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SURFING GREEN BOWL BALI

A beautiful beach with limited access, Green Bowl Beach offers seclusion that some surfers are looking for.  This is mostly due to the fact that to access the beach you’ll need to descend a few hundred steep stone steps and climb them back up on the way out.  Historically, Green Bowl, or also known as Green Ball, was a “secret” spot frequented by locals during the rainy season.  A few years ago the President of Bali decided to build a resort at the cliffs above the surf break complete with an elevator to the beach.  Today the resort is defunct, as well as the elevator, and Green Bowl is back to its usually secluded self.  High tides restrict access to the beach as the path tends to get washed out, lower tides expose tide pools with crystal clear water, great for exploring local wildlife.  Mid tide is best for paddling out and on a good day, you’re sure to find some decent waves in the line-up.

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SURFING CONDITIONS

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What kind of wave is Green Bowl?

Green Bowl is known as one of the strongest currents on the island.  A broken leash or lost board could leave you sucked out to sea.  This tends to scare away beginner surfers, as does the long descent to the beach and sharp exposed reef.  Highly exposed to tradewinds, and a bit of a swell magnet, you’ll want to paddle out early in the morning or less windy days.  

A quick steep right peaks over the reef on the outside and quickly walls up. Known to barrel on the inside close to the channel, if you keep your speed you might be able to find some time in the shade.  Not exactly epic by Bali standards, you’re still likely to have a less crowded line-up than all the other breaks on the island and plenty of fun rights to go around.  You might be tempted to paddle over the left on the far side of the reef, especially if you’re goofy, but it’s not recommended as you can quickly wind up high and dry with a few new dings in your board.  

    • Wave type:

      Reef Break

    • Wave difficulty:

      Intermediate upwards

    • What way does the wave break:

      Right

    • Sea bottom:

      Submerged Reef and Sand

 

  • Booties:

    Personal preference

  • Surfboard type:

    Shortboard

  • Crowd factor:

    Typically low crowds

  • Hazards:

    Strong currents, shallow reef, and a bit sharky!

    • Best swell direction:

      W

    • Best wind direction:

      NW

    • What tide does it work best on:

      Mid Tide

    • Best tide movement for surfing:

      Lowering from high tide

 

  • How consistent is the surf:

    Consistent when the swell is smaller

  • Best time of year for waves:

    Wet Season; November to March

  • What is the vibe like in the lineup:

    Mellow but keen surfers!

  • What other names does Green Bowl go by?

    Green Ball, Ungasan

How do you get in and out of the surf?

Take the channel from the beach, it’s pretty easy to identify and will pull you out to the peak quickly.  Don’t stay in the channel too long as you might find it tough to find your way back out and over to the peak.  

LOCAL KNOWLEDGE

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What is the beach like?

The beach is a small stretch of white sand walled in by lush green cliffs.  The stairs down to the beach wind through the tropic forest populated by a lot of monkeys and traditional stone statues.  Bowl-shaped caves offer shade for beachgoers and give the beach its name.  Great for adventurous surfers looking to get away from some of the more popular beaches on the island of Bali.

Where should I stay?

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Cheapest Price Range – Green Bowl Bali Homestay

If you’re looking for a clean, comfortable, and affordable place to stay in Ungasan area near Green Bowl Beach I’m not sure you could find a better than Green Bowl Bali Homestay.  While you may miss out on some of the perks of luxury surf accommodations, Green Bowl Bali Homestay is a great choice for surfers, travellers, and couples on a budget.  Its a quick 5-minute ride by scooter to Green Bowl. Note that there aren’t many accommodation options in the area and none right next to the surf at Green Bowl. With free wifi and clean accommodation, you’ll feel safe and comfortable crashing in this very quiet area of Bali.    

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Mid Price Range – Secluded Tropical Cabin Over Secret Beach (AirBnB)

Airbnb is always a good option when travelling. You can find some hidden gems in close proximity to whatever kind of surfing experience you’re looking for, and they often provide the seclusion that many surfing travellers miss out on when choosing the typical surf hostel.  This “Secluded Tropical Cabin Over Secret Beach” is just as described.  It offers a pool with ocean view, private accommodation, free parking, and free wifi.  This is a great place for families looking for a surf inspired getaway in one of the many beautiful places in Bali.  A 10-minute walk to the beach and overlooking the break, you can keep an eye on the conditions and crowd to pick the perfect time to paddle out.  You’ll have to shell out a bit more than a Homestay but that being said you’re paying for a bit more luxury and privacy than you’ll get at cheaper spots in the area.  

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Mid to Luxury Price Range – Green Bowl Surf Resort (Kima)

The Green Bowl Surf Resort is one of Kima’s many surf resorts in Bali.  It offers a higher level of luxury than other spots on this list and is most likely a better choice for people looking for a more social experience.  Close to the beach, classic Bali architecture and everything from bunk rooms to honeymoon sweets, this is a great choice for single surfers, couples and families alike.  You won’t miss out on good conditions chilling poolside overlooking the break and you won’t need to go far if you’re looking for food, drink, or a place to party.  

Is there food nearby?

Considering the secluded nature of Green Bowl Beach, you won’t find too many places to eat in close proximity.  Most places are a short scooter ride away and you’re more likely to find places to grub closer to Bingin and Dreamland.  Check out the list below for places within a decent proximity to Green Bowl.  

Sunday’s Beach Club is a couple of kilometres away from Green Bowl. The menu here uses only the finest local ingredients, supporting and working closely with local growers and farmers. It’s open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with everything from breaky bowls to pizzas. Check out more information on Sunday’s Beach Club further down the page.

Karma Beach Bali is another secluded location in Ungasan just around the corner from Green Bowl.  In order to access the beach, you’ll have to take a cable car which for some may be a little daunting.  The beach itself is gorgeous and Karma Beach offers great Pizza, tidepools at low tide, and the occasional live music.

Ja-Ma-Na, one of the most luxurious places to eat you’ll find in the area is great for a date night or a romantic evening with your traveling partner. Situated in the Banyan Tree Resort and cliff top the restaurant provides an amazing setting with outstanding cuisines from seafood to vegan options. Check it out if your in the mood to splurge out on one night of your surf trip.  

What else is there to do in the area other than surfing?

Sundays Beach Club In addition to food and drink, Sunday’s Beach club offers live music and the closest thing you’ll find to a nightlife in the Green Bowl area. With a circular bar, it gives every seat a stunning sea view. Happy hour is 5 – 6.30 pm every day and they usually have a nightly bonfire where you can grab a bean bag and even toast some marshmallows! Note that there is a 300,000Rp entrance fee per adult which includes full beach club and inclinator access, towel and wifi and a 150,000Rp food and beverage credit (valid with purchase of adult day pass only). Kayaks, snorkelling equipment and stand up paddle boards (subject to tides and availability). Open 8 am to 10 pm.

Melasti Beach is one of the last hidden treasures in Ungasan.  It’s a wild rocky beach that gives you a taste of Bali 20-30 years ago.  It’s yet to be developed and is a beautiful place to soak in the views and wildlife of Bali.  The top of the cliff offers amazing views of the ocean and is a great place to get some privacy.

Threesixty Paragliding offers guided paragliding tours of the surrounding cliffs in Ungasan.  As you may have noticed, most of the beaches in the area are accessed via steep steps or even a cable car.  Paragliding is a great way to soak in the views of the surrounding area and gives you a taste of adventure when the swell is flat.  

What else do I need to know?

Bring a water bottle as you’ll probably be parched on the hike back up from the beach although there is a local store at the top of the cliff that you can buy supplies from.  Walking to and from the beach can be tough at higher tides as the ocean may envelop the path.  Keep this in mind when coming here with kids, or small friends if you’re on a family surf mission.

LOCATION

Where is Green Bowl?

Green Bowl is located near the southern tip of the Bukit Peninsula in Ungasan.

How to get around?

Scooters are preferable but obviously, you won’t be able to take them with you down the cliffs.  There are a few speed traps on the way out to Green Bowl so be careful. A good area to ease your way into driving a scooter if you haven’t been brave enough in the busier areas of Bali

Is there parking fees?

Parking at the top of the cliffs is 2,000Rp for the day.  

How to get there?

Step 1: From the airport or Kuta head south along Jalan By Pass Ngurah Rai.

Step 2: Take a slight right onto Jalan Raya Kampus Unud towards Uluwatu.

Step 3: Turn left at the 1st cross street onto Jalan Goa Gong.

Step 4: At the end of Jalan Goa Gong turn right onto Jalan Dharmawangsa then continue onto Jalan Nusa Dua.

Step 5: Turn left onto Jalan Bali Cliff.

Step 6: Continue straight on Jalan Bali Cliff for 2km and then take the left in the fork of the road with no name. Follow this road for 750m and you will arrive at the top of the Green Bowl cliffs and parking area. From here you can follow the stairs down to the beach.