Uluwatu is iconic! The clean white sand beaches, towering cliffs, luxurious villas and outstanding surf conditions make for a magical, tropical experience.

Backpacking Uluwatu is a must for those who want to enjoy the best beaches on the island, and escape the crowds a little.

The streets are harder to navigate with steep hills, twists and turns and gravel paths, you don’t want to learn to drive a scooter here. However if you are confident on 2-wheels, being able to get out and explore the area alone will make you feel like a true traveler.

Packed with wallet-friendly places to stay and magnificent view points, backpacking in Uluwatu is a must for a well-rounded Bali itinerary.

Why go Backpacking in Uluwatu

Backpackers looking for magnificent beaches, days in the ocean and mesmerising sunsets need to check out Uluwatu. It has a little bit of everything you expect from a rural, island stay with touches of Western amenities and cultural hotspots.

An incredibly picturesque area of Bali, each turn on the road will reveal something beautiful. You’ll discover amazing restaurants and view points, roadside food stands and sprawling jungles – island life doesn’t get any better than in Ulu.

Surfers will thrive in the town, with a huge range of Uluwatu beaches and wave difficulties to choose from. It is one of the most famous surf coasts in the world, luring all kinds of professional and talented surfers.

If you are more of an on-land activity enjoyer, there is also bouldering, rock climbing and yoga.

Feel at home in a quaint homestay or hostel, or go all out and rent yourself a luxury private villa, Uluwatu has a little bit of everything.

Where to Backpack in Uluwatu

Hop on your bike and get out to explore the rolling hills, vast cliff sides and outrageously perfect beaches of Uluwatu.

There are so many amazing spots to discover, here are some of our fave places to stay in Ulu!

Backpacking in Padang Padang

Padang Padang, also known as Labuan Sait, is one of Uluwatu’s amazing beachfronts.

Hidden down the cliff side, Padang Padang is an enclosed beach with crystal clear waters and white sand. There are towering rocks protruding from the waters making it a bit different from other beaches in the area.

A great spot for the surfers of Bali, the waters are dotted with all kinds of surfers from experienced beginners to pros. Before you jump in the water, it is important to be aware of the strong currents in Padang Padang, they can easily, and quickly, carry away unsuspecting surfers and swimmers.

The beach is an amazing place to spend a day lounging in the sun, cooling off in the shallow reef and enjoying a chilled, lazy beach day. It’s a pretty decent walk down to the sand, but not too strenuous.

Accommodation options in Padang Padang include affordable hostels, villas and hotels, mostly walking distance from the beach. You can have your own piece of paradise to return to after a day of relaxing on the sand.

Be sure to hang around for sunset with an ice-cold coconut or Bintang from one of the local warungs lining the beach – Uluwatu sunsets are outstanding!

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Padang Padang:

Padang-Padang Inn

+62 813-1805-3683
Jl. Melasti No.432, Padang-padang Beach, 80361 Uluwatu

Padang-Padang Inn

Bombora Surf Camp

+62 813-1515-1518
Labuan Sait Pecatu, Uluwatu

Bombora Surf Camp

Dreamsea Bali

+62 812-3887-3694
Jalan Labuansait 432, 80361 Uluwatu

Dreamsea Bali

Backpacking Jalan Raya Uluwatu

Jalan Raya Uluwatu is essentially the main road of Uluwatu, making it a central spot to base yourself during your backpacking adventure.

Lined with all types of places to stay, top restaurants, shops and more, you can find everything you need along this street. Bustling and busy, it isn’t good for a casual stroll, but you can stop by to stock up on groceries and make your way to other parts of the island.

Leading to the incredible Uluwatu temple, more surf spots and dotted with shops, it is in the middle of the action and close by to all the highlights of Uluwatu.

When in the area, you must check out Uluwatu Temple and the famous Kecak dance. Perched on the edge of the cliff, you can see the fascinating Hindu culture firsthand with a magnificent sunset as the back drop. And then, lose yourself in an awe inspiring performance with intense music and talented local dancers.

No matter your budget, Jalan Raya Uluwatu is a great place for a backpacker to explore and enjoy. Although it is known for luxurious villa stays, budget friendly hostels are easy to find.

For shoppers, there are lots of markets and boutiques. Many of these are home to traditional Balinese items and handmade crafts, making them perfect for Bali souvenirs.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Jalan Raya Uluwatu:

Taste Of Bali Hostel

Uluwatu St Gang Ambara No.1, Ungasan, South Kuta

Taste Of Bali Hostel


U Tube Hotel

+62 823-4142-6337
Jalan Uluwatu No. 200X, 80361 Uluwatu

U Tube Hotel

Backpacking in Pecatu

Pecatu is a super scenic and beautiful area of Uluwatu with plenty of natural magic. A great spot for beginner surfers and water sports, you can enjoy paradise days on the white sand in the island sun.

It is home to two of the most famous beaches in Bali; Dreamland Beach and Pandawa Beach. Dreamland Beach is a great family spot for a day of sunbathing, swimming, and people-watching, while Pandawa Beach is known for its stunning white sand, crystal-clear waters, and great surfing conditions.

For those who are seeking an active holiday, the hilly landscape has plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, and exploring. The village also has a handful of hostels and guest houses, making it easy to find somewhere to stay.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Pecatu:

Pecatu Guest House & Hostel

Open & Comfortable
54CG+6QF, Pecatu, Jl. Raya Uluwatu Pecatu, Pecatu, Kec. Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung

Pecatu Guest House & Hostel


Ratan Hotel Uluwatu

+62 819-3164-1427
Jalan Labuan Sait Pecatu, 80361 Uluwatu

Ratan Hotel Uluwatu

Backpacking in Bingin

Bingin is the up and coming area of Uluwatu that everyone needs to see at least once on their trip.

It’s a heck of a walk down to the sand, but once you hit the ground, you’ll be so grateful you made the effort. The sand is perfectly white, the ocean is clear and turquoise, and the cliffs are lined with quaint local restaurants and boutique hotels.

There is a choice of surf camps and hostels leading down the staircase to the beach, there are also some really beautiful villas in Bingin if you have a little extra cash to spend.

Spend long lazy days in the sun, explore the nearby restaurants both down on the beach and on the hill top, and shop in the boutique stores.

Bingin gives you all the paradise island vibes you expect from Bali.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Bingin:

Karma Backpacker

+62 822-4677-5412
Jalan Tanjung Simah No.11, Pecatu, Uluwatu

Karma Backpacker

Bale Bingin Beachfront Stay

+62 821-4436-8740
Jalan Pantai Bingin Pecatu, 80364 Uluwatu

Bale Bingin Beachfront Stay

Backpacking in Ungasan

Ungasan is the perfect place in Uluwatu for those who aren’t looking to surf, and just want to relax in the sun on the sand.

Melasti Beach is a stunning location surrounded by chalk cliffs and boasting the iconic perfect white sand and azure ocean.

The coastline is dotted with some of the most famous beach clubs in Bali including Palmilla, Sunday’s Beach Club and Tropical Temptation. Treat yourself to a lavish day, ordering off the decadent menus and sticking around for a magnificent sunset.

Although Ungasan is well-known for its luxurious, stunning accommodations, there are also some budget options available. Escape the crowds of central Uluwatu for something a little more peaceful and scenic.

Our Favorite Places to Stay in Ungasan:

Home-Bience Hostel

+62 812-3961-6216
Jalan Pura Batu Pageh, 80361 Uluwatu

Home-Bience Hostel

Sultans of Swell

Modern & Comfortable
Jl. Bali Cliff No.88E, Ungasan, Kec. Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung

Sultans of Swell


Travel Tips for Backpacking in Uluwatu

First time or not, backpacking in Uluwatu can be a little different from other spots in Bali. Here are some additional top tips; 

  • Getting around by scooter is the easiest when visiting Uluwatu. Cars can’t reach all the hidden, smaller spots. We don’t recommend learning to drive a scooter in Ulu, but if you have some experience it’s the best option. Of course, driving in Bali is a whole different experience on its own.
  • Check out the conditions before committing to surfing or swimming at the beach, they change day to day and can be very unpredictable. 
  • Uluwatu is packed with incredible restaurants serving up all kinds of cuisine.
  • If you are heading out to party, don’t try tackling the hills back yourself. Arrange a ride home! 

Final Thoughts

Uluwatu is a classic island paradise with clear waters, idyllic white sands and luscious cliff sides. If you’ve headed to Bali for a tropical adventure, Uluwatu is a must-visit spot.

Between the ultra-lavish villas and sprawling resorts you can find quaint local homestays and guesthouses providing an affordable stay.

Lounge beside the ocean, watch unbeatable sunsets and bask in the magical wonder that is Uluwatu.

Featured image: Suluban Beach Uluwatu