Ungasan is a remote area occupying the southernmost tip of Bali island. Boasting dramatic clifftops and beautiful white sand beaches, the area combines peaceful rural surroundings with some of the most exclusive luxury resorts and clifftop villas on the island.
Ungasan blends in with the greater Uluwatu area seamlessly. Perched on the southernmost tip of the island, Ungasan is one of the most scenic areas in Bali, offering sweeping ocean views from majestic clifftops. The area is also home to some of the most beautiful beaches on the island, boasting pure white sand and clear blue waters. Most of the area feels rural and remote and many of those beautiful beaches will require visitors to descend down a steep flight of stairs.
Ungasan offers a unique blend of luxurious clifftop living – some of the most exclusive resorts on the island are located here – and rural seclusions, with local village life blending in with rustic natural scenery. This is the perfect destination for travellers looking for a luxurious clifftop retreat away from the madding crowd, surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery found anywhere on the island.
Planning Your Trip to Ungasan
With its stunning clifftop views and luxury resorts, Ungasan attracts travellers throughout the year. To best enjoy the area’s beautiful beaches, it’s best to visit during the dry season from May through September. Our Ungasan travel guide aims to give you the essential information, list the most popular things to do in Ungasan, provide more information on locations you want to visit, and finish with some inspiration from our travel writers. For more information on events and festivals taking place throughout the year, check out our comprehensive Bali guide.
Bali is pleasant all year round! May through September has the best weather (drier, less humid) and is the best time for many activities including diving and surfing. November though March is rainy season – though rainfall is never excessive so you can do most activities except volcano treks.
The temperature ranges from 24 degrees to 31 degrees all year round.
Rainfall ranges from 0cm to 140cm during the wet season.
Things to See & Do in Ungasan
Ungasan attracts travellers after an exclusive clifftop escape in the lap of luxury. The area is also dotted with beautiful white sand beaches, many of which still maintain the status of a hidden gem. Ungasan is a surprisingly remote area, making a car or motorbike essential for getting around – unless you feel content simply lounging by your villa’s private pool for the duration of you stay.
Tours & Activities
One of the best reasons to head to Ungasan are the gorgeous beaches which are easily some of the most beautiful you’ll find anywhere in Bali. The most easily accessible beaches include Melasti and Pandawa which you can drive down to, while others will require you to descend a deep flight of stairs or to climb down a hillside. Beached in Ungasan feature soft white sand and are as a rule far less crowded than those located further up the coast. There are also a few fabulous beach clubs in the area, built right on the beach or high up on the dramatic clifftops. There are also some advanced surf breaks in the area, though most wave riders head for the popular breaks in neighbouring Uluwatu.
Besides beautiful beaches, Ungasan is famed for its epic clifftop views. Of course, these are best enjoyed from the privacy of your own clifftop villa, but there are also some fabulous clifftop venues you can visit even as a casual day tripper. Anyone visiting the Bukit Peninsula should definitely make time to stop by the majestic Uluwatu Temple or Pura Luhur Uluwatu. Located a short drive from Ungasan, the clifftop temple is considered one of the holiest sites in Bali and one of the most important temples for the local Hindu community. The temple is particularly popular during sunset when the iconic kecak fire dance takes place. Uluwatu Temple is home to a troop of monkeys and visitors should take good care of their personal belongings – these cheeky thieves have been known to “borrow” everything from sunglasses to smartphones.
Eating & Drinking in Ungasan
Ungasan’s dining scene reflects the general mood of the area, with exclusive fine dining venues contrasted by low key local warungs. Many of the high end venues are built on clifftops and offer stunning views, particularly during sunset.
Many of the restaurants in Ungasan are scenic fine dining venues located at some of the most luxurious resorts on the island. These are fully fledged dining destinations combining haute cuisine with jaw-dropping ocean views. Most of the more affordable dining options are located further inland and you’ll find plenty of popular and wallet friendly options along the main street of Jalan Raya Uluwatu, with a generous mix of local and international flavours ranging from nasi goreng to pizza and pasta.
Ungasan is home to some of the most popular beach clubs on the island which offer a picture perfect setting for chilling out with a cold drink in hand while the sun sets over the Indian Ocean. These venues often host live music and world class DJ sets, with beachside bonfires adding to the ambiance. You can also enjoy an extravagant degustation menu at one of the clifftop restaurants – but if you’re after a wilder night out, it’s best to head over to the surfer bars in neighbouring Uluwatu.
Ungasan is a remote and well spread out area so no matter where in the area you’re staying, you will need a car or a motorbike to get around. Most of the accommodation in Ungasan is built on scenic clifftops and offer stunning views of the ocean. Villas and hotels that are built a bit further inland usually still offer ocean views – and a more affordable price tag.
Ungasan & Surrounds
Ungasan is a secluded area nestled in the southernmost tip of Bali island on the Bukit Peninsula, with dramatic cliffs and remote beaches looking over the Indian Ocean. The area blends in seamlessly with Uluwatu, an area famed for its white sand beaches and world class surf breaks. Further up the coast, Uluwatu gives way to Jimbaran, a relaxed seaside community of seafood restaurants and luxury villas built on scenic hilltops. Driving further up the coast from Jimbaran, you will reach the bustling area of Kuta. On the east coast of the Bukit Peninsula, Nusa Dua is an enclave of luxury resorts, neighboured by the Benoa headland which offers a wide range of water sports. Nusa Dua is connected to the family friendly area of Sanur through an overwater toll road.
There are over 20 Ministry Approved villas in Ungasan. As this exclusive area is home to some of the most luxurious clifftop villas on the island, prices in Ungasan tend to be higher than other parts of Bali.
Ungasan villas range from around USD $245 per night for a four-bedroom villa to over USD $3,000 per night for a five-bedroom luxury villa. All of our villas come with professionally trained staff. Many villas offer personalised services including: butlers, chefs, nannies, 24-hour security personnel, drivers and other services you won’t find in a hotel.
Bali’s only airport, Ngurah Rai International, is located in Tuban in South Bali. The busy airport serves around 20 million passengers every year and is widely connected to international destinations, with direct flights offered from Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Dubai, Melbourne, Sydney and beyond. Airlines offering direct connections to and from Bali include Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Cathay Pacific, Air Asia, Jetstar and more. There are also some early plans to build a second airport in North Bali.
You can also reach Bali by boat. Usually this would mean landing at an international airport on one of the neighbouring islands (Java or Lombok) and then crossing over to Bali by boat or ferry. From Java, ferries arrive in Gilimanuk in Nort Bali which is located about four hours from Ungasan. From Lombok, boats arrive in Benoa, Sanur, Serangan, Padang Bai and Amed. Benoa, Serangan and Sanur are all located about one hour from Ungasan.
Nationalities from over 160 countries are eligible for visa free entry into Indonesia. This means your passport will be stamped on arrival at the airport, allowing you to stay in the country for 30 days. For stays longer than 30 days, you will need to obtain a visa which will require further arrangements. Please note your passport must be valid for six months after your date of arrival in Indonesia.
There is no public transport to get you from the airport to your accommodation, so the only option is to use a private driver or a taxi. Ministry of Villas can arrange a chauffeur to greet you upon arrival and escort you to your villa. This service is included for most villas when booking more than four nights. To avoid queuing at the immigration counter, we can also arrange a VIP airport service for guests. This service includes lounge access, allowing you to relax while waiting for your luggage.
If you haven’t organised your transfers beforehand, it’s also possible to catch a taxi directly at the airport. You will find an official taxi stand at the international arrivals hall, next to the information desk. This taxi stand offers both fixed priced and metered fares, but even with a price list present, the rates can vary and as they are updated frequently, it is very difficult to find up to date pricing online. Besides the official taxi stand, you will find countless freelance drivers offering rides at varying rates at the arrivals hall. Negotiating for the price can be overwhelming, especially when you’re fresh off the plane. We strongly recommend organising your arrival transfers before landing in Bali.
There are a few options for getting around Ungasan, so we’ve ranked them according to our recommendations for first-time travellers.
Hiring a private car and driver is one of the best ways to get around Ungasan and to explore the surrounding areas. Having your own chauffeur for the day will allow you to explore the beaches and visit the iconic Uluwatu Temple as well as visiting other parts of the Bukit Peninsula. Ministry of Villas can arrange a private car and chauffeur for you. This little luxury is remarkably affordable and we can also help you arrange an itinerary, instructing your driver in advance.
You can also use a taxi to get you from A to B. Ungasan is a quiet and remote area, so you won’t be able to hail a taxi off the street but you can call for one or order a car through a mobile app. The best taxi company to use is Blue Bird. Their meters start at IDR 7,000 (USD $0.5) though the minimum fare is IDR 30,000 (USD $2) when ordered over the phone or using the app. Other taxis might refuse to use a meter altogether. If you do get a ride from a taxi with no meter, always make sure you agree on the price before getting in.
A scooter can be a great way to explore Ungasan but you should only hire one if you’re an experienced driver and hold an international driver’s licence. There usually isn’t much traffic in Ungasan, but the roads are hilly and can be bumpy in places. Scooter rentals usually start at around IDR 50,000 (USD $4) per day. Don’t forget to wear a helmet!
Ungasan is a hilly, remote area, so exploring your surroundings on foot is usually not an option. For those with reduced mobility, it’s also important to note that many of the beaches in this area require descending a steep set of stairs or climbing down a hillside. There are a few exceptions, including Melasti and Pandawa Beach which are accessible by car.
The Balinese are among the friendliest and most welcoming people on the planet. This is all the more reason to return the favour and be respectful towards the local culture. Like anywhere else in the world, common sense and basic human decency goes a long way. For more detailed information about local culture, language and safety in Bali, check out our comprehensive Bali guide.
SHOPPING & BARGAINING
Bargaining can be an enjoyable part of shopping in Bali… or it can be frustrating! To ensure a smooth exchange first decide what the item is worth to you, then ask the seller for their price – your first offer can be from one-third to two-thirds of that price. They are likely to respond with a counteroffer, which you can either accept or negotiate further. If you don’t like the price and you walk away there is a good chance the vendor will call out to you with a better (usually final) price. Keep in mind, if an agreement is reached, you’re committed – you should buy if your offer is accepted.
In late 2018, Bali’s governor banned single use plastic on the island, meaning shops, boutiques and supermarkets no longer give out plastic bags. When out and about, it’s best to carry a reusable bag with you.
Most restaurants and villas include a service component already so tipping is not expected, but if service is good, an additional cash tip is appreciated.
Indonesia’s country code is +62. Data speeds of 3G and faster is the norm across Bali. Local prepaid SIM cards are sold everywhere; any modern mobile phone will work. As of 2018, all prepaid SIM cards need to be registered which you can usually do with a copy of your passport directly at the shop where you purchase your SIM card. Prepaid SIM cards come loaded with pulsa (credit) or mobile data which you can later easily top up at other outlets. Most if not all minimarts and local phone shops can top off your SIM card when needed. Most villas provide broadband Internet and free Wi-Fi is common in cafes, restaurants, hotels and shopping malls.
Health & Safety
It’s important to note that compared to many places in the world, Bali is fairly safe. There have been some high-profile cases of visitors being injured or killed on Bali, but in many cases these tragedies have been inflamed by media sensationalism.
Many of Bali’s beaches are subject to heavy surf and strong currents. Be careful when swimming over coral and never walk on it. It can be very sharp and coral cuts are easily infected. In addition, you are damaging a fragile environment. Lastly, water pollution is a problem in busy neighbourhoods. Avoid swimming near open streams flowing into the sea as they are often contaminated by run-off from built-up areas.
Violent crime is uncommon in Bali, however bag-snatching from motorbikes and petty theft does occur. Take extra care with your phone if riding pillion on a motorbike as phones regularly get snatched from unsuspecting tourists using a navigation app. Otherwise, take the same precautions you would in any urban area and secure your money before leaving an ATM (and don’t forget your card!), don’t leave valuables on a beach while swimming, and use in-villa safes to store your valuables.
Tap water in Bali is not safe to drink. Bottled water is widely available and cheap, however Ministry of Villas encourages visitors to keep a reusable water bottle to reduce plastic consumption.
Travel insurance is absolutely essential for every traveller. A typical travel insurance policy will have coverage for a traveller’s main concerns, including trip cancellations, medical emergencies, travel delays, and lost luggage. Most policies are built to be comprehensive to protect travellers from a variety of events that may cause financial loss before or during their trip. Some policies specifically exclude ‘dangerous activities’ which can include scuba diving, renting a local motorcycle and even trekking.
Worldwide travel insurance is available at World Nomads and you can buy, extend and claim online anytime – even if you’re already on the road.
Ungasan is a remote area offering an alluring mix of luxurious clifftop villas and rural Balinese villages framed by some of the most beautiful beaches on the island. Check out our latest Ungasan blog posts written by experienced Ministry of Villas travel writers.