Best of Bali Beaches


It's pretty hard to define what a perfect beach is. Some people like deserted beaches where they can laze in the sun alone, others just want to have a great time with lots of people while enjoying a breath-taking view, and others really don't care about the beach at all as long as the waves are good.

So as we are headed off to Bali to celebrate my birthday, I thought I'd prep a run-down of what are considered the best beaches in Bali according to different criteria. The focus here is on the Southern part of the island, because that's where most people tend to go.

Picture of Kuta thanks to Eternal Vagabond

Kuta is perhaps the most famous and popular area in Bali. It is absolutely jam-packed with people, busy nightlife, surf for all levels and the traffic reflects it. This is the place to be if you want to party all night. The Kuta area is basically divided into several main areas:
  • Kuta - where most of the crowd is, 
  • Legian - slightly less crowded and little more upscale,
  • Seminyak - the most upscale area with fancy bars and lounges.
  • Batu Belig & Batu Mejan - both lesser known beaches which have retained some of the traditional Balinese atmosphere,
  • Petitenget - black sand beach with beautiful sunsets, not for swimming,
  • Balian - grey sand, not so crowded except evenings, good for surf - not so much for swimming,
  • Double Six - lots of nice cafes and restaurants,  popular among surfers.

Nusa Dua beach pictured above thanks to Neets & Dre
The Nusa Dua area is the original resort area of Bali. This is where tourism in Bali really began. As those of you who read this post may remember, it's where my dad worked and met my mom. This beach is clean, and some consider it to be too clean and lack any local flavor. However, the waters are good here for some swimming, and the beaches good for some relaxation. Being on the Eastern side of the Bukit Peninsula, sunrises are unbeatable - if you can get up for them. Beaches of note are:
  • Nusa Dua - pristine beach in front of luxury hotels,
  • Tanjung Benoa - famous for water activities,
  • Geger - watch the seaweed harvests daily 8AM - 9AM and 4PM - 6PM,
  • Mengiat - smaller, less crowded beach with calm waters.
Image of Uluwatu via Whiz-ka
Another popular area to visit, West Bukit has a number of beaches - some very popular, others almost unknown. The area has a lot of cliffs, so some step action is necessary to get to and from most of the beaches in this area. Consider checking out:
  • Bingin - a little challenging to access, but definitely worth it,
  • Padang Padang & Cemongkak - popular beaches in the area, access down to the beach not as difficult as others,
  • Suluban (or Uluwatu) - again, steep, slippery moss on the way down, but gorgeous views from cliff too,
  • Balangan - quiet, secluded beach - mainly for surfers,
  • Jimbaran & Kelan - famous for it's seafood restaurant and fishing boats,
  • Dreamland (or New Kuta) - relatively newly redeveloped beach which can get pretty crowded.
above: Ungasan image via Exclusive Resorts
The Southern coast of the Bukit peninsula is probably what would be considered by most a surfer's paradise. These beaches are not for the faint of heart, nor for the beginners. For those that don't surf, the views from these beaches are fantastic - be it for the sunrise, sunset or during the day. Beaches worth visiting:
  • Nyang Nyang - amazing, hidden beach with a pretty difficult access. It's a beach for advanced surfers only,
  • Ungasan - beautiful private beach, there is an entry fee which means the beach isn't as crowded as others, 
  • Green Bowl - Another great beach with amazing waves and lots of marine fauna. There is a small entry fee,
  • Pandawa (or Kutuh) - this beach is relatively undeveloped so still relatively pristine and not crowded but also not many restaurants
Amed pictured above by Jesse Wagstaff
If you are venturing out of the southern tip of Bali, don't despair - there are gorgeous beaches elsewhere too!
  • Amed - located on the Eastern side
  • Lovina - up on the Northern tip
  • Medewi - out on the Western tip
  • Sanur, Cemera, Padang Bai & Bias Tugal - just off the Bukit traveling East towards Amed.
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