10 Best Places for Sunsets in Bali

Bali’s Best Sunset Watching Locations

    The best locations for sunset watching in Bali are mainly beaches along the western coastline. Some of these spots feature historical temples, which add an exotic silhouette to the dramatic postcard pictures that will stay in your lasting memory. Some beaches offer unobstructed sea and sky panoramas with fiery streaks of cloud layers, while others have the lone golden disc behind tiered shrines.

    We’ve gathered a list of the best places for sunsets in Bali where you can witness such picture-perfect moments. Besides moments of skies turning vivid crimson, together with the sinking of the majestic fireball, you'll also enjoy some of the most dramatic scenes during the so-called ‘blue hour’ – right after the sun sinks over the horizon, as the sky turns purple and cobalt blue, then a star-studded black.

    1

    Tanah Lot Temple

    One of the most important temple landmarks in Bali, Tanah Lot Temple is undeniably the island’s most famous sunset icon. The offshore setting of this ancient Hindu shrine complex, perched on top of a rocky outcrop with large waves crashing at its base, is best with the sun slowly descending behind the tiered roofs. The temple transforms into a unique silhouette against the golden colours of the sky.

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    2

    The Rock Bar at Ayana Resort

    The Rock Bar is one of the go-to places in Bali for a refined bar scene, with great cocktails and a truly exotic setting. The bar is set on a rock formation at the cliff base of Ayana Resort and Spa Bali, and is adjacent to the resort’s free-form ocean beach pool. The cliff face near the bar features a remarkable natural feature, sparkling with a quartz-like surface. Get down and order your cocktail and enjoy your most memorable chill-outs with the vast ocean and sky as a backdrop.

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    3

    Tegal Wangi Beach

    Just a few kilometres north of Rock Bar and along the same cliff-fringed coast is Tegal Wangi Beach, which is often considered one of Bali’s ‘hidden beaches’. You can pick a spot near the edge of the towering cliff overlooking the vast Indian Ocean below, or go down a rocky staircase towards the sandy beach. Consider it the public and accessible version of Ayana Resort. Bring your own drinks and chill out with the wonderful sunset and ocean view.

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    4

    Uluwatu Temple

    As one of the island’s 6 key temples, Uluwatu Temple shares a slight similarity to the allure of Tanah Lot, with its exotic temple shrine silhouette against a vast sky and ocean backdrop. The temple looms 70 metres above the cliff base, and there are several spots around the temple, including an open-air amphitheatre, that host Kecak fire dances against the setting sun. Grey long-tailed macaques on high walls occasionally pose for your camera for free.

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    photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    5

    Petitenget Beach

    Petitenget features a great stretch of sand and rolling waves. One of the main beaches in Seminyak, the special aspect of Petitenget is the mix of sundown spots it offers. You can enjoy a sunset dinner at the many fine restaurants on the coast, or you can chill out at excellent beach clubs like Ku De Ta, Potato Head, and WooBar. Alternatively, you can simply sit on the sand and admire incredible sun-downing moments.

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    6

    Kuta Beach

    Kuta is one of the pioneering beach resort areas on Bali’s south-western coastline. The beach still attracts a mix of travellers as there's always something going on here. The main draws remain the sand, surf and sunsets. Despite the crowd, you can easily hop off the footpath and find a good spot on the beach in time for sunset. The various activities and interactions of peddlers, visitors and surfers around you add a special ambience that's uniquely Kuta.

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    7

    Jimbaran Bay

    Jimbaran Bay is where seafood dining and sunsets combine perfectly with a great sea panorama. The collection of 17 beachfront restaurants joined together in a single cluster is a must-visit if you're looking for a romantic dinner. To the left of the curving bay is the low-lying hill speckled with villas and fine-dining spots for those with a penchant for luxury. To the far right is Ngurah Rai’s landing strip. In between, you'll find Jimbaran's gorgeous combination of sand, surf, sky and sunset.

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    8

    Lovina Beach

    Lovina Beach in North Bali is a 2-km stretch of black sand with calm waves. Sunsets in Lovina are exceptional, with smooth waves reflecting the setting sun and traditional Balinese outrigger fishing boats on the horizon. The rather tame nightlife scene goes with the calmness of the coast. There are hotels on the beach with restaurants and bars providing sunset views, while others are high on the hills, overlooking the bay.

    Location: Lovina, Kalibukbuk, Banjar, Anturan, Buleleng, Bali 81151, Indonesia

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    photo by Juan Antonio Segal (CC BY 2.0) modified

    9

    Echo Beach, Canggu

    Echo Beach (also known as Pantai Batu Mejan, after the namesake onsite temple), offers 180-degree views of the ocean and rolling surf. The beach is also one of Bali’s favourite surfing beaches. If wave riding isn’t your thing, hit a spot at one of the many seafood cafés providing high views over the action. Come sunset time, the barbecues start to billow and surfers return to shore, where they can end the day with a cool drink.

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    10

    Lembongan Island

    One of the closest island retreats off the Bali mainland, Nusa Lembongan’s main beach – Jungut Batu – is west-facing and has a gorgeous stretch of white sand. Nearby is a hilly area that serves as an upmarket villa neighbourhood. Whether you're down at the beach or up on the hill, you get wonderful views of the sun setting behind the silhouette of Bali’s Mount Agung on the horizon.

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    Ari Gunadi | Compulsive Traveller

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