A Local's Guide to Surfing The Bukit Peninsula

A Local's Guide to Surfing The Bukit Peninsula

A Local's Guide to Surfing The Bukit Peninsula

Almost every surfer knows that the Bukit is home to Indonesia's most famous wave, but do you know that there's more to this pretty peninsula than Uluwatu? We linked up with a few local surfers from Bali and compiled this guide to help you navigate the world of surfing on the beautiful Bukit Peninsula. Whether you're a first-time surfer or a seasoned pro, your friends at Kala Surf have you covered!

Where is the Bukit Peninsula?

The Bukit Peninsula is located on the southern tip of Bali, Indonesia. It's just a short drive from the popular tourist areas of Kuta and Seminyak, but it feels like a world away with its peaceful beaches and laid back vibe. The Bukit Peninsula (Semenanjung Bukit in Indonesia) more or less encompasses the entire area south of Jimbaran beach. Unlike the rest of Bali, the Bukit features an arid and stony landscape. Bukit also means 'hill' in the Balinese language.

Bukit Peninsula

What is its most famous surf break?

When it comes to the most famous surf break on the Bukit Peninsula, there's no denying that it's Uluwatu. This world-renowned wave is known for its dreamy waves and epic sunsets, attracting surfers from all over the globe. It was the mythical wave featured in the groundbreaking Morning of the Earth film from the early 1970s and it still hosts some of the biggest surf competitions in Indonesia. Playing second fiddle to Uluwatu is Padang Padang, a picturesque wave featured in the movie Eat, Pray, Love.  Nicknamed the Balinese Pipeline, this is a challenging barrel wave that's only suitable for experienced surfers.

Uluwatu Monkeys

Can beginners surf the Bukit?


With waves such as Baby Padang, Dreamland and Thomas Beach, the Bukit Peninsula has something for all beginner confidence levels. This means that you can travel or stay with surfers of all levels and still enjoy the waves. Simply wake up, pick your favourite beginner surf spot and hit the water.

Learn more about the best beginner surf spots in Bali.

When is the best time to surf the Bukit?

There's almost always waves on the Bukit thanks to the fact that there are surf spots on all sides of the peninsula. In saying that, the dry season (May to September) is the best time to visit. This is when the winds are offshore and the swells are consistent, making it perfect for catching those dreamy waves. If you must surf Bali during the wet season (October to April) though, don't sweat. You can still find great waves on the east coast of the peninsula, such as Nusa Dua.

Bukit, Kuta, Canggu: Which area is best for surfers?

According to our local surfers, it all depends on what you're looking for. The Bukit Peninsula is great for those who want a more secluded and peaceful surfing experience, away from the hustle and bustle of Bali's main party areas. Kuta is known for its vibrant nightlife and party scene, making it popular among younger surfers. Canggu has a mix of both, with a relaxed beach vibe and trendy cafes and bars. Ultimately, it's up to personal preference and what type of surf trip you're looking for.

The best Bukit Peninsula surf breaks

Wondering which surf breaks to hit up on your trip to the Bukit Peninsula? Here are our top picks listed in geographical order if you were to arrive from the southwest side.


The first left reef you'll come across on the Bukit Peninsula, Balangan is popular amongst intermediate and beginner surfers... especially during the dry season. It's a long-ish wave, which helps better distribute the crowds. This also means it offers a decent ride when the conditions align. For beginners, the best time to surf here is when the swell is small and the tide is high. For intermediate and advanced surfers, it can be ridden on all tides and swell heights. A proven performer and super consistent wave, Balangan is definitely one to add to your Bali surf list.


Dreamland is the only sand-bottom beach on the Bukit. It has a variety of different moods depending on the swell size and direction, offering both lefts and rights. It can get crowded, but once you're on a wave you'll forget all about it as the friendly vibe of Bali's surf community shines through. There's a main peak plus smaller ones on either side, making it suitable for both beginner and intermediate surfers. Keep in mind that it gets more difficult to surf as the tide drops and the swell rises. Always look for other surfers in the water and check with a surf guide or the Kala Surf team if you're unsure about conditions.



It's been called a natural wave machine, and while it can get crowded, there's no doubt this reeling lefthander is all class when it’s on. Situated off Bingin Beach below those famous Bukit cliffs, Bingin is a fast, barrelling wave that can only be described as pure joy for those who love to get deep inside the tube. It's known as one of Bali's more challenging waves and is not recommended for beginners. Even intermediate and advanced surfers should exercise caution, as the wave can go from perfect to heavy in a matter of seconds.


Padang Padang

If Uluwatu is Papa Bear then Padang Padang is Momma Bear.  Another high-quality lefthander, this wave is an expert wave that can match Uluwatu for punch on bigger days. The wave breaks in front of a natural amphitheatre of cliffs, offering a stunning backdrop for spectators and surfers alike.  It needs a decent-sized swell in order to work, but when it's on, it's a world-class barrel that will have you grinning from ear to ear. The razor sharp reef, on the other hand, is more likely to make you grimace.

The Rip Curl Pro Padang Padang is an annual competition held at this spot, showcasing some of the world's best surfers tackling this epic wave.

Padang Padang

Baby Padang

Another great beginner surf break, Baby Padang was named after its bigger counterpart, Padang Padang. This smaller wave is perfect for those just starting out or looking to improve their skills. You might even call it the Baby Bear to the other two spots above. It's a forgiving and consistent peak with a slower takeoff which makes it great for practising your pop-up and turns.

What's more, Baby Padang breaks over a reef, which is perfect for those wanting to learn how to surf over a reef without getting too intimidated by bigger waves.

Thomas Beach

If you're seeking the ultimate beginner surf beach on the Bukit, then Thomas Beach is your best bet! This wave is named after a building on the cliffs above the beach, and is a consistent, sandy-bottomed break that offers a fun, mellow wave for beginners. Our local's advice is to hit it in the mornings before the crowd on the mid-tide.

Side note, if the waves are huge at Uluwatu and surfers are unable to exit due to the strong current, they'll float down to Thomas Beach as it's the next bay south.


Arguably the crown jewel of Bali's surf spots, Uluwatu captivates with its powerful swells that peel perfectly along the reef in a lefthand direction. The wave is accessible via a unique cave entrance, greeting surfers with an otherworldly aura as they paddle out to the lineup. And otherworldly it is.  There’s perhaps no spot in the Indonesian archipelago that’s mythologised like Uluwatu, and people come from all over the world to ride its turquoise walls. With 5 main peaks that offer diverse challenges, Uluwatu caters to various skill levels, though it is particularly revered by advanced surfers.


Green Balls (or Green Bowls)

As long as you're not fazed by a few steps, Green Balls emerges as a hidden gem during the wet season on Bali. Situated discreetly on the Bukit Peninsula, this semi-secret reef break boasts rapid, punchy waves that beckon surfers seeking an adrenaline rush.  One downside is that it's quite exposed to the elements, so you need to have your forecasting skills locked down. On the plus side, an early morning or late evening surf here can be a super dreamy and somewhat less-crowded option than the other spots mentioned. For advanced beginners and above only.

Final words

The Bukit Peninsula offers a wide variety of surf breaks for every level and preference.

From world-famous barrels to beginner-friendly beach breaks, there's something for everyone on this beautiful stretch of coastline in Bali.

Remember to always surf responsibly, respect the locals and their culture, and have fun catching those waves. For more information about Bali's surf breaks, be sure to consult with a local surf guide or ask our Kala Surf team for recommendations.

We're more than happy to share our knowledge and help you plan your dream surf trip to Bali's Bukit Peninsula.

See you in the lineup!

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