Pandawa was my first stop in what became a 2-day trip visiting 11 beaches in Uluwatu. At the time, I didn’t have much to compare it to. But after my beach-hopping explorations, I learned just how unique Pandawa Beach is because of the amenities it offers.
Whether you’re trying to figure out if Pandawa is the right fit for you or want to know what to expect once you arrive, you’re in good hands.
Read on to discover the must-knows of visiting this developed part of Uluwatu.
Accessibility Note: Pandawa is an excellent beach for wheelchair users. Check out the accessible section in this article for more details.
What Is Pandawa Beach Known For?
Pandawa Beach is known for having more developed shores with lots of amenities. Contrary to most of Uluwatu, it’s more common to find kayakers in the water than surfers, and the ocean is often safe enough for swimming.
You’ll also see Pandawa going by the name Pantai Pandawa, given that pantai is the Indonesian word for “beach.”
Location of Pandawa Beach
Pandawa Beach, Bali calls the Bukit Peninsula home. It sits in the southern part of the island and east of most of the other beaches in Uluwatu.
Below is a map to give you a feel for Pandawa’s location.
If you use Google Maps to arrive at Pandawa, don’t be surprised if they only offer “Pantai Pandawa” as the name for getting to this beach.
Pantai Pandawa is the same as Pandawa Beach, as pantai is Indonesian for “beach.”
How to Get to Pandawa Beach
Getting to Pandawa Beach is straightforward. You can either hire a private driver, brave scooter driving in Indonesia on your own, or use Gojek/Grab (the Uber of Southeast Asia).
Below is a chart estimating the time it’ll take you to arrive at Pandawa Beach from several popular towns in Bali.
|Ubud to Pandawa Beach||1 hour, 40 minutes|
|Kuta to Pandawa Beach||55 minutes|
|Seminyak to Pandawa Beach||1 hour, 5 minutes|
|Canggu to Pandawa Beach||1 hour, 25 minutes|
The traffic leaving any of the destinations above is nothing short of beastly. It’ll let up some once you get into the countryside of Uluwatu, but that doesn’t change the fact that traveling by scooter in Bali is faster than traveling by car.
So, allow for extra time on the road if a car is your mode of transportation.
Does Gojek/Grab Operate at Pandawa?
Gojeck and Grab are allowed to drop you off at Pandawa. The guard will allow you and your driver to pass through the gate without your driver having to pay an entrance fee.
The kicker is that Gojek and Grab can’t do pick-ups at Pandawa.
So, you’ll need to walk away from the beach, through the parking lot, and past the entrance gate to be officially outside the Pandawa Beach premises before being able to call a Grab or Gojek.
Luckily, it’s a short distance, unlike that at nearby Melasti Beach.
The entrance fee to visit Pandawa Beach is 15,000 IDR per person. That’s higher than average for most beaches in Uluwatu.
However, you get what you pay for—Pandawa Beach sits on a more developed beachfront, offering more amenities than you’ll find at most other beaches in the area.
Parking At Pandawa Beach
One of the best parts about Pandawa Beach is that you can park in a large parking lot and enjoy a short, flat walk to arrive at the beach.
That’s a contrast from nearby beaches like Nyang Nyang, where steep cliffs force most people to trek down to the beach on foot.
The fee for parking at Pandawa Beach is 3,000 IDR for scooters and 5,000 IDR for cars. There’s no time limit, so you can spend the entire day at the beach if you choose.
Pantai Pandawa offers some of the best amenities in all of Uluwatu. They include:
- Swing set
- Souvenir shops
- Beach bed/umbrella rentals
- Kayak rentals
That said, Pandawa’s amenities aren’t as upscale as those at Melasti Beach.
So, while bathrooms are plentiful at Pandawa, some of them require you to pee in a hole. Bring toilet paper, for the latrines don’t always have them.
Furthermore, most of the restaurants are warung style. These local family-run eateries are an excellent choice for people wanting to dine on Balinese food in a more authentic environment.
Things to Do at Pandawa Beach
If you’re unsure whether Pandawa is the right fit for you, below are some things you can do there.
1. Lounge on the Beach
Many locals and tourists alike arrive at Pandawa Beach to spend a half or full day beaching it. Unlike certain other beaches in Uluwatu, like Green Bowl Beach and Suluban Beach, which have limited beach space, Pandawa offers a decently-sized stretch of sand.
Renting a beach bed and umbrella is one of the best ways to kick back Pandawa.
But you could also bring a beach towel, rotating between sunbathing and taking a dip in the warm water.
That said, I’d be remiss not to warn you about two items:
- The sand is deep to walk through.
- A coral reef straddles the shore, cutting up uncareful feet and hands.
Deep sand might not sound like an issue…until you want to take a walk along the shore. It was a workout at its finest for me.
And given the sharp broken coral around, I couldn’t decide whether it was better to walk with my flip-flops on or off.
2. Rent a Kayak
Mounds of kayaks will steal your attention from Pandawa’s beautiful blue water upon your arrival.
Thanks to cliffs that jut out far into the ocean, Pandawa sits in a bay-like area, making it more suitable for laid-back water sports.
If kayaking isn’t your style, you might be able to rent a surfboard and give that a go.
Pandawa goes against the grain, given that Uluwatu is famous for massive waves fit for experienced surfers; it’s an ideal place for beginners to try their hand at this sport.
3. Go Swimming
Given that large waves aren’t common at Pandawa Beach, it’s one of the best beaches in Uluwatu for swimming.
That said, the waves aren’t always suitable for taking a dip in the water. So, be sure to assess the situation and decide based on your swimming skills.
More than waves, the biggest issue with swimming at Pandawa is the sharp reef. It’s easy to cut yourself when swimming, especially if you enter the water at low tide.
At a minimum, I recommend wearing water shoes. I also recommend heading down the beach to the left upon your arrival, as there’s a patch of mostly sandy area, making for a more comfortable swimming experience.
4. Roam the Boardwalk
Pandawa was the only beach I encountered in Uluwatu with an extensive boardwalk running along the back of the shore.
It would be a shame to travel all the way there and miss it—the views it offers of the limestone cliffs are nothing short of stunning.
You’ll pass by many shops along the way, making this a great opportunity to grab a snack or a gift for your pet sitter back home.
Travel Tip: Using the boardwalk to access parts of Pandawa Beach that are further away cuts down on the amount of deep sand walking you’d have to do.
Is There Trash at Pandawa Beach?
Given that Pandawa was the first beach I visited in southern Bali, I didn’t realize how much I should have appreciated how little trash there was on the beach.
A garbage problem didn’t even cross my mind.
But sadly, Bali has a major trash issue on many of its beaches. The reason for this is complex, but part of this is because Indonesia is one of the biggest contributors to ocean trash in the world.
The trash doesn’t always travel far, swinging around from wind and waves during the monsoon season and piling multiple-feet high onto Bali’s shores.
Since there’s a (relatively costly) entrance fee to enter Pandawa Beach and a big push for tourism there, the locals do a good job of keeping the beach as trash-free as possible.
But even then, you might see quite a bit of garbage if you travel during monsoon season, given how challenging it is to keep up with.
What to Bring to Pandawa
If you’re ready to visit Pandawa Beach, below is a packing list of items to help you prepare:
- Small change
- Umbrella (it rains during the dry season too)
- Toilet paper (should you use a latrine)
But the reality is that you can purchase pretty much anything you need at Pandawa. So, it’s fine to wing it and buy things there as you need them.
Places to Stay at Pandawa
Uluwatu is a great area to stay if you want a beach experience without battling the massive crowds in Kuta. So, below are some of the many accommodation options you’ll have for staying in and around Pandawa Beach, Bali.
Puri Pandawa Resort: A luxury getaway that’s perched on a hill. It won’t take you more than a few minutes to walk to the beach from there.
Pandawa Hill Resort: Tucked back into the jungle, Pandawa Hill offers a tranquil atmosphere for relaxing. They provide a free shuttle to drive you the 1-minute distance to the beach.
Pandawa All Suite Hotel: Whether you crave a garden or pool view room, the staff at Pandawa All Suite will make you feel so at home that you might struggle to leave the premises to visit the beach.
A Note on Wheelchair Accessibility
Pandawa Beach is the most wheelchair accessible beach I encountered in Bali.
The parking lot is spacious, though I didn’t notice any parking spaces designated for wheelchair users. From there, you can head to the beach via a flat path. There’s one small area that offers an accessible entrance to the sand.
However, bringing a beach chair is a must, for the sand is deep.
The best option for most wheelchair users will likely be to enjoy the beach views from the boardwalk. If you’d like to grab a bite to eat, head to the small outdoor restaurants to the right when you’re facing the beach (the restaurants along the boardwalk aren’t accessible).
For other ideas on things to do in Bali, check out our Bali accessibility guide.
FAQs About Pandawa Beach
Do you still have questions about Pantai Pandawa? Read on to see if I answer them below. If I don’t, leave your question in the comments section and I’ll get back to you.
Is Pandawa Beach safe?
Pandawa Beach is very safe. I visited as a solo female traveler and never felt uncomfortable, as there are many people around and street harassment isn’t part of Balinese culture.
The waves at Pandawa Beach are also usually safer than most other beaches in Uluwatu.
Can you see monkeys at Pandawa Beach?
It’s possible to see monkeys hanging around the shops or parking lot at Pandawa Beach. You also might see them playing on the road on your drive to the beach.
When is the best time to visit Pandawa?
The best time to visit Pandawa beach is during the dry season, which falls from April to October.
Ready to Hit the Beach?
Pandawa Beach is an excellent option for travelers seeking a way to enjoy Uluwatu’s beaches without embarking on a heart-pumping hike.
Don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you have any questions.
I’d also love to hear about your takeaways once you visit Pandawa Beach. And if you’re still on the fence about which beach is best for you, check out my review of the top beaches in Uluwatu.
P.S.—Have you heard of Bali belly? If your stomach is feeling off from eating one too many plates of nasi goreng, you might have a bout of it. Read my article on Bali belly for details.