Surfing in Bukit
The Bukit is a peninsula located on the south tip of the island of Bali. The first ones to surf there arrived at the early 70s to shoot the legendary documentary Morning on the Earth. At first the access was very limited with no roads taking to the breaks. Back in those days the surfers had to take all the supplies they would need. To get to Uluwatu, the most famous wave of the area, was particularly hard. You had to go down a vertical bamboo ladder carrying your surfboard. But the sacrifice was worth it. Uluwatu is one of the best left handers in the world, and paddling out of the cave into the lineup is a lifetime experience. Surfers from all over the world come to surf these waves and fulfil their teenage dreams. Nowadays there are plenty of accommodations, restaurants and surf shops in the whole Bukit area.
Climate in Bukit
Like the rest of the island, Bukit Peninsula has a tropical climate. There are two distinct seasons: dry and wet. The temperatures are warm all year round, shifting around 27-30° Celsius. During the wet season it rains a lot, especially from December to January. During the rest of the year the weather is clear and the sun shines everyday.
Best surf spots in the Bukit
The Bukit Peninsula is one of the most famous surf destinations in the country. It has the best surf spots in the whole island. On the west side you will find Uluwatu, Padang Padang, Impossibles, Bingin and Balangan. This breaks work better during the dry season. On the east coast you have Nyang Nyang, Green Bowls, Pandawa and Nusa Dua. The whole area breathes surf culture and surfers from across the world have been attracted to this legendary peninsula for decades. There are all kinds of waves for beginners, intermediate and advanced surfers and the vibe in this area is very easy going. You can drive around on your scooter and check all the breaks from the top of the cliffs before choosing which one you want to surf. There is something magical about this place and the feeling of paddling out on an epic day is priceless.
Main Surfing areas in the Bukit
Uluwatu: This super consistent spot is the main attraction of the Bukit area. The break can handle any size from 2 to 20 ft. It’s a long reef with 5 sections: Racetrack, The Peak, Temples, Outside Corner and The Bombie. On the busiest days the crowd spread out so there is always a wave for everyone.
Padang Padang: It’s an epic barrel machine. Needs a major swell to break properly. On the best days you should expect a steep takeoff that takes you directly to the barrel followed by a second barrel before it hits the channel. On the other side of the channel you wiil find a break called Baby Padang that it’s a beginners paradise on small days.
Impossibles: This wave looks picturesque from the cliff. It has long left walls and most of the days is impossible to make all the sections, that’s where the name comes from. It’s perfect on a 4-6 ft south swell. That’s when you can score multiple barrels on the same wave.
Bingin: Certainly the most perfect wave from the peninsula. This mechanical left hander is friendly on the high tide and super drainy on the low. The trick here is to backdoor the takeoff and kick out before the reef dries out.
Dreamland: Mostly known for the golf court and huge hotel located near the beach. This wave has nothing special compared to the others. Deep water and sand covered reef. It’s good for beginners to get on their feet before adventuring on other breaks. Better on lower tides.
Balangan: This left hander starts on the left corner of the beach in front of a big cliff. The wave has sections on small days but on big days can connect all the way to the end of the beach. Beginners and intermediate surfers will have fun on small swells and the more experienced surfers will charge when the waves get big. The beach is perfect to leave your family or girlfriend chillin in the sun.
Nyang Nyang: If it’s flat here is flat everywhere. This wave is completely exposed to the south and to all the swell directions. The long hike down the beach makes it uncrowded. One of the most beautiful beaches in the peninsula. Take all your provisions with you, there are no warungs at this beach.
Green Bowl: Shares the title of swell magnet with Nyang Nyang. Super exposed to the wind, the best windows are usually in the morning. Watch out for strong currents.
Pandawa: This beach has a lot of warungs and it’s perfect to bring the family for a day on the beach. There is a right hander in front of the restaurants and if you walk down the beach toward the cliffs you will also find a really fun left hander.
Nusa Dua: Best time is in between November and March during the wet season. During the dry season try to sneak it early in the morning before the trades kick in. The long 2 km reef has many shifty spots all over the place. The break is far from the beach so we suggest you to get a local boat to take you out.
What is you traveling style?
Luxury Accommodation in the Bukit
There are all types of accommodations in this area, but if you choose to be on a luxury hotel you will experience the peninsula in a unique way. Most of the resorts are located on the edge of the cliffs with jaw dropping views and amazing sunsets right in front of them. You will be able to relax by the pool with a priceless view of the best surf spots. When the surf is not good or you are too tired you can enjoy a day at the spa or have a revitalising yoga session. This is also the perfect option for a romantic hideaway.
Prices are in between 100-700 USD per night
Budget Surfing in the Bukit
No one wants to leave paradise so the longer you stay the better. The Bukit has also a lot to offer for those who want to optimize their budget to stay extended periods. There are plenty of homestays as well located as the fancy hotels. You can find yourself a nice and clean room with a nice hammock at the balcony to have the perfect nap in between surf sessions. And all that for reasonable prices in between 20-80 USD per night
Kids and Teen Surf Camps
The Bukit has a lot of surf camps and surf schools and the reason is clear: there are many options of breaks that are perfect to learn how to surf. With this conditions plus the amazing structure of the surf camps is possible to improve very fast. The surf camps allow you to discover different spots while you are learning how to surf. The surf schools are ready to teach any kind of person from young kids to adults. It’s never too late to learn how to surf.
Prices including lessons can be in between 60-100 USD per night.
The best vacations are always the one you share with your friends. If you are going to surf some amazing waves at a tropical paradise why not invite the ones you love. You will never forget going to surf together and having a beer after talking about how amazing the session was. This moments are priceless and way better than if you were alone. There are plenty of accommodations in the Bukit that can host up to 24 for people at the same time. Nice private houses at the cliffside with incredible views to the Indian Ocean.
The prices for this dream vacation can be in between 40-100 USD per night.
Meal price range
Cheap street food or simple meals at local warungs cost around $2 USD. Midrange meals in restaurants range from $9-25 USD with beers. Dining & drinking at high-end restaurants can cost anywhere from $50-200 USD.
Board rentals in Indonesia run anywhere from $3 USD for 2 hours, $10 USD for the day and $110 for a month.
Prepaid SIM cards
SIM cards are easy to find and inexpensive. A popular provider is Telkomsel, their simPATI card offers a 5GB package for $4 USD and 12GB for $6 USD. You can buy them in convenience stores, little phone shops, or the airports (although they will be more expensive at the airport).
Taxis have a tariff of $0.40 USD per km.
You can rent a car from $12-21 USD a day or $170-300 USD a month. Hiring a private driver will be anywhere from $37-50 USD a day -for a 4 person car, to $75 -for a 5/6 person minivan. Motorbike/scooter rentals are from $3 USD a day to $45 USD a month.
Are around $0.60 USD a liter.
Types of risks
Mosquito bites are common and Infections can occur quickly because of warm climate, reef/urchin pieces in wounds or contaminated water. Surf spots contain sharp reefs which are best avoided by beginners, especially on low tides. There can be scorching sun and many daylight hours, wear sunscreen. Shark attacks occur but rarely, it's almost a myth. There are several kinds of jellyfish which sting and the locals and surfers can tell you when to avoid the beaches -happens rarely.
Paddling out to the many reef breaks alone is a bad idea if you are a beginner. Part of the fun is discovering unknown surf spots, but alone, any accident can be fatal. Outside of your reach big currents can drag you out into the open sea.
Because of its location on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Indonesia is prone to earthquakes, floods and tsunamis.
In Indonesia, many beaches don’t have a lifeguard and many islands don’t have a flag system. The best thing to do is use common sense and never go alone if you know there are strong currents or the tides are too strong.
How to prepare
Nationals from 169 countries can enter Indonesia on a free visa for up to 30 days. Your passport needs to be valid for at least 6 months at time of entry and you’ll need proof of onward or return flights.
If you want to stay up to 60 days, you’ll need to purchase a ‘visa on arrival’ at the desk before you go through immigration and you’ll need to do a visa extension once in Indonesia. We highly recommend that you work with an agency to help with the visa extension. You’ll need to start processing your visa extension before 30 days. Be warned there are hefty overstay fines in Indonesia of 1 million Rupiah a day ($62) if you stay past the 30 or 60 day mark and they count the day you arrive as 1 day.
Indonesia will only ask you to show proof of your yellow fever vaccination if you come from a country with a risk of yellow fever. Although it's not mandatory, you might opt to get routine vaccines such as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera, rabies, meningitis, polio, Tdap, chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia, influenza, measles, mumps and rubella.
Things to know
Language & Currency
Most of the surf camps in the tourist areas will have staff that speak good enough English. The official language of the country is Bahasa Indonesia, and knowing a little bit will pay off and make your trip easier, so learn a few phrases! The local currency is the Indonesia Rupiah.
Best time to go
The best time to surf in Indonesia is during its dry season, mostly between April and October. The offshore winds pick up in the south and southwest and consistent swells hit the islands while the weather is slightly more fresh than the rest of the year, there will still be beginner friendly spots available all over, but this is when you’ll find your world class waves.
Checking Surf forecast
Checking the forecast about a week before your trip is always a good idea. Understanding what the waves will be like and knowing what gear to pack is essential. You can check the forecast for the waves here.
Do I need pack a pharmacy kit
You should bring a basic kit. Including ear drops, eye drops, bandaids, imodium- for rehydrating Bali belly, ear plugs to avoid ear infections, gaze, alcohol, mosquito repellent and broad spectrum antibiotic ointment.
World Nomads has great travel insurance packages that are not super expensive and they cover surfing. https://www.worldnomads.com
In case of an emergency, call 112 (free). This is Indonesia's emergency and rescue number. They will direct you to hospitals or police, get you an ambulance, and help you with any emergency-related issues. If you have an accident while surfing in Indonesia, 112 is your best option, but always keep your family and friends informed of your whereabouts as well.
Emergency numbers will have English-speaking operators. Direct numbers are:
110 for the police department.
113 for the fire department.
118 for ambulance.
For hospitals, call 112. Ask your insurance which hospitals they recommend in the area you will be heading to. In Bali, famous hospitals include BIMC and Siloam.
Check surf pictures of the Bukit Peninsula at #bukitsurf.