The Best Beaches in Bali
One of the highlights of traveling to the tropical paradise that is Bali is undoubtedly the beaches. Being an island, Bali boasts many incredible coastlines, ranging from black sand to pebbled beaches.
The Best Beaches on Nusa Penida, Bali
Just off the southwest coast of Bali, three smaller islands are considered a part of the popular Indonesian region. With grand rocky cliffs towering high above soft beaches and turquoise waters, Nusa Penida is by far the most popular one. Just an hour’s boat ride from mainland Bali, it’s perfect for adventurers looking to explore hidden bays and impressive cliffs on a day trip.
1. Crystal Bay
Located in a sheltered cove on the west coast of Nusa Penida, you’ll find Crystal Bay. This beautiful area got its name from the translucently clear blue water that gently bobs onto the shore.
With a thriving reef, it’s known as one of the best places to go snorkeling or diving. Note, however, that the current here can be pretty strong! Grab a coconut at one of the small bungalows on the beach and enjoy the incredible scenery.
2. Kelingking Beach, Nusa Penida
Kelingking Beach on Nusa Penida, with its dramatic T-rex-shaped cliffside, is one of Bali’s best and most famous beaches. The 200-meter-high viewpoint overlooking the rocks covered in green and the beach is simply mind-blowing! If you’ve got the time, you can scale down a hiking path to reach the beautiful beach below, lined with enormous white waves.
Swimming at the beach is not very safe due to the strong undercurrent of the ocean. However, simply relaxing and listening to the sound of the waves is just enough for a couple of hours at this incredible beach.
The Kelingking viewpoint is easily accessible by car and motorbike, making it a popular stop on a Nusa Penida day tour from Bali or Nusa Lembongan. This means you won’t be the only one at this location, though most visitors stay at the top.
A beach in Bali that could come straight off a postcard is Diamond Beach. This untouched stretch of beautiful white sand lies on the eastern tip of Nusa Penida.
Before, you could only admire it from up top, looking down onto the silky blue waters, palm trees, and limestone cliffs. However, the locals have carved a rock staircase over the years, allowing you to walk all the way down to the pristine beach.
4. Puyung Beach
Puyung Beach is one of the many hidden gems on the incredible island of Nusa Penida. Only two bays away from the famous Crystal Bay, you’ll find calm waters, soft sand, and a rocky reef (bring your water shoes if you plan on swimming).
This tranquil cove is relatively unknown amongst tourists, providing an almost private experience. You’ll have to follow a path from Pasih Andus (Smoky Beach) through lush greenery and some farm fields to get there. This route takes about 20 minutes and is best done together with a local. Once there, enjoy the incredible scenery of rugged Penida, looking out over the glistening turquoise ocean.
Please note: Indonesia has a big problem with trash. Make sure always to clean up your garbage and leave the beaches cleaner than you found them.
Nusa Lembongan, Bali Beaches
With several dive shops and surfing schools, this beautiful Nusa island makes a great location to explore for a day or two. It takes about 25 minutes from Bali to get to the island’s quieter sibling.
Nusa Lembongan has a handful of incredible beaches, all relatively untouched. Additionally, it’s known for its fantastic snorkeling, diving, and surfing spots (for more experienced surfers as the waves break over coral reefs). Getting from one side of the island to the other takes no more than a 30-minute drive, making it easy to explore by scooter.
5. Jungutbatu Beach
Lined with the Jungutbatu Village, the beach carrying the same name is known as the island’s main beach. You’ll find many accommodations, restaurants, and fun beach bars here. The beach is also lined with a concrete walkway, making it easy to walk along the coast, looking out at the many fishing boats in the water. Spend some time swimming in the calm waters, or join in on one of the many snorkeling or diving tours.
6. Dream Beach on Nusa Lembongan
As you make your way around the island, you’ll pass Lembongan’s biggest tourist attraction, Dream Beach. Though visitors from all over the world love it, this small stretch of white sand is still no match to mainland Bali, meaning you can peacefully spend some time here.
Perched on the limestone cliffs at the top, you’ll find a laid-back restaurant with an infinity pool overlooking the stunning beach and waters. The restaurant charges 50,000 IDR (3,30 USD) to use the pool, but you can also enjoy soaking up the sun on the sand for free. The waves here aren’t too harsh either, making it a great place to cool off during the day.
Nusa Ceningan, Bali Beaches
Connected by a bright yellow bridge, Nusa Ceningan lies right next to Nusa Lembongan. Though tiny, this tropical island boasts pristine white-sandy beaches like the others, making it a must-do on any Bali itinerary.
7. Secret Point Beach
Located next to the hotel Twilight Lembongan lies one of the best sunset spots on Nusa Ceningan. This rocky beach with a swing and tree out front is one of the best beaches in Bali and makes a must-see on the island. Take some time to walk along the small shore during low tide as you watch the fishermen get their catch of the day.
8. Secret Beach on Nusa Ceningan
Though not exactly hidden, Secret Beach on Nusa Ceningan is a great location to visit. You can find the beach by heading to Mahana Point. However, instead of turning left towards Secret Point Beach, you continue straight down the road.
Tucked away in a small cove, away from most visitors, you’ll eventually find Secret Beach on the island’s southern side. Limestone cliffs, a little restaurant, and a pool border the yellow coast. From there, it has some incredible views over the turquoise waters that crash over the rocks below.
The Best Beaches in Southern Bali
The southern peninsula of Bali is the most visited area of the entire island, boasting many different beaches, incredible cliffs, and a vibrant atmosphere.
9. Nusa Dua Beach
One of the most beautiful and best beaches in Bali is also one of the best to go swimming. The luxurious beach of Nusa Dua has gorgeous calm waters and is lined with resorts and a world-class golf course, making it seem very exclusive. However, most of the beach is still public here.
To get to Nusa Dua Beach, you’ll have to pass through security, as the beach lies in a gated zone. Even if you’re not staying at a 5-star hotel here, the beach is worth a visit for the afternoon. Pick a nice spot on the beach, rent a sunbed, and enjoy the sun while reading a good book or watching the famous water blow – a point on the coast where waves crash into the rocks.
10. Uluwatu, Bali
This hilly peninsula on the southern point of Bali is known for its world-class surf breaks, stunning blue waters, white sand, and limestone cliffs. With a relaxed, trendy, and somewhat off-the-beaten-path feel to it, the lush Uluwatu region is a must-see when visiting Bali.
Uluwatu Beach is the surfing mecca of the area, with people visiting from all over the world to ride the famous waves. Even if you don’t surf, the beach makes a great spot to explore when the waves are calmer (often during low tide). Note, however, that it’s not the best place to sunbathe.
There are a few restaurants and bars perched along the cliffs, where you can enjoy the views of surfers trying to catch the waves. A few other amazing beaches in the region are:
- Padang Padang Beach: with dramatic rock formations, calm waters, and world-class waves, only 10 minutes north of Uluwatu.
- Nunggalan Beach: lined with lush green cliffs and beautiful sand, known for its graffiti-covered shipwreck.
- Balangan Beach: one of Bali’s best beaches, known for its golden coastline between limestone cliffs and local warungs (local eatery), serving home-cooked Indonesian food and icy cold Bintangs.
- Thomas Beach, Uluwatu: great for secluded beach walks and sunbathing, with turquoise waters and dramatic stone boulders.
11. Gunung Payung
If you think of warm tropical waters and white powdery sand with a lush green background, that’s exactly what Gunung Payung is. This small secluded area on the south of Bali makes the perfect getaway for an afternoon at low tide.
Before, you’d have to trek down a long, steep pathway to get to the beach. However, since the installation of a smooth road, accessing this hidden paradise has become much easier. There’s even a shuttle bus for those who’d rather not walk. You’ll find a few sunbeds and umbrellas at the beach and a couple of locals selling different beverages.
12. Seminyak Beach, Bali
Seminyak lies in the middle of Bali’s hustle and bustle, known as one of the most trendy beach towns on the island. The connecting beach is a beautiful 5-kilometer stretch of golden sand, with world-famous beach bars, five-star hotels, and plenty of restaurants just a couple steps from the water.
It’s also one of the best beaches in Bali to go swimming, boogie boarding, or learn how to surf. There are good waves here, but they’re relatively small, making it a great place for beginners. You can rent a surfboard from one of the rental places on the beach or join a surf lesson for more guidance.
Because of its size, there are plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas to rent for the day, but you can pick a spot to put your towel down. Grab a colorful beanbag at the laid-back La Plancha, or go to Ku De Ta if you’re looking for something a bit fancier.
13. Kuta Beach, Bali
Out of all the beaches on the island, Kuta Beach is by far the most popular and crowded one. In under 30 years, it transformed from a tiny fishing village into a booming tourist destination, with many developed areas close to the beach.
Locals, ex-pats, and international tourists flock to this grand beach, as there’s always something going on. Right across from the golden sand and water, you’ll also find many hotels, restaurants, and even a shopping center.
East Bali Beaches
Looking out over the great Bali Sea, the rugged east coast of Bali is one of the lesser-visited places on the island. However, it holds some of the most incredible natural treasures, from lush jungles to black sand beaches and incredible snorkeling spots.
Amed also has some of the island’s most vibrant reefs – a beautiful coral garden right under the sea’s surface. Because of this, the beaches make an incredible location to go snorkeling or diving. Join in the colorful sea life below as you swim between numerous coral heads and shipwrecks dotted along the coast.
15. Lipah Beach, Amed
Another beach in Amed that’s a must-see when visiting the area is Lipah Beach. It’s got beautiful black sand and clear turquoise water that gently flows back and forth onto the shore. Like Ibis Beach, this part of the island remains fairly untouched. There are only just a few restaurants and accommodations along the coast.
Underneath the water’s surface lies more of the thriving aquatic world, making snorkeling and diving a popular activity here. Spend some time in the water or watch how the locals’ fishing boats float close to shore while you embrace the warm sun on one of the best beaches in Bali.
16. Virgin Beach, East Bali
If you’re looking to go somewhere in Bali that’s great for swimming, then make sure to put Virgin Beach (Pasir Putih) at the top of your list. This beach is small, secluded, and barely gets any waves, making it the perfect place to enjoy the waters.
Though it’s a bit of a journey to get there, the gorgeous stretch of white sand is worth the effort. It’s considered a unique one to visit, as most of the beaches on the east coast have black sand because of the impressive volcanoes that overshadow them.
There are a few warungs on the beach where you can order a refreshing drink before heading back into the calm waters, admiring the sea’s underwater beauty through your snorkel.
West Bali Beaches
The untouched west coast of Bali is full of hidden gems. Escape the crowds and head north, where stunning waters and the island’s best snorkel and diving spots await. From volcanoes to a lively reef – Indonesia’s incredible raw nature stands at the center of it all.
17. Pemuteran Beach
Located on the northwestern coast of Bali, bordering the West Bali National Park, lies the serene Pemuteran Beach.
This remote corner is the place to go if you’re looking to escape the crowds in the southern part of the island. The beaches here are mostly tourist-free, as tour groups and partygoers don’t travel all the way up.
Pemuteran is also known for being the main gateway to Menjangan Island – one of the best diving and snorkeling spots in Bali. Set out on a boat early in the morning as you watch the clouds roll over the towering volcanoes in the distance. This region’s raw nature and quietness make Pemuteran one of the best beaches to visit in Bali.
From Denpasar, Bali’s capital, it takes about a 3-hour drive to get to the sleepy little town of Pemuteran.
18. Lovina Beach
About 20 minutes from Pemeturan, you’ll find the stunning resort area of northern Bali, Indonesia, Lovina Beach. Known for its black sand beaches, and vibrant coral reefs, this is also an area where you’ll frequently spot dolphins.
Relax on the beach during the day, enjoying a fresh coconut from one of the local beach stands. Make sure to walk down the wooden pier in the late afternoon, watching the sky turn into beautiful red and orange hues. The area is also home to a waterfall, a couple of monuments, and a hot spring tucked between tropical gardens.