Surfing Bali

People travel from all over the world to surf ridiculously crowded waves, do yoga-poses in the sunset, or find themselves in some rice field in Bali. If I wanted to I could go there every weekend, but I don’t, Indonesia has so much more to offer. Big surprise: You don’t really see the real Indonesia if you go to Canggu for a week of pre-filtered hipster food, served with your favorite hashtags (you’ll find no food on my IG: @ronnyvalstad).

I have been talking shh about Bali in the past, but this time I will be 100% positive and share my pure enthusiasm for three surfing areas on Bali. Starting with Medewi to the North, Canggu further south, and ending up in the Bukit Peninsula. For a two week surf holiday in Bali (if you absolutely don’t want to go to any other islands in Indonesia), you should visit all these three areas of Bali.

(I wanted to insert a picture of a map of Bali here, but I don’t have one atm. I’ll add one later)

Bali, some realities:
Bali is easily accessible through a lot of international and domestic flights. There are plenty of hotels, hostels and homestays to choose from. There are heaps of delicious meals to be had. The infrastructure does not match the number of people visiting this island (traffic jams). You can easily get in trouble in Kuta by night (for example robbed).

Medewi – Uncrowded waves

Over saturated sunset and rice fields in Medewi.
Medewi point seen from a very basic two bedroom villa. This place feels real.
Fancy some empty lefts?
Idyllic pathway to the beach, and an uncrowded surf spot.
You can get surf lessons here. Or just have fun on your own. Btw, this was the whole lineup.
Like to go left? Go to Medewi!
An empty beach break about to have a crowd of two.
Breakfast coffee served the Medewi way.
Happy locals hanging out on the beach.

Surf: There’s this looong left point break, and a bunch of peaks in both directions. The point is the most crowded spot, and it’s not really crowded (at least not compared to Canggu and Uluwatu). If the swell is not too big, this area is beginner friendly.
Eat: Had some delicious seafood here, especially fresh grilled tuna. There is very limited night life in this area, but you will be able to get your hand on some Bintangs.
Sleep: I stayed in a basic villa every time I’ve been there. I think it’s called Dikaloha surf villa or something like that. There are other options.
Repeat: Yes, yes, yes. The only reason I don’t got there more often is because the drive up there makes it a bit too long for a weekend trip from Jakarta. (If I have more days I try to go somewhere other than Bali..)

Canggu – A hipster’s paradise

This is not a secret spot.
You can rent all kinds of boards, get surf lessons, and have a well-deserved beer afterwards.
You can eat shaved ice in Canggu.
This is a beginner friendly place to go surfing. Except you will burn your feet on the black sand on your way to the water.
Small waves on a cloudy day in Canggu.
Flying dude in Canggu.
In Canggu you can enjoy the sunset from a rock overlooking a surf spot…
Or you can bring your fancy pants down to Seminyak.

Surf: There are many spots lined up in this area. And a lot of surfers on all levels.
Eat: The food here is awesome! You can have a hipster acai bowl for breakfast, avocado&bacon sandwich for lunch, and epic taco for dinner.
Sleep: I usually stay at Frii Bali Echo Beach hotel.
Repeat: I’ve been here mostly because I had friends who stayed in Canggu. I’m not sure if I’ll go back anytime soon.

Bukit Peninsula – Cliffs and waves

Pinkcoco Hotel – A good place to stay.

I surfed this spot alone at sunrise. I had some fun small waves before high tide came and turned it into a lake.

The spots in this area have the coolest entrances.
Some super fun lefts for SUPs, longboards, or fat short-ish boards.
Padang-Padang is a beginner friendly wave. The forecast this day was 5,5 ft.
I’ve only surfed Uluwatu once, but it was super fun! There’s a lot of people surfing there, but the crowd is relatively well-behaved and spread out over a number of peaks. It has a classic entrance through a labyrinth of bars, warungs and surf shops, followed by a mystical cave.
Mostly lefts here as well.
Single Fin is a great place to finish a day in Bali. Bring some friends, grab some beers, and enjoy the show.

Surf: I haven’t spent much time here yet, but I’ve had a lot of fun surfing Uluwatu and Padang-Padang. There are other spots too, in beautiful locations. A lot of people in the water…
Eat: Great food!
Sleep: Stayed at Pink Coco. Really nice hotel within walking distance to Padang-Padang.
Repeat: Yes! Have spent way too little time down in this area of Bali. I’m willing to sacrifice some Lombok weekends for this place. And that says a lot.

Bali is great, and there’s a lot of things to see and do, but so does the rest of Indonesia. A 10-14 days trip to Bali can easily be combined with a trip to for example the Komodo Islands (3D2N), Gili Trawangan (2D1N), or the south coast of Lombok (3D2N).

Right now I’m struggling with planning my one week Christmas holiday. Don’t know where to go. Which is weird, because I always just find a place and then get excited instantly. There’s still time to decide and get excited. Any suggestions?


Bali Surf trip

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