Our guide to the 10 Best Beaches in Bali, with tips on locations, snorkeling, dolphin watching and more!
Technically this is in South Kuta, right around the corner from the sensational New Kuta golf course but it’s only a short drive from Uluwatu. Sitting beneath a cliff you’ll have to climb down about 100 steps to get down to the beach, a pretty common occurrence at Bali’s beaches! Once down the steps you’ll be greeted by golden sand, decent surf if that’s your thing and beautiful views. You’ll have to rent a beach bed if you want any shade, as there aren’t many palm trees to plot yourself under, negotiate hard and you can get two beach beds for 50,000IDR for as long as you want!
Padang Padang Beach
One of Bali’s premier beaches commands a price… 10,000 IDR for entrance to a beach! Slightly mental I know, one of a handful of beaches that you actually have to pay to enter and being the cheap traveler I am I didn’t pay! So how do I know how good the beach is? From the road above the beach you can see the clear white sand and rolling waves, trust me the beach is beautiful hence why you have to pay the price. If you’re going to be there for the whole day it is well worth the price seeing as it equates to about $0.75!!
Adjacent to a small fishing village in the North of Bali, Lovina is a black sand beach made from the cooled lavas of Mt Agung. With mellow waves and few tourists, this is the perfect beach for an afternoon of dolphin spotting and relaxing swims.
Green Bowl Beach
A small entrance fee for this beach mainly for the parking space which is 5,000 IDR but if you want a spot away from any of the crowds this might be the place, as it’s one of the most secluded beaches I went to, in fact there were 3 people there the entire afternoon I spent there! You arrive to a small car park with a couple of warungs and a small temple, you’ll start a climb down the cliff face… don’t worry there are steps, you don’t have to scale a cliff to get to it! After a couple of hundred steps you are greeted by a secluded stretch of coarse white sand with a pretty huge cave where you can shelter from the sun. In high tide the beach can disappear completely so try and get there early morning or late in the afternoon…money saving tip if you arrive after 5pm for sunset the man who collects money at the entrance has gone home, so you can enjoy the final hours of sun completely free like I did!
This is another secret white sand beach of Bali, famous with the locals for seaweed harvesting, and kept hidden by the rigorous 550 steps it takes to descend to the beach through a small forest and around a semi-busy street. If attempting to find this beach, make sure to pack sunscreen as its proximity to the forest means mosquitos are close to the beach!
Pantai Melasti Beach
This might be my favorite beach in Uluwatu… partially because it’s completely free but also because it stretches along the cliff for a long way and interconnects several different beaches. The drive down there is pretty awesome as well, windy cliff side roads with awesome views over the Bali coastline. Not only is the beach beautiful and less crowded than Kuta or Seminyak but for you Instagram lovers there some pretty iconic places to take photos, the VW camper on the edge of the beach is prime territory for those perfect IG snaps! This beach is also home to one of my favorite statues of the Monkey God surfing on a turtle.
Black Sand Beach (Saba Beach)
I’ll start by letting you into a secret, It’s almost impossible to know exactly what this beach is called and I could never find it on any other websites. To find the beach use Google Maps and search Saba Beach or Pantai Pering. Most of the locals refer to it as Saba Beach and it is incredibly popular with locals but not so much with tourists. In fact I didn’t see any tourists the entire afternoon I was there. Why is it so popular with locals? The Balinese Hindu’s take cleansing seriously and this beach is another way to wash away impurities. So when you visit you’ll see locals placing offerings in small hand-weaved bamboo baskets on the beach or at one of the shrines lined along the beach, as well as cleansing themselves in the sea water.
Kuta Beach is an excellent beach to watch surfers ride the waves, but is too strong of a current for many recreational swimmers. Situated close to many popular beach clubs, this is a very popular (and crowded) beach, but it still makes our top 10 List as it is great for people watching, socializing, and is ideally located nearby town. Read our full write up in the link above.
Located North of Bali this long sandy beach is every shell collectors dream. Mild waves and shallow waters make this beach perfect for spotting fish and starfish in the corals darting along the beach and the crystal clear waters were among some of our favorites for snorkeling when the tide was low.
Sometimes referred to as “little beach” or Pantai Kecil by locals this is a white sand beach hidden by a 500m challenging but not too difficult rocky trek in Padang Bai. Local warned us of strong currents on this stretch of beach so we didn’t swim, but it was great for a few hours of soaking up some sun or staying shaded by the giant coconut trees lining the shore.