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We Found Paradise & It's in Bali’s Uluwatu: Here's What You Need to Know

photo: thelosttwo

During a group trip to Uluwatu, you’ll soak up the sunshine, try to catch a few waves at the famous surf break and sip your fair share of smoothies. When you get hungry, there are a ton of casual cafes and restaurants serving organic, delicious meals. When you get tired, there are gorgeous villas overlooking the rice terraces and the vast Indian Ocean. When you want to explore, there are temples, dramatic cliffs and beautiful beaches. In short, it’s Bali’s closest thing to paradise, and planning a group trip to paradise just got a whole lot easier with this guide.

Reporter: Alyssa Brown

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Whether you’re traveling with a group of friends or flying solo, Uluwatu has plenty of gorgeous villas and resorts to choose from. There’s a lot of luxury to be found around here, from mansions with private butlers and infinity pools to a resort owned by a famous Italian designer.
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Uluwatu Surf Villas

Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
Private pools, hammocks and ocean views are all fair game at Uluwatu Surf Villas, where multi-bedroom residences are easy to come by. Budget-friendly tip: For those after something a little more low-key, the jungle side villas are about half the price of the ocean view stays.
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The Edge

Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
For those traveling with a posse, the five-bedroom villa at The Edge includes round-the-clock butler service, a sprawling tropical garden, two private pools, a cinema, and your very own wine cellar and cigar lounge. How’s that for doing Bali like royalty!
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Vivo Villas

Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
Each of the modern, bright oceanfront villas at Vivo includes a private pool, dining area, kitchenette and balcony. The arrangements range between one- and two-bedroom setups, and there’s the option to stay long-term if you’re planning a big trip to Uluwatu.
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The Ungasan Clifftop Resortlearn more

A handful of stunning villas and residences sit perched atop the cliff’s edge at Ungasan, each with its own luxury style and private outdoor space. An acclaimed Australian chef runs the dining program here, serving up extravagant morning spreads, poolside bites and beautiful garden-side barbecues.
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$675 avg. room rate
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Alila Villas Uluwatulearn more

If you’re traveling with friends and want to go all-out luxe, this five-star villa offers its guests stunning modern suites (some with multiple bedrooms), a full-service spa with organic treatments, aerial yoga classes, and beautiful infinity pools. Eco-conscious Alila Villas sits perched between rice terraces and a volcanic sand beach, all overlooking the Indian Ocean.
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$683 avg. room rate
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Bulgari Resort Balilearn more

Contemporary Balinese design meets Italian luxury style at the Bulgari Resort in Bali. This collection of villas and mansions are impeccably stylish, and the 36-seat Italian fine dining restaurant along with the traditional Indonesian restaurant perfectly complement the setting.
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Hidden Hills Villaslearn more

If you and your travel crew are looking for a totally secluded private villa to stay in, check out Hidden Hills Villas. This collection of six private villas can be your stomping grounds for a wellness retreat or a laid-back vacation. There’s a chef who cooks up wholesome, fresh foods that can be enjoyed in your private gardens or villa.
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The dining and drinking scene in Uluwatu is filled with places where you can score organic, wholesome meals and delicious tropical smoothies and cocktails. And I f you’re just here for the spicy mango daiquiris and rustic Italian pizzas, here are the places you need to check out.

Ulu Cliffhouse

Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
Perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean, this beach club includes a massive infinity pool, an outdoor restaurant and plenty of open outdoor space for guests to lounge and play in the sun. Spend your afternoon here sipping spiced mango daiquiris and snacking on ceviche. 

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The Mango Tree

Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
If you and the travel crew are craving tacos, stroll right up from the beach to Padang for The Mango Tree’s take on Mexican food. You’ll find huevos rancheros, burritos and fresh salads on the menu too.
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Sunset Point

Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
If you’re looking for a relaxed place to watch the sun go down, Sunset Point has cold drinks and a chilled-out vibe. This casual bar sits overlooking the famous surf break and has lots of seating and deck options with gorgeous views.
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Single Fin

Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
This casual beach bar sits just above the famous Uluwatu surf break, Padang Padang, making a great perch for a post-surf grub session. Think smoothies, salads, pastas, burgers and pizzas.
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Sundays Beach Club

Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
Y’all, this beach club is open all day every day ‘til 10 at night. Know what that means? You can spend your day on SUPs, kayaks and lounge chairs before settling into a sunset dinner with butler service. Book the VIP Bale session to have a couple bottles of sparkling Chandon thrown in.
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Suka Espresso

Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
This Aussie-style cafe serves up smashed avo toast, smoothie bowls, fritters, hotcakes and so much more. If you’re looking for a cold brew with oat milk or a really good flat white, Suka is your spot.
Photo:jwlez
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Drifter

Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
Drifter is, first and foremost, a surf shop. It’s also a rad spot to hang out for breakfast, lunch or dinner and chow down on organic, wholesome foods that range from plant-based to pescaterian. Hot tip: the shop has great gifts if you want to grab anything for folks back home.
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Mana Uluwatu

Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
Located at the Surf Villas, this restaurant is open all day and has an awesome happy hour too. The setting is a solid ten out of ten, with an open-air balcony perched above the beach. The menu here includes lots of margaritas, kombuchas, salads, tacos, burritos, bowls and more.
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La Baracca

Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
Rustic Italian comfort food served in a comfortable, casual space is the name of the game at La Baracca. This is a great spot to head to for pizzas and vino after a big surf session with your buddies.
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Bukit Cafe

Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
You and your surf crew can look forward to lots of healthy eats at this western-style cafe between Bingin and Padang Padang. Vegan pancakes, Greek omelets, quinoa salads and veggie burgers are just a few of the menu highlights.
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Bali’s best surf breaks are in Uluwatu, but we don’t expect you’ll spend your entire trip out on the water. In your spare time, head to clifftop overlooks, explore the beaches that are less touristy and seek out local culture.
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Thomas Beach

Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
One of the quieter, less recognizable beaches of Uluwatu, Thomas Beach offers soft white sand and turquoise water. It’s not as built up as many of the nearby beaches, so you can usually expect to find a good lounging spot.
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Uluwatu Temple

Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
This sacred temple is perched on a dramatic cliff that drops right down to the ocean, and it apparently dates all the way back to the 10th century. You can tour the grounds any time of day, but sunset hour is the best time to go, as you’ll be able to witness a Kecak Fire Dance, which is a powerful local folk story told through song and dance.
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Bingin Beach

Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
For surfers and beach loungers alike, Bingin Beach is a stunner. Dramatic cliffs hug the shoreline here, and there are quite a few places nearby to grab a drink or a bite. Hot tip: If you’re new to the whole surfing thing, you’ll be able to find surf lessons here.
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Karang Boma Cliff

Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
This lush, green cliff drops a hundred meters down to the water’s edge, so proceed at your own risk and maybe don’t get too close to the edge. Karang Boma Cliff offers sweeping views of the ocean, reefs and Uluwatu Temple in the distance.
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Kecak Fire Dance

Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
A historic, not-to-be-missed art performance, the traditional Kecak Fire Dance takes place at sunset around Bali. Instead of using instruments, the performers use their voices to create the dance's sound and story. Inside tip: head to the cliff-top amphitheater located just south of the Uluwatu Temple for breathtaking views paired with the show. 
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Padang Padang

Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
If you’re visiting Bali for its surf, this beach is sure to be on your hit list. Padang Padang is one of the most famous breaks in the area, and the beach is a good place to lounge even if you’re not into catching waves. If you and your travel squad happen to be nearby on a Saturday night, there’s a giant reggae party here every week.

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