Nunggalan Beach: Must-know Info Before You Go

Congrats on arriving here! Few people know about Nunggalan Beach, so you’re in for a treat if you visit.

But unlike some beaches in Uluwatu, Nunggalan isn’t easy to get to. Having visited 11 of Uluwatu’s beaches, I’m confident in saying that Nunggalan is the most remote.

So, what does that mean for you?

Waves you don’t have to share with other surfers, wide stretches of sand to yourself, and a workout upon your return with monkeys and cows watching your every move.

I arrived at the path to Nunggalan Beach with the curiosity of seeing its shipwreck. Read on to discover my takeaways so that you can enjoy—and find—this secluded area in Bali’s Bukit Peninsula.

What Is Nunggalan Beach Known For?

Nunggalan Beach goes by the following names:

  • Shipwreck Beach
  • Secret Beach

Both nicknames deliver.

One of the biggest things that Nunggalan Beach is known for is its shipwreck. I wasn’t able to find information on when and how the shipwreck happened, but someone took the liberty to turn it into a piece of art.

Colorful artwork on Nunggalan Beach's famous shipwreck.
Colorful artwork on Nunggalan’s famous shipwreck.

Nunggalan Beach is also known for surfing, monkeys lining its jungle-dense coast, and the 20 to 30-minute hike involved to get to and from it.

Location of Nunggalan Beach, Bali

Nunggalan Beach is in the Uluwatu region of Bali on the Bukit Peninsula, sitting close to Nyang Nyang Beach. These beaches are so near each other that you can walk from one beach to the other during low tide.

Below is a map of Nunggalan Beach. I’ve pinned the entrance to the beach path, which is beside Villa Plenilunio, so that you can pull it up as you (or your Gojek) drives.

Should you search for directions to Nunggalan Beach on your own, keep in mind that the word pantai means “beach” in Indonesian.

Therefore, it’s common to see Google Maps and signs in Bali with the words “Pantai Nunggalan” instead of Nunggalan Beach.

Arriving at the Entrance to Nunggalan Beach

To get to Nunggalan Beach, put the following address into your GPS:

Jl. Batu Nunggalan No.8, Pecatu, Kec. Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

That’ll take you to Villa Plenilunio.

Let me spare you the surprise I had upon my arrival: You’ll maneuver around potholes, washed-out parts of the road that are now dirt, and farmer’s chickens to arrive at the entrance point to Nunggalan Beach. Yet the path entrance sits beside the upscale Villa Plenilunio wedding venue.

It was a stark but comforting contrast; I would have otherwise been in the Balinese jungle with essentially no one else around after my Grab driver left.

But back to you.

Below is a chart with estimates of how long it’ll take you to arrive at Nunggalan Beach from popular tourist spots in Bali.

RouteDriving Time
Ubud to Nunggalan Beach1 hour, 35 minutes
Kuta to Nunggalan Beach 50 minutes
Seminyak to Nunggalan Beach1 hour
Canggu to Nunggalan Beach1 hour, 20 minutes

These times assume you’ll be arriving in Nunggalan by scooter. As with most places in Bali, it’s faster to travel by scooter than by car.

Parking At Nunggalan

Once you arrive at Villa Plenilunio, you can park in the dirt area in front of the villa.

In theory, someone should keep an eye out for arriving visitors, as the fee is 5,000 IDR to park. But you might have to hunt them down.

I highly recommend arriving at the entrance to Nunggalan Beach via scooter if there’s only one or two of you. As with so much of Bali, it cuts down on travel time and makes it easier to park on what are often narrow roads.

Does Gojek/Grab Operate at Nunggalan Beach?

To my surprise, you can take both Gojek and Grab from Nunggalan Beach.

Let me rephrase that: You can’t take Gojek and Grab from the beach. You can catch your ride at the entrance to the hiking path beside Villa Plenilunio.

My SIM card data worked fine from there, and I had a Gojek driver accept my request within seconds.

I recommend tipping your Gojek/Grab driver well. The roads leading to Villa Plenilunio are rough, putting extra wear (and dirt) on their scooter.

Entrance Fees

There’s no entrance fee to visit Nunggalan Beach.

But it’s always nice to support the local economy, especially considering you’ll sink 5k – 15k IDR per person at most other beaches in the Uluwatu region.

So, I encourage you to buy something from the small convenience store beside Villa Plenilunio, at the warung (local restaurant) on the path, or from a woman who has a little souvenir/water/coconut stand.

How To Hike to Nunggalan Beach

Hiking to Nunggalan Beach is pretty straightforward once you get on the trail.

There isn’t a sign pointing to the beach. Instead, look for this little brick path:

The brick entrance to Nunggalan.
The entrance to the Nunggalan Beach hike.

The path is located to the right of Villa Plenilunio when you’re facing the front of it.

From there, follow the path, sticking to whatever looks like the main path (don’t worry; it’ll be obvious). It won’t be long before the brick path turns into concrete and stone steps.

And from there, those steps turn into dirt steps/a dirt path.

The dirt trail leading to Nunggalan Beach.
The dirt path leading to Nunggalan Beach.

Eventually, you’ll come to a fork in the path. If your goal is to strictly enjoy the beach from the shore, follow the “Nunggalan Beach” sign, pointing to the path to the right.

A sign pointing to the beach.
A sign pointing the way to Nunggalan Beach.

Otherwise, surfers should head to the left, where they’ll encounter the best entrance to Nunggalan’s surf break.

An advantage of hiking to Nunggalan Beach is that you’ll be in full or partial shade 90% of the time. But the downsides are that the jungle blocks the chance of a breeze, making the humidity feel exceptionally intense.

The path also turns into a slippery, muddy mess in the rain.

I didn’t have issues with mosquito bites. But I could see where it could happen, especially if you’re hiking at dawn or dusk.

The Nunggalan hike takes about 20 minutes to get down to the beach. It takes around 30 minutes to get back to the top of the cliff.

What to Expect During the Nunggalan Beach Hike

Shortly after you start hiking to Nunggalan, you’ll encounter a warung selling juice, coffee, and local food.

However, the warung was closed the day I visited. So, I recommend bringing enough food and water to get you through your visit, just in case.

About halfway down the hike, where you’ll have your first view of the water, a local woman has a little stand. There, you can purchase cold beverages, coconut water straight from the coconut, and small souvenirs.

Animals, Oh My!

Because Nunggalan Beach is so remote, you won’t have to worry about brushing your sweaty body against that of strangers during your hike. I only came across two people during the journey.

However, nature abounds with watching eyes.

I encountered loose cows first.

They were curious creatures, not keen on getting close enough to touch me but unphased about my close presence. I’m not sure how often they’re around. But I saw them as I was nearing the beach entrance and could see where people fearful of cows would be uncomfortable with the encounter.

A herd of cows staring at me from the path.
Curious cows as I hiked.

Shortly after passing the cows and right at the Nunggalan Beach entrance, monkeys started staring me down.

They were adorable and didn’t make a move to take anything from me.

But based on the comment from a man who had passed me earlier (“Watch out for the monkeys”), I take it not everyone has such an uneventful experience.

So, based on my experience of being around monkeys elsewhere in Bali, this is my recommendation: Don’t carry anything on you that crinkles.

Monkeys equate plastic and crinkling noises to food. They may start chasing or jumping up at you in search of it.

Arriving at the Beach

Around the same time you see monkeys, you’ll come across the entrance to Nunggalan Beach.

Here, the dark jungle gives way to a wide, white sand beach and blue water crashing onto the shore.

A look to your left will reveal nothing but an open beach and some surfers far out in the water. And a look to your right will reveal a little surfing hang-out hut and Nunggalan’s infamous shipwreck.

Nunggalan Beach’s Amenities

I’ve read that you can rent umbrellas at Nunggalan Beach, but that wasn’t my experience.

No one was selling anything at the beach; the woman 15 minutes up the cliff was the nearest local vendor around the day of my visit.

I didn’t see a bathroom either. But you won’t have trouble finding a private spot in the great outdoors if nature calls.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, bring food and water. Relying on the ability to buy it on the spot could land you in trouble.

Things to Do at Nunggalan Beach

Another congratulations is in order—you made it to Nunggalan!

Now, let’s explore what there is to do there so you can decide if it’s worth the trek.

1. See the Shipwreck

A view of the Nunggalan Beach shipwreck and ocean.
The inner view of the Nunggalan shipwreck.

The main draw of Nunggalan Beach, Uluwatu, for non-surfers is seeing the shipwreck. It’s located a short walk (less than five minutes) to the right when you exit the hiking path.

If you visit Nunggalan during high tide, you’ll get to see waves crashing against the shipwreck.

Low tide, which is when I visited, also offers great photo ops, given that you can more comfortably walk up and even climb inside the shipwreck (but do so carefully; it’s fragile).

2. Surf

Surfboards at the little surfer's hut.
The entrance to Nunggalan Beach from the hike.

It’s a stretch to say Nunggalan Beach is a popular surf spot.

And that’s a beautiful thing since you won’t have to elbow it out with other surfers in the lineup.

But just because Nunggalan isn’t a well-known area for surfing doesn’t mean it doesn’t have good waves. Weather permitting, you can expect to encounter excellent waves that make the Uluwatu region famous for surfing.

Be sure to bring your own board, and don’t surf until you’re worn out—you’ll have to climb 20 to 30 minutes up the cliff with your surfboard in hand.

3. Sunbathe

Wide, white sand beach at Nunggalan.
Wide, beautiful beaches greet visitors who make the hike to Nunggalan.

Nunggalan Beach is about two kilometers long. With such few people that visit this beach, let alone stay on its sandy shores rather than surf, you’ll easily have a hundred or more meters of sand to yourself.

The sand is deep, white, and all adjectives you’d expect from a paradisiac beach.

Except for the trash. More on that soon.

If you want to take a dip in the water, use caution. The waves are often strong, and few people will be around if you encounter issues.

4. Observe Monkeys

Three monkeys looking at me from the jungle.
Three monkeys staring at me. Can you spot them all?

Nunggalan’s monkeys are entertaining to watch. And since they mostly stay at the point where the jungle meets the beach, hanging out with them is a great option when you’re ready to take a break from the sun.

Just keep in mind that Nunggalan’s monkeys are wild, so you should treat them as such.

Don’t get too close or try to touch them. They can and will lash out at you.

But as long as you respect the monkeys from a distance, there’s nothing to worry about, and you can watch them go about their entertaining lives.

5. Visit Nyang Nyang Beach

Bean bags at Nyang Nyang Beach.
Nyang Nyang Beach has a more developed feel.

It’s possible to visit Nyang Nyang Beach from Nunggalan during low tide. During this time, the waves retreat away from a rocky point that divides these two beaches during high tide.

While this can be an excellent beach walk, take care to monitor the tide.

Ideally, you can get dropped off via Grab or Gojek at Nunggalan and then walk to Nyang Nyang Beach, or vice versa.

Just be aware that unlike at Nunggalan Beach, Gojek and Grab aren’t permitted to pick you up at the entrance to Nyang Nyang (which is atop a steep, paved cliff). So, you’ll need to walk to the main road from the Nyang Nyang entrance booth to hail a ride.

You can check out my article on Nyang Nyang Beach for more details about how to arrive and things to do there.

The Trash Problem

National Geographic reported that in the past 50 years, Bali has seen a massive increase in international tourism. While that’s boosted the local economy, it’s created a strain on the island’s infrastructure, as it wasn’t designed to support extra garbage from so many people.

Furthermore, monsoon season brings trash from the mainland and other parts of Southeast Asia via ocean currents, dumping it on Bali’s shores.

If you visit beaches like Padang Padang, it’s hard to tell that Bali has a beach trash problem. The locals keep this area cleaned up, helped, in part, by the entrance fee they charge.

It isn’t until you venture to remote areas like Nunggalan that the trash problem becomes evident. So, you can expect to encounter trash on the shore and in the water, with the issue augmented during monsoon season.

What to Bring to Nunggalan Beach

A distant view of the shipwreck at Nunggalan Beach.
A view of the shipwreck in the distance at Nunggalan Beach.

Given its lack of amenities, you need to prepare more for a trip to Nunggalan Beach than other beaches in Bali. Below is a list of items you should consider packing.

  • Water (enough to get you through your visit)
  • Food/snacks
  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen
  • Toilet paper
  • Beach towel
  • Plastic bag to carry out your garbage

I hiked in flip-flops and imagine most people do the same. But the mud portion of the stairs can get slippery, so you may want better footwear if you’re unsteady on your feet.

Places to Stay at Nunggalan Beach

There aren’t any hotels at the base of Nunggalan Beach. You’ll likely be happy about that after seeing what the hike is like since you won’t have to carry your luggage down.

But if you want to stay near the entrance to the beach, Nunggalan Hut is a viable option.

There’s also the Bubble Hotel, which offers a unique accommodation opportunity for nature lovers in nearby Nyang Nyang.

FAQs About Nunggalan Beach, Bali

Read below for answers to some common questions about Nunggalan Beach.

How long does it take to hike to Nunggalan Beach?

It takes about 20 minutes to hike from the top of the cliff down to Nunggalan Beach, assuming you don’t stop to admire the pockets of ocean views and monkeys along the way. You can expect it to take around 30 minutes to hike back to the top.

Is Nunggalan Beach safe?

Nunggalan Beach is safe. As a solo female traveler, I felt comfortable on the hike to Nunggalan Beach. However, there aren’t many people around, so some solo women might feel uneasy doing this hike alone.

In terms of the waves, swimming can be dangerous at Nunggalan Beach. You should only enter the water using a combination of common sense based on how the waves look and confidence in your swimming skills.

When is the best time to visit Nunggalan?

The best time to visit Nunggalan is from April to October. You’ll have less of a chance of encountering rain that time of year, making the hike easier.

Surfing is best at Nunggalan Beach from June to August. You’ll encounter the largest and most consistent waves during those months.

What’s the difference between Nunggalan and Nyang Nyang?

Nunggalan Beach is less developed than Nyang Nyang Beach. It doesn’t have a formal entrance, there’s no entrance fee you have to pay, and it receives fewer tourists.

At Nyang Nyang, you can take a scooter down the steep, paved cliff to arrive at the parking area just steps away from the beach. Such a situation isn’t possible at Nunggalan.

Can you see monkeys at Nunggalan Beach?

You can see monkeys at the forest entrance to Nunggalan Beach, but it’s unlikely you’ll see monkeys on the beach itself.

Is Nunggalan Beach a good place to watch the sunset?

Nunggalan isn’t the best place to watch the sunset. Part of this is because you’d have to hike back up the cliff in the dark. The other part is that Nunggalan faces the south, whereas certain other beaches in the Uluwatu area face the west.

The Bottom Line

A glimpse of the ocean from the rocky hiking trail.
One of the few areas in the open sun on the hike.

Nunggalan Beach isn’t for everyone. But for adventurous nature lovers who want to combine their beach trip with a workout, it’s an excellent choice.

I’d return to Nunggalan in a heartbeat, but not before visiting some of my other favorite beaches in Uluwatu (ahem, Green Bowl Beach). You can check out my 11 Uluwatu beach recommendations for details, including more info about visiting Nyang Nyang.

Have questions or experience at Nunggalan?

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