Villa Puri Nirwana rises on the edge of a beach of black volcanic sand in Cucukan, a traditional Balinese village 20km from Sanur on Bali’s south-eastern coast. Here, the rhythm of life remains largely unchanged across generations: jukungs (brighty coloured fishing outriggers) rest on the shore, farmers tend their rice fields, and at night the sea breeze carries the percussive beat of the gamelan. Beyond the garden, a paved promenade lines the beach from the Tukad Pakerisan river mouth to Pura Masceti, one of Bali’s nine sacred directional temples and site of many ceremonies. The views are breathtaking – across the bay towards Gunung Agung rising in the distance, and across the ocean to the mountain outline of Nusa Penida on the horizon. This stretch of coastline is popular with surfers – one of Bali’s best surf spots is a few minutes’ drive away – but strong currents make it unsafe for swimming; best to head to the sheltered lagoon waters of Sanur a short drive away along the bypass which also accords easy access to myriad attractions in the area – the closest, Bali Safari Park, being just a five-minute drive away.
- Bali Safari & Marine Park
- 1 km
- Saba Bay Stables
- 4.70 km
- Sukawati Art Market
- 10 km
- Bali Bird Park
- 15 km
- 15 km
- 20 km
- 22 km
- 26 km
- 30 km
- 31 km
- Ngurah Rai Airport (DPS)
- 32 km
Things to Do
Puri Nirwana’s staff has a wealth of information about places of interest and things to do close to the villa and will happily help arrange transport and make any bookings required. Here’s a taste of the many and varied activities on offer:
- The stretch of beach between Sanur and Ketewel is well known as a surfer’s heaven (especially from November to May, when the winds turn offshore on this side of the island), but beginners should beware of strong, swirling currents. Good breaks can be found at Keramas, Ketewel and Cucukan.
- Bali Safari & Marine Park offers a fun family day out. Home to hundreds of amazing animals representing more than 50 species, it presents a tram ride through the animal enclosures, a marine aquarium, a theatre, animal educational and entertainment shows, as well as the Fun Zone where visitors can get wet and wild in the Waterpark or embark on a Jungle Cruise.
- If you’ve always dreamt of galloping along the beach at sunset, now’s your chance. Saba Bay stables, can arrange horse riding trails along the black sands and crashing waves at nearby Saba Beach, passing bamboo and alang-alang plantations and local temples.
- You’re just a 20-minute drive from the historical village of Sanur, Bali’s original tourist enclave. Its lovely broad expanse of golden sands sheltered by a reef makes this for the perfect spot for safe swimming. Make the most of the diverse array of water sports available and some excellent eating places along the five-kilometre seafront promenade. Golfers, note there’s a nine-hole golf course at the Bali Beach Hotel.
- An annual international kite festival takes place at Padang Galak beach (just north of Sanur) every July. Traditional Balinese giant kites up to ten metres in length are made and flown competitively by teams from different villages around Bali. Originally, these kites were intended to send a message to the Hindu Gods to create abundant crops and harvests.
- Don’t miss a trip up to Bali’s cultural and artistic hub, Ubud. This is the best place to catch traditional Balinese dance performances – especially at the town’s Royal Palace, magically illuminated at night. Ubud has also recently evolved as an upmarket destination, boasting cutting-edge restaurants like Mozaic and world-class spas such as award-winning Como Shambhala.
- You can purchase plenty of arts, crafts and souvenirs in Ubud, but why not get them at source, at the traditional artisan villages close to the villa: Celuk, famous for silverware; Batubulan for stone carvings; Mas for wood carvings and Sukawati, for its arts and crafts market.
- The villages in the surrounding area contain dozens of examples of beautiful Hindu Temples. Most temples are free to visit or ask for a small donation. Proper attire is required, although many temples will loan or rent a sarong for your visit.
- Just off the mainland are the islands of Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida – both famous for their scuba diving and snorkelling, with excellent dive sites and rich marine life. Boat trips from Sanur or Padangbai can easily be arranged. Further along the east coast, Amed and Tulamben offer isolated reefs – the latter, also has shipwreck diving.
- Fashionistas and shop-a-holics should drive over to the west coast where you’ll find Bali’s most cosmopolitan enclave, Seminyak. Here, indulge in globally inspired gourmet restaurants, stylish boutiques and hip bars including Ku Dé Ta, on Seminyak beachfront.