Suluban Beach is one of Bali’s most unique coasts, concealed by natural limestone formations and accessed via steps and log ramps through narrow gaps in the rock. Canopied by a looming cliff face, this small beach may not be ideal for sunbathers, but serves pro surfers well as a base to paddle out and ride adjacent reef breaks, including around Uluwatu, just to the south.
Nicknamed ‘Blue Point’, Suluban Beach lies at the end of Jalan Mamo in the coastal area of Labuan Sait, the same locality shared by famous surf spots Padang Padang and Uluwatu. Unless you’re staying at any of the villas that have recently popped up here (the likes of Blue Point Bay Villas), getting here from popular areas such as Kuta and Jimbaran is best by hotel shuttle, taxi or motorbike.
Parking is at the roadside, right before the flight of stairs down to the beach. Parking fees are IDR 5,000 for bikes and IDR 15,000 for cars. From here, you will need to endure a 10-minute walk down a flight of concrete steps. However, you won’t immediately find the beach at the end. Pass rows of locally-run cafés (serving cold Bintangs, light bites and ‘surfer snacks’ including local favourite ‘nasi campur’), surfboard rentals and art shops, with the Single Fin Bar up on your right, and you’ll eventually find the main beach entrance – down a narrow crag.
Narrow and steep, you will usually need to let others on their way up and out first before making your descent. A long log parallel to a large cavern serves as a boardwalk that leads you over some rocks and onto the soft sand, all while the sounds of crashing waves become more discernible. The cavern is also a favourite campsite as tents and bonfires become a frequent sight. Meanwhile, further ahead, azure waters and sky are visible through narrow cliff openings.
There are several rocky openings and mini caves that you can explore and even claim as a ‘resting spot’ for the day, and which also lead to different sections of the beach. The best time is during low tide, which reveals more spaces and accessible sandy paths, together with tide pools which you and your friends can have a pleasurable soak in. Surfers come and go, high tide or low, with the prized breaks being only a short paddle out.
Balawista lifeguards are on duty at their cliff-top watchtower northwest of the beach, mostly observing the waves and the surfers. There are none on duty down at the beach area itself. Be sure to watch the tides, as currents can be strong, and waves can crash through cave openings, sometimes posing a hazard. Suluban Beach is also not recommended for young children. Early mornings are usually the best time to go to avoid the crowds and easily ‘claim’ your favourite spots, but it is most scenic at sunset. Head to the clifftops for different vistas.