Witness the Stunning Tanah Lot Sunset (with 4 Insider Tips to Dodge the Crowds)

The beauty of the Tanah Lot sunset is literally a must on my Bali bucket list! Tanah Lot temple in Bali is one of the most unique and beautiful Hindu temples on the island because it’s perched on a rock above the Indian Ocean.

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top pick

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Tirta Empul Holy Springs Temple

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top pick

Ubud Monkey Forest Rice Terraces and Tanah Lot Sunset Tour

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🌅Visit local markets & villages in Ubud

🌅End off with a sunset at Tanah Lot

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It was easy to walk to this Bali temple by the sea from the shoreline making it accessible for the majority of the day. Still, as soon as the tide comes in, the rocky perch is completely covered making it appear as though the temple is floating on water.

Imagine that cultural beauty whilst watching the sun go down. Absolutely stunning!

With its bountiful trees and tiered pagodas, this incredible sea temple resembling a ‘life-size floating bonsai garden’ provides a jaw-dropping silhouette to any sunset scene.

It’s, therefore, no surprise that this travel activity is crowded on any given day you visit, but a Bali city trip isn’t complete without it

Tanah Lot Bali being this popular of an attraction, means you need to be fairly astute when it comes to visiting to avoid crowds and get the best sunset view.

This article will outline as much information as possible for you to have the best possible sunset at Tanah Lot based on my personal experience.

Where is Tanah Lot Temple

Tanah Lot temple is also known as Pura Tanah Lot is located on the South-Eastern side of Bali in Beraban, Kediri, Tabanan Regency. Check out the Tanah Lot Bali location below:

Looking for more temples to visit in Bali?
READ: 12 Must-See Temples in Bali 

How to get to Tanah Lot Temple

There are a few options to get to Tanah Lot Temple:

1. USE A TOUR ⭐

If you’ve read my blogs you’ll notice I often recommend using a tour. Contrary to popular belief, tours are not outrageously priced in Indonesia and often the tours are subcontracted to local companies. Local tours know the sights, the background history and especially the roads – which you’ll come to learn in Indonesia is one of the most important aspects of travelling here. In using a tour you’re supporting the local economy. I prefer this route for the hassle-free effortlessly of not having to arrange or plan too much myself 🙂 >> Preferred Tanah Lot Tours

2. HIRE A CAR/DRIVER/TAXI 🚗

This is a great option that also allows you flexibility to plan your itinerary and still have the comfort of a private ride. >>Bali Private Car Hire with Driver . You can also use Apps like Grab and GoJEK to hire a taxi car/motorbike but the only downside to this is you’ll pay for multiple trips if you’re going to a number of places. Also, you may not be able to get a taxi back once you’ve finished at a specific destination.

3. RENT YOUR OWN MOTORCYCLE/CAR (SELF DRIVE) 🏍️

In Bali there are a number of places to rent motorcycles. I don’t advise this, but it is an option for some who have the relevant licences and EXPERIENCE riding a motorcycle in heavy traffic countries in South East Asia

⚠️WARNING: I never recommend using a motorcycle and driving yourself unless you have the correct driving license to do so and have driven a motorcycle in Indonesia or another population-dense, traffic manic Asian city before.  The motorcycle skills needed to drive in Indonesia are insane. I strongly recommend you DON’T drive a motorcycle in Bali if you do not have the RELEVANT LICENSE, EXPERIENCE, AND TRAVEL INSURANCE. I’ve heard of and seen countless tourists being injured and dying due to motorcycle accidents. Also, note that hospital care may not be at the same level as your own home country so these are all factors to consider. 

How long it will take will depend on where you are in Bali. These are the approximate distances depending on where you are based (as per Google Maps):

Canggu to Tanah Lot – 11 km
Seminyak to Tanah Lot – 19 km
Ubud to Tanah Lot – 33 km
Kuta to Tanah Lot – 22 km
Nusa dua to Tanah lot – 36 km

📢TRAFFIC NOTE: Something that must be mentioned here and that you need to take heed of in Indonesia, is that like other major cities in South East Asia, the traffic can be INSANE! 5 to 10 km might seem like not very far, but in Bali in the mornings or the evenings, traffic can be a nightmare of more than 60+ minutes.

We stayed in Kuta and even though it was only 20 km away, we sat in traffic for almost 2 hours!  Getting out of Pura Tanah Lot was a bit of a nightmare if you’re not prepared.

TRAVELIST TIP: I’d strongly suggest either having dinner at the restaurants there or grabbing a snack at the endless vendors! Also, squeeze in a bathroom break before you head out (just in case)!

There’s plenty to do at Tanah Lot temple in Bali, before and after sunset, so it makes sense to embrace all you can and leave after the first masses have headed out.

Looking for something completely Instaworthy?

READ: 35 Places to Find the Best Floating Breakfasts in Bali

How to Avoid Crowds at Tanah Lot Sunset

1. Arrive Early

Most people are arriving for sunset between 18:00 and 18:00, so it makes sense if you want to explore the temple grounds with minimal crowds, I’d recommend arriving at least an hour or 2 before sunset.

2. Find Alternative Places to Watch the Sunset

A great place to watch the sunset is at one of the hilltop restaurants. They have a number of Tanah lot sunset terraces. Depending on your photography needs, you may want to be closer to the ocean to do your photography, but if you’re there for the experience a hilltop restaurant is a great option to get some local cuisine with a view and enjoy the Tanah lot sunset with a sunset cocktail!

3. Head to a Nearby Spa First

As mentioned above, there are great spas in the immediate vicinity of Tanah Lot, so if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with the crowds that flock just before sunset, head to the spa to get your zen on and head back to catch the tail end of the sunset or vice versa!

4. Check out the Tanah Lot markets

As you walk through the main entrance, you can lose yourself in one of the numerous lanes lined with souvenir shops, clothing, shoes, food, etc.

tanah lot bali temple floating on ocean with trees and ocean backdrop

Things to do at Tanah Lot

There are some great places near Tanah Lot temple Bali. I highly recommend making the most of your time in the Tanah Lot area by checking out some activities below:

Spa Treatments

Being in Bali (actually anywhere in South East Asia) means there are going to be spas galore and Bali is no different! There are a number of spas in the area of Tanah Lot temple, so why not have a great massage or facial before heading to the shore’s edge to watch the Tanah Lot temple sunset and tide come in?

There were previously a lot more Tanah Lot day spas in the area before COVID-19, but now there is the option to do some wonderful spa treatments and Tanah Lot sunset tour:

.st0{fill:#196C6E;} Sunset at Tanah Lot Temple and Spa Tour

Eat some local cuisine

Many of the Tanah Lot restaurants serve Western and local cuisine. It just seems fitting that if you’re at this magnificent site, why not embrace the culture and try a local dish? There are a number of restaurants and even more local vendors serving all types of delights! Make sure to try something and support local!

These are my top picks

🍴 Galang Sunset

🍴 Naty’s Restaurant

🍴 De Jukung Resto and Bar

🍴 Dewi Sinta Restaurant

Photography

Whether you’re a seasoned photographer with a tripod and fancy gear, or simply a person with a camera phone, your Tanah Lot photos are bound to be incredible! The photos that you are able to take at sunset offer the perfect lighting and it’s almost completely impossible to get a bad shot.

Kecak Fire Dance

This is something to do after sunset. The Kecak dance performance is held at the open stage Dewi Sinta Hotel & Restaurant Tanah Lot.

It takes place every day at 18.30. Tickets can be bought at the information office near the beach or can be obtained directly at the Dewi Sinta. There’s also the option to buy them online or include them with your tour guide/company.

Best Time to Visit Tanah Lot Sunset Temple

I’d strongly recommend making sure you’re there for sunset. Tanah Lot sunset Bali hours are any time between 18:00 and 18:30. However, if you want to physically go down to the temple, you’ll need to visit anytime before during low tide.

In terms of when to visit Tanah Lot within the year, Indonesia is a tropical island, there are only two seasons, the wet season and the dry season. Visit during the dry season which is from May to November.

What to Wear to Tanah Lot

Dress etiquette at Tanah Lot is slightly different from other temples on the island of Bali, There are typically no restrictions because you are not physically entering the temple.

As you will most likely be there from late afternoon into the evening, you’ll most likely be in summer clothing, but keep a shawl on hand or a lightweight cover/ jacket for when the sea breeze chill hits in the late evening.

Also, be careful if you’re on the rocks as the Tanah Lot tide comes in, you may need more secure shoes besides flip-flops as the rocks start to get extremely slippery.

What I love about the Tanah Lot temple grounds is that there are plenty of vendors selling clothes, hats, shoes, dresses, etc. So if you want an outfit on the fly, you could literally buy it there!

Temple Etiquette

Dress Code

Even though you are not entering physically entering the temple, it’s only polite to be respectful as it is a temple by dressing appropriately: Wear a top that covers your stomach and appropriate length shorts

Photography

  • Drones are prohibited from all temples in Indonesia
  • Take photos from a respectful distance

If you are watching a ceremony

  • Never sit higher than the priest
  • Wear a sarong to cover your knees
  • In the Hindu culture, it is prohibited to attend a ceremony or religious activity if you are menstruating
  • Avoid walking in front of or through religious ceremonies

Tanah Lot Entrance Fees

Tanah Lot Entrance Ticket Prices

  • Foreign adult: IDR 60 000
  • Foreign children: (6 to 12 years old) IDR 30 000
  • Domestic adult: IDR 20 000
  • Domestic children: (6 to 12 years old) IDR 15 000

Tanah Lot Parking Fees

  • Two wheels (Motorcycle): IDR 3 000
  • Four wheels (Car): IDR 5 000
  • Six wheels (Bus): IDR 10 000

Tanah Lot Opening Hours

The Bali Tanah Lot temple opening times are between 7:00 to 19:00. Sunset Tanah lot temple timings are between 18:00 to 18:30.

About Tanah Lot Temple

This is a bit of the Tanah Lot temple history sourced from tanahlot.id. The word Tanah Lot means ‘island in the sea’ in the Balinese language and the temple itself forms an important part of Balinese spiritualism and mythology.

Dating back to the 15th century, Bali Tanah Lot is said to be the work of revered Hindu priest Nirartha. According to legend, Dang Hyang Nirartha was a high priest who travelled from East Java to Bali in 1489 to spread Hinduism.

He arrived in the Tanah Lot area and established a site honouring the sea god Baruna. While attempting to share his teachings with villagers, he faced opposition from the chief, who gathered followers to drive off Nirartha.

The priest opposed and it is said he displaced a large rock on out to sea and transformed his sashes into sea snakes to guard it.

Today, crevices at the base of the temple caused by long-term erosion do hold a number of sea snakes and they are still considered to be the temple’s defenders.

Almost a third of temple Tanah Lot’s rock base is artificial after being fully restored due to the threat of collapse from erosion.

Recommended Tanah Lot Temple Tours

There are a number of tour companies that offer private and group tour options. I highly recommend a Tanah Lot sunset tour. We managed to do a day tour whereby we visited many other temples during the day ending with the Tanah Lot temple sunset tour at the end of the day. The Tanah Lot sea temple sunset is truly the best way to end a temple-hopping day trip.

3 DAY BEST OF BALI TOUR (5 Star Rated & 258 Reviews) >> CHECK PRICING & AVAILABILITY

BALI SACRED TEMPLES TOUR (4.8/5 Star Rated & 323 Reviews) >> CHECK PRICING & AVAILABILITY

BALI UNESCO HERITAGE SITES TOUR (4.6/5 Star Rated & 970 Reviews) >> CHECK PRICING & AVAILABILITY

UBUD SIGHTS & TANAH LOT SUNSET TOUR(4.8/5 Star Rated & 589 Reviews) >> CHECK PRICING & AVAILABILITY

Accommodation Near Tanah Lot Temple

Great areas to stay near Tanah Lot are Kuta, Canggu, Seminyak as the travel times are the closest around sunset. Travel time from Tanah Lot to Seminyak is approximately under an hour. Check out these recommended hotels near Tanah Lot Temple:

Canggu

Tapa Tepi Kali by Pramana

Agoda and Booking.com Preferred Property, 8.8 Overall Rating & 638 Reviews

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Shore Amora

9.1 Overall Rating & 2 017 Reviews

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The Apartments Canggu

8.2 Overall Rating & 669 Reviews

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Kuta

The Kuta Beach Heritage Hotel Bali

Booking.com Preferred Property, 8.4 Overall Rating & 3 929 Reviews

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Amnaya Resort Kuta

Agoda Travellers Choice 2023, 9.2 Overall Rating & 9 046 Reviews

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Kuta Seaview Boutique Resort

8.4 Overall Rating & 5 154 Reviews

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Seminyak

Alila Seminyak

9 Overall Rating & 1 461 Reviews

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IZE Seminyak

8.6 Overall Rating & 3 570 Reviews

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Tanah Lot Sunset Temple Frequently Asked Questions

Affiliate Disclosure: Some of the links in the article have affiliate links, what this means is, if you click a link and make a purchase I may earn some money to buy a coffee (whoohoo!). Thanks for the support, I’d love to keep making this content freely available to all. As always opinions and thoughts remain my own.

Sunset at Tanah Lot temple was way up on my Bali Bucket list! it’s most certainly worthy of being on the Must-see Temples of Bali list too! I highly recommend adding it to yours too!

HAVE I CONVINCED YOU TO VISIT TANAH LOT? HAVE YOU VISITED ALREADY? I’D LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!

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