Kuta was the first main tourist destination in Bali, and it continues to be the most popular. Up until the nineties this was mostly a backpacker and surfer’s paradise, but in recent years it has increasingly attracted families and luxury travelers. Before the tourists arrived it was just a small fishing village, but these days it feels more like a city with ample facilities to please the tourists. Kuta was attacked by terrorists, as part of the Bali bombings, in 2002 and 2005 but the area has managed to bounce back from these tragedies. It continues to be one of the world’s favorite beach resort towns. About [two and a half million visitors]( arrive in Bali each year and the majority of these will spend at least some time in Kuta. The town itself now covers the whole area from the international airport to Legian.
Location of Kuta
Kuta is in the southern part of Bali. It is 8km to the north of Denpasar International Airport (aka Ngurah Rai International Airport) – normally this means that the airport is fifteen minutes away by taxi for those who are staying in the town. Kuta is reached from the rest of the island by the Jalan Ngurah Rai bypass. It is also possible to arrive here by boat landing at Benoa Harbor which is 20 km to the northeast of the town.
Highlights of Kuta
The highlights of Kuta include:
- One of the things that originally attracted tourists to this area was the great surfing opportunities. There is plenty here to entertain the experienced as well as novice surfer.
- Sunset on the beach in Kuta is a must – this occurs between 18:00 and 18:45 depending on the time of year. There are also a few drinking establishments in the area from which people can enjoy watching the sun go down.
- Legian Beach is located just north of Kuta, and it has become a haven for those who become overwhelmed by the pace in Kuta Town. This is also a good place for swimming or surfing.
Things to do During the Day in Kuta
Popular things to do during the day in Kuta include:
- Most visitors to the town will spend their days on the beach. Here they can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, surfing, and plenty of other beach activities.
- Waterbom Park is one of the largest water parks in Asia. It covers an area of 3.8 hectares and has 17 world class water slides as well as plenty of other amusements.
- An 18 hole golf club can be found near Balangan Beach – just twenty minutes away from Denpasar International Airport. The New Kuta Golf Club welcomes visitors, and it is possible to rent all the required golfing equipment there – there is also dining and a spa in the clubhouse.
- The best of the shopping malls in Bali are to be found locally. The Discovery Shopping Mall near Waterbom Park is one of the most popular, but there is also Carrefour Plaza and Bali Mall Galleria.
- Scuba diving is another good option for visitors to the area. It is possible for complete beginners to do their open water certification here as well as other more advanced courses.
Things to do at Night in Kuta
Kuta is home to some of the best nightlife on the island. The partying here can be intense, and for many visitors it will be the main reason they come to Bali in the first place. There is plenty to do in Bali at night including:
- Many of the drinking venues will have happy hours during the evenings, but things don’t really heat up until about midnight. Many places close around 4am but there are some places that never seem to close.
- One of the most popular establishments in Kuta is the Hard Rock Café which can be found on the beach road. This place gets busy, but that can be part of the attraction for many people.
- The main party area in Kuta can be found around Jalan Legian.
- Those who want to spend some time with the locals might want to visit Jaya Pub which can be found on the main road in Seminyak. Live bands also play here.
- If people want a more sophisticated and relaxed night on the town they might want to try the waterfront bars in Jalan Pantai. This is also where the trendy Indonesians like to congregate.
- Kuta has restaurants offering every type of food imaginable, and there is something to suit every budget. Some of the best eateries are to be found around Jalan Pantai.
Off the Beaten Track in Kuta
Kuta is such a popular destination that it can be difficult to truly go off the beaten track. Visitors who want to try something a bit different might like to:
- Visitors to Kuta might want to learn some valuable stress management techniques by attending a meditation course at Anand Krishna Centre. It is also possible to learn yoga here too.
- Those tourists who get up early enough in the morning will get to see the locals making beach offerings. A good place to see this is on the beach a couple of hundred meters to the north of the Hard Rock Café.
- The _ Secret Garden of Divine Mother_ is considered to be the smallest public parks in the world. This is a good place to go to find peace and just unwind.
- If people want to try something a bit more sedate in the evening they might want to visit the Kuta theatre in JL Kartika Plasa and see their cultural show.
- The Bali Shell Museum is located on Jl Sunset Rd. It is the first of its kind in Indonesia and if you believe the website it is the most beautiful shell museum in the world.
- The New Kuta Green Park is nowhere near as busy as Waterbom Park, but this might be one reason to go there.