25 Things TO DO During Your Stay in Bingin, Uluwatu and the Bukit Peninsula

Sunset Surf Sessions Uluwatu
From Bingin Beach to Balangan, Uluwatu to Nyang Nyang, Bali’s Bukit Peninsula is a must visit on great Bali itinerary. Commonly nicknamed “The Bukit” (translating to hill or hilly in English), it is famous for its towering limestone cliffs, stunning sunsets, world class waves, beautiful beaches and a more relaxed vibe. To help you get the most out of this beautiful part of Bali, we’ve created our personal list of must do’s during your stay on the Bukit.

1. COME stay with us! - Melali Bingin

Best places to stay in Bingin & Uluwatu Bali
Pool Villa at Melali Bingin

Tucked away at the end of a quiet Bingin laneway, Melali Bingin offers boutique accommodation across three guest rooms. Come experience our beautiful purpose built property, our quality amenities, our famous breakfasts and our highly personalised service. Book by the room or bring your friends & family and rent the whole property (3 bedrooms) exclusively.

(Melali has been ranked number 1 on TA for “Specialty Lodging” in the area for over 5 years running – Come stay with us and experience it for yourself!)

2. Sun swim & Surf: Beach Day Bliss

Best places to stay in Bingin Uluwatu Bali
Thomas Beach

The Bukit Peninsular offers some of the best beaches, secret coves and sandy nooks in all of Bali. From Bingin, Uluwatu and Padang Padang to Balangan, Nusa Dua and more. We wont list them all here as we’ve already put together a wonderful guide to our favourite sandy spots in our guide to the best beaches on the Bukit.

3. Get lost on a scooter

Get lost exploring the bukit on a scooter

Part of the fun of being on the Bukit is the adventure had by scooter and unlike the chaos of Canggu, Ubud or Seminyak the Bukit is home to quieter roads and less crowds. Which means exploring on scooter is doable even for a novice. The surrounding Bingin farmland and hills are a warren of laneways dotted hidden temples, cliff-top sunset spots, panoramic view points and secluded sandy beaches and are all out there waiting for your discovery. Be sure to stop in at a little warung or shop and buy some essentials or souvenirs to support the local businesses. And remember – wear a helmet and hati hati!!

4. Surf world class waves

Surf Bingin Beach, Stay at Melali Bingin
Air time, Bingin. Photo by Ryan Robson Photo (c)

The perfect left handed reef breaks of the Bukit first came to fame in the 1970’s. Now days surfing the waves of southern Bali are on every accomplished surfers bucket list  – Uluwatu, Padang Padang & Bingin to name a few. The dry season from May until September is the best for swell and it can get HUGE. It’s not uncommon to see mega swells that bring in waves of more than 10 foot. So remember to know your ability level – experienced and advanced surfers only.  And a little tip for visitors – be sure to reacquaint yourself with the surfers etiquette & rules. Respect and care for fellow surfers is a must around here and it will absolutely ensure a better surf experience for you.

5. Tour the clifftop temple

Best Places to stay in Bingin and Uluwatu

Pura Luhur, Uluwatu Temple

Pura‘ (temple) ‘Ulu‘ (head) ‘Watu‘ (rock/stone) ‘Luhur‘ (heavenly/transcendent/ancestral/ glorious).

Perched on top of a steep cliff  70m above the roaring waves of Uluwatu, this cliff top location is indeed impressive. Facing west, Pura Luhur is a great place to view the days sunset or enjoy the nightly fire dance (see info below). If you have sunset plans, go in the morning before the heat of the sun hits and take your time to wander and take in the spectacular views. But remember, beware of the monkeys! Keep a tight grip on your belongings because these guys are cheeky and will grab anything and everything.

6. Cafe Hop & People watch

Best places to stay in uluwatu
Suka Espresso, Uluwatu

The Bukit is home to countless cafes serving incredible food, coffee and snacks. From low key hidden little gems (be sure to check our Lands End Cafe near the Uluwatu Temple), cool coffee haunts (BGS is a must for any bean addict, their oat-milk lattes are heavenly!), to some of the trendiest eateries in Bali. We won’t name them all here as we’ve already put together some lists of our personal recommendations for the Best Eats & Drinks on the Bukit. And for the herbivores out there, we’ve also compiled a list of the Best Vegan Eats on the Bukit, so be sure to check them out.

7. Cocktails & Sunset Dreams

Ocean Deck at Ulu Cliff House

It’s no surprise that on the top of everyones ‘what to do on. the Bukit’ list includes a sunset session because if there’s one thing Uluwatu is famous for (other than the phenomenal surf), it’s those jaw dropping sunsets. That magnificent golden hour when beaches, clifftops and sun-kissed faces are drenched in a rich golden glow as another day crawls to a close… or perhaps its just beginning! Wether you’re into a relaxed and understated vibe (try Kelly’s Warung, Mana, Sunset Point), a party atmosphere (Single Fin, Ulu Cliff House), romance (Suarga, Alila, El Kabron) or prefer to chill with the local crowd (takeaway drinks, toes in the sand or gazing over an empty clifftop) theres something our here for everyone! For more ideas, check out our list of the best Sunset Spots on the Bukit.

8. Support the locals

Support locals on the beach in Bali

The beaches of the Bukit are perfect spots to shop without leaving your beach umbrella. So find a spot in the sand, read a book, relax and pick up a sarong, a t-shirt or hand woven bracelet. The Ibu’s (ladies) selling on the beach will come to you and offer their wares. Already good for souvenirs? You can also get a massage, snacks and drinks. We highly recommend you to try a bbq’d corn on the cob (“jagng bakar”) and wash it down with a freshly opened coconut to really get into the island style of life.  Our tip – be sure to wear a smile and have a sense of humour when bargaining for prices! 

9. Learn to surf

Surf Bali

The Bukit also offers many options for beginners and learning surfers. The way to get the most out of your surfing is to get a lesson or guide. A few schools and instructors we love: 

Daya Surf offers lessons with local pro surfer Mega Semadhi. TNT Surf School in Bingin, run by another local board rider Teko Ardiyasa offer private of group lessons.  Melali neighbour, Nyoman Artaka, more widely known as ‘Steamy’ also provides wonderful private surf lessons and a favourite with our guests.  If you choose any of these guys, you are in wonderful and capable hands. They’ll know what the swell and tide is doing and can advise best times and places to go. And most importantly, they’ll have you riding waves in no time. 

10. Seafood BBQ on The Beach

Facing west, Bingin Beach is the perfect spot to watch the sun go down. Why not enjoy some of the local delicacies at the same time? The nightly beach seafood bbq is a unique experience and a real guest favourite. Offered by a few local warungs on Bingin Beach, their fresh daily caught seafood – from mahi mahi fillets and whole snappers to squid and prawns are cooked on smokey beach grills. All you have to do is choose your seafood, order a beer, sit back, feel the sand between your toes and soak up the memories.  TIP – grab a bottle of wine from our minibar and take it down for dinner. 

11. Massage & Spa Days

Every Bali travellers “to do” list should include a Spa day or, at the very least, a massage at one of the Islands many (and incredibly affordable!) spas or salons. Bingin and Uluwatu have some wonderful spas offering a plethora of massage styles – from traditional Balinese massage to Shiatsu, Thai, Slimming, Hot Stone & even Tibetan Bowl massage. Along with massage, you’ll find menus full of specialty treatments & Scrubs, manicures, pedicures, facials, hair removal and treatments, eyelash extensions, hair cuts & colour and more. For our recommendations check out Our Guide to the Best Massage, Spas & Self Care in Bingin & Uluwatu. 

12. Eat like a local

Best local food on the Bukit

In the wise words of Anthony Bourdain “Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.”  We couldn’t agree more!

If you really want to experience a new place, its  culture and people, what better way than through food?  There’s nothing like pulling up to a little roadside stall, tasting some local delicacies and watching the world go by. Eat in established warungs (eateries), road side stalls or from a cart perched on the back of scooters (this last one is not for the faint of stomach!). You’ll find the tourist favourites – nasi goreng, mie goreng, ayam & ikan bakar. Then there’s the ever popular ayam betutu, satay ayam, gado gado & the famous Balinese dish, Babi Guling. Other dishes include Balinese lawar, nasi jinggo, bakso, sate lilit, rujak & gorengan. For the sweet  tooths try nasi uduk, dadar guling, martabak manis or klepon. SELAMAT MAKAN!

13. yoga Stretch and Om

Best things to do during your stay on the Bukit by Melali Bingin

For yogis or the yoga inspired, the Bukit is blessed with a number of great studios. La Tribu, just 100m from us, is a beautiful new purpose built space offering yoga, dance and movement classes. Mu and Temple Lodge in Bingin; Morning Light Yoga & Yoga Searcher in Uluwatu all offer daily classes throughout the morning and afternoon. Many have adjoining cafes offering fabulous food to boot so you can make a morning or afternoon of it! Check their websites or IG for updated scheduling. 

14. Hit the shops

Bali necklace

The are some gorgeous boutiques that’ve popped up in Uluwatu over the last few years selling clothing, swim and surf-wear, lingerie, homewares, jewellery, skin care and more. Our favourites are the ones stocking labels made right here in Bali and other parts of Indonesia – because #SupportLocal. Check out Daya Surf, I Love Bali Boutique, Sea Gypsy, Gooseberry Intimates, Drifter Surf, BGS, Blood & Bone, Wanderlust and Toko Collective, & The Find and for Bali T-shirts, sarongs, souvenirs etc, you’ll find sellers in shops along the main road, on the beach and in the labyrinth of warungs below Single Fin. 

15. beach day in 5 star luxury

To do Late Night Flight out of Bali
Karma Beach Club

The Bukit Peninsula is home to some stunning private beach clubs – with Sundays Beach Club and Karma Kandara being the stand out favourites. You’ll find them hidden below rocky cliffs, accessible by an inclinator. Once at the bottom you’ll experience azure coloured waters, white sandy beaches, great food and drinks delivered to you while you relax under your umbrella. It’s beach day perfection. If you prefer to be poolside, check out the very classy Sundara at the Four Seasons Hotel, they have fantastic cocktails, excellent food, a grown up vibe and the longest pool in Bali – all directly on Jimbaran Beach. 

16. clifftop Kacak Fire Dance

Need a culture hit? Then the Kecak Dance at the Uluwatu Temple is a must see. It is a bit of a tourist trap, but a wonderful experience and glimpse into some Balinese culture and history nonetheless. Nightly performances are held in an open air amphitheatre that is perched atop the cliffs of Uluwatu, with the Indian ocean as its backdrop. It is really a sight to see. Shows start at 6pm, but best to arrive a little early to secure the best seats. 

17. Dine in some of Bali's best restaurants

Entry to Cuca Restaurant in Jimbaran

Dining at some of Bali’s best restaurants should be on any discerning food lover’s Bali bucket list, and the great news, the Bukit is home to some absolute GEMS! Whether it’s for a special occasion or you just want to try some exceptional cuisine prepared by world class chef’s, the Bukit has you covered! For a full list of our absolute favourites, check out our Guide To The Best Restaurants on the Bukit.

18. Garuda Wisnu Cultural Park (GWK)

GWK is set in 250 hectares of land dedicated to embrace and preserve the art, cultural, culinary & spiritual aspects of the Island. More recently made famous by the enormous 120m towering statue of the God Vishnu riding a great Garuda (a mythical golden eagle, common to both Hindu and Buddhist mythology), its size is so mammoth we wouldn’t be surprised if it can be seen from space. Along with statues, there’s traditional Balinese dance and Gamulan music performances. To explore the park you can walk or rent a segway. 

19. Group Work Out session

Spicy sweaty hot pilates Bali

Like your holiday with a side of intense butt kicking? Then Ulu Hot Box is your go to. Owner and teacher Wydia leads vibrant hot pilates and barre classes . Be warned, classes are sweaty, strong and spicy –  muscle shakes and serious detox’ing guaranteed! It is a small studio so bookings through their website are a must.

HIIT, Kettlebell or Muay Thai more your thing? Then be sure to head down to Bali Training Centre (aka “BTC”) in the heart of Bingin. They have daily group classes with private lessons available on request. This place is not for the faint hearted, energy and intensity is high. It’s very popular and fills up quick, so arrive a little earlier to secure your spot. If your body needs some post workout love, why not drop into The Istana for an ice-bath and infrared sauna. 

20. Movies under the stars

Cinema set up at Ulu Cliff House

Ulu Cliff House screen feature films, with a focus on cult classics every Tuesday night. With the spectacular Indian ocean as your backdrop, settle in to your day bed or pull up a bean bag, order a cocktail, some snacks and enjoy the show. Drifter Surf also screen films in their courtyard garden during the dry season. It has a chilled, community vibe with delicious healthy food. They showcase mostly thought provoking documentaries and classic or contemporary surf films. Occasionally they have “talk story” where surfing pioneers, film makers or local characters will share interesting and inspiring stories. 

21. Capture Memories with a professional Photoshoot

Fun in the Sun!

 Instead of taking home a bunch of selfies wth part of your head cut off, why not get the professionals on to it and go home with some seriously special snaps? Personal memories, special occasions, surf shots, brand or business photos? Or perhaps you just want to make your friends jealous back home! There’s photographers a plenty who’ll capture you in your best light! For some recommended photographers, get in touch with us. 

22. Fly high over uluwatu

Glide weightlessly above the rugged coastline of Uluwatu and Nyang Nyang. Birds eye views, wind in your hair, heart pumping, wonderful memories – all with an internationally-licensed paragliding tandem master. Most companies lift off on the south facing coast of Nyang Nyang all the way to Pandawa. 

23. Catch some Live music or DJ set

Live music

For music, be sure to check out Ulu Garden, the home turf of local (super fun) reggae outfit The Ulu Roots.  The Wishing Well Uluwatu offer weekly live music and open mic nights. Check their IG for gigs.  The long running Thursday night acoustic sessions at The Cashew Tree is a lot of fun with a great vibe. Prefer the electronic scene? Head down to Single Fin – famous for their epic Sunday sessions or the snazzy Ulu Cliff House. Both perched on the edge of the clifftops for an awesome sunset view. 

24. sail the coastline in a Jukung

Sport fishing, Surf Session, Romantic Sunset Cruise – whatever your jam, its always better doing it from the bliss of a a private boat. The jukung is a dugout canoe outrigger style boat iconic to Bali. Often painted in a rainbow of colours its used mostly for fishing as it’s able to skim over coral reefs in any conditions. So while here, why not take your sweetheart for a sunset cruise or grab a couple friends and head out for the days catch. With the experience of the local fishermen, reeling in a Spanish mackerel might just be on the cards. For cruises contact Mega at Daya Surf or Putu at Sampian Cottages – both in Bingin.

25. Propose or get hitched!

Dreamy weddings in Uluwatu
Wonderland Uluwatu

With all the beautiful beaches, sweeping views and magical mystique of this gorgeous island, Bali is the perfect place to get your romance on. Bingin, Uluwatu and the surrounds have a wonderful array of locations perfect to pop the question. Likewise, the area has a bounty of properties perfect for every style of wedding for loved up couples ready to tie the knot. We’ve had a handful of Melali Bingin guests pop the question during their stay, even helping with some of the surprise plans! On top of this, we got said our “I do’s” here, so feel free to ask us about our best tips.

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