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The complete guide to surfing Bali’s south coast

The south coast of the Bukit is densely populated with surf breaks, but there are no towns or even villages, so it remains a pristince location.

Here you’ll find 6 known surf spots which we will document in this guide. There are however, many other surf spots in this area which we will leave for you and others to seek and find.

All these south coast spots are located below very high limestone cliffs. In days gone by some of them were very inaccessible but now it is possible to drive to some of them and park directly in front of the surf break.

All the south bukit surf spots break quite close to the shore and pick up a lot of swell. They all work best on a small swell and light winds, but on different tides. White sand beaches, crystal clear water, lefts and rights, this is a surfers paradise.

Getting to any of the breaks from the surf camp is easy as we are stratgically located for all the Bukit surf breaks.

All of the south coast spots are suitable for intermediate and advanced surfers when the swell is not too big. Due to the amount of swell these spots pick up, and the trade winds in the dry season, these spots are usually best in the wet season or at beginning and end of dry season i.e. April and October.

Read on to learn more about Bali’s hidden coastline.

1. Nyang Nyang

Balinse love to use the same name twice for a location. Nyang Nyang Beach is a perfect destination for those seeking a more tranquil and less crowded beach experience compared to some of the more well-known beaches in Bali.

Nyang Nyang is a powerful right hander that works best on a high tide. It is the go to spot when Uluwatu is too small as it is always 1 foot bigger. Nyang Nyang is a quality wave that gives a long ride but at mid-tide it breaks too fast.

There is a headland at Nyang Nyang that gives some protection from westerly winds which are predominant in the wet season.

When you are at the top of the cliff looking down at Nyang Nyang it is like looking down from an aeroplane. If you are looking for something novel, there is an aeroplane perched on the cliffs that serves as a restaurant.

Nyang Nyang is the highes cliffs on the whole Bukit. It used to be an arduous climb up the steps after the surf but there is now a road that you can ride a motorbike all the way to the beach. There is now also a warung to change your clothes and enjoy a cold coconut.

2. Nungallan

Be very careful to check the conditions before you walk down, as it’s a grinding walk back up. There is fortunately a warung on the cliff where you can drink a cold coconut while obeserving the surf and contemplating the long climb down.

When the conditions are rights, it’s very much worth the effort to get to this beautiful secluded beach. A high quality left hand wave forms perfectly when the tide and conditions are right. It is only suitable for intermediates on the tiniest of swells due to the power of the waves. Advanced surfers will need bigger boards on even a very small swell.

Nungallan is a very wind exposed wave and usually best early mornings when there is no wind. It breaks too fast at low tide and is best from mid to high tide.

3. Melasti

Melasti has changed unrecognisably recently. Previously it was very difficult access, but now it has become a trendy hang-out spot with beach bars that could rival Canggu.

There are 2 surf breaks nearby here which are both easily accessible from the shore. At mid tide there is a shifty left and right breaking wave that works good on a very small swell, but there is a strong current and quite challenging as it breaks fast. This was is for advanced surfers only as you need to be a stong paddler and quick on your feet to make the sections.

To the east of the advanced left hander there is a beginner spot that is more sheltered from the swell and has rolling whitewater with a much lighter current.

4. Green bowls

The original south coast surf spot has not changed much since the 1980’s when it was first discovered. It still has over 300 steps but there is plenty of foliage that offers protection from the sun and space to rest.

Green bowls is always bigger and better than it looks from the cliff top. There are 2 surf breaks seperated by a channel. The right hander is a shifty powerful wave that ends in a deep water channel. Be careful not to snap your leash here as the rip current is deadly strong and will sweep you out to sea. The right hander works at both low tide and mid tide.

The left hander is not so well known and not surfed so much, but it is a better quality wave. It breaks best on a dead low tide. Spring low tide is best i.e. around 0.0 to 0.2 metres this is a great wave and well worth the climb back up.

5. Pandawa

Pandawa is a high quality left that is fast and powerful. There is also a right hander, but be careful taking the right off the peak, as the paddle back can be grinding.

Pandawa was for a long time a secret spot called Timbers, and the go to break for the surf camp in the rainy season. When the road was built Pandawa was well and truly on the surfing map, and the days of scoring the break with no one out are now just a fond memory.

Most reef breaks are best at mid-tide but the reef as Pandawa is formed higher than any other reef in Bali. Pandawa is best at high tide, and will break on the biggest spring high tides. It is surfable at low tide but it is experts only as it breaks so fast and shallow.

When Pandawa is double overhead plus it breaks almost like teahupoo. It was called timbers due to the crashing sound the wave makes. There is always a strong current and the wave is best around head to head and a half high. There is also always a pack of hungry surfers here so it’s not easy to get a set wave. Sitting on the inside nearest to the channel can be the best tactic to get a wave here.

Pandawa holds a west wind very well as the channel breaks up the chop.It does not hold the South East trade winds very well and is usually blown out during the dry season.

5. Gunung Payung

Gunung payung is located about 300 metres to the easy of Pandawa. If you are bored of the Pandawa crowds or Pandawa is too small it’s easy to walk or paddle to “umbrella mountain”.

Gunung Payung is a shifty right hander. There is also a left but this is usually a shorter ride than the right. It does not have a defined peak like Pandawa but it picks up more swell and is always less crowded. A little known fact is that Gunung Payung picks up the most swell in Bali due to it being exposed to all swell directions, and deep water offshore.

Mid to high tide on a very small swell is best. On a medium swell it is hard to paddle out and the current is very strong.

When is the best time to surf Bali’s South Coast?

The best time to surf Bali’s South Coast is when the swell is very small and the winds are light. The winds are generally lightest in March-April and October-November, when the seasons are chaning from wet to dry / dry to wet.

July and August are the worst months because the trade winds are very strong and it is likely to be windy even at first light. January is usually too windy for all the breaks exept for Pandawa which holds a west wind surprisingly well.


Bali’s South Coast offer a variety of high-quality waves that are head high when everywhere else is flat. Only on the very smallest of swells are they suitable for intermediate surfers. Generally they are more suitable for advanced surfers.

Pandawa is the most consistent wave in Bali during the rainy season as it is never flat and the channel breaks up the chop from a sideshore wind. Nungallan is one of the most least rated and under surfed waves in Indonesia. On a northerly wind, the south coast breaks are world-class.

If you want to discover Bali’s hidden coastline join our surf camp or enroll in our surf school today as we are strategically located close to all the best surf breaks.