if some local monkeys on the road put on a show as they play while you wait.
The entrance fee for Green Bowl Beach is 5,000 IDR per person. That’s about as cheap as it gets for an Uluwatu Beach fee.
It’s best to bring small change because Green Bowl is in the middle of nowhere. A couple of snack stands in the parking lot or some generous surfers will be your only hope for change if you arrive with large bills.
Parking At Green Bowl
Parking is a breeze at Green Bowl Beach. Or better put, parking is a breeze on the cliff above Green Bowl—there’s no way to park at the beach itself.
The parking fee is 2,000 IDR fee for scooters and 5,000 IDR for cars.
No designated parking spaces exist, but the area beneath a large tree is popular. Do your best to park there if you’re driving a scooter to prevent—excuse my word choice—burning your butt on the seat when you return from the beach.
Green Bowl’s Amenities
Green bowl has limited amenities. However, if you’re like me, you’ll be glad the amenities provided are available when returning from climbing the stairs.
They are as follows:
- Two snack stands
- A restroom
Voila! That’s about all you can expect from Green Bowl.
But don’t let the simplicity of the words “snack stands” fool you—they’re a popular hang-out spot with surfers, and the vendors sell to-die-for coconut water. You’re better off avoiding it if Bali belly has gripped you, though.
Things to Do at Green Bowl Beach
If you’re on the fence about whether to visit Green Bowl, Bali, these things to do might help you make up your mind.
Enjoy Staircase Views
You don’t need to walk all the way down to the beach to enjoy views of Green Bowl. Instead, ocean views emerge about one-third of the way down the staircase.
The vistas will continue to entice you with glimpses through the thick jungle forest as you make your way to the sand.
The staircase is such a great place for Green Bowl Beach viewing that some photographers set up shop on the steps, capturing amazing images of surfers on the water.
Keep in mind that not only are there 300+ steps you’ll need to climb after visiting Green Bowl, but the steps are quite high in some areas, and there’s not a ton of shade.
The steps are concrete, though. So, you won’t have to worry about climbing a muddy slope if you visit when it rains.
Surfing is one of the best things to do at Green Bowl Beach.
The waves are sometimes suitable for intermediate riders, but it’s best to assume that your visit will fall on a day when only advanced surfers are in the water.
And if you’re among the experienced, you can expect hollow right waves that’ll remind you of why you fell in love with surfing.
You won’t have to worry about fighting for a spot in the lineup at Green Bowl. But at the same time, since this beach is most known among local and expat surfers, it has a strong sense of surf culture community.
Relax in the Sand
Since most visitors to Green Bowl Beach make a beeline to the crystal clear water with their surfboard, it leaves a small but beautiful patch of white sand beach for sunbathing.
Green Bowl is a leave-your-flip-flops-on kind of beach experience, though—it has many small rocks, broken seashells, and a rocky coral reef that becomes exposed during low tide.
The sand is also deep, making it tricky for long walks. But given that Green Bowl sits nestled between limestone cliffs, it limits the area you’ll have to explore on foot anyway.
Hang Out in Caves
One of the most unique aspects of visiting Green Bowl, Bali is that you can explore the carved-out caves located at the base of the cliff formed naturally by years of erosion.
These caves serve as a shrine, with Hindus placing offerings at the alters inside of them.
There’s not a ton of space in the Green Bowl’s caves. So, when the sun is at its hottest during the day, you might find yourself sharing with others the only slice of shade that the coarse sand beach offers.
Look Out for Monkeys
Monkeys are a frequent sighting on the road leading to Green Bowl Beach. It’s also common to find them frolicking in the large parking lot area, hoping that a generous someone will offer them a snack (don’t do this, please; human food isn’t good for them).
I didn’t see any monkeys near the beach on the day of my visit.
However, it’s possible to see monkeys at Green Bowl—they love hanging out near people and jungles; the staircase to the beach offers both.
Green Bowl was the cleanest of all the beaches I visited in Uluwatu. For context, I visited 11 beaches over the course of two consecutive days at the start of the monsoon season.
Perhaps the clean beach had to do with it being so small. And thus, it’s more manageable for people to keep clean.
Or maybe it was just luck.
If you’ve visited other beaches on the island, you’ve likely experienced first-hand the sad reality of Bali’s trash problem. According to The Guardian, the beaches in Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak receive upwards of 60 tons of plastic garbage per day on their shores.
That statistic is applicable during the monsoon season, when heavy rains and wind carry plastic from other Indonesian islands and countries onto Bali’s shores.
Nevertheless, don’t be surprised if you see trash year-round at beaches in Bali.
What to Bring to Green Bowl
Some would say that the most important thing to bring to Green Bowl is a pair of muscular thighs to tackle its 300+ steps.
So if you’ve got that going for you—or at least the will to try—below are some items to pack to help you have a stress-free beach day.
- Umbrella or poncho (it’s Bali—rain happens even during the dry season)
- Flip flops or water shoes
- Towel or beach chairs
And, of course, bring your surfboard if you’re a surfer.
Places to Stay at Green Bowl Beach
There aren’t any hotels or villas at Green Bowl proper, given that the beach is so short and narrow.
However, several accommodation options are available a short drive from Green Bowl Beach. Some examples include:
The bottom line is that whether you’re seeking a 5-star luxury resort or a homestay in the jungle, many accommodation options exist in the Uluwatu region.
FAQs About Green Bowl Beach
If you still have questions about visiting Green Bowl, read on to see if you find the answers below.
When is the best time to visit Green Bowl Beach?
The best time to visit Green Bowl beach is during the dry season, from April to October. But if you’re a hard-core surfer, visit from June to August. That’s when you’ll encounter the largest, cleanest waves.
Can you swim at Green Bowl Beach?
It isn’t advisable for people with poor swimming skills to swim at Green Bowl Beach. The waves are often strong and rip currents can happen.
Should you wish to swim at Green Bowl Beach, it’s best to wear water shoes. The coral is rough and can cut your feet.
Is Green Bowl Beach safe?
From a solo female perspective, Green Bowl Beach is very safe. There weren’t a lot—but enough—people around the morning of my visit to make me feel comfortable walking around the beach on my own and hiking up and down the staircase.
From an ocean perspective, you must be very careful at Green Bowl. The waves are often dangerous for the casual swimmer, and a rocky coral reef bottom increases the chance of cuts and other injuries for swimmers and surfers alike, especially at low tide.
Are You Ready for Green Bowl?
Of all the beaches I visited in the Bukit Peninsula, Green Bowl was my favorite.
Don’t believe me?
My article highlighting the best beaches in Uluwatu confirms it.
If you have questions about visiting Green Bowl, leave a comment and I’ll be happy to help. I’d also love to hear about your experience and if there are any other favorite beaches in the area that you recommend.
Laura has been wandering the globe for over a decade. She's an early bird and backpacker at heart and can often be spotted with a dog or ten that she's befriended along the way. Much of the content Laura writes on A Piece of Travel includes details on solo female travel and wheelchair accessibility, with the support of her brother-in-law and sister.