GREEN BOWL BEACH
Green Bowl Beach is one of Bali’s most secluded beaches, a small 30m coastal strip with coarse white sand, located approximately 75 metres down hundreds of steps under a verdant cliff in the village of Ungasan (a 15-kilometre drive from Kuta, and under half an hour from Nusa Dua). The steep descent and climb required owes much to its appeal, attracting only adventurous weekenders and die-hard surfers favouring its uncrowded waves and exotic location. Also among the inimitable features at Green Bowl Beach are two large limestone caves that enclose small rock shrines, and which also provide shade and shelter for beach goers and surfers paddling in from their fun time out on the waves. The best time to go is during low tide, when the calm crystal clear waters allow for great snorkelling, with the fairly consistent waves a short paddle beyond a natural reef barrier.
Conversely during high tide, most of this small beach gets flooded, sometimes even up to the cliff’s rock face and into the caves. Most people make their descent in the early mornings, with some drinks and simple picnicking snacks, and spend their half or even whole day down at the base. At any given time prior to heading for the steps, you may easily check out the swells while enjoying the ocean views from above at the cliff top beside the temple. Getting to Green Bowl Beach is relatively easy; branching south off Jalan Dharmawangsa in Nusa Dua and onto Jalan Pura Batu Pageh leads you straight to the derelict Bali Cliff Resort. The temple is to the left of the resort’s entrance, with a parking lot at the temple’s foyer that is watched over by a local elder who serves as a ticket man (an IDR 5,000 entrance fee applies). Parking is a breeze, with ample space available in front of the temple. Nearby are four small warungs selling snacks, cold drinks and fresh young coconuts (IDR 15,000) – perfect for replenishing after climbs.
There are many versions from how the beach got its unique name, which locals simply refer to as Pantai Pura Batu Pageh, after the temple. As with many beaches and surf spots along the Bukit peninsula’s coast, surfers are usually most responsible for their nicknames. The most likely inspiration for its name, ‘Green Bowl Beach’, is the colours and curvature of the cliff that looms over the beach itself, and perhaps also the emerald patches of seaweed in its clear waters. The densely forested flight of well over 300 steps and the green cliffs are home to hordes of grey long-tailed macaques, which are less cheeky than their Uluwatu counterparts next door. They’ll remain timid unless you deliberately hand them food, which is not advisable. The steep descent may be physically demanding for casual weekenders, but what you’ll find upon reaching the base will pay off very well. There are no lifeguards on duty here, therefore swim, snorkel and surf with caution.
Location: Jalan Pura Batu Pageh, Ungasan
how to get there : by BALI CAR RENTAL