Peter Orsel

Batu Jaran, Bali – Uluwatu’s Best Sunset Spot

Cliffs in Bali, Indonesia at Uluwatu
Out of so many options, you have to pick one spot for your sunset in Uluwatu, Bali. The best sunset spot of Uluwatu is Batu Jaran, and it’s not so popular yet. Batu Jaran literally means Horse Rock. I didn’t recognise the shape of a horse, but I did see some rocks. Does that make sense? Never mind, it’s an amazing viewpoint and my favourite spots for sunset. Please keep in mind that you can’t reach the sea or beach, and you’ll just have the view from top of the cliffs!

In This Post

Ocean in southern Bali with Batu Jaran cliff in foreground
Batu Jaran area, with the lighthouse where you'll park
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Where is Batu Jaran?

The first thing you probably want to know is: where is Batu Jaran? It’s located in Uluwatu, southern Bali. The south is known as the surfing paradise with beautiful cliffs, beautiful sunsets and beautiful beaches. I feel like it’s sunnier in southern Bali as well. To navigate here, follow these directions on Google Maps. As soon as you arrive, you can park your bike next to the lighthouse, or wherever you want. 

The area of the lighthouse is great, but the view gets better if you just take the path surrounded by treees, south bound, to the original spot. During sunset, the crowds usually gather around the lighthouse, while it’s a bit more quiet around this real spot. 

Please always keep your safety in mind. The cliff is around 75m high, and you don’t want to fall down. Just taking unnecessary risks for the sake of a photo or video is not a good idea. 

 

Sea from above
The wave patterns at Batu Jaran captured by drone

How long does it take to drive to Batu Jaran?

It’s easiest to drive a motor bike to this spot, as a car might have problems for the last part of the road. The driving time by motor bike to Batu Jaran, should be like this: 

– From Balangan/Ungasan: About 30m 

– From Nusa Dua: About 40m

– From Kuta/Seminyak: About 1h

– From Canggu: About 1h20m

– From Ubud: About 2hrs 

Especially driving Jl. Raya Uluwatu takes a while, as it’s the main road connecting the south of Bali to the rest of the island.

Should I stay in Uluwatu or somewhere else?

For visiting Batu Jaran, you don’t have to stay in Uluwatu, but it will make it easier. There are lots of options, and even fancy hotels to choose from. I once stayed in Renaissance Uluwatu, and loved my stay there. Of course there’s cheap and local options as well. My go to website for accommodations is Booking.com. 

What's the best time for sunset in Bali?

Bali is located pretty close to the equator, so the sunset is always around the same time. In general sunset will be between 18:00 and 18:30, depending on the time of the year. To avoid the heat of the day, I’d suggest not to arrive before 4.30pm. At this time it’s still very quiet, you can take bright photos and wait for golden hour to start. Don’t leave right after the sun disappears, as the sky can turn in these magical purple colours. 

For the exact time of sunset, I usually check my iPhone Weather app or I Google: Sunset time <insert location> today. 

Sometimes the sky turns purple after sunset

Can I fly my drone at Batu Jaran?

If you have a drone, and you visit the best sunset spot of Bali, you want to fly it. Right? Bali, Indonesia is one of the easiest islands to fly a drone, in terms of regulations. No one really cares about the rules and everyone does it everywhere. Please keep in mind that there can be a strong wind, especially in the dry months from June until August. If you’ve never flown a drone before, try it in a safer place first.

Do you want to get better at Drone Photography? Read more about how to take your drone photos to the next level!

Uluwatu Temple
With a drone, you can get close to the Uluwatu Temple too

Photography tips

Of course you come to see the sunset, but you probably want to get home with some good photos too. 

If you bring a drone, make sure you fly it about 1 hour before sunset. This will give you the best light conditions, and time to actually enjoy the sunset after this as well. Aim for a variety of shots. Get your top downs, high shots, low shots and a variety of subjects. If you’re into video, you might be lucky to spot some surfers too!  

 

Standing on the edge can give some great compositions, but don't take risks if you're scared of heights.

If you don’t have a drone but just your phone of a camera, you can still get home with some amazing photos. Some things I like, are capturing sea textures from above. I like the turquoise waters, and of course a portrait every now and then. 

 

Sea waves
Wave textures, taken with my Sony A7IV.

While the sun sets, try not to aim your camera in the direction of the sun all the time. Firstly this can damage your sensor, secondly you’ll likely get home with photos that look like silhouettes. The bright sunlight is darkening all the shadows in the foreground, including you or your friend you take a photo of. Instead, turn your camera slightly away from the sun, and you’ll get a great sunset/golden hour glow over your subject. 

Getting back

Getting to Batu Jaran is fun, but you have to get back too. After sunset, the road from Uluwatu to Ungasan or even to Jimbaran can be very very crowded. All the tour groups are returning to their accommodation. Try to wait a bit longer, or have some food in the Uluwatu area first, before you head back north or to your hotel. And remember, always be safe and wear your helmet. 

About Me

Peter Orsel is a Dutch travel photographer. He visited over 40 countries, capturing them in the most beautiful ways. Right now he writes about his trips and inspires others to do the same. 

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