Uluwatu Temple (Pura Luhur), Bali

Pura Luhur Uluwatu or Uluwatu Temple is a famous Balinese sea temple in Bali. It is one of the nine directional temples of Bali meant to protect it from evil spirits. This spectacular temple is one to marvel with as it perched at the edge of the rock overlooking the sea as if on guard.

The name Luhur means “something of divine origin” and ulu the “land’s end” and watu the “rock” in the old language. The name itself had aptly described what this special temple is all about. Pura Luhur Uluwatu is regarded as one of the six most important temples in Bali along with Pura Besakih.

The inner sanctum of the pura (temple) is perched at the edge of steep cliffs which tower over Bali’s legendary surf breaks at the south. Most travelers enjoy the view of this temple from two different vantage points, from both the northern and southern parts of the area.

->Check out Where to Stay near Uluwatu Temple

Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple, Bali Indonesia

Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple, Bali. Photo by melburnian

History and facts

As one of the key nine directional temples of Bali, Pura Luhur Uluwatu is meant to protect Bali against the evil. It is expanded in the 11th Century by a Javanese sage, Empu Kuturan. Later another sage from East Java, Dnag Hyang Nirartha is credited to have constructed the padmasana shrines and claimed to have attained moksha here.

The temple is perched at a staggeringly steep cliff as tall as 70 m over the roaring Indian ocean waves.

Sunset view of Uluwatu Temple, Bali Indonesia

Sunset view of Uluwatu Temple. Photo by aishifu ash

Where is it

It is located in Pecatu Village, Kuta South District. It is at the southernmost of Bali at a place known to tourists as Bukit Peninsula.

Why visit

Uluwatu Temple is one of the main temples in Bali and besides the dramatic view of a temple perched at the steep cliff over roaring sea is all reason enough to visit.

Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple's Old Gate, Bali Indonesia

Pura Luhur’s Old Gate. Photo by Deni Saputra

When is the best time to go

The best time to go Bali is July-August as it is the coolest and also driest but naturally peak with tourists. Generally all time is a good time to visit Uluwatu Temple though you may find some rain in the evening during rainy season. Come between March to September for the best chance of a clear sunset over Uluwatu.

Sunset at Uluwatu Temple, Bali Indonesia

Sunset at Uluwatu Temple. Photo by Kevin Poh


The entrance fee to enter Uluwatu Temple is 30,000 Rp (as of 2016). Sarongs are available for rental at the entrance if needed. Guide is not necessary.

Opening Times

Open from 9am to 6pm for visitors. For worship purpose it is open for 24 hours daily.

Where to stay

If you wish to stay nearby this wonderful temple, you will be spoilt for choices in the Uluwatu area of Bali. There are a number of very good reviews hotel, bed & breakfasts and homestays around here.

For those looking for a charming retreat or an alternative to their honeymoon, this is touted as the best accommodation in Uluwatu area with its chic and charming design. The view from the poolside here is also to die for.
Check out the latest prices at Booking.com *
Check out the latest prices at Agoda.com *

Yoga Searcher Bali
Another popular hotel here is the with yoga retreats, organic spas and cooking classes. The hotel also features a calming pool and delicious organic foods.
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Check out the latest prices at Agoda.com *

Pandawa Beach Homestay
For a budget option in Uluwatu area, this is definitely the place. Located only 5 minutes drive from the Pandawa beach, this place is best value for your money, with air-conditioned rooms and personal terraces for chilling out.
Check out the latest prices at Booking.com *
Check out the latest prices at Agoda.com *

-> Look for more hotel deals near Uluwatu temple at Booking.com *

Get in and get around

Monkey at Uluwatu Temple, Bali Indonesia

Monkeys at the temple. Photo by Schristia

From Nusa dua to Uluwatu is 45 minutes drive

From Kuta – A taxi from Kuta to Uluwatu will take 30-40 minutes and cost about 150,000Rp one way. You can consider hiring a car for the day in Bali for other excursions since all the tourists’ spots are far from each other.

Nearby tourist attractions

Uluwatu Beaches – well known among surfing enthusiasts as there are good surf spots like Uluwatu, Dreamland and Padang-padang. They are also part of the Top 10 Best Bali Beaches .

Tirtha Wedding Chapel – many people choose to marry here in Bukit Peninsula, Bali as the stunning and modern chapel comes with a romantic beachfront. Numerous resorts offer wedding packages here.

Check out our Top 10 Must Visit Places in Bali and Top 10 Things to Do in Bali.

Uluwatu Beach, Bali Indonesia

Uluwatu Beach, Bali. Photo by Dhi

Travel Tips

All travelers recommend the sunset trip to Pura Luhur Uluwatu. The sight of the sun setting over the dramatic temple by the cliff is a sight to behold.

A note of caution about the monkeys as if you are unlucky they will come and grab off your small belongings. Therefore, keep small things like sunglasses and a camera in the pocket at all times.

There is also a Kecak Dance performance held everyday here at Pura Luhur Uluwatu Temple and many travelers recommend it as one of the things you must do in Bali.

Kecak Dance Performance at Uluwatu Temple, Bali Indonesia

Kecak Dance Performance at Uluwatu Temple, Bali. Photo by Meru Muhammad

Related Articles:
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Prambanan Temple Compounds, Yogyakarta

Candi Prambanan or Prambanan Temple Compounds, also known as Candi Rara Jonggrang is a well known ancient Hindu Temple in Java, Indonesia. This 9th-century temple built by Trimurti as an expression that God is the Creator (Brahma), Preserver (Vishnu) and also the Destroyer (Shiva) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Most travelers will gape at its magnificence as they approach the temple from the walkway as it loomed nearer. This is one structure to be noted with, being one of the the biggest Hindu Temple in Southeast Asia. It towers at 47 m high with a wide compound surrounding it inclusive with many temples arranged all around.

Entering to Prambanan Temple Compounds, Yogyakarta

Entering to Prambanan Temple Compounds, Yogyakarta

History and facts

Prambanan is the largest Hindu temple in ancient Java and this royal temple is probably built during the Hindu Sanjaya Dynasty. Historian suggests that this temple marks the return of the Hindu Sanjaya Dynasty to power in Central Java after almost a century of Buddhist Sailendra Dynasty domination. It also signifies the focus from Mahayana Buddhism to Shivaist Hinduism.

Upclose with Prambanan, Yogyakarta

Upclose with Prambanan, Yogyakarta

In the Prambanan Temple compounds, there are 3 Trimurti temples – Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma, 3 Vahana temples – Nandi, Garuda and Hamsa, 2 Apit temples , 4 Kelir temples, 4 Patol Temples and 224 Pervara temples. There are also many reliefs on the walls of these temple that depicts many ancient stories.

This temple is also known for the Rara Jonggrang legend, where it is said that Prince Bandung Bondowoso fell in love with Princess Rara Jonggrang, daughter of King Boko. The princess rejected his marriage proposal because he had killed her father but after his insistence, gave him an impossible condition – to build thousands of temples in one night. With the help of supernatural beings, the prince managed to build 999 temples but the princess fearing his success, had the village maids to began pounding rice and set a fire in the East to fake the sunrise thus cheating the spiritual helpers to leave. The prince was furious about the trick and cursed Rara Jonggrang into a stone which she became the last and most beautiful of the thousand statues. According to the legend, this last unfinished thousand temple is the Sewu temple (means thousands) nearby to Prambanan and the Princess statue is in the north cell of the Shiva temple in Prambanan.

Where is it

Prambanan Temple compound is located 18 km east of Yogyakarta in Central Java, Indonesia.

Why visit

For the magnificence of one of the largest Hindu Temple in Southeast Asia and the rich legend behind these foreboding temples of ancient times.

Reliefs / carvings on Prambanan Temple, Yogyakarta

Reliefs / carvings on Prambanan Temple, Yogyakarta

When is the best time to go

Most times is good for visiting Prambanan, whether it is the dry season (April – October) or wet season (November – March) of the two seasoned Indonesia.

Dry season will have a peak of tourists and also can be really hot while wet season will see rain later in the day so go early for your visit.

Where to Stay

It is best to stay at Yogyakarta and do a trip here to visit Prambanan temple. Read our Where to Stay at Yogyakarta guide.


The entry fees for Prambanan is 30,000 Rp for Indonesian adult and 12,5000 Rp for children. For foreigners it is 18 USD for adult and 9 USD for children under 6 (as of 2016).

Opening Times

6am to 6pm daily.

Inside Prambanan Temple Compounds, Yogyakarta

Inside Prambanan Temple Compounds, Yogyakarta

Get in and get around

Best way to get here is first fly to Yogyakarta, and then use the Transjogja public bus to visit Prambanan. You can also hire a car from Yogyakarta to Prambanan and stop by various temples on the way.

Nearby tourist attractions

Candi Sewu – just 10-15 minutes walk from the Prambanan temple, it is worth a visit as the temple ruins are eerily captivating and as a good respite from the crowds in Prambanan.

Candi Sambisari – a good stopover temple on the way to Prambanan, it had been buried underground for more hundred years before the discovery in 1966. Reconstructed, it now stands as a testament to archeologists efforts to restore the glory of the past.

Borobudur Temple Compounds – A 9th-century Buddhist temple is the largest Buddhist structure in the world and is an Indonesia UNESCO Heritage site. It consists of six square platforms with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha status.

Yogyakarta – packed with all the intricacies of a good travel place with hidden treasures of bygone days, narrow alleys and main streets of delights, large array of delicious food to try, arts and cultures dotted everywhere and rich in history.

Prambanan Temple Compounds, Yogyakarta

Prambanan Temple Compounds, Yogyakarta

Travel Tips

Just like Borobudur, it is best to enjoy it at earliest hour possible to simply admire the grandeur in peace and quiet.

At night there might be a performance of Hindu Ramayana in the temple, you may check with the place you stay for an arranged tour.

-> Find the best Yogyakarta hotel deals at Booking.com *

Related Articles:
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Borobudur Temple Compounds
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Yogyakarta 5 Days / 4 Nights Itinerary Blog

Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Indonesia

Indonesia, a country of 1,700 islands and being one of the largest countries in Asia in size and population, it offers many captivating tourist attractions for travelers. Surprisingly it may not be one of the top destinations of the world yet but it is a good thing as it kept the place with the charm of the unexplored, except for the famous Bali of course.

Indonesia’s tourist sites include attractions from historical to natural to cultural. For historical tourist attractions you will find ancient temples and grand mosque. For natural tourist attractions you will find from breathtaking volcanoes to serene crater lake to Komodo Dragons and Orang Utans to amazing underwater diving experience. On cultural tourist attractions, there are ancient funeral rites and tribal villages.

Read on about the best tourist attractions in Indonesia to know more about these wonders.

Historical Tourist Attractions

Tourist Attraction: Candi Borobudur (temple), Java, Indonesia

Candi Borobudur, Java, Indonesia

Candi Borobudur (temple)

This 9th century temple is an Indonesia UNESCO Heritage site located in the heart of Java. It is one of the largest Buddhist temple in the world, consisting of six square platforms with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha status. Thousands of Buddhists does their pilgrimage here in Borobudur during Waisak day. This Buddhist temple is one of its kind, setting itself apart from the rest of Asia’s Buddhist temple with unique structures and carvings. Try to get in during the earliest opening time at 8am to catch the temple at the most serene to fully appreciate the beauty of it. It is also recommended to stay at Manohara Resort * and take the Borobudur sunrise tour exclusively from them.

Tourist Attraction: Candi Prambanan (temple), Java, Indonesia

Candi Prambanan, Java, Indonesia

Candi Prambanan (temple)

Prambanan, a Hindu temple situated in Yogyakarta, is a well known tourist attraction in Java, Indonesia. It is built during the 9th century for Trimurti as an expression that God is the Creator (Brahma), Preserver (Vishnu) and also the Destroyer (Shiva). It is also one of the Indonesia UNESCO World Heritage Site. This ancient temple is one of the largest Hindu temple architecture in Southeast Asia.

-> Read Top 10 Things to Do in Yogyakarta

Pura Luhur, Uluwatu Temple, Bali, Indonesia

Tourist Attraction: Uluwatu Temple, Bali, Indonesia

Pura Luhur, Uluwatu Temple

This spectacular temple is perched at the edge of a large rugged limestone cliff of 70 meters above the Indian ocean. Imagine a scene from cliffhanger with a temple as the touch of dramatic spelndour. This temple is located in Bukit Peninsula in Bali. Its majestic structure is constructed and expanded many times since 11th century. Go to the higher grounds nearby for a breathtaking view of either side and sunsets over Uluwatu temple. One of the most popular place to stay here is Gravity * and read where to stay near Uluwatu temple for more.

Tourist Attraction: Baiturrahman Grand Mosque, Banda Aceh, Sumatra, Indonesia

Baiturrahman Grand Mosque, Banda Aceh, Sumatra

Baiturrahman Grand Mosque (masjid raya)

This majestic mosque, located in the city center of Banda Aceh is one of the top destination here and stood as a testament to the historical grandeur of Sumatra. It is a significant symbol to the Aceh people for their rich religion and culture. This is especially so as it survived the devastating 2004 tsunami still intact. The design of this mosque is a fusion of the colonial and Moghul Indian architecture with the local traditional Acehnese features.

-> Read Top 10 Things to Do in Banda Aceh

Natural Tourist Attractions

Mount Bromo, Java, Indonesia

Tourist Attraction: Mount Bromo, Java

Mount Bromo

Mount Bromo, located in East Java, can be touted as the most iconic among the many volcano mountains in Indonesia. This is due to it strategically lies in the middle of Tengger caldera, a crater of fine volcanic black sand, while standing foreboding spewing off white sulphurous smoke. It is still one of the most active volcanoes in the world and continues to draw many travelers from far and wide to wake up at wee hours to hike and catch the sunrise over the ethereal view of Mount Bromo.

Lake Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia

Tourist Attraction: Lake Toba, Sumatra

Lake Toba

This largest volcanic lake measuring 1,707 sq ft is called Lake Toba, also known as Danau Toba. It is formed after a gigantic volcanic eruption about 70,000 years ago and is the world’s biggest caldera lake. Lake Toba is rumored to be a product of a massive supervolcanic eruption known as the Toba catastrophe theory which has supposedly killed many of the human population. Besides, there are the Batak people here that are well known for their friendliness.The best rated hotels here are Horas Family Home * and Toba Village Inn *.

->See Top 10 Things to Do in Lake Toba

Komodo Dragon, Flores, Indonesia

Tourist Attraction: Komodo Dragon, Flores, Sumatra

Komodo Dragon

Found at Komodo National Park in Flores is another UNESCO World Heritage Site in Indonesia. Komodo Dragon may very well be the last of the dragons in the world. Come here and get up close and personal with them though be careful as there are reports of attack though rare. This park is also a refuge for many other wild terrestrial species, with mixture of Asiatic and Australian origins and wide variety of marine life. To get here, fly to Labuan Bajo or take a boat trip from Bali or Lombok to Komodo Island. Stay at the highly rated Komodo Resort * just next to the Komodo National Park.

Tourist Attraction: Orang Utan, Bukit Lawang, Sumatra, Indonesia

Orang Utan, Bukit Lawang, Sumatra

Orangutan at Bukit Lawang

Bukit Lawang became a top tourist attraction because of the chance to see the Orang Utan living in the wild in proximity. This Orang Utan sanctuary is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Indonesia, and literally means “door to the hills”. Travelers will come here to do trekking in hopes to catch sights of the rare Sumatran Orangutans. There is a Orangutan viewing platform where there are twice a day feedings which will almost guarantee a view of them. The Best Accommodations in Bukit Lawang“>best accommodations at Bukit Lawang are Hotel Orangutan * and EcoTravel Cottages *.

-> Read Guide to Trekking Orangutan at Bukit Lawang

Raja Ampat, Papua, Indonesia

Tourist Attraction: Diving at Raja Ampat, Papua

Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat islands is definitely one of the top tourist destination in Indonesia not only for divers but also nature lovers and travelers alike. This diver’s paradise is well known for its riches in marine wildlife, pristine reefs and corals that would wow even the most seasoned diver. It is part of the world’s Coral Triangle which is known for housing more than 3000 species of fish and other extraordinary habitats that breed the biodiversity of its marine life. Also, Raja Ampat is a remote place left untouched by development and only independent travelers that are nature lovers made their way here.

Cultural Tourist Attractions

Tourist Attraction: Funeral Rites, Tana Toraja, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Funeral Rites, Tana Toraja, Sulawesi

Funeral rites at Tana Toraja

Tana Toraja, or also known as Torajaland, is a highland situated in the southern Sulawesi. A land almost lost in time, it spans with green lush rice terraces, tall limestone and bamboo graves with blue misty mountains as backdrop. The main tourist attraction here is the funeral rites that had been practiced for ages, even after many had adopted Christian beliefs after the Dutch colony. It is said that they are obsess with the idea of death, not in a morbid way but as something really significant to them. You may find cave graves, hanging graves, tau tau (life sized wooden effigies), baby tree graves and even mass slaughter of buffaloes, all these bringing you a sense of strangeness yet captivating.

-> See Top 5 Things to Do in Tana Toraja, Sulawesi

Tourist Attraction: Tribal Villages, Baliem Valley, Papua, Indonesia

Tribal Villages, Baliem Valley, Papua

Tribal Villages at Baliem Valley

Baliem Valley, a remote place that can only be accessed via flying into Jayapura, the nearest town. The tourist attraction here is the chance to discover tribal villages through trekking from one to another. The people of Lani, Dani and Yali tribal land or Asmat lands are living very much like how they have always been. You will find unique cultures (mummy and tradings) and fashion (traditional penis gourd attire). At the same time, you can marvel at the mountain views, rivers, and vast green fields. The traditional grass huts here are also unique while the tribes’ daily activities are fascinating. The Baliem Valley trekking range from half day walks to 30 days expedition deep into the tribal lands.

Photo credits from top: Rachel, Rachel, N/A, melburnian, schristia, schristia, Rachel, kenner116, Adhi Rachdia, idirectori, Lakshmi Sawitri, Arian Zwegers and Arian Zwegers

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Tomohon Travel Guide, North Sulawesi

Tomohon is a small town up in the highlands, about one hour drive from Manado, thus a natural cooling respite for travelers and locals alike.

It is also a springboard to discover the rest of the North Sulawesi (Sulawesi Utara) highlands.

Map of Manado, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Map of Manado, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Why visit

Tomohon is a place to get into the rough and feel of rustic highlands, with vast lands spread out that boosts relaxation.

What to see

Local market to feel some hustle and bustle.

Mount Lokon, an active volcano that rises above the Tondano plain with a flat and craterloss top. Many tourists did this moderately difficult hike up to the crater for the views over Tomohon and the lake.

Mount Lokon, Tomohon, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Mount Lokon view from Tomohon. Photo by Michael Kelley

Mount Mahawu Volcano, which can be access with a scenic drive through fields of plantations, is one of the best kept secret of Indonesia, where at end of the 1 hour trek at vantage point you get to see Bunaken Island and Manado Tua in a view. The bottom of the crater is still steaming with volcanic lake and sulfuric air.

Handicraft Villagee of Woloan which is mainly the architectures of the houses.

Tomohon Resort, Sulawesi, Indonesia

Tomohon Resort. Photo by Michael Kelley

Where to stay at Tomohon

There are only a selected few resorts to stay in Tomohon and a couple of homestays too. The popular one is the Mountain View Resort & SPA *, where like its name you get a pleasant stay with a view of Mount Lokon. Another good choice here would be the Highland Resort & Nature Tours *, with traditional huts surrounded by beautiful sceneries.

-> Find places to stay in Tomohon *

How to get there

Fly in to Manado and then it is another 1 to 1.5 hours drive away. Else you can also take a pelni ship from Manado harbor.

Get around

Tomohon is just an hour drive from Manado. There is also a local public transportation from traditional horse cart called bendi, if you would like to try something unique. The common public transport to go around the place is a mikrolet. You may also use a mikrolet to connect with Manado.

Related articles:
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Top 10 Must Visit Places in Sulawesi
Sulawesi Travel Guide


Author: Rachel

Fascinated by Indonesia, Rachel hopes to bring the best Indonesia Travel Guide to independent travelers so that they can enjoy what Indonesia has best to offer. Being an independent wanderer herself, Rachel knows what it takes to make a good, fun-filled yet responsible independent traveling. So let’s join her to discover wonderful Indonesia together. Google+