Bali is known to surfing enthusiasts from around the world. For many decades, Bali, in Indonesia, has been one of the go-to places to catch some of the best surf waves. Nestled in the Java Sea, the coastline of Bali offers plenty of options for the beginner and the advanced surfer. There are two distinct surfing seasons here but it doesn’t matter when you go as both offer awesome wave opportunities. Along with the numerous Bali surf resorts and camps, this makes Bali a popular all year round surfing destination.
The island of Bali oozes natural beauty and is perhaps why it has earned the nickname “Island of the Gods”. The Balinese people are known for their warmth and hospitality and the great beaches are known in the surfing community for being world-class. Are you looking for a left-hand surf break or a right-hand surf break? A sandy bottom surf break or maybe a shallow reef break? However you roll, a surfing trip to Bali won’t disappoint. From the north to the south, the east to the west, Bali is home to plenty of beaches and all the good vibes you need to enjoy an amazing surf experience.
The tropical climate means temperatures of around 30ºC (86ºF) all year round and the ocean is always warm and welcoming – perfect for beginners who may spend more time in the water than on the board to start with! We are going to take a look at a selection of beautiful Bali surf resorts, to help you decide where is best to stay if you want to catch some waves on your next trip here.
Umadewi Surf & Suites
This four-star resort is on the west coast of the island, in Pulukan. Located right on the black sand and stone Medewi Beach you can hear the waves from the rooms at night. There is not a whole lot to do in the area other than relax and surf so it is ideal for those looking for a laid back time with the beach on their doorstep. If you are looking for the lively atmosphere found in areas like Kuta then this place is not for you.
The rooms at this resort have recently been renovated and are clean, spacious, and bright with stylish and modern bathrooms and wonderful views of the pool or the ocean. When you are not hitting up the waves there is a bar and restaurant on-site. The beautiful gardens surrounding the pool are the perfect place to relax. Wandering around the local area you will get a true experience of the Balinese lifestyle.
Surf fact: Medewi Beach is a popular beach with surfers known for its year-round left-handed breaks.
Prices for a week here in May start at $470 for a deluxe twin room with a pool view.
Komune Resort & Beach Club Bali
This surf resort is located on the black sandy beach of Keramas (famous for its right-hand barreling waves) on the southeast coast of Bali. Beautifully furnished, the contemporary rooms have air-conditioning and wi-fi. Some have garden views while others have beautiful ocean views. If you want to splash out, you can stay in a beachfront villa complete with direct access to a pool and views to the island of Nusa Lembongan.
There is more to do here, on-site there is a spa, a fitness center, and an adults-only pool. All guests have access to the beach club providing dining options and an outdoor cinema. If you want to see some of the local attractions, this resort is just a few minutes drive away from the Bali Safari Marine Park.
Thought you could only surf by day? Not here. Thanks to the installation of floodlights in front of the Komune resort you can have a go at surfing at night. Booking is required as there is a limit of six surfers per night.
Surf fact: Keramas Beach is a reef break with opportunities for aerials and is better suited to those with experience.
Prices for a week here in May start at $742 for a deluxe double or twin room. For a beachfront villa, you are looking at $1,500+.
Desa Pramana Swan
If you fancy staying in a villa with a private pool but also right on the beach then treat yourself to a little more luxury at the Desa Pramana Swan, on the eastern coast of Bali. Choose from a selection of one-bedroom villas up to four-bedroom villas, all located on Keramas Beach.
The villa accommodation is designed in the typical Balinese village style. It is self-catering with kitchen areas, but for those too tired to cook after a day on the surf, there is a restaurant on-site. There is also a twenty-four-hour concierge service here to look after your every need.
If you fancy a change from surfing at Keramas Beach, have a day out at Sanur – a twenty-five minute drive away from here.
Surf fact: Keramas Beach is known throughout Bali for its right-hand breaks, and was the location for the World Junior Championships in 2012.
Prices for a week here in May start at $278 if you don’t mind the property choosing your bed type. A villa with a private pool starts at $444. A four-bedroom villa (sleeps 16) with a private pool and complimentary massage is $1,674.
Bombora Surf Camp
Bombora Surf Camp is located in the heart of Padang Padang. Found in the Uluwatu area on the southwest coast of the Bukit Peninsula, this is a thriving surf resort with affordable accommodation. The rooms are basic but still have everything you need including a private bathroom, air-conditioning, and wi-fi. Uluwatu is considered to be among the best surf spots in Bali but there are plenty of other attractions to enjoy in the Uluwatu area as well.
The Bombora surf resort is home to a lively social scene too but if you prefer to relax then you can make use of the lovely pool and garden area. If you like to get out and explore your surroundings you can easily hire scooters from reception for easy access to the rest of Uluwatu and Bali itself.
If you do decide to stay around here, you’ll be spoilt for choice with three of the best surf spots just minutes away. Impossible Beach, Padang Padang Beach, and Bingin Beach. Head slightly further north and you will find Balangan Beach.
Surf fact: Balangan Beach is a reef break best known for fast left-handed breaks.
Prices for a week here in May start at $282 for a double or twin room.
Suarga Padang Padang
Staying in Uluwatu on the Bukit Peninsula, but stepping up the luxury now. If you are a couple looking for a romantic break in between catching the surf breaks then this boutique-style villa resort could be what you are looking for. One of the most expensive resorts we have looked at but one that assures you of a unique Balinese experience. Suarga Padang Padang is an eco-friendly resort. It was built using local and sustainable materials (many of them recycled) and in a style designed to preserve the nature around it.
There are two swimming pools here and a spa. Enjoy the great views from one of the rooms or villas and when surfing conditions are right you can be at Padang Padang beach in no time.
Various dining experiences include poolside barbecues, sushi during sunset, and twice a week there is live music.
Surf fact: Padang Padang Beach is best for those with more experience and its long barrel waves have been known to attract the odd celebrity name. Kelly Slater was recently spotted surfing at Padang Padang Beach).
Prices for a suite here start at $2,809 for one week in May.
Balian Surf Villas
Balian Surf Villas accommodation is located in the Tabanan area, on the west coast of Bali. Actually comprised of a mixture of apartments, rooms, and studios they are all super spacious with wi-fi and private bathrooms. The studios and apartments have kitchen areas for those that want to self-cater. One of the studio options has its own private pool. There is a swimming pool here surrounded by a nice tropical garden, and there is a rooftop terrace with great ocean views. A café on site provides an amazing breakfast every day (included in the room rates).
The nearest beach is Balian Beach. A two-kilometer black sand beach, just a few minutes walk away from the accommodation. Balian Beach is a popular surf spot, although it does not get as crowded as spots like Kuta. With both left and right breaks, the river mouth surf here will keep you on your toes although beginners can take advantage of the beach break at low tide.
Surf fact: Balian Beach is divided by a river. Pollution can be an issue here following storms, so avoiding the start of the rainy season is recommended.
Prices for a week here in May start at $445 for a double or twin room. The studio with a private pool is $757 for a week.
Endless Summer Surf Camp Bali
Last but not least is the Endless Summer Surf Camp. Perhaps named after the great surfing documentary film “The Endless Summer”? Who knows, but what we do know is that this surf resort is located in a place called Canggu. Canggu is famous for the many beaches in the area and has recently become very popular with surfers looking for a perfect wave. It is located in the south of Bali, just northwest of Kuta which is popular with beginners.
This surf camp offers hostel-style accommodation, so no private accommodation is available here, but you can be guaranteed that you’ll be sharing with other surfers so a great opportunity to meet new like-minded people. The dorms are simply furnished and are bright and spacious, with wi-fi included. Breakfast is included in the already cheap rates, and there is a pool and spacious gardens to chill out in.
There are several surf spots here with waves for all levels of surfer. The black sand Echo Beach is less than a mile away. Echo Beach is known for being a left-hander with a steep drop into barrels. The rocky reef offers breaks better suited for intermediate surfers. Endless Summer Surf Camp runs surf lessons every day- check for extra charges.
Surf fact: Beginner surfers in Canggu should look at Batu Bolong Beach or Oldman’s Beach.
Prices for a week here in May start at $150 for a bed in a shared dorm.
Is it safe to surf in Bali?
Yes, it is safe to surf in Bali. Bali surf resorts are known to suit a wide variety of levels. As long as you take the same precautions you would take anywhere. Otherwise, it could quickly get dangerous. Check the weather and sea forecast before you go. Conditions can change swiftly and without warning. Make sure you are aware of the entry and exit points, the type of wave, tide movements, and potential hazards. Hazards can include riptides and dangerous reefs. If you are new to the area, it is always a good idea to have a chat with the locals or to surf instructors on the beach before you go into the water.
Where do beginners surf in Bali?
There are a number of surf spots in Bali that are good for beginners. Again, you need to check conditions because they can vary. Wherever you stay around Bali it is pretty easy to find suitable spots for the less experienced. Examples of good areas for beginners to enjoy are Mendewi Beach on the western coast and Batu Bolong Beach or Oldman’s Beach in Canggu on the south. Kuta is a very popular location (though can get busy) for beginners due to its sandy bottom as opposed to reef. Take advice from any number of the Bali surf resorts and schools as they will know the local areas, and will also be able to offer advice on the most suitable board for you.
How much do surf lessons cost in Bali?
Surf lessons in Bali vary, although are pretty cheap by most people’s standards. Group lessons are obviously cheaper than individual one-to-one lessons. For example, Odysseys Surf School near Kuta Beach run group lessons at $32 per person for 2.5 hours of tuition. Private lessons are $55 for 2.5 hours of tuition. There are often offers on so it pays to research before you go. You can also save money by block booking lessons.