Nature-obsessed travelers have much to explore in Bali, situated within the Indonesian archipelago of more than 17,000 islands. From verdant volcanoes to terraced rice paddies in tiny inland villages to misty waterfalls, the Island of the Gods is postcard-perfect. The beaches and coral reefs, however, are the main draw, luring surfers, swimmers, and sun-seekers from not only neighboring Australia but from all over the globe. Read on to discover the best beaches in Bali.
One of the most-loved beaches in south Bali for not only the party-going crowd but also for families with children is Seminyak Beach. Young and old, and everyone in between, will find something they like here. Music wafts in the air throughout the bar scene, and there are many restaurants and trendy boutiques near the beach. The golden sand is an ideal place to waste the day away, and if you want to learn how to surf, the waves here are gentle and consistent.
Padang Padang Beach
The name is fun to pronounce, and the beach is fun to play at—Padang Padang, it would seem, has it all. If you recognize the name, it’s because this beach also made an appearance in the hit movie, "Eat, Pray, Love," starring Julia Roberts. Tree-covered cliffs, large rocks, and coral sequester this beach in Uluwatu, making it feel very private and romantic.
In southwestern Bali, you’ll find Jimbaran Bay, a quieter beach with fewer visitors. Fishermen dot the landscape here, and several nearby restaurants and markets sell freshly caught fish. Bring your camera and visit for the sunsets—you won’t be disappointed.
Also known as Blue Point, this beach, located in Pecatu near Uluwatu, is a choice spot for professional or experienced surfers. The landscape is stunning, with caves, towering rocks, smooth boulders, and vibrant water. Checking the tide is necessary before you go because you can only swim or enjoy the sand during specific periods.
Even though this is a well-populated beach, with lots of tourists, the vibe here maintains a laid back quality that surely is the reason for all of the fans. You will find many accommodation options as well as restaurants and food stands. The nightlife here is electric and ongoing. Surf lessons are available, and this is an excellent place to learn the steps.
Kuta, not far from the international airport, is hectic, wild, and full of options. You’ll have many bars and restaurants to choose from, including cute little cafes along the coast, and there are no shortages of tchotchke and souvenir shops nearby. The soft sand beach is wide and clean, drawing many visitors. Go horseback riding or, if you’re an intermediate-level surfer, hit the waves. The sunsets here are worth enjoying.
This popular surfing spot, on the southwest coast of Bali, also has black sand and dazing sunsets. While surf lessons are offered, this might not be the best beach for beginners as the waves can be quite intense. Even though there is a small number of cafes and restaurants, you’ll find that everything you need is available. There’s also a small night market, which is a fun alternative to the nightlife scene at other locations.
This beach is quiet, popular with surfers, and a bit challenging to get to. While there are some steps, you’ll need to traverse some reasonably rocky terrain to get to the beach, but you’ll be rewarded with a secluded and serene environment when you arrive. This area draws a young crowd that comes for one thing: surfing.
In Kutuh village, on the southern tip of the island, sits Pandawa Beach, or Secret Beach, a white-sand haven for relaxation. Rent an umbrella, stretch out on a beanbag lounger, and read that book you’ve meant to finish. The water is calm and blue, perfect for gentle swimming or families with small kids.
Karma Kandara Beach
This private beach club in Ungasan is where the elites go to relax in a hedonistic tropical escape. Yoga, paddle boarding, seaside parties, and spa treatments are offered here at this luxury clifftop resort, with villa-style accommodations. Karma Kandara, known as Billionaire’s Row, takes all of the guesswork out of planning an itinerary—all you have to do is show up, relax, and enjoy.
Views of the azure water from the top of the limestone cliff make this beach a standout. You’ll need to walk down some steps to reach the beach, a popular surfing spot, and when you do, you’ll want to spend all day soaking in the sun and playing in the sand until your heart’s content. Balangan is easily accessible from Kuta, and most hotels offer transportation.
Mushroom Bay Beach
Finally, a beach for the snorkelers and swimmers—not the surfers. You’ll need to take a boat to reach Nusa Lembongan island, which admittedly takes some effort. Plan on spending the day for the excursion. Hire a guide and go snorkeling or diving around the island and enjoy a fishy adventure.
Nusa Dua Beach
Nusa Dua is touted as one of the most beautiful—and clean—beaches in southern Bali, with calm, swimmable blue waters. There are three parts to this area, divided by small peninsulas, and you'll find plenty of chic luxury hotels on the northern end. Watersports and games like volleyball and soccer, shopping, beach bars, and surfing are the main activities at this beach.
Yeh Gangga Beach
Near Tanah Lot, a Hindu pilgrimage site and temple, Yeh Gangga is an adventurer’s paradise. Rent all-terrain vehicles or go horseback riding. Advanced surfers will love it here. While minimal dining and shopping options exist, you’ll find that the overall experience is geared toward sand activities.
Pasir Putih in Bali has many monikers: Virgin Beach, White Sand Beach, and Hidden Beach. This fishing village, surrounded by coconut groves and thatched-roofed cafes, is the place to go for serenity and quiet. Swim enjoy the laid back vibe. There is a small coral reef, loaded with colorful fish, perfect for easy snorkeling.