Uluwatu, Bali offers a beautiful mixture of beaches and cliff. Amongst it, the Kutuh Village presents the steepest cliff landscape overlooking the Indian Ocean. As the southern shore of the island, this place also harbors many secret beaches. Previously, it was hard to access but in 2004, the local government built infrastructure that allows visitors to reach the beaches. Pandawa Beach is one of these secret beaches. Named after the five knights of ancient Hindu legends, Pandawa Beach is one of the beaches that you should visit!
Dip your toes into the tropical water of Pandawa Beach
Compared to others, this beach is pretty secluded. From the Ngurah Rai International Airport, it will take more than an hour by motorcycle. You will see a small ticket booth between the cliffs. Entrance fee is 5,000 IDR or approximately 0.50 USD. For greater convenience, you may want to hire a local guide. Hiring a local guide will also allow you to gain greater insight to this secret beach. You will need to travel uphill by car or motorcycle for about 45 minutes prior to going down to the beach. If you happen to stay in Uluwatu area, you can also get there by foot.
The name “Pandawa” comes from the Hindu legend of Five Knights: Yudhistira, Bima, Arjuna, Nakula, and Sahadeva. You will find the statues of these knights including their mother on your way to the beach area. It is believed that many years ago, the people of Kutuh Village survived the dark age by digging their way into a cave to hide. Later, they found a hidden area behind the cliff and rebuilt their civilization. This story is similar to the Mahabharata saga (one of the epics of ancient India) where the five knights and their mother dug their way into Gala-Gala Cave to survive the evil. Thus, the local government named the beach “Pandawa” as a memorial of their history and belief.
The statue of Five Knights “Pandawa Lima” all the way to the beach area
Being a tropical island, Bali can be very warm for those who are not used to tropical climate. Pandawa beach happens to be one of the warmest places that I have been on the island. However, there are many spots to rest and hide from the sun. You will see many beach chairs under the white umbrellas along the beach. Don’t get it wrong, they are not free! You will have to pay for the rental of the beach chairs. Budget travelers who do not want to splurge can consider the alternative of finding a food stall that sells beverages and owns beach chairs. Get a 30,000 IDR (approximately 3 USD) of beer and you can sit there for a while. You can also bring your own picnic supplies for an idyllic afternoon on the beach.
Available activities at Pandawa Beach
Besides swimming, there are some water sport activities available here for you to try, such as surfing and canoeing. The equipments are available for rent. For one surfing board, they will charge 50,000 IDR (approximately 5 USD). For one hour of canoeing for two people, you only need to pay 70,000 IDR (approximately 7 USD). The local people generally speak common language of English so you will not have a hard time communicating with them.
Or if you’re just like me, you can relax while waiting for the best part of this beach: the sunset! Although the beach is not facing West directly, there is one thing that you cannot get anywhere else in this island: watching the sun disappears behind the cliff. This is a beautiful sight to behold!
Where the sun disappears behind the cliff
That soothing sound of the waves and the warm breeze of the wind are the perfect additions to this view. It will be so hard to leave that beauty but you better get going before it gets too dark. The ride, which involves going uphill and downhill prior to getting back to town can be a challenge to do in the dark.
The “Hollywood Sign” of Pandawa Beach
Before you leave, don’t forget to take a picture under the Pandawa Beach sign. Although the travel to Pandawa takes more time and effort as compared to other popular beaches such as Kuta beach, spending time at Pandawa Beach will give you a lingering memory. The place is not crowded so you can really have a quality time with nature here.
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