The Pura Uluwatu Temple is an iconic seaside pagoda that sits on a cliff, located in the far south corner of Uluwatu Bali.
This 1,000 year old Bali temple is one of the island’s most famous tourist sights because of its impressive cliffs, sunset views, traditional Balinese ‘Kecak’ fire dance, and the notoriously sneaky Uluwatu monkeys that like to hang out near the temple.
Uluwatu Temple is easy to visit from Kuta, Canggu, Sanur, and the other popular tourist areas in Bali, and I’d rate it as a must do! The whole experience is very memorable.
This travel guide will explain where Uluwatu Temple is located, how to get to Uluwatu, current ticket prices, when to visit, sunset tips, monkey warnings, and everything else you need to know before you go!
Where To Stay
History Of Pura Uluwatu
According to ancient Balinese manuscripts, the history of Uluwatu Temple dates back to at least the 11th century, and probably even earlier.
It was established by a Javanese Hindu priest named Empu Kuturan, and then expanded by Dang Hyang Nirartha, who spent months meditating by the seaside cliffs of Uluwatu before building the temple grounds that sit there today.
Pura Uluwatu was thought to be a portal to heaven, and the Balinese Hindus today still consider it one of the most important temples on the island.
Uluwatu Temple – What To Expect
Visiting Uluwatu Temple is pretty straightforward and you don’t need a guide, although it doesn’t hurt to have one.
You actually can’t go inside the temple itself or see the pagoda from very close, you only view it from the outside while walking along the cliffs. That may be a bummer for some, but I think the cliff views are the best part anyway.
It’s a bit of mesmerizing Bali magic to see the waves crashing on the 75 meter (250 foot) high limestone cliffs at Pura Uluwatu while the sun sets over the Indian Ocean. The ancients picked a perfect spot for this pagoda.
You can avoid some of the crowds by coming earlier in the day, but then you have to deal with the heat. Personally I think it’s best to brave the crowds so you can enjoy the sunset.
All in all, it’s one of Bali’s classic sights and you can’t miss it!
Uluwatu Temple Monkeys
There are hundreds of wild monkeys roaming the temple grounds at Uluwatu, and they’re notoriously sneaky thieves. Surrounding the temple is an 11 hectare forest where more than 400 monkeys live and make their home.
There have actually been research studies done on these infamous Uluwatu monkeys and their unique tradition of stealing swag from tourists and then using it to barter for bananas. Trust me, these monkeys make the ones at Ubud Monkey Forest look mild mannered.
The Uluwatu temple monkeys especially like to grab phones and sunglasses, which they can do easily because the safety fence by the cliff is roughly shoulder height with all the tourists walking by holding their phones out.
If you plan to take pictures at Uluwatu Temple with a smartphone, be very careful and keep your head on a swivel! The monkeys can sneak up quietly and steal your phone in a blink.
If you wear a cap, make sure it’s not a loose fit or they’ll try to grab that too. Cameras should be okay, because they’re too heavy for their little monkey arms.
The temple staff can sometimes help if you lose something to the Uluwatu monkeys. They’ll try to barter them with bananas, and usually they’re successful, but no guarantees.
One time I saw a monkey steal a tourist’s expensive phone, and before the temple staff could catch up to him he had already dropped the woman’s phone off the cliff!
Uluwatu Temple Sunset
Uluwatu Bali is one of the best spots on the island to watch the sunset, so hundreds of people (and monkeys) flock here for sunset every evening.
During the Uluwatu Temple sunset, the white limestone cliffs slowly turn gold, and even the monkeys seem to enjoy the nice ocean breeze as the sun disappears from the horizon. It’s a beautiful show.
If I had to choose between the Uluwatu Temple sunset or the also famous Tanah Lot Temple sunset, I think I’d choose Uluwatu, although they’re both very nice.
However, Uluwatu does get pretty crowded, and it always makes me wish tourists would branch out to some of the less known temples in Bali.
- 7 AM – 7 PM
- Foreigners (Adults): 50k IDR (~$3 USD)
- Foreigners (Kids 3-10): 30k IDR
- Domestic: 30k IDR
- Fire Dance: 150k IDR
These Uluwatu ticket prices are current as of 2023, but they seem to increase a little bit every year since it’s such a busy tourist attraction.
The entrance fee includes a sarong to wear at the temple.
What To Wear To Temples In Bali
You’ll need to wear a sarong to enter most temples in Bali, including this one.
A sarong is a traditional skirt you tie around your waist, that can usually be rented on the spot for a small fee like 5,000 Rupiah (less than a dollar).
In this case, the sarong is included for free in the ticket price for the temple.
How To Get There
Uluwatu Temple is located on the far southwest corner of Bali island.
It’s a 1 hour drive from Kuta, Canggu, Sanur, and other popular tourist areas in south Bali, although it can take longer if there’s heavy traffic (especially after sunset when everyone is leaving).
I wouldn’t recommend coming here with a one-way taxi, because the location is remote and you’ll end up having to pay an extortionate fare to go back to town (especially after sunset, when all the taxi drivers evaporate).
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!
More Things To Do In Uluwatu
Thanks for looking! I hope you enjoyed this travel guide for Uluwatu Temple in Bali, Indonesia.
There are lots of other great things to do near Uluwatu. This area is known for its blue waves, white sand beaches, impressive sea cliffs, quality surfing, and fancy beach clubs.
Don’t forget to check out my complete list of what to do in Uluwatu Bali!
Best Uluwatu Tour Packages
If you want to explore Uluwatu Bali with a tour package, there are lots of great online options available.
GetYourGuide has Uluwatu tours that include scenic beaches, clubs, sunsets, and iconic locations like Uluwatu Temple and the GWK cultural park. They also offer some neat activities like tandem paragliding.
We've used this company for lots of tours and activities around the world, and they're great. Highly recommended!
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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