Restaurants cascading down a cliff. Sea-carved limestone caves. World-class surfing. These are some of the many reasons why Suluban Beach is a must-see during your trip to Bali.
Suluban Beach, which some people also call Uluwatu Beach, sits in the Bukit Peninsula in the Uluwatu region.
Photos don’t do Suluban Beach justice (mine included). So, read on to learn about how to see Suluban for yourself and what to do once you’re there.
The Many Names for Suluban Beach
Depending on who you talk to, Suluban Beach goes by the following names:
- Uluwatu Beach
- Blue Point Beach
- Hidden Beach
- Suluban Beach Cave
- Pantai Suluban
Of these names, Pantai Suluban is the most accurate. The word “pantai” means “beach” in Indonesian.
So, if you want to impress an Indonesian, tell them you’re going to Pantai Suluban, Bali.
The reason Suluban got its nickname Blue Point Beach is because of the nearby Bluepoint Resort & Spa. The upscale hotel sits a stone’s throw away from the true Suluban Beach.
Suluban Beach vs Uluwatu Beach
Below are the main differences between Suluban and Uluwatu beaches:
- Suluban has a larger stretch of sand
- Uluwatu is easier to access
- Suluban is less crowded
- Uluwatu is where surfers depart to catch waves
Uluwatu Beach is the area directly where the stairs drop you off at the bottom of the Suluban cliff. It has a sandy area regardless of the tide. Like Suluban Beach, the amount of sand present at Uluwatu Beach varies according to the water levels.
In contrast, Suluban Beach is a larger stretch of sand that you can arrive at by walking through the caves at Uluwatu Beach. This beach is harder to access, and high tide can make it dangerous to do so.
Nevertheless, Uluwatu and Suluban become near-continuous beaches during low tide.
And since most people associate Suluban Beach with the area around the staircase, I’ll use the word “Suluban” interchangeably with Uluwatu Beach throughout this article.
What Is Suluban Beach Known For?
Suluban beach is known for surfing, monkeys, rip tides, and more surfing.
It’s not the kind of beach where you can pitch an umbrella and spend a day in the sand. Depending on how high the tide is, you might only have a small part of the beach to explore, with cliffs blocking the sun.
But don’t shy away from Suluban Beach if you’re not a surfer.
Instead, watching experienced surfers cruise Uluwatu’s massive waves while you sip a Bintang (Indonesian beer) from a cliffside restaurant is one of the activities that Suluban Beach is most known for.
Location of Suluban Beach
Suluban Beach is a short drive from the Uluwatu Temple in the southern part of the Bukit Peninsula.
When looking at a map, it’s easy to assume you can walk there from the temple. But even though it’s feasible distance-wise, massive cliffs that jut into the ocean mean that you can’t walk between Suluban Beach and the Uluwatu Temple.
Below is a map with points of interest on the places we’re discussing.
There’s no need to save this map if you don’t want to (remind me to never apply for a sales job). Typing “Suluban Beach, Uluwatu” into Google Maps will take you where you need to go.
How to Get to Suluban Beach
There are two Suluban Beach entrances, with Single Fin being the most popular. You can get to either entrance area via scooter, car, Gojek, or Grab.
I say “entrance area” instead of “entrance” because walking—and being in decent enough shape to manage stairs that wind down a cliff—is the only way to arrive at the base of Suluban Beach.
The chart below shows approximately how much time you can expect it to take to arrive at Suluban Beach from popular tourist destinations in Bali.
|Ubud to Suluban Beach
|1 hour, 45 minutes
|Kuta to Suluban Beach
|Seminyak to Suluban Beach
|1 hour, 10 minutes
|Canggu to Suluban Beach
If you’re on the fence about how to get there, traveling to Suluban by scooter is best. You’ll get there faster, and parking is easier and cheaper.
Does Gojek/Grab Operate at Suluban Beach?
Gojek and Grab operate at Suluban Beach, but only up to the Single Fin parking stand. You’ll need to disembark your ride there since the local community bans Gojeks and Grabs beyond that point.
Similarly, when you’re ready to leave Suluban, you’ll need to order a Grab or Gojek from the area outside of the Single Fin parking lot.
Many Gojeks and Grabs operate in the area, to the chagrin of locals wanting to charge tourists a high taxi price. So, you won’t have to wait long for a ride.
There isn’t an entrance fee to visit Suluban Beach. But if you drive, you’ll need to pay 3,000 IDR to park at the beach entrance and 5,000 for the Single Fin entrance.
These prices are for scooters. Expect to pay around 5,000 IDR and 15,000 IDR, respectively, to park a car.
You don’t need to pay the Suluban parking fee if you take a Gojek or Grab since your driver will let you off before you enter the paid premises.
Parking At Suluban Beach
The most popular parking place for Suluban Beach is at the Single Fin parking lot.
From there, it takes less than 10 minutes to walk from the parking lot to Single Fin’s upscale bar and restaurant.
Finding Suluban Beach From the Parking Lot
If you have limited mobility or want to grab a drink without getting in a workout, you only need to walk down a few steps at Single Fin to grab a beach view seat.
Alternatively, you can follow the staircase about ten minutes down to the beach.
I couldn’t find reliable information about how many stairs there are to get to Suluban Beach. But I’d say it’s fair to assume you’ll go down at least 100 steps.
The stairs twist and turn along the cliff, offering an array of choices for warungs (local eateries), shops, and several staircase choices.
You can go to the right.
You can go to the left.
And you can go down or up (in that order, of course).
Although your explorations can lead you to believe that the paths along the Uluwatu Beach cliff are massive, it doesn’t take long before you’ll get the hang of getting around.
Eventually, you’ll arrive at the bottom of the cliff, where you can walk onto Suluban’s sandy (and rocky) beach. Alternatively, you can head up another set of staircases to arrive at Delpi Cafe.
Delpi is a warung perched on the famous rock in Suluban. It’s a mother nature centerpiece, standing out in the iconic photos of Uluwatu.
A Note on Delpi Cafe
Despite its stunning location, Delpi Cafe has a less-than-desirable reputation.
People complain of the food lacking taste and the portions being small. Furthermore, the place has a run-down feel, and you have to pay an additional fee to use the pool.
It’s a shame, given Delpi Cafe’s prime location.
But I don’t recommend discounting Delpi Cafe completely. Instead, purchasing a cold beer and watching the surfers at sunset is a nearly can’t-go-wrong option.
Suluban Beach’s Amenities
Suluban Beach has a short list of amenities:
- Stairs so you don’t have to scale a mountain
- World-renowned waves for surfing
You’re not going to find restrooms or people offering beach chairs, umbrellas, and surfboard rentals directly on the beach.
The biggest reason for this is that you can barely classify Suluban as a beach—it’s more of a cave with a small patch of sand during high tide and a larger patch at low tide.
Instead, the locals built beachside amenities into the cliff.
There, you can rent that surfboard, use the bathroom, buy souvenirs, and bar and restaurant hop.
8 Things to Do at Suluban Beach
Whether you’re still on the fence about visiting Suluban in Uluwatu or you’re reading this from your Gojek to get there, below are the most popular things to do at Suluban Beach.
Surfing is the thing to do at Suluban Beach.
That is, if you’re an advanced surfer.
If your surfing skills aren’t up to par, you could find yourself in the emergency room instead. That’s because Suluban has some of the biggest waves in all of Uluwatu.
You can access a whopping five surf breaks from Suluban Beach.
To arrive at these prized Uluwatu surf spots, you’ll need to paddle out from the cove area. And, no, there’s nothing wrong with feeling pride as you paddle away from the land-based tourists admiring your (presumable) skill.
Just prepare yourself to share the surf breaks with a lot of other people. It’s humbling to see the number of skilled surfers in Uluwatu.
2. Watch Surfers
If you don’t go to Uluwatu Beach to surf, then visiting it to watch surfers is an Uluwatu must.
The best time for surfing at Suluban Beach is from May to October. These months fall during the dry season in Bali, bringing the largest and most consistent waves.
To increase your chances of watching surfers ride the best waves, aim to visit during mid or low tide.
But there’s no need to fret if you can’t.
As long as it’s light out and a typhoon isn’t imminent, you can bet there’ll be surfers on the water.
3. Visit the “Beach”
By now, you’ve grasped that, despite its name, Suluban isn’t a beach destination.
Nevertheless, if you don’t mind tackling steep stairs, walking down to the base of the cove is an excellent thing to do during your time there.
You can get some great photos posing beside the cliffs with the Indian Ocean as a backdrop.
Low tide is best for visiting Suluban Beach. You’ll have a larger sand area to explore, and there are usually more surfers in the water.
Regardless, be careful with how close you get to the shoreline.
I heard about a woman carried out to sea by a rip current as she posed for a photo in the shallow water.
4. Observe the Monkeys
Uluwatu is notorious for its wild monkeys, and Suluban Beach is no exception.
Unless it’s raining.
Monkeys don’t like the rain, so they go into hiding shortly before, during, and for a while after it rains.
My visit to Suluban Beach happened to fall just before it rained, so I didn’t see any monkeys walking down the steps to the beach as so many people report.
However, I spotted one monkey from the warung where I ate. It was putting on a show, walking on a railing at Delpi Cafe.
5. Plant Yourself at a Beach Club
The words “plant” and “club” usually don’t go together. But they do if you visit a beach club in Suluban.
That’s because these beach clubs have a laid-back vibe during the day, offering tons of seating for people wanting to get great views of surfers while they eat and drink.
Some of the best beach clubs in Suluban, Uluwatu, include:
- Single Fin Beach Club
- Ulu Cliffhouse
Both clubs have their advantages.
Ulu Cliffhouse offers an outstanding foodie scene, and Single Fin has their Sunday Sessions with what are often well-known international DJs on—you guessed it—Sundays.
6. Visit the Hidden Beach
During low tide, it’s possible to walk through the Suluban caves from Uluwatu Beach to arrive at a hidden beach.
Some people call this “Secret Beach,” though there’s more than one place in Uluwatu with this nickname. The reality is that this hidden beach is the true Suluban Beach.
You’ll get to enjoy a longer stretch of beach in this area, and there’s a shipwreck that makes for great photos. People describe it as being similar to the art-filled shipwreck on Nyang Nyang Beach.
Just be sure to monitor the tide. An incoming tide that teeters on the brink of high tide makes it dangerous to cross over to this hidden beach.
My visit to the Uluwatu Beach area fell during high tide, so I didn’t personally experience Secret Beach. But I’d love to hear from you if you do.
7. Kick Back at a Warung
I was on a budding travel blogger’s budget during my visit to Suluban Beach. So, upon balking at the sight of Single Fin’s menu filled with 100k+ IDR items, I looked for a warung.
And Suluban didn’t disappoint.
For a mere $5, including taxes and a tip, I ordered an appetizer, main meal, and water bottle.
Oh, and did I mention I had a table on the cliff’s edge overlooking the ocean?
It’s hard to beat that kind of price for the experience.
So, if you’re counting your rupiahs, visiting Suluban Beach is an excellent option. You don’t have to pay to visit the beach, and you can eat for cheap for practically the same view as those at Single Fin.
8. Watch the Sunset
Since it’s easy to spend hours exploring the beach clubs in Suluban, plan your visit to coincide with the sunset.
Uluwatu is in a prime region for sunset viewing, with Suluban Beach sitting on a southwest portion of the Indian Ocean.
After you snap photos of the sunset, the nightlife scene kicks into gear.
People arrive to party at the beach club and bars, making the only thing difficult to do is choosing your favorite.
But keep in mind that as the night goes on, the party atmosphere might leave you feeling you’re back in high school or college. Many inebriated people fill the streets, and things can get rowdy.
So, Suluban is a great family-friendly place, but only until the sun sets.
The Trash Issue
For as upscale as Single Fin and Ulu Cliffhouse beach clubs are, the staircases to the base of Suluban Beach have a rather run-down feel.
There was some trash blowing around on the steps the day of my visit, and the beach also had some garbage on it.
That said, Suluban Beach didn’t have as much trash as some of the other beaches in Uluwatu I visited.
And sadly, it’s common to encounter trash on Bali’s beaches.
According to an article published by Al Jazeera, the island of Java is one of the worst offenders of marine pollution, with 1.3 out of eight million tons of the world’s ocean plastic originating from there each year.
Trash arrives at Suluban’s shores year-round. But during monsoon season, the issue becomes even worse. Excessive rain and currents through the Bali Straight dump a heartbreaking amount of trash onto Uluwatu’s shores.
What to Bring to Suluban Beach
Unlike the more remote beaches in Uluwatu, there’s nothing in particular you need for Suluban Beach.
Part of the reason is that anything you need will be a stone’s throw away for purchase. And the other part is that Suluban isn’t a beach-it destination.
Yes, you could put on sunscreen.
But between the restaurants shading a portion of the steps on the cliff and the cliffs themselves blocking the sun, you’ll likely encounter the most amount of sun on your walk to and from the parking lot.
Suluban’s staircase can get slippery. But it would be silly for me to tell you to pack a pair of sneakers, given the heat.
A comfy pair of sandals are the way to go.
FAQs About Suluban Beach
If I haven’t answered your question about Suluban Beach, Uluwatu yet, I’ll cross my fingers and hope I do here.
But if not, leave your question in the comments section and I’ll get back to you.
Is Suluban Beach safe?
As a solo female traveler, I felt 100% safe at Suluban Beach. Lots of people are around, and businesses remain open well into the evening.
That said, Suluban Beach isn’t safe for swimming. You must be extremely careful when visiting the beach area, for large waves commonly crash on the shore and funnel through the cliffs.
Accidents at Suluban Beach aren’t unheard of, especially for those with their backs turned away from the water for a selfie.
Psst! Check out my guide on safety in Bali for statistics and insights from my experience as a solo female traveler.
Can you see monkeys at Suluban Beach?
Monkeys are a common sighting at Suluban Beach. They see humans as walking restaurants, so don’t carry anything on you that sounds like plastic—the monkeys will equate it to you having food.
Furthermore, keep a firm hand on your valuables, including your phone when you take photos.
The monkeys at Suluban are curious, but they’re entertaining and harmless as long as you don’t touch them.
When is the best time to visit Suluban Beach?
The best time to visit Suluban Beach is at low tide and sunset. If the two fall at the same time during your visit, consider yourself lucky.
If you’re a surfer, the best time to visit Suluban Beach is from May to October.
Where can I check the Suluban Beach tide schedule?
You can check the Suluban Beach tide schedule at Tide King.
Can you walk to Uluwatu Beach from the Uluwatu Temple?
No, it isn’t possible to walk to Uluwatu Beach or Suluban Beach from the Uluwatu Temple. There are too many cliffs and rocky shores that block the path, even during low tide. Driving is the only way to travel between these destinations.
Ready to Hit the Beach?
Suluban isn’t the kind of place where you can kick it all day at the beach. You’re better off visiting one of the many other beaches in the area (check out my guide on 11 amazing beaches in Uluwatu for details).
But if you’re an experienced surfer looking to ride world-class waves or you love scenic cliffside ocean views, Suluban is arguably the best place in Uluwatu to fulfill these endeavors.
Do you have questions about Suluban Beach? Leave a comment and I’ll be in touch.
I’d also love to hear about your experience after you visit there. Is there anything you’d add to the advice here? Has anything changed since my visit?