The Bukit Peninsula needs no introduction to most keen surfers. It has been frequented by travelling surfers since Alby Falzon put Uluwatu on the map in his iconic 70's movie, 'Morning of the Earth'. The Bukit is indeed a natural wonder of the surfing world, with over a dozen classy (some world-class) reef breaks spanning 270 degrees from Balangan on the NW end to Nusa Dua on the NE end. Uluwatu and Padang Padang are known as testing grounds for thrill seeking surfers wanting to hone their barrel skills and can be crowded at times. However, some of the other Bukit breaks do fly under the radar slightly and relatively uncrowded sessions can still be enjoyed at times - if you know where and when to go.
After many years’ experience in Bali, World Surfaris has hand-picked what we consider the best range of accommodation on the Bukit from upmarket boutique resorts to budget bundgalows. We have options at Uluwatu, Padang Padang, Impossibles, Bingin and Balangan that tick the boxes for anyone from hardcore single surfers to the family holiday.
If you are a first time visitor or even a seasoned veteran sick of the DIY hassle, then combine our accommodation with a personal surf guide and you won’t get lost in the crowd.
Stay in villas and resorts with panoramic views over the line-up... time your surfs around crowds and maximise your Bali surf time. Our Bukit range is based on our first-hand experience. However, if you prefer another hotel not mentioned on our website, World Surfaris can book your favourite Bali hotel for you at the best rates.
The Bukit is a natural wonder of the surfing world with a dozen or so quality reefs on the East and West side.
Bali overview by Stormrider guide: Bali is “The island of 1000 temples” which the locals believe is blessed by the gods. The gods certainly have blessed the local surfers, because they live in a perfect, tropical surf paradise. Although 40 years of booming tourism development has drastically transformed the landscape and the line-ups, Bali remains an essential surfing experience. There is no denying the quality and quantity of its surf, when SW swells wrap consistent lines around the Bukit Peninsula into straight offshore winds, creating a list of world-class lefts, including Uluwatu, Padang Padang, Bingin and Kuta Reef. Add to these the quality beach breaks of Kuta and Legian, plus the east side rights of Nusa Dua, Sanur and Keramas or Shipwrecks and Lacerations on Nusa Lembongan, then it becomes obvious that Bali has one of the highest concentration of quality waves on the planet. It’s geographical position mid-chain with the plunging depths of the Java Trench just offshore plus the island like symmetry of the Bukit peninsula poking into the regular SW swell train, offering offshore flexibility during the predictable trade wind seasons are just two of the defining factors that make Bali’s surf so good. There’s a huge variety of wave types from sublime, coral-floored caverns to supine, sand bottomed beachies that seem to bring the best out of surfers from complete beginners to budding pros. This microcosm of perfection has bred a couple of generations of supremely talented local surfers, who surf with a grace and ease that sits beautifully alongside the poise and unhurried approach to life that the general Balinese population exudes.
When to go:
Like the rest of the south-facing islands in the archipelago, Bali benefits from an almost endless supply of Southern Ocean groundswell arriving from the S to WSW (180º-247º) but by far the most consistent direction is due SW (225º). These swells range from 3-12ft (1-4m), with averages around 5ft @ 11secs from Nov-March, then upping to 7-8ft @ 14secs in the middle of the April to Oct high season. Underlying wind swell can mix in from the SE to the W but has little bearing on the surf at most breaks. Sometimes, 6-10ft (2-3m) tropical cyclone swells can arrive from far off disturbances in the western Indian Ocean off the coast of Madagascar and occasionally from storms a lot closer, forming around the Keeling Islands and NW Australia through the southern hemisphere summer. The big Bay of Bengal typhoons are too far north for Bali. Swells are focused onto the Bukit Peninsula because of the deep-water channels on either side of Bali, particularly the east side Lombok channel, which can draw in overhead waves to Nusa Dua when everywhere else seems too small. The ESE trade winds blow reliably from April to Oct, giving west Bukit breaks a 50% chance of being a 5 star day throughout June, July and August. Transition months can have oscillating winds with a bit of everything – Nov blows mainly from the SE to SW. Winds then shift SW-NW for the Dec to March wet-season, with either side of W dominant and a higher percentage of SW than NW, which is not ideal for many east coast spots like Nusa Dua, Serangan and Keramas. March is more W-SW with 1 day in 5 swinging back to ESE offering the chance of empty Ulu’s for the switched on. Wet season wind speeds are on the whole lower, usually staying below 10mph (16kph) compared to the dry season SE trades which regularly hit double that. Tide charts are posted in surf shop windows. There is a big and a small tide each day (semi-diurnal odd) and some spots only work at certain stages of tide especially if it is small. Full and new moons often see a jump in swell size as tidal range increases and these spring high tides occur around the same time of day throughout the year. Charts are widely available in surf shops and on the internet. Info courtesy of Low Pressure - Stormrider surf
Expat Australian, Michael Hill runs PT World Surfaris Bali, a licenced tour company in Bali with a fleet of air conditioned mini vans and an expert team of local surfer guides and drivers. The fact is the surf in Bali can get very crowded and it's becoming increasingly difficult to surf without a hassle. This is where the importance of World Surfaris Bali surf guiding comes into play. From approximately A$30pp (based on group of 4), a local surf guide (or Michael himself), and driver will pick you up from your hotel in an air-conditioned mini van with roof racks and take you on an adventure to hunt down the best surf options to suit your needs (heavy barrels for hard core chargers or mellow point waves for the cruisers) whilst dodging crowds where possible. Our guides are long time local surfers who know where and when the best waves will be each day. You will not waste precious holiday time trying to find your own waves and dodging crowds. Sit back and relax in air-conditioned comfort whilst your guide/ surf buddy and driver deliver you to the best breaks in Bali each day. Your guide will become your mate, as they will come surfing with you and give you hints on where to sit, warnings on hazards etc. and introduce you to other local surfers who will make you feel welcome. On a typical World Surfaris full day surf trip you will have 2 surfs anywhere between Uluwatu, Canggu or Keramas. When not surfing your guides will point out some local attractions and drinks and snacks are included. Morning surf trips (half day) with just 1 surf are also available at a slightly cheaper rate. Surcharges apply for longer drives up to Medewi or remote East Bali.
Talk to your World Surfaris Consultant to pre-book your Bali surf guiding in advance of your arrival to Bali.
World Surfaris operate learn to surf lessons in Bali (Kuta & Sanur) with one on one tuition from expert local surfers at very reasonable prices. A much higher sucess rate than most other surf schools due to the 1 on 1 personalised lessons. Learn to surf can be pre-booked prior to arrival in Bali or booked once in Bali (subject to availability).