Want in on a little secret? Gunung Payung Beach, also known as Pantai Gunung Payung, is a secluded white sand beach tucked quietly under the limestone cliffs of the Bukit Peninsula in Bali. This hidden paradise in Uluwatu somehow flies under the radar and skips all the usual crowds. I’m not sure how because this gem is blessed with gorgeous turquoise blue water, stunning green cliffs, and plenty of coves and caves to keep adventure seekers happy.
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Where is Pantai Gunung Payung?
Gunung Payung Beach is located at the southeasternmost tip of the Bukit Peninsula of Bali, about a 1-1.5 hour drive from Canggu. If you are unfamiliar with Bali, the Bukit Peninsula is the knob-shaped piece of land connected to the south of Bali, near Jimbaran.
Most travelers generally refer to the entire Peninsula and even some locals as Uluwatu. Pantai Gunung Payung is actually closer to the Nusa Dua side of the Bukit on the east end.
What to Expect at Gunung Payung Beach
Gunung Payung is an ideal setting overlooking stunning seascapes of various shades of blue. The hidden beach is soft white sand, framed by rugged limestone rocks and cliffs. It’s a great spot to find some peace and quiet or explore the various coves and caves in the area.
The clear blue waters are calm and relatively shallow, making it an excellent swimming spot for those who prefer a less choppy ocean. And, if you’re seeking adventure, there are plenty of snorkeling, kayaking, and canoeing opportunities to be had.
A shuttle service is available to take you from the parking lot to the beach. You’ll find a small restaurant on the beach, toilets, and shower services. Also, there are some beach chair loungers with umbrellas available for rent.
How to Get There
Getting to Pantai Gunung Payung can be an adventure since you’ll need to navigate through Bali’s narrow traffic-jammed roads that are often a little worse for the wear.
Here are the four transportation options to get to Gunung Payung Beach.
1. Rent a Scooter
Renting a scooter is probably the most efficient and cost-effective way to Pantai Gunung. If you’ve ever been to Bali before, you understand that driving the smaller scooters that can weave in and out of traffic is a significant time saver.
You can rent a motorscooter for about 5-10 USD per day, depending on the style, size, and year of the bike. We recommend going with a larger 155cc bike for stability reasons and comfort, especially if you are two of you riding together.
Your hotel or Airbnb host can often arrange the rental for you.
Note: You should have experience with scooters/motorcycles and are confident driving in Southeast Asia. Make sure always to wear a helmet!
2. Rent a self-drive car
Another option to get to Pantai Gunung Payung is to rent a self-drive car. This is our preferred choice since we are a family of six and have experience driving in Bali.
Traffic is no joke, but we’ve found if you leave early and come back later in the day, it’s much better. Plus, you have the flexibility to explore other nearby attractions without having to worry about finding transportation back and forth.
Renting a vehicle for your trip is relatively straightforward. You can choose from manual or automatic transmission cars with air conditioning between 15-35 USD per day.
For all the details we wrote an entire article about renting a car in Bali.
3. Hire a private driver
A popular choice for visitors that come to Bali is to hire a car with a private driver. This gives you the best of both worlds. You won’t have to drive and navigate around the traffic while still having the flexibility to go wherever you want without worrying about transportation.
Most drivers have a car or van and can pick you up at your hotel or where ever you’d like. The cost of hiring a private driver in Bali ranges from 40 – 60 USD per day, depending on how many people are in your group, the vehicle size, and how long you’ll need the driver for.
4. Use a ride-share service like GoJek or Grab
Lastly, you can use Grab or GoJek, which are Uber-like services that will pick you up and drop you off at predetermined locations arranged through their apps.
GoJek specializes in motorbikes, and Grab uses both cars and motorbikes. The cost is based on demand and distance, but generally, you can expect to pay 3-5 USD for a lift down to Uluwatu from the tourist hotspots like Canggu and Kuta.
One disadvantage of using these ride-sharing services is that you are at the mercy of whether or not a driver is in your current area and willing to accept the ride. This can be problematic in places like the Uluwatu beaches off the beaten path. I may or may not be speaking from experience.
Gunung Payung Self-Drive Directions
If you decide to do it yourself and drive or ride down to Pantai Gunung Payung, the best way to get accurate, up-to-date driving directions is to search Gunung Payung Beach on Google Maps.
These directions will lead you on the quickest path to the parking area for the beach. One thing to note is to make sure that you specifically select directions for a car or bike since they will be different and will save you some headaches.
Pantai Gunung Payung Admission Cost
There is some confusion out there about how much it costs to access Gunung Payung Beach. At the time of this writing in late 2023, the entrance cost is 5,000 IDR (.33 USD) per person plus 5,000 for the parking fee.
That gets you into the gated parking lot, and from there, you can walk down to the beach or pay 15,000 IDR (1 USD) per person and hop on the shuttle.
Gunung Paying Directions to the Beach
If you decide to skip the shuttle and opt for the walk down to the beach, the starting point is at the staircase next to the shuttle ticket counter. The trek will take about 10 minutes on a well-maintained path set with sturdy concrete/stone stairs.
Descend the stairs and through a tunnel into a giant outdoor amphitheater. Continue down the steps to the bottom centerstage, where you’ll find another set of stairs.
At the bottom of the stairs, turn right and follow the pathway down to the final staircase, which will drop you directly onto the beach.
This is also where the restaurant, toilets, and showers are located.
What to Do at Pantai Gunung Payung
Pantai Gunung Payung Beach is the perfect beach to get away from all the noisy crowds, relax, explore, and experience some of the most epic scenery on the island.
This hidden, almost secret beach offers plenty of room to sneak away for a relaxing afternoon. Whether you want to hang out in the sun, take a dip in the ocean, or explore the surrounding hillsides and rock formations, Pantai Gunung Payung Beach delivers on all fronts.
One of the highlights is a giant cave that can only be accessed during low and mid tide. It’s an ideal place to get out of the heat of the sun and snap a few stunning photos.
The beach also offers plenty of snorkeling, kayaking, and canoeing opportunities for those looking to get more up-close-and-personal with the ocean.
There is a restaurant and a snack stand right up against the beach for hungry visitors looking for a bite. The best part is that you can get classic Indonesian dishes such as Nasi Goreng and Mie Goreng, which make for a great snack or light meal after a long day of exploring.
Pro tip: Always wash your hands and only consume fresh food to avoid Bali Belly.
When is the Best Time to Go
The best time to visit Pantai Gunung Payung is in the morning and after high tide. The pristine white beach emerges as the waterline drops, and access to the untouched is opened up.
The soft morning light and lack of shadows make it the ideal time for taking photos.
This is also the best time to take a dip without having to stumble on the rocky reef, which undoubtedly shows up at low tide.
Is Pantai Gunung Payung Good For Kids?
Yes. Gunung Payung Beach has much to offer kids, from the soft white sand and crystal blue waters to kayaking, cave exploring, and snorkeling adventures.
Access to the beach is also easy since a shuttle is offered for less mobile people or those who just want to save their legs for fun!
What to Bring With You
Like most beaches on the Bukit Penisula of Bali, the vendors surrounding Pantai Gunung Payung only offer some essential goods.
Other Places of Interest Near Gunung Payung Beach
Gunung Payung Beach is quite remote, so there is not much else going on in the area except some other incredible beaches. Here are three beaches to consider working into your Bali itinerary.
1. Melasti Beach
This is our favorite all-around family beach. Its easy access, long stretch of white sand, and crystal clear blue water definitely make Melasti a must-visit when you’re in southern Bali.
2. Padang Padang Beach
Another beach located nearby is Padang Padang Beach, a well-known surfing spot that also offers stunning views and plenty of opportunities for swimming and snorkeling.
3. Pura Geger Beach
Going the other way toward Nusa Dua is Pura Geger Beach. This beach at the base of the Geger temple is still relatively unknown to tourists but offers stunning rock formations and a stunning sunrise.
Final Words: Pantai Gunung Payung Beach
In conclusion, Pantai Gunung Payung is a stunning and secluded beach that offers plenty of activities for visitors. From swimming in crystal clear waters to exploring caves or snorkeling, there’s something here for every taste! Whether you’re looking for some peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of Bali’s tourist spots or are eager to explore other nearby beaches such as Melasti Beach, Padang Padang Beach, or Pura Geger Beach, Gunung Payung won’t disappoint.