In the days of old Jimbaran used to be a small fishing village and it still retains much of its charm to this day.
One of the main reasons that people come here is to enjoy the many seafood restaurants as well as the wide beaches that allow you to enjoy the sunsets with a drink. There are a number of high end resorts here and this is not the cheapest part of Bali, as can be demonstrated through one of its areas being known as ‘Millionaire’s Row’.
Jimbaran sits to the south of Ngurah Rai airport and has a long strip of white sand that is clean and great if you want to relax with a book. The sea here is tamer than other parts of the island and you can swim without having to worry about strong rip tides of large waves. There are some backpacker places in Jimbaran but these are few and far between so there is not much of a backpacker scene here and you will mostly find older travelers with a mid-range budget in Jimbaran.
The biggest draw in Jimbaran is undoubtedly nearby Uluwatu Temple which is one of Bali’s famous sea temples and a very impressive sight. You can also catch the iconic Kecak Dance here complete with a fire show which happens at the temple with cliff side views of the sunset. Other than that the main reason to come to Jimbaran is for its central beach which curves around Jimbaran Bay. This is a great spot to catch the sunset as well as enjoy the area’s signature seafood.
Most people arrive in Bali by flying in to Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar. If you want to travel from the airport to Jimbaran then you can get an airport taxi which will take around 25 minutes if there is no traffic. If you are travelling within Bali from a central area like Kuta then it will take around 30 minutes in a taxi.
There are international access ATMs around Jimbaran although not as many as in other areas. You will also find some money changers scattered around in Jimbaran Town but they may not charge the best rate of exchange. Often you will get a better rate from an international bank although it is best to shop around if you really want to find the best deal.
Jimbaran sits on the coast and therefore has a coastal and monsoonal climate. The seasons in Jimbaran, and in wider Bali, fall into wet and dry and the rainy season usually starts in October and lasts until March. You can expect the High Season in Jimbaran to fall in July and August as well as December and January in line with major Western holidays. Shoulder Season falls in May, June, and September and this can be a good time to visit as Jimbaran is less crowded and the weather is usually stable with less chance of rain.
Jimbaran Town itself can be a nice place to walk as it is made up of little alleyways (called ‘gangs’) that you can explore at your own pace. If you want to travel longer distances however you will need to take a taxi or hire a private car and driver. You can also hire a motorbike and drive around Jimbaran that way, although if you want to drive to or from Jimbaran from other parts of Bali you will usually have to drive along the bypass which is not recommended if you are not an experienced driver.
The main reason to come to Jimbaran in the first place is for the food. The area is famous all over Bali for its main strip of beach along which there are a wealth of seafood restaurants. Here you will find tanks of seafood (freshly caught that day) and you can simply select what you want and usually pay by weight. The seafood or fish is then grilled over coconut husks in the traditional way and served with rice and some vegetable side dishes. There is not much to differentiate one restaurant here from another and they all serve pretty much the same fare, but the best thing to do is walk along the beach and see which one you prefer. As well as the seafood restaurants you will also find some other options inside the big hotels and resort here that serve Western and Indonesian cuisine.
Jimbaran is one of quieter places in Bali and which suits people looking for a romantic getaway, experiencing local culture, enjoying great seafood or a convenient location on the beach not far from the airport, or busy touristy areas like Kuta. Even if you don’t stay here, it is not to be missed as part of a day trip. The seafood restaurants for which it is famous are well worth the trip alone, especially if you are also visiting the neighboring Uluwatu Temple at the same time.