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Bali, Indonesia Travel Diary: Uluwatu

I’m back with my Bali travel guide. Today, I’ll be sharing everything you need to know about Uluwatu. Uluwatu was my first stop in Bali, and was the reason I fell in love with the island so quickly. Located on the southern end of Bali, right on the coastline, it is famous for its beautiful beaches. It is full of eco resorts, concept cafes, beautiful beach clubs, and everything in between. Here’s my little black book:

Bali Indonesia

Food in Bali, Indonesia

Beach in Bali Indonesia

As a part of my collaboration with The Asia Collective, I stayed in La Joya Balangan. The property is comprised of several villas and is the definition of shabby-chic. I highly recommend this hotel to those who are looking to be immersed in nature but be warned, it is not for those who are looking for the comforts of a luxury resort. The villas are essentially large huts which have gorgeous interiors, but also have a portion between the wall and the roof that is open. La Joya Balangan is located right next to its sister hotel, La Joya Biu-Biu, which boasts the most incredible view of the ocean. You will most definitely need to hire a driver to get around from here as Uluwatu is quite expansive.

Where to eat

Uluwatu, like Seminyak, is full of gorgeous cafes, these were my favourites:

Drifter Surf Shop & Cafe: An Australian concept shop and cafe which has delicious avocado toast, acai bowls, and basically all things delicious.

Food in Bali Indonesia

Nalu Bowls: Hands down, the best acai bowl I have ever had in my life. Order the Maverick, it’s incredible. Nalu Bowls has several locations around Bali, but the one in Uluwatu is at Single Fin Beach Club, which boasts a spectacular view of the ocean.

Food in Bali

Restaurants in Bali

Coco & Poke: Also located at Single Fin Beach Club, Coco & Poke offers fresh and flavourful poke bowls.

Food in Bali

Restaurants in Bali

Bukit Cafe: This joint serves all-day breakfast. We ended up going for dinner where I ordered their shakshuka and my brother ordered the burger – delicious.

Hamburgers and French Fries in Bali

What to do

Uluwatu Temple: Located on top of a cliff on the ocean, the Uluwatu Temple offers a view that will literally take your breath away.

Uluwatu Temple

Uluwatu Temple

Uluwatu Temple

Sundays Beach Club: Since it is on the coastline, Uluwatu is known for its beach clubs. With limited time in hand, I decided to check out Sundays Beach Club. I’m happy to report that I could not have been more pleased with my decision. It is located inside the Ungasan Clifftop Hotel, where, upon entering the property, you are greeted by a hanging infinity pool. After this, you take a cable car down a cliff to go to the beach. I’ll never forget the jaw-dropping view of the beach and jungle on the cable car ride down; I had goosebumps. The beach club itself is phenomenal. The water is pristine, the music is upbeat, the service is spectacular, and the food is to die for. During sunset, there is a bonfire where you can make smores and admire the view. The entrance fee is IDR 300,000.

Sundays Beach Club Bali

Sundays Beach Club Bali

Food at Sundays Beach Club Bali

Bukit Sari Agro Coffee Luwak: Luwak coffee, the most expensive coffee in the world, is made from poop. No joke. The Luwak is a mongoose that picks out the best coffee beans, eats it, and then poops it out. The beans are then cleaned, roasted, ground for consumption. At Bukit Sari Agro Luwak Coffee, we were offered 12 variations of teas and coffees are grown at their farm for free and charged IDR 50,000 for a cup of Luwak coffee. I wasn’t brave enough to try the coffee, but my brothers really enjoyed it!

Coffee in Bali

Waterfalls in Bali

Icing & Glitter Spends 72 Hours On The Shores Of Tulum

Tulum has been on my travel bucket list for the past year, so when the trip was finalized, I was practically jumping out of my skin with excitement. I visited Cancun about three years back, and as much as I enjoyed it, I had no plans of making a trip back there, primarily because I found that all it really had to offer was the all-inclusive experience. Tulum, however, is a completely different ball game. There is no shortage of things to do and there’s truly something for everyone. From the Mayan ruins to the Cenotes, to every single Instagrammable restaurant I visited, Tulum truly holds a special place in my heart. I put together a travel diary for those of you who decide to visit, which I highly recommend you do!

How to get there: Tulum is about an hour and a half away from Cancun. You can get there using either a private car or shuttle service, but be sure to book in advance to avoid any confusion once you get there. My hotel organized a car for me, which cost about $190 for a round trip.

Where to stay: Tulum isn’t the place for you if you’re looking for an all-inclusive experience. Most hotels are small, secluded and have an eco-feel to them. I stayed at Mi Amor Hotel which I cannot recommend enough. It’s located about five-minutes away from the main hotel strip, with a stunning view of the ocean. Although you can’t go into the ocean on account of the hotel being located on top of rocks, the beach is a two-minute walk away. The staff are extremely warm and helpful, arranging everything from transportation to snorkelling equipment for me to borrow.

Where to go: There are an endless amount of places to explore in Tulum. Since I was only around for three three nights, I barely touched the tip of the ice berg and would happily go back in a heart beat.

Cenotes are arguably the best part of Tulum. I visited two while I was there, the first being Cenote Dos Ojos which was an otherworldly experience. It’s a natural freshwater body located within a cave where you’ll find bats and fish, and the water is quite literally clearer than that in a swimming pool. This was a particularly memorable experience for me as I faced my fear of water in order to explore it. The Cenote is actually quite deep, so you can even dive there if you’d like to, although I was pretty sure my heart would stop beating if I even tried. Next to Cenote Dos Ojos is Cenote Nicte-Ha which is an open waterbody. Nicte-Ha has a bit of a whimsical feeling to it on account of the leaves and lily pads floating about.

You cannot leave Tulum without exploring the Mayan Ruins of Tulum. They are located on the beach and take about an hour and a half to walk through. I personally didn’t get a tour guide, choosing instead to read through while I walked around. Be sure to arrive early as it becomes jam-packed with tourists as the day progresses. The ruins open at 9, and although I arrived at 10 it was still a tad too crowded for me.

Where to eat: The food was quite possibly my favourite aspect of Tulum. On my first night, I dined at Unico, which had excellent ratings and was conveniently located within my hotel. The food was absolutely delicious, I highly recommend the Wild Snook.

On my second afternoon, I ate at Posada Margherita, a shabby-chic Italian joint located right on the beach. With the food, you can hardly go wrong with everything – it’s all prepared fresh and bursting with flavour. I tried two of the pasta dishes, both of which were delicious. Afterwards, I visited the beach right outside, and out of all the beaches I visited, this was the cleanest one in Tulum.

The most memorable dining experience I had, however, was at Gitano, a Mezcal Bar and restaurant. The interior has a rustic feel to it, with wooden tables and boho-chic tapestry. Gitano is located in the jungle side of Tulum, and at night, the whole restaurant is lit up with fairy lights and chandeliers within the trees, giving it a dreamlike quality. I went on a Friday night, which I think is the best night to go. There was a live band unlike anything I’ve ever heard – the manager, Seth (who is truly wonderful) described it as Indian Jazz on account of the sitar player. At 10pm, there was a DJ who played the most incredible music which was sort of a transition between the soothing live band and a harder DJ who comes on later at night. Now regarding the food, I ordered the ceviche, and three types of tacos (beef brisket, fish, and shrimp), all of which blew me away. The beef brisket one in particular was unforgettable. The drinks here are also to die for – it will put anything you’ve had in the past to shame. I ended my meal with guava cheesecake, something I never thought I would enjoy but could have happily gone to eat seconds of.

On my last night, I visited Safari for dinner, which was recommended to me by the manager of Gitano. Now if you’re after a super luxe experience, Safari isn’t for you. It’s a very basic restaurant, completely bare bones – the operations are conducted out of a food truck, but my goodness the food is to die for. The Shrimp A Mole Verde tacos were the best I’ve had in my life, and the rice and beans gave a new meaning to the dish. The owner, Luis, has been in the food industry forever, having worked everywhere from New York to Australia, so he really knows what he’s doing.

Tulum Travel Diary
Tulum Travel DiaryTulum Travel DiaryTulum Travel DiaryTulum Travel DiaryTulum Travel DiaryTulum Travel Diary