When choosing a destination in Bali, Amed and Uluwatu offer distinctly different experiences, each with its unique allure.

This travel guide focuses on two far points of Bali island and into various aspects of each place to help you decide which suits your travel preferences.

Amed and Uluwatu are two very different destinations (with some similarities) on the island that deserve a visit, each offering unique Bali trips. In this comparison, we delve into various aspects including ambiance, activities, accommodations, dining, accessibility, and cultural highlights to give you a comprehensive view of what each location has to offer – but you should try both.

Location and Accessibility

Uluwatu: Situated on the southwestern tip of the Bukit Peninsula, Uluwatu is more accessible, about a 45-minute drive from the airport. Its location offers dramatic cliffside views and quick access to other popular areas like Seminyak and Kuta.

Amed: Located in East Bali, Amed is known for its serene ambiance. It’s a lengthy drive from the Ngurah Rai International Airport, typically taking about 2.5 to 3 hours. The journey, however, is scenic, passing through rice terraces and rural landscapes.

Tropical Temptation Beach Club in Uluwatu


Amed: Known for its serene and laid-back atmosphere, Amed is a string of fishing villages stretching along the northeast coast of Bali. It’s renowned for its traditional Balinese lifestyle, where local customs and rituals are a part of daily life. The pace here is slow, making it ideal for travelers seeking tranquility and a break from the hustle and bustle of more tourist-heavy areas.

Uluwatu: Situated on the southwestern tip of Bali’s Bukit Peninsula, Uluwatu is a blend of luxury and rugged natural beauty. It’s famous for its dramatic cliff-top views and the vibrant surf culture. The area attracts a mix of surfers, luxury travelers, and those looking to experience the upscale side of Bali. It’s more lively than Amed, especially around the beach clubs and surf spots.

Uluwatu Beach

Beaches and Natural Beauty

Amed: Known for its black volcanic sand beaches, Amed offers a more traditional fishing village feel. Its real beauty lies underwater with some of Bali’s best snorkeling and diving sites, such as the famous USS Liberty shipwreck.

Uluwatu: Famous for its white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters, Uluwatu is a surfer’s paradise, boasting some of the best surf spots in Bali. Beaches like Padang Padang and Dreamland are must-visits.

Uluwatu Temple

Culture and Temples

Amed: The area around Amed is dotted with traditional villages where Balinese culture is deeply embedded. The Tirta Gangga Water Palace is a nearby cultural highlight.

Uluwatu: Uluwatu is home to the iconic Uluwatu Temple, perched on a cliff 70 meters above the ocean. The temple offers breathtaking sunsets and a chance to witness the famous Kecak dance performance.

Amed Cliff in Bali

Accommodation and Dining

Amed: Accommodation in Amed ranges from budget homestays to luxury villas. The area is not known for its nightlife but offers a variety of local warungs and some international dining options, focusing on fresh seafood.

Uluwatu: In Uluwatu, you’ll find a wider range of accommodation, including high-end resorts. The dining scene is more vibrant, with many cafes and restaurants offering both local and international cuisine. Uluwatu also has a more active nightlife scene.

Uluwatu Hotel Cliff

Activities and Experiences

Amed: Amed is a haven for water sports enthusiasts, especially for diving and snorkeling. It’s also a great place for fishing and sailing. Yoga and meditation retreats are also popular here, offering a peaceful environment.

Uluwatu: Besides surfing, Uluwatu offers opportunities for golfing at world-class courses and visiting luxury spas. The beaches are ideal for sunbathing and beach activities. Uluwatu’s cliffside bars and clubs provide lively evening entertainment.

Fishing village in Amed

Family Friendliness

Amed: Amed’s laid-back atmosphere makes it suitable for families seeking a quiet retreat. The gentle beaches are safe for children, and the local culture is very welcoming.

Uluwatu: While Uluwatu’s beaches are stunning, the surf can be rough for young children. However, many resorts in Uluwatu cater to families and offer kids’ clubs and family-friendly activities.

Melasti Beach in Uluwatu Bali

Price Range

Amed: Generally more affordable than many other Bali destinations, Amed offers a budget-friendly experience. Accommodations, food, and activities tend to be reasonably priced.

Uluwatu: Uluwatu can cater to both budget travelers and those seeking luxury. However, on average, expenses here might be higher, especially if indulging in the upscale dining and accommodation options.

Snorkeling in Amed, Bali

Ideal Visitor

Amed: Ideal for those seeking a quiet, culturally rich experience, divers, snorkelers, and travelers who enjoy off-the-beaten-path destinations.

Uluwatu: Perfect for surfers, beach lovers, and those who enjoy a mix of luxury and natural beauty. Also great for travelers who want a lively nightlife without the intense bustle of places like Kuta.

DidiS Place Hotel in Uluwatu, Bali

Both Amed and Uluwatu offer unique slices of Bali’s rich tapestry. Amed is your go-to for a tranquil, culturally immersive experience, while Uluwatu offers a blend of luxury, surfing, and stunning natural landscapes. Your choice depends on what kind of experience you seek in the Island of the Gods.


The Bali Guide