Tanah Lot Bali is a popular spot to see the sunset in Indonesia, and the Tanah Lot temple is also one of the most iconic sights in the whole country.
It’s a mysterious looking ancient shrine on a rock near the coast of Bali, and at high tide the temple has the dramatic appearance of floating on the sea.
This travel guide will hopefully give you some ideas about what to do in Tanah Lot Bali, how to get there, current entrance fees, and everything else you need to know before you go!
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Facts & History – Tanah Lot Temple
The Tanah Lot temple (also known by its Indonesian name ‘Pura Tanah Lot’) dates back to the 16th century, when it was supposedly built by Dang Hyang Nirartha, the founder of the Shaivite priesthood in Bali.
As the story goes, Nirartha was traveling along the south coast of Bali and spent a night on this picturesque rock in the sea. He was convinced it was a holy place for worshipping the Balinese sea gods, and had some local fishermen build a shrine on the rock.
Thus the iconic Tanah Lot was born. The name roughly translates to ‘Land in the Sea,’ and it’s one of seven sea temples built along the coast of Bali. There are many myths and legends associated with Pura Tanah Lot, and the Hindus still consider it an important pilgrimage temple.
Today, it’s one of the most famous temples in Bali, and on a busy day it’s visited by more than 5,000 tourists per day.
What To Do In Tanah Lot Bali
The main reason to visit Tanah Lot Bali is to see the ancient temples and watch the sunset.
It can get very crowded, though, and it’s turning into a bit of a tourist trap, with market-style souvenir shops lining the whole entrance to the beach.
• Tanah Lot Temple
The best views of Tanah Lot temple are from the cliff terrace near the temple, where you can see the island from above and watch the waves crashing on it.
The beach at Tanah Lot has black volcanic sand, and the whole setting is mystical. The temple really does look like it’s floating on the sea.
When the tide is low, you can walk out to the rock and get a closer look at the wooden temple buildings, which are just 30 meters from the shore.
• Holy Snake
Venomous sea snakes are believed to guard Tanah Lot Temple from evil spirits and intruders, and on the shore there’s a cave with a ‘holy snake’ that you can pay a small fee to see.
It’s a black and white ringed sea snake (apparently a Banded Sea Krait). These snakes are highly venomous, but they’re not aggressive and rarely bite humans.
Read More: Snakes In Bali
• Batu Bolong Temple
Batu Bolong is another unique looking sea temple just a short walk from Tanah Lot, and it sits on a rock arch overlooking the ocean. It’s included as part of the Tanah Lot entrance ticket.
There’s a steep concrete stairway down to the beach, where you can get close up views of the arch, but sometimes they don’t allow access because of the waves.
‘Batu Bolong’ means ‘hollow stone’ in the Indonesian language.
• Tanah Lot Sunset
The sunset at Tanah Lot is pretty legendary in Bali, and a good way to enjoy it is with a Tanah Lot sunset dinner or some drinks.
There are a bunch of simple restaurants and warungs on the cliff terrace near the temple. Don’t expect a five star dinner at Tanah Lot, but it’s a great place to sip a cold Bintang or some fresh fruit juice while enjoying the sunset.
The other popular spot for sunset pics is on the black sand beach directly by Tanah Lot temple, but it depends on how high the waves are, so you may want to check tide conditions first.
The rock arch at Batu Bolong Temple can also be a good spot for sunset pictures, especially if you go down to the beach below.
Hours & Entrance Fee
- Hours: 7 AM – 7 PM
- Entrance Fee (Adults): 75k IDR ($5 USD)
- Entrance Fee (Kids): 40k IDR (~$3)
These are the current Tanah Lot entrance fees for 2024, but it’s a very popular tourist attraction so the ticket prices seem to go up every year.
You can pay the entrance fee with cash or credit card, but the card reader machines don’t always work, so it’s best to plan on paying the fee with cash.
How To Get There
Tanah Lot temple is located on the southwest coast of Bali, Indonesia.
It’s a 20 minute drive from Canggu, or around 1 hour if you’re coming from other tourist areas like Ubud, Kuta, and Sanur.
More Things To Do Near Tanah Lot
Since Tanah Lot is on the coast of Bali, there are several other good beaches nearby.
Two nice ones nearby are Echo Beach and Pasut Beach, which are both west-facing black sand beaches that are good at sunset.
Another interesting temple to see near Tanah Lot is the Taman Ayun temple, which is only about 30 minutes away by driving.
These are just a few ideas for what to do in Tanah Lot Bali and the surrounding area. Enjoy!
More Bali Temples
Looking for more information on the best temples in Bali, Indonesia?
Check out my Bali Temple Guide for a complete list with photos, maps, and more!
Bali Private Driver & Motorbike Rental
If you want to explore Bali in the comfort and safety of a private car with an English speaking driver, my top recommendation would be GetYourGuide.
Their price is 650k Rupiah ($45 USD) for a full day of driving and sightseeing in Bali (up to 10 hours) for 1-5 passengers. That's the total price for the whole car + driver + petrol! It's a great deal. They also offer affordable hotel transfers from the airport.
If you'd rather travel by motorbike, they have that too. Their scooter rentals start at 140k Rupiah (~$9) and include a helmet, rain coat, and free delivery in the south Bali area.
We've used GetYourGuide for lots of tours and activities around the world, and they're great! Highly recommended.
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