The Ultimate Guide To Umalas: Everything You Need To Know About Bali’s New Hip Hideout

Umalas is a wonderful area between Seminyak and Canggu, two areas that draw big crowds of tourists to Bali.

However, for now, at least, Umalas is relaxed and pleasant and you can find Umalas villas going for much more reasonable rents than in the beach towns.

This has seen a lot of expats moving to Umalas because the area has unique charm, lots of decent restaurants, and even a bit of nightlife if you don’t want to get a taxi into Seminyak and Canggu on a Friday night.

Where Is Umalas, Bali?

UMALAS FINNS BALI MAP

Umalas is a big area that runs out of Seminyak and into Canggu and Kerobokan.

It’s in the South of Bali and it’s less crowded than many of the popular beach towns.

How To Get To Umalas, Bali

If you’re in Canggu, Seminyak, Kuta, Legian or at the airport, the easiest way to reach Umalas will be by using one of the local ride-share apps, Grab or Go-Jek.

While the journey to Umalas may not be as quick as the map suggests thanks to the traffic, you’ll travel for a fixed price, so just relax and enjoy the view out of the window

One big advantage of ride-sharing is that you can connect your card to the app and you don’t need to scrabble around looking for change when you reach Umalas.

However, if you’re coming from further afield in Bali to Umalas, you might consider hiring a private car and driver. This is very cheap and is usually at a fixed rate plus the petrol which doesn’t usually add a huge amount on to the cost.

With a private driver, you can take your time getting to Umaalas and stop along the way if there’s something you want to see en route.

The joy of using a driver is that you don’t have to deal with the Bali traffic and you can chill all the way to Umalas.

If you’re at the airport, your hotel or Umalas villa might be offering a transfer service. If it’s included in the price of your accommodation, this is a no-brainer, otherwise, it might be slightly more expensive than a ride-share.

The advantage of a transfer is that you will be met by a driver at the airport and they will ensure that you get straight to your Umalas Villas or other accommodation.

Finally, there’s always the option of renting a scooter, while it might sound romantic to picture yourself tearing up the road through the rice fields, the truth is we don’t recommend this option.

The roads here in Bali aren’t well-maintained and driving standards are great either, this leads to regular accidents and even experienced drivers will tell you it’s hard work driving in Bali.

It’s also difficult to ensure that you’re legally riding your bike and if you’re not legal, you’re not insured – your travel insurance, etc. will refuse to pay out.

So, it’s just best to use a different option to get to Umalas and avoid an expensive hospital bill.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Peaceful Umalas?

Fields in Bali are photographed from a drone

As with all of Bali, you can visit Umalas at any time of year and you’ll have a great time. However, it is slightly nicer in the dry season because it’s a little cooler and less humid. The downside of coming at this time of year is that it’s busier and you will have to pay for accommodation.

Coming in the wet season, means you have to put up with some rain (though we do get an average of 8 hours of sunshine each day – it definitely doesn’t rain all the time) and humidity but what you save on accommodation might mean that you can afford your own private pool villa, rather than just a hotel room.

If you’re driving to Umalas, it’s always going to be easier on weekdays and when it’s not rush hour but assuming you’re coming from Seminyak, Canggu, etc. it’s not too bad a trip because it’s a short distance.

What To Do In Umalas?

Umalas may not be stuffed with big-name tourist sites but it does have plenty of awesome places to spend time.

It’s also a short drive from some of the best attractions on the island, we’ve included some of those places on our list of what to do in Umalas too.

Spa Treatments

body temple spa best spa bali

Aliya Salon & Day Spa

This is a premier spa in Umalas that offers both pampering services and a full menu of beauty wellness services.

They are very well-known for their advanced skin treatments and while it’s not the cheapest spa in Umalas, the prices are very reasonable.

Sundari Day Spa

This pleasant day spa specializes in traditional Balinese massage and they also offer body, hand, face and foot treatments.

Their full pampering packages offer the best value and you can often ask them to tailor them to your preferences at no extra charge.

Suda Sarira Spa

This is a relatively basic local spa but the advantage of that is the massages are very low cost.

They have both male and female massage therapists on call and they are open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every single day except for Nyepi.

The Cottage Beauty House Bali

This is a very beautiful spa that will call to your inner desires for pampering by just walking past and glancing in the window.

Not only do they do an excellent massage, but their beauticians are really highly skilled and can do pretty much anything from a mani-pedi to a deep cleansing facial.

Rob Peetoom Hair Spa

Rob is the stylist to the stars and this is the second branch of his salons , the other is in Ubud.

You can expect some serious treatments and some of the world’s best stylists working on your hair. Everyone here has been trained by Rob, himself.

Get Out

Bali With Locals Tour

This is a great way to discover the ins and outs of Umalas. You team up with a local guide who takes you around the area and shows you everything of interest.

Of course, you’ll wander around some rice fields but mainly, this tour is about helping you connect with the Balinese side of Umalas, and the people there.

Aquamarine Diving

Umalas has a specialist diving centre and they also operate some of the best diving safaris in Bali.

If you’re looking to improve your muck or macro diving, in particular, this Umalas-based centre can really make a huge difference.

Batu Belig Beach

Batu Belig Beach

This is a simple plain beach but it sees very few crowds and it’s sort of wedged between Canggu’s Berawa Beach and Petitenget Beach in Seminyak.

If you want black sands and somewhere to just chill, then you can’t go wrong here.

Berawa Beach

activities at berawa beach

This beach is officially in Canggu but many try to claim it for Seminyak too. It’s a very popular surfing destination.

If you want somewhere to watch the sunset with a cold beer, Berawa Beach is a great place for it.

Petitenget Beach

This beach is in Seminyak and it’s very close to the temple that bears the same name.

It’s a white sand beach but it can get a bit dirty at times due to its popularity with tourists. However, a regular beach tidy-up is held here and it never gets unpleasant.

FINNS Beach Club

2023.09.14 FBC DRONE VENUE EW 3

FINNS is the best of the world’s beach clubs and in Bali where there are a lot of beach clubs, it stands out from the crowd. It’s not far from Umalas in Canggu.

This is, in part, because, unlike at other beach clubs, there’s no entry fee at FINNS and no minimum spend. That means you can come and enjoy the fun without worrying about breaking the bank.

FINNS also has an amazing VIP Club which can deliver an even more incredible experience. Cool beach clubs don’t get much cooler than FINNS.

Culture

METIS Gallery & Boutiques

If you love high-end Indonesian artwork and antique furniture, weapons and personal adornments, this collection really captures the depth of the local art culture.

They sell hand-crafted jewellery and one-of-a-kind pieces of art that you simply cannot find anywhere else in the world but Umalas, it’s awesome.

BIASA Cube

BIASA cube began in Umalas in 2016 and it was for an art exhibition. It never closed and now it exhibits great work from up-and-coming local talent.

It also runs the BIASA art program with the proceeds which helps to support Indonesian artists with getting their careers off the ground.

Lemari Antiques

If you want to take a piece of Balinese history home from Umalas, you can do so legally by visiting Lemari Antiques.

This wonderful antique dealer specializes in a truly eclectic mix of Balinese cultural products such as furniture, carvings and much more!

Shop

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JJ Bali Button (Rumah Kancing Kerajinan)

Yes, this shop in Umalas specializes in buttons! They have thousands of buttons all of which are handmade to choose from! It’s amazing.

Taman Sari Market

This local market in Umalas is great for picking up essentials during the day and then at night, it transforms into a great local night market with stalls selling tasty local food. This is a more authentic experience than say, Nusa Dua Night Market, which is aimed mainly at tourists. 

Miow Shoes & Bags

If you want the best Indonesian leather, this is where to go in Umalas. Everything here is handmade by local craftspeople.

Nightlife

friends bar bali top canggu nightlife

40 Thieves

This is an excellent speakeasy in Umalaswhich made the list of the best 50 bars in Asia in 2022.

If you love craft spirits and drum and bass, this should be right up your alley. The vibe is young and friendly and the only dress code is “be comfy”.

BeeSmokeBali

This is a shisha bar in Umalas and whether that appeals to you will almost certainly depend on whether you smoke.

It’s very hip and pleasant to be in if you don’t mind the smoke. (If you’re looking for other shisha bars in Bali, we’ve got you covered). 

Winehouse

This is a great wine bar in Umalas that sells a lot of different wines by the gals and which keeps the prices reasonable. You can’t ask for more than that.

Where To Stay In Umalas?

Bloomfield Umalas

This was once somebody’s home but it has been transformed by the family that owns it into a lovely boutique resort.

They have two lovely pools amidst the rice terraces and you can see the island’s volcanoes in the distance from this resort in Umalas.

Bali Nyuh Gading Villa

If you want a luxury villa with a fantastic pool, then you can’t go wrong at the Balu Nyuh Gading Villa in Umalas.

The rates here are very reasonable and the style here is very contemporary with just a touch of the traditional.

Sunclad Villa/Laki Uma Villa

This is a spacious and pleasant villa complex with a great pool area and kabana to chill in.

There are only four rooms at this complex, so make sure to book early if you want to stay here in Umalas.

Aliya Boutique Bungalows Umalas By The Lavana

This is a gorgeous property that has 8 amazing teak cottages and each of them is designed to feel in tune with the spiritual rhythm of life in Bali.

It feels like living in a traditional Balinese village (rather like Umalas, in fact) and

The Apartments Umalas

This is a very pleasant resort and each room has a flat-screen TV, air conditioning and a minibar. Free Wi-Fi is available everywhere in the resort.

Where To Eat In Umalas?

Krakakoa Chocolate Cafe & Factory

This wonderful place makes artisanal chocolate from sustainably sourced local coffee beans. Drop in for a coffee and something so naughty that it’s really nice.

Monsieur Spoon

This is a great place for a traditional French breakfast or an awesome lunch. You can’t go wrong if you love bread and pastry.

Nook Restaurant

This is a very pleasant cafe that offers a huge menu of both Indonesian and international dishes.

The 360-degree views over the lush local rice fields are a real win too.

St-Jacques

This is an incredible restaurant that specializes in modern Mediterranean and French cuisine in a fine dining atmosphere.

It’s not cheap but it is absolutely fantastic.

FAQs

Where In Bali Is Umalas?

Umalas is quite a big area that lies between popular Seminyak and Canggu as well as Kerobokan.

It’s very much an up-and-coming location and it’s a great place to stay if you enjoy eating in local restaurants and experiencing a peaceful, relaxing environment.

However, Umalas is close enough to the beach resorts that you can always get away and enjoy the livelier side of Balinese life without spending a fortune on taxis to do so.

Is Umalas, Bali A Good Place To Stay?

Yes! While Umalas is a little off-the-beaten-path it’s not so far away from the action that you can’t enjoy some nightlife and amazing restaurants when you want to.

It’s also very close to some lovely beaches and there are rice fields galore near this hidden gem in Bali.

The Umalas area has some excellent private villas with private pools and sprawling gardens and it’s fair to say that this quiet area is brilliant for family holidays.

How Do You Book A Trip To Umalas, Bali?

If you want to stay in or visit Umalas, we recommend that you speak to the incredible folks at Bali Res Centre.

They work tirelessly to get you the best deals on flights, transport, accommodation and tours throughout Bali.

They are a locally owned and operated agency and that means they can help steer you around some of the pitfalls overseas agencies won’t be aware of.

Most of all, when you book through the Bali Res Centre, you can be assured of keeping your money in the local economy, which is great for the island!

Final Thoughts On The Lush Tropical Gardens Of Umalas, Bali

Umalas is incredibly close to Seminyak and Canggu but still retains its own identity.

If you want great value accommodation (particularly if you want a villa among the rice paddies) and still want to be located within a stone’s throw of busier parts of the island, Umalas is ideal.

It’s a hidden gem that is slowly becoming increasingly popular with visitors and if you stay in an Umalas villa, the odds are pretty good that you’ll be within walking distance of a beach and a unique restaurant or two.

Hurry though, we don’t expect Umalas to remain quiet forever, and soon it will be busier and then Umalas Villas will start to cost rather more to rent than they used to.

We hope to see you in the area and to welcome you at FINNS Beach Club when you do visit Umalas!