Bali is blessed with a multitude of beaches of all types. White sand, black sand, good for people watching, secluded, surf, chill time or just a getaway, Bali has it all. Here are a sampling of beaches for all types on the island…
Sleepy Sanur has a wonderful beachfront promenade that stretches for over 5 km; perfect for romantic strolls or some exercise on bicycles with the family. The boardwalk passes resorts, villas, beachfront cafes and the omnipresent traditional wooden fishing boats or jukungs. Several beaches make up this section of Bali’s coastline. The beaches are perfect for wading, snorkeling, water sports and swimming. There are several sport centers that rent water sports equipment and rides as well as organize lessons, if desired. Insider tip: Get up early to enjoy Sanur’s spectacular sunrises…
Head south to find arguably the best beaches in Bali. The Bukit peninsula, at the southern tip of Bali is home to many of the most picture-perfect beaches on the entire island.
While the northeast corner of the Bukit is occupied by the luxury hotel enclave of Nusa Dusa, much of the southern and eastern coastlines are blessed with amazing white and golden sand beaches, often accompanied by some of the best waves on the island.
Slightly hidden, Balangan Beach (Pantai Balangan) is one of Bali’s most scenic spots, featuring a gorgeous stretch of golden sand between limestone cliffs. Balangan is the biggest and most family-friendly beach in the area.
Located in south Bali on the Bukit Peninsula, this beach is best known among the island’s surfers and those seeking chilled beach vibes. Frolic in the turquoise waters at high tide, while sun seekers can relax under umbrellas along the white sandy beach. Balangan is still somewhat underdeveloped with a few local warungs serving local style fare and cold beverages. A reef just off the coast creates one of the longest left-hand breaks on the island and Balangan is blessed with ideal waves for both beginners and pros.
Tip: Head up the adjoining hill beforehand and enjoy the majestic vantage point. The golden sand meeting the vast blue ocean is worth the effort. Photographers can capture dramatic sunsets from above on this hill.
Bingin (Pantai Bingin) is a stunning little beach with hard to beat chill vibes and spectacular views of the Indian Ocean. This hidden gem is slightly tricky to find but well worth the adventure. Get ready to hike down some serious stairs to reach this beach, but this also keeps the crowds away. Bingin Beach is a hot spot for surfing with one of the most demanding reef breaks in Bali. Boards are available to rent. If you are not an avid surfer, there is much to explore at Bingin Beach. Head south along the sand and the rocky outcrops and you will find smaller, secluded beaches. Walking along the exposed coral reef is a breathtaking experience. Small sandy coves are perfect for swimming at low tide. Many affordable accommodations dot the cliff side, from villas to basic rooms. The area has some great cafés and beach BBQ’s nightly. Be sure to stick around for the spectacular sunsets.
One of the lesser known hidden beaches in the Bukit, Thomas Beach is still one of the quietest beaches in the Bukit, and arguably one of the most picturesque beaches in Bali. Accessible via a winding set of stairs, this secluded white sand beach is well worth the descent down the cliff. With aquamarine waters, rolling waves, shady trees or beach umbrellas perfect for afternoon naps, this stretch of soft white sand is perfect for a day of relaxation. At low tide, you can walk through some caves to reach some hidden beaches.
Thomas Beach is located between Padang Padang Beach and Uluwatu on an unmarked road leading to the coastline. Type in “Thomas Guest House Uluwatu” on your map application or head toward Padang Padang Beach and keep a lookout as you continue for the “Thomas Bali Guesthouse” sign.
Find Thomas Beach on Google Maps
The beaches of Nusa Dua are known to be some of Bali’s most secluded due to their location within a luxury enclave of 5-star resorts and hotels. Nusa Dua Beach, known locally as Pantai Mengiat, is an endless stretch of white sandy beach that curves, creating a lagoon feel, with a promenade perfect for strolls or relaxed cycling. There are some trees on the beach offering shade as well as sunbeds for hire. Sport centers offer water sports, lessons and also offer glass bottom boat trips. The waters near the beach are calm, making them swim and snorkel friendly and the beaches are usually uncrowded. Further out, the waves are quite playful and are great for surfing – catch a ride out in a local fishing boat. Local fishermen also head out to sea from this area.
Some other recommended Nusa Dua beaches to visit are Samuh, Sawangan and Geger. Early birds will be rewarded with here magical views of the crimson sunrise over the Indian Ocean.
A lot of water sports are offered in this area, just next to Nusa Dua. The beach is clean and the sea calm and mostly flat due to the reef break being further out. You can water ski, parasail, snorkel, jet-ski, windsurf etc in this area. This is also a hotel and resort area, so there are many restaurants with a multitude of cuisines to pick from, most being kid friendly.
Pasir Putih Beach (Virgin Beach)
Pasir Putih Beach in Karangasem, East Bali, is one of the island’s ‘hidden’ beaches. Despite its remote location roughly 1.5 hours drive from Denpasar, it’s a nice coastal drive through “Bali Asli” or the “real Bali”. Reachable by car or motorbike roughly 4.5 km east of the popular Candidasa beach resort area, this exotic and secluded coastline offers tranquil yet rugged scenery and rewards adventurous road-trippers seeking an escape off the beaten path. Virgin Beach is located in a bay flanked by two hills, Bukit Perasi and Bukit Asah with views of Gili Biaha island on the horizon. Local warungs serving seafood BBQ line the shoreline and the tranquil, clear waters make White Sand Beach a perfect spot for swimming and snorkeling. With its soft white sand in dramatic contrast to its volcanic black sand neighbouring beaches, Virgin Beach has gained popularity in recent times (though remains fairly undeveloped) and is referred to by various nicknames including Perasi Beach (the name of the nearby village), Pasir Putih Beach (White Sand Beach), Virgin Beach and simply, Hidden Beach.
Lesser known and with many relatively untouched beaches, Bali’s neighbouring island of Nusa Lembongan is just a 30 minute fast-boat ride from Sanur harbour across the strait. A range of the best beaches in Bali for all sunseekers are available, making the trip well worth it. Here are a few beaches to check out:
Mushroom Bay – With soft sand, turquoise waters and amazing views, this may be the best beach for swimming on the island. This beach is named after the mushroom coral offshore and this bay is safe and suitable for watersport activities.
Mushroom (Secret) Beach – Not to be confused with Mushroom Bay, this “secret” beach is accessible via a steep path, through some jungle, but the reward is a peaceful oasis perfect for snorkeling and relaxing.
Jungut Batu Beach (the main beach) is the longest and most popular beach on the island; also where the ferries come in and leave. Not the best beach for swimming due to the coral present, but a good spot to sunbathe and relax with some food and drinks at one of the many restaurants along the water. Views are spectacular here, particularly for sunset strolls or a relaxing sundowner at a beach bar. The main surf breaks are located just off this stretch of beach.
Dream Beach is a secluded, picturesque beach best for scenery and sunbathing. Pure white sand and crystal clear waters, combined with a laid back vibe, make this the perfect place to chill for a bit. Strong currents and waves create challenging conditions for swimming so be careful here.
Mangrove Beach requires some effort to reach, but intrepid travelers will be rewarded with a tree-lined beach with several restaurants lining the water with views of Mount Agung in the distance. Known for its amazing coral and a good place for beginners, be wary of the current which can be strong at times. Mangrove tours are approximately 30 minutes through the mangroves and best for viewing tree roots at low tide.
Sandy Bay (Sunset Beach) is a small beach perfect for sunset cocktails. Many locals consider this the ideal spot to watch the spectacular Nusa Lembongan sunsets.
One of the most spectacular beaches anywhere is found on the rugged island of Nusa Penida, just under an hour boat ride from mainland Bali. Kelingking Beach is one of the most popular destinations in Bali, and certainly the most popular on Nusa Penida.
The “T-Rex” shaped cliff overlooking Kelingking Beach has dramatically increased the number of tourists visiting Nusa Penida over the past few years. Thanks to social media, this viewpoint is near the top of many people’s lists of attractions to visit in Bali. The best time to visit Kelingking Beach is early in the morning or late afternoon to avoid crowds and the heat. Tourists on day tours start arriving around 10 am, so savvy travelers should plan on arriving before them to avoid annoying crowds trying to get that all-important insta-pic.
The beach itself is an adventure to reach. The trek down can take up to an hour each way and is quite strenuous. Rickety bamboo railings are all separating you from a treacherous fall down the cliff so be careful. They stairway is not well maintained, so please be extremely cautious as you venture down! The payoff is a secluded, picture perfect white sandy beach, surrounded by turquoise waters and surrounded by towering emerald cliffs soaring into the sky. Be wary of the powerful waves as they are very strong. The trek to the beach will keep most of the crowds away and you may just find yourself alone in this slice of paradise.
Make some time to explore other beaches on the island as well, such as Crystal Bay and Atuh Beach.
Pasir Putih Beach Club & Bar
Housed within an open-sided bamboo edifice, Pasir Putih welcomes walk-in visitors as well as guests of the tented Menjangan Dynasty Resort at Banyuwedang Bay in northwest Bali. Enjoy all-day dining, beach side swimming or have fun kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding in the calm turquoise sea.