The movie ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ has made Bali famous to both Asians and folks in the western world. Being an island, Bali boasts of numerous beaches. While some regular Bali visitors who feel that the island’s beaches have been spoilt by tourism, we beg to differ. They are likely to be commenting on just the well-worn tourist areas. Bali is still beyond beautiful and there are more than enough gorgeous beaches to go around for everyone. You just need to know what you want and where to look. We are here with a Bali beach guide to share the best beaches for your holidays in Indonesia.
1. Seminyak Beach
There is hardly a need to introduce this beach. This is where you should be if you want to be in the heart of Bali’s oceanfront action. Along this gorgeous 5km stretch of powdery white sand, you will find loads of beach bars, five-star hotels, restaurants and world famous beach club. Beginning on the outskirts of crazy Kuta, trailing all the way up to the coastal corners of Canggu, Seminyak Beach is a holiday destination in itself.
2. Echo Beach
Echo Beach has totally shed its romantic past to become the watering hole of Canggu with abundant surf spots and shabby-chic bars dotted along its black sands. The community here consists of gorgeous bikini beach babes, scruffy haired surfer dudes with sun-kissed bods and of course, Bali dogs with their expat owners taking a sunset stroll. This lively coastline transforms from a playground of sun and surf by day, to a wild party spot by night.
3. Nusa Dua Beach
The beautiful white sands of Nusa Dua Beach services holiday makers who are into manicured lawns and five-star hotels. Probably the cleanest beach with calmest waters, the area is filled with family-friendly restaurants, activities and even a shopping complex which makes it an perfect destination for a fun-filled family day out will keep your little ones happy.
4. Balangan Beach
Located in the South of Bali on the Bukit Peninsula, Balangan Beach is best known amongst surfers crowds and folks who are looking for a laid-back beach experience without the throng of tourists. Blessed with awesome waves for both beginners and pros, Balangan beach attracts backpacker surfers who are willing to trade in a hot party scene for a more chill out tropical vibe. Sunbathers can lie beneath the many loungers and umbrellas that line the sandy beach. The only downside – this quiet strip is still fairly underdeveloped with just a few huts serving home-cooked Indonesian food and icy cold Bintangs.
5. Sundays Beach Club
Sundays Beach Club at the Ungasan Clifftop Resort offers a private white sand bay, stunning turquoise blue waters and an offshore coral reef. Hidden at the bottom of a dramatic cliff face, this paradisal spot can only be reached by an inclinator taking you directly to the club. Don’t miss the bonfires on the beach at sunset, and come hungry to sample the delicious island-inspired menu by famed Aussie chef, James Viles.
6. White Sand Beach (Pasir Putih)
Getting to Pasir Putih Beach is quite an adventurous. From the main area of Candidasa, continue onto the Jalan Raya Candidasa-Bugbug main road until you arrive at the neighbourhood of Perasi village. The best landmark to look out for is the village’s large Pura Bale Agung temple on the northern side of the street (on the left if you come from Candidasa). From here, a kilometre of rocky trails and dirt tracks lead you down to the shore.
Upon arrival, a large parking lot welcomes you to Pasir Putih Beach, with ample space for cars and motorbikes under the shade of coconut trees. The best part? The beach is lined with local seafood barbeque stalls so plan to have your lunch here and after that frolick in the calm, clear waters for a relaxing afternoon.
7. Jimbaran Bay
Jimbaran Bay is more than just a beautiful stretch of 3km pristine white sand beach. This is also where local fishermen sell their fresh-from-the-net fish each morning at the bustling markets. As the island’s seafood hub, this is the place to be to sample the freshest catches of the day. For a romantic seafood dinner, head to the bay before sunset and pick your ocean treats straight from the water tanks.
8. Padang Padang Beach
It is easy to fall in love with Padang Padang Beach. Despite being a relatively small beach north of Uluwatu, the sunrise on this beach is simply stunning. With no off-season for surfers, Padang Padang attracts a year-round crowd. But despite being one of the busiest beaches on the island, its golden sand, clear aqua waters and hot bronzed surfer crowds are well worth a visit.
9. Suluban Beach
This elusive beach is only available at low tide so it is important for you to check the tide timings before making the trip over. Located directly below the famous Single Fin bar and the main access point to the world-renowned Uluwatu surf break, Suluban Beach can only be reached through the rock steps at Uluwatu. You will need to navigate your way through caves before hitting the sand hence making it a great meet up spot for secret rendezvous or skinny dips.
10. Karma Beach
We are afraid you are likely to only get to enjoy this beach if you are a guest at Karma Kandara Resort. This luxury and private beach spot offers trendy travellers exclusivity in a totally chic setting. The waters are of a perfect shade of azure blue and great for snorkelling and water sports. Have a game of beach volleyball and sip designer cocktails or just lie around to soak in the sun while you are here at the beach.
11. Bingin Beach
Bingin Beach is an elusive hideaway that’s hard to find unless you know where you’re going, or who to follow. With gentle waves and small sandy coves for swimming at low tide, this cliff-base beach is a favourite for Bali’s sun soakers and surfers. However, getting to the beach will need some efforts – there are uneven, rocky steps from the top of the cliff to the sands. Loads of affordable beach stays and cafes line the beach, making this a good spot for post-surf drinks and sunsets watching.
12. Gunung Payung
Gunung Payung, also known as Secret Beach, is the epitome of a picture-perfect, postcard paradise. We are talking about white sands, warm tropical waters that is available exclusively for you and your mates with not another human in sight. However, getting to the beach is no normal feat. It’s a 301 step trek up and down and once you’re down there, there’s no restaurants for refreshment or shady sun beds, you only have one local dude who sometimes has a cool-box with cold water and Cokes, and if he’s feeling strong enough, will also bring his single sun bed and umbrella down from the top carpark for the day for hire. The beach is well worth it though, just don’t forget to bring your own water.
13. Balian Beach
Balian Beach draws in expat crowds and surf fanaticss with its pounding surf, instagram-friendly dunes and knolls. There are cafes and bars popping up every other day – all of which just so happen to overlook the world-class waves from the towering cliff face above. Whether you simply stroll along the sprawling black sands, brave the water or kick back with a sunset beer post-surf, Balian Beach has an undeniable charm that will keep you coming back every other weekend.
14. Amed Beach
Located on Bali’s northeastern coast, Amed is known for its dramatic landscapes of black sands and soaring volcanoes on the horizon. And if you are into diving or snorkelling, Amed offers one of the island’s most vibrant reefs – a colourful coral garden. Your diving or snorkelling package will usually involve a trip to nearby Tulamben to explore the sunken US Liberty Shipwreck that’s teeming with life and aquatic beauty. You would want to get a underwater shot for that.
15. Nusa Lembongan
Ventured to all of Bali’s beaches? Hop on a 30 minute fast boat at Sanur’s main harbour to visit the neighbouring island of Nusa Lembongan. Bali’s lesser-known and quieter sibling, Nusa Lembongan boasts of stunning and almost untouched beaches that can rival that of Bali. While you are there, hire a scooter to really explore the island’s coastline and look out for Mushroom Bay, Sandy Bay and Paradise Beach.
We hope you find our Bali beach guide useful. We are sure this list is probably not exhaustive and there are loads of other ‘secret’ beaches around. Do share with us in the comments section if you are feeling generous. Have fun!