Bali Nudibranch Guide: My 11 Favorite Sea Slugs in Bali

A group of several nudibranchs hanging out underwater in bali

If you’re a fan of underwater photography, I don’t need to explain nudibranchs to you.

You probably already know the origins of their name — the Latin root of ‘nudi’ for naked and ‘branch’ for lungs, named for their exposed gills that flutter elegantly in the water.

You probably already know that there are over 3,000 species of nudibranchs, not to mention the endless color variations, and that they can be anywhere from 4 millimeters to even 2 feet long.

And if you don’t know, now you know *Busta Rhymes tune plays, god am I showing my age?*

Anyway, finding nudibranchs in Bali while diving is not surprising.

On every dive I’ve done here, I’ve encountered at least 3, more often 5, and sometimes up to 10 species of nudibranchs on a single tank.

However, it can be overwhelming to try to identify all these Bali nudibranchs — with nearly 3,000 possibilities, identifying a nudibranch sometimes feels like finding a needle in a haystack.

Luckily, I’m a neurodivergent adult with a diving special interest, who treats dive photography like the grown-up version of Pokémon Snap.

I spend hours — yes, literally hours — after each dive analyzing my photos and identifying any animals that, prior to the dive, were unknown to me, so I can keep it in my dive logs.

By the way, you can see my Bali dive logs, alongside my complete dive guides including my favorite dive sites and dive shops, for the following destinations: Amed is complete, and Tulamben, Pemeturan, Menjangan, and the Nusa Islands are coming.

Without further ado, I’ll share with you some of my favorite nudibranchs I’ve spotted in Bali, as well as my best guess on what they are.

Of course, I’m not a marine biologist… I’m just a PADI-certified diver and a hobbyist with an Olympus TG6.

I’m an enthusiastic amateur, meaning my photos are not the best, and my knowledge is not the most scientific.

That said, I hope this can be a jumping off point for you if you are struggling to identify any Bali nudibranchs on your trip!

And of course, these nudibranchs are not limited to just Bali. These little guys hardly carry passports.

I’ve seen many of these same critters while diving in Taveuni’s Rainbow Reef in Fiji, and I’m sure I’ll see them in other places as I dive more of Southeast Asia and the Indo-Pacific.

That said, these are the nudibranchs I saw in Bali, and for each photo, I’ll tell you what dive site I spotted them at!

My Favorite Bali Nudibranchs

Tambja morosa

A blue sea slug with gorgeous exposed lungs and brilliant colors on a patch of coral
Tambja morosa, aka the gloomy nudibranch, spotted at Pyramids dive site in Amed

With its moody blue markings and just overall Disney villain aesthetic (Chernabog from Fantasia, anyone?), the Tambja morosa or gloomy nudibranch earns its nickname.

This gorgeous but grumpy-looking little guy stands out in an ocean full of silly faces (Shaun the Sheep, for one) and goofy colors.

This Bali nudibranch is everywhere — when I saw it at the Pyramids dive site in Amed, it was my third sighting, as I had already seen it at the USAT Liberty wreck in Tulamben as well as on my first dive in Lipah Bay).

It’s one of the easiest nudibranchs to identify because of its striking colors and because it’s generally on the larger size, maxing out around 7 cm or 3 inches (although I did once see a tiny baby one in Rakiraki, Fiji, though that’s a rarity!).

Most of the gloomy nudibranchs I saw were probably around 2 inches or 5 centimeters, plus with their brilliant colors, they’re exceptionally easy to spot.

Chromodoris elisabethina

A beautiful Chromodoris nudibranch on a pink piece of coral with yellow, blue, black and white detail

One of the most common nudibranchs you’ll see in Bali are those in the Chromodoris family.

They all look quite similar, with the striated black markings and either white or orange rhinophores (antennae) and gills.

The main differences are in the main color (blue or white), whether their antennae are white or orange, and general pattern distribution.

Just because you see a nudibranch that looks somewhat like this, it doesn’t mean it’s a Chromodoris elisabethina.

Here are a few other Chromis I see often in Bali:

  • Chromodoris annae: Very similar to the above, but without the black stripes down the center
  • Chromodoris magnifica: More black and white, very stripy with stark pronounced orange mantle, rhinophores, and gills
  • Chromodoris willani: Black and white, with no orange markings. White rhinophores and gills.
  • Chromodoris dianae: Black and white markings, more ’rounded’ and spotted black markings, orange rhinophores and gills.
An orange chromodoris nudibranch
A Chromodoris magnifica in Amed at Lean Wall — note the lack of blue pigment (any blue is a result of the harsh lighting, oops!)

… and this isn’t even close to being an exhaustive list!

Chromodoris are exceptionally easy to spot… and then exceptionally difficult to narrow down to the exact species.

If you’re not a perfectionist pedant like me, you can simply just call it a Chromodoris and call it a day!

Hypselodoris apologma

Duo of purple sea slugs with orange gills
Two Hypselodoris apolegma nudibranchs, seen at Jemeluk Wall in Amed

The Hypselodoris genus is one of the most common kinds of dorid nudibranchs in Bali you’ll see.

They’re generally on the larger side, and they have a large “foot” and a floaty “skirt” type mantle.

This makes them look a bit bulkier than other nudibranchs genera (plural of genus), like the Chromodoris, which looks flatter.

They’re often really colorful and sometimes they can be hard to identify between each other!

For example, even with this particular photo, it was hard to decide if this was a Hypselodoris apolegma or a Hypselodoris bullockii.

I’ve eventually identified the former, since in my reading, I’ve learned that the bullockii is actually quite pale in color, more like lavender.

Plus, its white mantle does not have the reticulated (net-like/thread-like, speckled) pattern that leads, ombre-like, into the main color of the nudibranch body.

Hypselodoris tryoni

A colorful sea slug in Bali with brilliant markings
A Hypselodoris tryoni spotted at the USAT Liberty Wreck in Tulamben

Frankly, I’d be surprised if you didn’t see this Bali nudibranch at least once on your dives (if you have multiple) — the Hypselodoris tryoni is one of the major fixtures of my dive logs there.

This large sea slug is really hard to miss. It has a gorgeous, almost glowing purple mantle, and a spotted underbelly as well as its back. Its back also has some dark brownish markings, too.

Its gills are white, and its rhinophores are a mix of white with a little violet purple detailing.

One of the other unique things about this nudibranch is that it’s often found with others — which is not that common in the nudibranch world, as these guys tend to be rather solitary.

They’re often found in duos (or even groups up to 4) and often will be quite close to one another, or even touching as a non-mating behavior but just typical behavior.

Scientists don’t understand why, but I think it’s adorable that they are prone to cuddle puddles… little touchy-feely guys.

Goniobranchus geometricus

The funky Goniobranchus geometricus a tiny sea slug with geometric shapes and green gills
The Goniobranchus geometricus, seen at the Japanese Wreck in Amed

Another common Bali nudibranch that you’ll see on a lot of dives in Amed and the region is the Goniobranchus geometricus.

It looks a little similar to the Chromodoris in size and shape, but it has the bumpy texture of the Phyllidelia nudibranchs.

This particular nudibranch is really easy to identify due to its bumpy texture, with a brownish-black body with raised white speckles.

But it is most identifiable for its signature pale mint green rhinophores and gills, which makes it really easy to identify.

Hypselodoris confetti

Speckled nudibranch with orange gills

One of my favorite nudibranchs in Bali, the Hypselodoris confetti is a very obvious one to spot and identify, but it’s also a lot of fun!

With a lovely steel-blue body mixed with dark blue and yellow spots, and its signature Hypselodoris orange rhinophores and gills, it’s pretty easy to know you’re looking at a Hypselodoris confetti!

Its name really does describe it perfectly: look at how colorful and celebratory it’s speckled body is!

I’ve only seen this nudibranch once, but it’s still one of my favorites in Bali.

Shaun the Sheep nudibranch (Costasiella kuroshimae)

Leafy nudibranch on a grass
The Costasiella kuroshimae, or ‘Shaun the Sheep’ nudibranch, at Melasti dive site in Tulamben

Extremely difficult to spot, and harder to photograph due to its teeny-tiny size, the ‘Shaun the Sheep’ nudibranch is part of the Costasiella family.

The Costasiella kuroshimae is one of the cutest nudibranchs in the world, with tiny dot-like eyes, huge antennae, and an aeolid body with leaf-green color.

This is it zoomed in 11x, and even that isn’t enough — I need to get better at zooming in even more with the macro mode on my Olympus TG6!

Costasiella kuroshimae are one of the tiniest nudibranchs, starting at a mere 5 millimeters in size (that’s just 0.2 of an inch!) to 1 centimeter (about 0.4 inches).

This makes them exceptionally hard to photograph, especially since they have so many details once you zoom in.

Mexichromis multituberculata

A white-bodied nudibranch with purple dots and orange gills
Mexichromis multituberculata at the Melasti dive site in Tulamben

The Mexichromus genus is another one that’s a little hard to nail down — there are a lot that look quite similar to one another, and I struggled to pin down the ID on this one.

I also looked at whether this was a Mexichromis mariei or a Mexichromis katalexis… and frankly, I’m still not certain!

I think I saw a variety of Mexichromis types on this one dive, as there were some similarities and differences with this nudibranch that I’m not sure boil down to being different species or just different color expressions.

In general, the Mexichromis is a “bulkier” type of nudibranch, with a more bulbous body and a bumpy texture, with either protruding speckles or more craggy texture.

At their most basic, these nudibranchs have white bodies with purple speckles, and sometimes with additional orange coloration, like additional speckles, a mantle, or gills.

Hypselodoris decorata

Another one of the Hypselodoris genus (home to many of my favorite nudibranchs), the Hypselodoris decorata — also named the spotted Hypselodoris — is another favorite in Bali.

Even though its colors aren’t as crazy as some of the other nudibranchs in Bali, it’s still a beauty.

It’s mostly brownish-orange, with interesting decoration in that it has a very speckled mantle and then a back that is striped with all sorts of unique patterns (which is what makes it so hard to identify!).

One indicator that strongly places it in the Hypselodoris decorata camp is its rhinophores, which are white with orange bands — a unique feature that other Hypselodoris types don’t necessarily have.

Goniobranchus hintuanensis

a bumpy-textured nudibranch with some spots and purple gills
The funky Goniobranchus hintuanensis, seen in Tulamben at Seraya Secrets

Another fixture in the Bali nudibranch scene, I’ve lost count of how many Goniobranchus hintuanensis I’ve seen.

They are easy to identify because they are quite flat compared to other nudibranchs, but they have brilliant purple rhinophores and gills.

A similar nudibranch in this family, the Goniobranchus kuniei, who also have a funny way of moving, fluttering their mantle up and down, which earned them the ‘Marilyn Monroe’ nudibranch nickname as it looks like their skirt flies up!

For whatever reason, this poor nudibranch has gotten the much less glamorous nickname ‘bus stop nudibranch’, but I think it deserves better!

Flabellina rubrolineata

Flabellina aeolid nudibranch with white and purple colors
A slightly out-of-focus Flabellina rubrolineata, seen at Melasti in Tulamben

An aeolid type of nudibranch, the Flabellina genus is another favorite of mine — they’re so elegant!

This family is what the ‘Spanish shawl’ nudibranch (the Flabellina iodine) belongs to, which is one of my favorite nudibranchs I saw in Fiji.

The Flabellina rubrolineata or red-lined flabellina is quite a beauty and comes in a really wide variety of color breakdowns… so you might see one that is the same species but looks very different.

This version has a nearly all-white body with purplish rhinophores and striped ‘cerata’, which are the external lash-like extensions that all aeolid-type nudibranchs have.

But there are also versions that are nearly entirely purple, with flecks of white and maybe a tiny bit of orange, as well as versions that are somewhere in between.

It’s believed this may actually be part of a series of species rather than one species, but as of now, it falls under the Flabellina rubrolineata umbrella.

2 Day Ubud Itinerary: Visiting Bali’s Spiritual Hub in Two Days

For the traveler in search of the perfect Balinese getaway, Ubud just might be the perfect destination.

It’s the cultural and spiritual hub of Bali, and there’s just so much to explore, you’re bound to fall in love. 

Art museums, waterfall hikes through lush jungles, and beautiful infinity pools give you so many options to fill your days and make your stay unforgettable. 

If you only have a couple days in Ubud to explore, the 2-day Ubud itinerary in this post is your short and sweet guide to get a little bit of everything! 

I’ve lived in Bali for almost two years now, and during that time, I’ve visited and shown visiting friends around Ubud countless times. Now it’s your turn!

Day One of Your Ubud Itinerary

Start your day with a walk in nature. 

Sunrise in the Campuhan Ridge Walk area of Ubud, bali, with the sky softly lit up in pastel shades as the day breaks

The lovely Campuhan Ridge Walk is popular with locals and tourists alike, and once you set out and see Ubud’s natural beauty, you’re sure to see why.

Of course, it’s best to go early – this 2-kilometer trek has no protection from the sun, so you’ll want to go before the sun’s too fierce — or else be prepared to sweat!

The best part of this walk might be that it gives you a beautiful opportunity to see the jungle environment surrounding Ubud without venturing far from town. 

At the end of the path, you’ll start to see small shops and warungs (local restaurants serving Indonesian food) where you can stop to cool off and refuel with a quick bite before heading back the way you came. 

Grab brunch at Zest.

vegan tofu scramble with lots of fresh food like guacamole, sweet potato, mushroom, hummus

After you finish your journey into nature, head just across the street to one of Ubud’s trendiest cafes, Zest.

This vegan gem offers an extensive menu and drink list, so you’ll be spoiled for choice. 

If you think you’re not into vegan fare, trust me, Zest will change your mind.

With sushi, pizza, burgers, and rice bowls (all plant-based of course), Zest leaves everyone happy. 

If you want a drink this early in the morning (and hey, you are on vacation, right?), their passion fruit and arak cocktail is sure to put you in the island mood!

Enjoy a relaxing spa experience.

a foot bath and foot massage in a bath with flowers in bali

After a super active morning, it’s time to relax. Bali Botanica Day Spa is nearby and offers massages, body scrubs, flower baths, and more. 

The treatment rooms overlook a beautiful river, so you can keep on basking in the calming atmosphere of the jungle environment.

It’s not too far, either: it’s just a 3 minute drive, or an 18 minute walk from Zest. 

(Speaking of getting around Ubud: If you haven’t rented a motorbike of your own, you can call one easily through the Grab or Gojek apps!)

They specialize in Ayurvedic treatments, as well as traditional spa offerings for skin, hair, and nails.

With so many options, you can simply choose your favorite and embrace your bliss!

Enjoy dinner with a sunset view over the rice fields.

Rice terraces in Ubud surroundings at sunset on the island of Bali with bright sunburst and clouds gathering overhead

After your relaxing afternoon in the spa, it’ll probably be time for dinner, and Cafe Pomegranate is the perfect place to see a sunset over the rice fields. 

It’s located on a small street only accessible by foot or motorbike, so don’t plan to show up in a car. 

The food choices are varied and international, from Indian curry to tacos, but the real treat is the view! 

Explore a bit of the Ubud nightlife scene.

Man's hand serving an orange drink with crushed ice and mint

The nightlife scene in Ubud is much quieter than the beach towns of Canggu, Uluwatu, and Seminyak, which have clubs pumping into the early hours of the morning. 

Ubud does have a row of bars downtown, often featuring a band playing live music from around 8 PM to 10:30 or 11 PM, and things often close down completely by midnight. 

If you’re interested in hearing some music or just grabbing a drink and people watching, Laughing Buddha Bar, L.O.L. and No Mas are worth checking out. 

If you are up later than that and are looking for a local spot, Lovin is one of the few places open late, and they often have live music being performed as well.

Day Two of Your Ubud Itinerary

Visit Kanto Lampo Waterfall.

woman wearing a black bikini in front of a roaring waterfall called kanto lampo near ubud, indonesia

While it may seem like it’s not worth venturing out of town on such a short Ubud itinerary, hear me out.

If there is one nearby attraction worth leaving Ubud for, it has to be Kanto Lampo Waterfall.

This stunning area is perfect for a refreshing dip in the water or a killer Instagram shot. 

It’s about a 30-minute drive outside of Ubud (hire a Gojek or a Grab scooter or driver!), and you’ll have to pay a small fee to enter.

Make sure to bring your swimsuit!

stone face carved into a cave entryway, guarded by two figures, at the goa gajah temple in bali, indonesia not far from ubud and its waterfalls

There are a couple other waterfalls nearby, as well as the Goa Gajah Temple.

If you are interested in exploring other attractions in the area and you’ve got time to spare, you can absolutely make a day of it.

Just hire a driver for the day (ask at your accommodations for a good recommendation!).

Alternately, have a morning swim at Titi Batu Ubud Club.

coconut with paper straw and gardenia flower near a pool

If you don’t feel up for a morning drive, don’t worry. You can still start your day off with a swim by visiting Titi Batu Ubud Club

Complete with a giant pool and gym facilities (priced separately), you can lounge in the sun with a book or use their free Wifi to catch up on some e-mails and social media.

The in-house restaurant serves delicious smoothie bowls and sandwiches, and they even have a sauna! 

Have an Indonesian lunch.

purple rice with other indonesian foods at a local warung (indonesian food eatery)

After you get back to town, you can stop in for lunch at Urban Jungle Cafe and enjoy some local Indonesian eats — check out their special purple nasi goreng

Located above a tattoo parlor with the same owner, Urban Jungle is a friendly community spot with good vibes all around. 

Explore Ubud’s excellent art scene and Ubud Market.

Ubud Market with a woman preparing the island's trademark offerings with orange, pink, purple, white flowers and rice

No matter how you choose to spend your morning, let’s head to look at some art after lunch. 

Tonyraka Art Lounge is a modern gallery with constantly changing exhibitions housed in a lovely cozy setting.

Take some time here to admire different artwork and handicrafts before enjoying a warm cup of tea in their back garden. 

While you’re downtown, stop in at Ubud Market to see the many souvenirs and stalls to browse, or just wander around. Do bring cash and expect to haggle!

Have a delicious dinner, one of two ways.

vegan food in ubud with beautiful plating

Let’s switch it up for dinner and head to Kebun Bistro. It’s easily walkable from the market and serves a European menu with a great wine list. 

From Spanish tapas to French and Italian mains, everything on the menu is delicious.

If you’re in a group, I highly suggest trying to convince them to order a few things for the table and sharing. 

Since the space is fashioned after a European courtyard, you’re sure to forget you’re in Asia. Be sure to leave room for dessert – the pâtisserie offerings are to die for. 

If you’re more in the mood for a health retreat than a decadent French bistro (which is totally understandable), Sayuri Healing Food is a popular spot for plant-based meals that are as tasty as they are good for you. 

They also host community events such as Bahasa language classes and kirtan chanting on different nights, and you can choose to sit at traditional tables or on pillows or mats on the floor.  


Ubud has so much to do and see, and this itinerary has barely scratched the surface.

If you have the time, there’s more than enough to fill a week or even longer with rice terrace walks, yoga classes, and so much delicious food. 

I hope you enjoy this two day itinerary for Ubud, and that these couple of days in Ubud are the perfect way to kickstart your Indonesian adventure!

2 Day Canggu Itinerary: A Quick Introduction to Bali’s Nomad Paradise [2023]

surfboards for rent on a canggu beach in bali

Travelers and digital nomads in search of a ultra-hip hot spot in Bali need look no further than Canggu, on the west coast of Bali. 

It’s located just 40 minutes north of the airport, making it the perfect hub for travelers. 

What will you find in Canggu? All the fun and buzz you could hope for, right in the middle of the party paradise of Bali. 

But don’t worry! Even with all that going on, we still lead pretty relaxed lives here! 

What truly made me fall in love with Canggu was the fact that there’s  endless options and opportunities, whatever your interest or mood might be.

rice field landscape in canggu bali with lots of buildings around it for cafes and other shopping opportunities

Need to unwind and recenter yourself with some meditation and yoga? You’re in the right place.

More in the mood to sweat it out at a boxing gym and live the excitement of attending a Fight Night? Canggu’s got you covered. 

How about salsa dancing, board game cafés, and high-end co-working spaces? Yep, you guessed it, it’s all here. 

To top it all off, you’ll have no shortage of great places to eat during your stay, as Canggu is full of top-quality restaurants from every cuisine imaginable. 

I’ve spent the last 2 years living in Bali and I’m so happy that Canggu is the place I get to call home. So, keep reading, and let me show you with this Canggu itinerary.

Day One of Your Canggu Itinerary

Wake up with yoga.

view of several people in a yoga clas in bali with views of nature outside in an open-air studio

As you probably know, yoga is one of the top reasons people come to visit Bali.

Even if a whole spiritual retreat isn’t exactly your thing, check out a class or two at Samadi Wellness Community

The class you take will depend, of course, on the day and your personal preferences, so check their website for a fully updated schedule to see all the options.

Personally, I love starting my Tuesdays and Thursdays with Abdi’s chakra flow class. 

This beautiful space hosts many daily classes in the shala, and features an outdoor cafe as well as two stores with yoga apparel and grocery products. 

Grab a coconut after class and you might even see some chickens walking around the property!

Samadi also hosts a Sunday market with different shopping stalls, as well as monthly events such as tea ceremonies and ecstatic dance, so be sure to check that calendar when planning your stay! 

Have a delicious breakfast at Front Cafe.

breakfast in bali with french toast and bananas

For a fantastic breakfast, head on over to the nearby neighborhood of Pererenan, just a quick 5 minute motorbike ride away.

This area slightly north of Canggu has some incredible cafes and restaurants, and is quieter than busy Batu Bolong and Berawa streets. 

Front is a little bit tucked away, but this little hidden gem with great coffee and breakfast fare is absolutely worth a visit.

They close up shop around 3 in the afternoon, so be sure to come in the morning to enjoy their offerings! 

Whether you’re in the mood for a breakfast burrito or a smoothie bowl, they’ve got you covered with their tasty fare.

Bonus perks include fast WiFi (perfect for those of us who work online!), and some of the best coffee in Canggu. 

Receive a blessing at Tanah Lot Temple.

Ocean view of Tanah Lot temple in Canggu area of Bali, which has the temple set literally on an island in the ocean, with waves receding around low tide

Since you’re already up in Pererenan, let’s keep going a bit further north to experience Tanah Lot Temple – a traditional Balinese temple literally situated in the ocean. 

Be sure to check the tides before you visit (this is a good resource) and plan your trip for low tide so you can walk out to the small island. 

As a sign of respect, remember to cover your shoulders and legs with a sarong.

Then, cross the sea to the temple grounds and receive a blessing by a local priest!

Have lunch at Zali.

traditional lebanese food like a chicken wrap with hummus

Let’s stop off again in Pererenan on the way back from Tanah Lot for a meal at Zali

This Lebanese fusion place has a delicious array of small plates and mezze, as well as larger portions for when you’re really hungry.

The hummus and babaghanoush are highly recommended by me!

I once had a friend visit me in Bali, and after our first meal here, he loved this restaurant so much, he ate there almost every day!

Unwind at a local spa.

a foot bath and foot massage in a bath with flowers in bali

The incredible Amo Spa is a favorite destination to unwind in the Canggu area. 

This beautiful building is home to experts in massage, hair care, nails, waxing, facials and more. You can even get a tarot reading here! 

All the massages are done in private, comfortable rooms with your choice of scented oil for ultimate relaxation.

It’s my absolute favorite place to go on the island for a treatment! 

Amo also has a sauna and ice bath downstairs that you can purchase a day pass to, plus a cafe serving healthy and delicious meals and snacks so you can really take your time and unwind. 

Have a delicious dinner at a local warung.

food at a balinese cafe with beautiful portions

The tasty Warung Sika is just up the road for some local Indonesian food sure to please both your stomach and your wallet. 

You can order off the menu, or I recommend going up to the counter and trying a few different things behind the glass for a well balanced meal.

Just point at what looks good to fill your plate, and you’ll get some rice to go with it!

Go out for drinks and dancing.

Man's hand serving an orange drink with crushed ice and mint

The nightlife scene in Canggu is pretty popular, so there’s a lot to choose from. A good bet to start the night is Black Sands Brewery

This casual but trendy spot is the perfect place to meet friends to catch up or maybe even play a card game.

It’s open-air, mostly outside, and the spacious setting is perfect for a relaxed night out. 

They also serve food in case you need a snack, and are open until 12. 

If you want to go to a proper club for some dancing, Vault is a fun one!

It’s located in Berawa underground in an old converted bank vault, hence the name. 

On Wednesdays and Saturdays they play hip hop, and Fridays are for house and techno, so no matter what your preference is, you’re bound to hear something that’ll get your body moving. 

Day Two of Your Canggu Itinerary

Take a beach walk or a surf lesson.

Surfers of all abilities play in the warm waters of Batu Balong, Bali

Canggu is on the west coast, which means lots of beaches and lots of surf.

While these beaches aren’t the best for swimming with the waves crashing close to the shore, they are great for taking a walk or learning to surf. 

You can head down to the shore to take a lesson!

You can easily rent a board and find an instructor willing to teach you the basics. It’s one of the most popular pastimes in Canggu after all.

Batu Bolong Beach is usually the most popular for beginner’s surfing in this area, while Berawa is a bit quieter. 

Seaweed Restaurant on the beachfront is a great place to chill on a beanbag with a coconut for a front row seat to the surfing action — but don’t eat yet, because one of my favorite Bali restaurants is next up!

Have brunch at Milu by Nook.

Smoothie bowl served inside of a coconut bowl with mango and strawberry and seeds and coconut shreds in Bali

Did all that surfing (or surf-watching) leave you hungry? Milu by Nook is sure to cure you of that! 

They have a range of different cuisines, from local favorites to lots of Western dishes, with plenty of vegan and vegetarian options. I love their pulled pork sandwich and their bahn mi! 

The scenery is beautiful as well. If you sit outside, there’s a lovely green garden area sure to brighten your day. 

Check out a famous beach club.

potato head beach club in bali area

One of the big draws in the Canggu area are the beach clubs.

Sunset time is the best to see a beautiful view over the water, but they are also popular for relaxing by the pool during the day or partying in the evening. 

Located in nearby Seminyak, one of the most popular options is the upscale Potato Head Beach Club.

Drinks are pricy here, but they’re delicious, and the amenities are great.

When it comes to beach clubs in Canggu, Finn’s Beach Club on Berawa Beach is probably the most famous. There are multiple pools to swim in, while you eat, drink, and relax.

If you want a sun bed to lounge on, there is a minimum spend, so it’s best to go with a few friends to share the cost.

But don’t worry — you use this charge on their delicious sushi and cocktails, or anything else on their menu. 

La Brisa is another beach club up the coast in Echo Beach.

The design is stunning, an old wooden boat theme with low lighting.

La Brisa is a bit calmer than the flashy Finn’s. They also host a Sunday Market here every week with nice shopping!

If you like to stay up on the latest trends, Atlas Beach Club is for you.

This new addition to the Berawa coastline is the biggest beach club in the area and brand new.

They host a kecak fire dance every evening at 6, so you can experience some traditional Balinese culture in between DJ sets. 

Whichever beach club you decide to check out, cheers to a beautiful sunset over the waves of the Bali Sea!

Enjoy dinner on the sand.

bali warung food with shrimp chips and a noodle stir fry with egg

With a sunset view like this, why would you want to leave? Times Beach Warung on Echo Beach is a great spot for a bite. 

It’s a great middle ground, with relaxed beach vibes (you can keep your toes in the sand if you choose, or hop up into their covered deck area) and a nice menu.

I always enjoy their fish of the day. You can people-watch (and dog-watch) and soak in the beauty of the area.

2 Days in Uluwatu Itinerary: How to Maximize Your Time!

a beach in uluwatu bali with surfers enjoying the waves on a sunny day

If you’re visiting Bali, a trip to the southern Bukit peninsula, commonly known as Uluwatu, is an absolute must! 

The area is quite spread out, so I definitely recommend renting a motorbike if you’re comfortable driving or hiring a driver for the day — it can be really inexpensive in Bali. 

Located about an hour south of popular digital nomad and travel destinations like Canggu and Ubud, Uluwatu is the perfect place to escape for the weekend and truly relax. 

the view of uluwatu temple during the daytime on the cliffside with beautiful beach below it, characteristic of the uluwatu landscape you'll see on this uluwatu itinerary.

I’ve been living in Bali for over two years now, and Uluwatu is one of my favorite destinations.

Let me show you around a perfect two day Uluwutu itinerary, including all my favorite spots as someone who has named Bali their new home.

Day One of Your Uluwatu Itinerary: Beaches & Pool Clubs

Suluban surf beach in Uluwatu, watching surfers tackle the waves and several other surfers patiently waiting their turn in the water, with cliff with tree on it in the background.

The first day of this Uluwatu itinerary is a beach day, of course.

That’s why everyone comes to Uluwatu, after all!

Whether your style is hitting the waves all day on a surfboard or you prefer relaxing on the sand, Uluwatu beaches are sure to deliver a perfect day out in Bali.

Here’s how I recommend you line up your first day in Uluwatu.  

Fuel up for the day with brunch at Drifter Cafe.

Brunch with banana french toast at an Uluwatu cafe

After the drive south to Uluwatu, you’re sure to want to grab a bite!

Drifter Cafe has classic Uluwatu vibes, chill and surfer-friendly, with an attached shop if you want to peruse books for the beach or a crystal necklace to remember your stay. 

Enjoy perfectly brewed Sumatran coffee (from a neighboring Indonesian island) and one of their great plant-based or pescatarian meals.

This is the perfect spot to kick back and relax with some people-watching while you wait for your meal. 

My personal favorites are the mushroom burger and the mahi mahi tacos, but they also serve breakfast all day, so you’re sure to find something to hit the spot! 

Soak up the sun at Padang Padang Beach.

white sanad beach with turquoise and blue waters, a few people swimming in the waters and rocky cliffs and rock formations on the beach for visual interest on a sunny day on an uluwatu itinerary

Uluwatu is known for having the best beaches on the island, so how can you know which one to choose for your ideal beach hang? 

Padang Padang Beach, made famous by the ubiquitously-referenced movie Eat Pray Love, is a favorite with good surf and plenty of space to relax. 

You’ll even get the chance to see monkeys here!

Just make sure to hold on to your phone and sunglasses, since the monkeys are attracted to shiny things! 

There are even vendors on the beach, so you won’t have to go far when you’re in need of a sarong to lie down on or a cold Bintang beer (a local favorite). 

You’ll have to pay a small fee to enter, and there’s a fair amount of steps you’ll have to go down to reach the beach.

This is quite common in Uluwatu because of the cliffs, compared to the flatter land up north. 

The beautiful white sands and blue waters of the idyllic Dreamland Beach on Bali in a sunny day with some patchy clouds in the sky. Not too many people on the beach.

If you are mobility-limited or looking for somewhere without a fee, check out Dreamland Beach about 10 minutes north, another favorite of mine. 

This beach is also popular amongst surfers so it’s a great place to lay down your beach towel and watch surfers tackle the famous Uluwatu waves.

It’s also a great beach to get an inexpensive massage, and there are plenty of small vendors set up along the beach in case you want to purchase any drinks or snacks for your beach day.

Enjoy pool time and drinks at Single Fin.

an aerial view of single fin beach club and bar with a pool on the water and a drinks area

Sunset in Bali is something of a big event, especially in Uluwatu.

Everyone flocks to the coast to secure a good spot and a refreshing coconut (or cocktail) to enjoy with the gorgeous views. 

Sure, you could stay at the beach, but by this time you’re probably getting hungry, so let’s head to the famous Single Fin!

Located a mere 8 minute drive down the coast from Padang 2, Single Fin is one of my favorite sunset spots.

If you’re looking for the perfect view, it’s a good idea to head over a little earlier to secure a seat — this place gets quite crowded!

single fin sunset beach bar in bali with sunset in front of the empty area

Of course, there’s a swimming pool, in proper beach club fashion, but the vibe is more relaxed than that of other popular beach clubs Savaya or Potato Head

There’s a nicer restaurant hidden on the very top floor, which is my personal favorite secluded sunset spot — this is a great place to have dinner in Uluwatu too.

However, if you’re feeling up for more of a lively atmosphere, grab a drink and join the crowd along the bar facing the ocean. 

It’s always fun to watch the surfers from here!

Even better, if you’re there on a Sunday, the bar area turns into a dance floor with a DJ for one of the best parties in the Bukit. 

Day Two of Your Uluwatu Itinerary: Rejuvenation and Culture

the path leading to the uluwatu temple perched on a cliff with beautiful lighting on the ocean

Uluwatu is a calmer part of the island, so people come here to relax and treat themselves to a bit of pampering.

Today, our Uluwatu itinerary is all about relaxing and taking in the culture: having a spa day followed by an epic evening of culture!

Let’s get to it!

Take a spa day in Uluwatu.

woman receiving a back massage at a bali spa with flowers in the background

One of the best spots to do this is The Istana, a wonderful spa in Uluwatu!

While they also offer unique experiences like hyperbaric chambers and cryotherapy, The Istana is known for their spa packages.

These package deals include a treatment but also give you access to their top-notch saunas, ice baths, and an infinity pool with an absolutely breathtaking view of the ocean. 

It’s got to be seen to be believed – just remember to book ahead!

a foot bath and foot massage in a bath with flowers in bali

As an alternative, if you’d prefer a more personalized spa treatment, I definitely recommend OURS Spa.

Here you’ll find more traditional spa offerings, like massage, nails, Olaplex hair treatments, and more. 

I can honestly say this is one of the best massages I’ve had on the island, and as a former massage therapist, I’ve tried quite a few!

Have a delicious lunch and one of the best infinity pool views at oneeighty°.

The Instagram-famous spot called The Edge which is the infinity pool of One Eighty Day club in the Uluwatu part of Bali.

For an epic way have lunch before the next item on our Uluwatu itinerary, have lunch and take a swim break at the epic oneeighty°, a clifftop day club with views to die for.

With an infinity pool more than 150 meters (500 feet) above the ocean, this isn’t necessarily one for those with a fear of heights.

But for those who love an epic view, your jaw will drop at the glass-bottom sky-pool, which extends out 6 meters (20 feet) from the cliff edge to give you eye-watering views of the Uluwatu coastline.

This day club in Uluwatu is ultra-popular, so you’ll want to book at least 3 days in advance.

You can book a regular day pass online here!

Regular admission is 500,000 IDR ($32.50 USD) for a 4-hour stay with access to the pools and amenities, which includes 400,000 IDR credit towards food and drinks.

If you’re traveling with friends and want to splurge, you can book a cabana for the day.

It costs 4,500,000 IDR ($292 USD, or $73 USD per person) for up to 4 guests.

Of that, 2,000,000 IDR ($130 USD) can be used as credit towards food and drinks.

It also includes welcome granitas for everyone, free-flowing water and cold towels, a bottle of imported wine (and it’s hard — not to mention expensive! — to find good wine in Bali!) with oysters and salmon canapés on the house.

If you want to book the fancy cabana option, book on the official website.

Enjoy Uluwatu Temple at sunset followed by a fire dance.

orange sky and uluwatu temple framed against the setting sun with some clouds remaining in the pastel orange sky

One of the must-sees in Uluwatu is the temple, of course!

Most people get (understandably!) excited about the prospect of seeing the traditional kecak fire dance and arrive around sunset. 

That’s exactly what I did my first time there too – but after the show, the sun had set, and I wasn’t able to explore the temple! 

Lucky for you, you get to learn from my mistake, and arrive earlier in the afternoon.

This tour includes time to visit the Uluwatu Temple as well as tickets to the fire dance, which can often sell out if you wait to buy them in person.

This way, you’ll have time to marvel at the temple’s beauty, watch the sunset over the cliffs, and still get to see the marvelous kecak dance.

Note: There are monkeys here as well, so have your camera at the ready and a tight grip on your phone. 

A group of tourists watching a show at the stunning cliffside Uluwatu Temple where locals perform the traditional Kecak Fire Dance in Uluwatu, Bali -- a must on any Uluwatu itinerary!

The famous kecak fire dance at Uluwatu Temple is nothing short of mesmerizing, a vibrant testament to Bali’s rich history and culture that sets it apart from other parts of Indonesia.

As the sun disappears for the day, painting the sky in vibrant colors as it says goodbye, the historic Uluwatu Temple gets ready to come to life.

At the kecak dance, you’ll watch as men clad in traditional sarongs form circles around a ceremonial fire, chanting”cak, cak, cak,” in a hypnotic rhythm.

Amidst this trance-like chorus, a tale from the Ramayana (a Sanskrit epic, a nod to Bali’s Hindu beliefs) unfolds.

Dancers in ornate costumes and makeup portray characters like Rama, Sita, Hanuman, and most entertaingly, the demon king Ravana, telling a story of love, abduction, and the pursuit of good over evil.

The ceremonial fire in the center becomes an integral part of the narrative, and at one point, a dancer even dances amidst the flames and coals.

As darkness of night sets in, the intensity of the performance reaches its climax during a dramatic confrontation between Rama and Ravana.

Finally, as the tale reaches its end, the chants gradually diminish, leaving the audience in quiet awe of what they witnessed.

Enjoy dinner, dancing, and drinks at Hatch Bar.

hand serving a cocktail

Uluwatu used to be known as a sleepy side of the island, with amazing beaches but not much else to do after sunset.

This is starting to change due to new bars and music venues popping up since the pandemic. 

Hatch Bar has psychedelic-themed colorful decor and is one of the few places in the Bukit playing music until 2 AM.

Latin music and dancing is on Saturdays – don’t worry if you’re not a pro, it’s just as fun to watch as well! 

The other nights have other music themes, so be sure to check their website for the current line up.  

If you’re not looking to get your groove on, Ulu Garden is a chill cafe surrounded by twinkling string lights and lots of greenery for you to grab a bite in a calmer setting.