Green Bowl Beach is one of Bali’s most secluded beaches, a small 30 m coastal strip with coarse white sand, located approximately 75 meters down hundreds of steps under a verdant cliff in the village of Ungasan (a 15-kilometer drive from Kuta, and under half an hour from Nusa Dua). The steep descent and climb required owes much to its appeal, attracting only adventurous weekenders and die-hard surfers favoring its uncrowded waves and exotic location.
Also among the inimitable features at Green Bowl Beach are two large limestone caves that enclose small rock shrines, and which also provide shade and shelter for beach goers and surfers paddling in from their fun time out on the waves. The best time to go is during low tide, when the calm crystal clear waters allow for great snorkeling, with the fairly consistent waves a short paddle beyond a natural reef barrier.
Conversely during high tide, most of this small beach gets flooded, sometimes even up to the cliff’s rock face and into the caves. Most people make their descent in the early mornings, with some drinks and simple picnicking snacks, and spend their half or even whole day down at the base. At any given time prior to heading for the steps, you may easily check out the swells while enjoying the ocean views from above at the cliff top beside the temple.
There are many versions from how the beach got its unique name, which locals simply refer to as Pantai Pura Batu Pageh, after the temple. As with many beaches and surf spots along the Bukit peninsula’s coast, surfers are usually most responsible for their nicknames. The most likely inspiration for its name, ‘Green Bowl Beach’, is the colours and curvature of the cliff that looms over the beach itself, and perhaps also the emerald patches of seaweed in its clear waters.
The densely forested flight of well over 300 steps and the green cliffs are home to hordes of grey long-tailed macaques, which are less cheeky than their Uluwatu counterparts next door. They’ll remain timid unless you deliberately hand them food, which is not advisable. The steep descent may be physically demanding for casual weekenders, but what you’ll find upon reaching the base will pay off very well. There are no lifeguards on duty here, therefore swim, snorkel and surf with caution.