I get many questions about Bali, especially what are the best beaches there. Of course, this depends on you, on what you actually want as Bali has many places to offer. From very touristy places to remotes ones as well. If you guys already know me, you will also know that I like more remote places and this is what we were looking for. The best beaches without the crowds. So when deciding where to stay in Bali, I did quite some research as I didn’t want to stay in a busy area surrounded by bars and loud restaurants.
Bali is one of the most popular Indonesian islands and every year around 3 million travelers come to Bali. It seemed to me that most of the people are staying in Kuta and Seminyak. I am not surprised as it is easy to find good accommodation in these areas and if you haven’t been to Bali before then how can you know what is the best place to stay. Many budget travelers come here because it is very close to the airport and you can find very cheap hotels, restaurants, etc. I am very happy that we booked an Airbnb in the south of Kuta. It is only around 15 kilometers from Kuta, but on a scooter, you would need at times more than 1 hour due to terrible and dense traffic.
The best part of staying in South Kuta is that you are close to the best beaches in Bali.
We spent around 2 weeks in Bali and we drove many hours on the scooter to make sure we find the best beaches. And of course, we did find them.
HERE ARE MY MOST FAVORITE AND BEST BEACHES WHICH YOU CAN’T-MISS WHEN VISITING BALI.
Karma Beach is indeed one of my favorite beaches in Bali. Why? It is so beautiful. This enchanting beach reminded me of the Caribbean because of its beautiful turquoise waters. However, in order to get there, be ready to walk down many (really, many ) steps. But trust me, it is absolutely worth it. We liked it so much that we went there on our last day as well.
Karma beach is surrounded by terrific rocks and since there are not many people around this place is very quiet and relaxing. The water is azure and clear and stretches a long distance. There is some misconception about that beach as many people think that in order to access this beach you need to pay an entrance fee to Karma Beach Resort, where you will get a sunbed, and you can order food. The fee is 200.000 Rp and the food 300.000 Rp which is mandatory. This is not true and you don’t need to pay for anything. When you arrive at the parking lot (parking fee for 5.000 Rp), simply keep to the left of the temple (called Pura Masuka) and walk down the stairs.
GREEN BOWL BEACH
Why is it called ‘Green Bowl Beach’? I guess because of the emerald patches of seaweed which you can see in the water or perhaps because of the colors of the cliff that looms over the beach itself. Again, be ready to walk down a descent of 300 concrete steps.
We really enjoyed our time on this beach. After arriving at the parking lot, already few curious macaques were observing us from the trees. I went to them as I wanted to take some pictures. Then, suddenly they run towards Nico. I turned around and I realized that we had some bananas in the scooter. Damn. Apparently, they smelled them from afar. So they attacked our scooter 😀 I think they got a bit frustrated after some time as they couldn’t open it. And even jumping on the seat hoping to somehow open it didn’t help. Cute 😀
The walk to the beach was a lot of fun. As we walked down, I just saw moving leaves of the trees as a few curious and possibly hungry monkeys were following us all the way. Once we arrived at the bay, we also saw few monkeys already on the beach. Most of the people stay at the little bay but if you walk down a bit further on the right, you will get to another beach where not many people are. Also, you can hide from the sun under the cliffs with the view of the crystal clear water.
However, when the tide is low it is very hard to swim there as the water is very shallow and with the corals, you can hurt yourself. So most of the people just sit in the water. I strongly recommend taking some special shoes in which you can walk in the water. We literally had this cute beach just for ourselves which was pretty amazing.
ULUWATU TEMPLE AND SULUBAN BEACH NEARBY
Visiting Uluwatu Temple located on the southwestern tip of the peninsula in Badung and combining it with the beach nearby is a very nice day trip and something I highly recommend doing. This temple was originally used as a place to worship a holy priest from the 11th century named professor Kuturan. In Balinese ‘Ulu’ means the ‘top’ and ‘watu’ means ‘rock’. There is a small entrance fee in order to enter Uluwatu Temple (30.000 Rp ). You also need to wear a sarong and a sash which are appropriate clothes for visiting Hindu temples. If you don’t have one, don’t worry, they will lend it to you for free:) Many people say that the best time to visit this temple is before sunset as every day there is a traditional Kecak Dance performed at the clifftop stage. It starts at 6 PM and lasts around 1 hour.
The temple itself is very small and it is only used for worship. What makes this place so special is the incredible views from the sheer cliffs. You can walk by the shore and enjoy the beautiful scenery. I can guarantee that the beautiful scenery will blow your mind. I was staring at the turquoise waves splashing the stony shore for some time.
If you are traveling around Bali, we highly recommend using Bookaway that organized transfers for you.
VISIT THE BEACH NEARBY ULUWATU TEMPLE
About 2 km north of the temple and 10 minutes of driving by scooter you will arrive at the parking lot, we paid 3.000 Rp for parking and walked down the stairs where you will see dramatic cliffs with steps that lead to the legendary Ulu Watu surf breaks. Ulu Watu is Bali’s biggest and strongest wave. It is a surfer’s dream and definitely not for beginners so if you only had a few lessons, don’t try this one as it can be really dangerous.
You will appear in the big cave where you will see already some surfers sharing their stories with each other. This beach is perfect for surfing. The waves can get wild hitting the shore, and we almost lost our stuff as the wave really surprised us, fortunately, we were able to grab everything on the ground soon enough. The beach sign is quite hidden so not many people know where to actually go. So lookout for a little blue sign which will show you the direction to the beach.
You would need to cross a very tiny cave and on your left, you will find a small cute beach with a shipwreck. The best thing about the beach is that the cave provides you with enough shade to survive the heat which I really like as it can get too hot. However, you can also rent an umbrella there (not sure how much that is). After the beach time, you can walk around the village, which I call surfer village, as almost every shop rents or sells surf stuff and you have a nice surfers’ atmosphere.
Once in Bali I also recommend you to check out Nusa Penida. I also added a few other tours if you don’t have the time to organize it yourself:
I guess the name says everything, right? It is quite a mainstream beach, however, the turquoise water is indeed a dream.
So when you pass by all the umbrellas, you will see less and less people. However, at the time we were there, there was construction going on so if you will look up, the surroundings are not as nice as for instance in Karma Beach or in Green Bowl Beach. However, the water will make you want to stay. It is so azure that it stings your eyes. That day we went there during high tide and the waves can get very high and strong, so be careful.
This beach is located near expensive hotels such as Hilton or Ritz so it is mostly a beach for hotel guests. It makes it hard to find access for non-hotel guests. But somehow we found it. When you see the Hilton Hotel, drive-by, and right next to it you will find a small road with a sign “Barefoot Coffee” and this is where you should go. There is a small hut to take a fee to get to the beach (2.000 Rp per scooter), but there was no one when we came 😀
The construction dirt road will lead you first to the beach called Sawangan Beach and then turn to the right (coming from the dirt road). The water is amazing, it was clean, and when you pass by all the hotels, you will get to a big tree providing plenty of shade, where we lied down. It was wonderful, peaceful, calm, and beautiful. On the right, we saw camels so you can even go for a camel ride 😀 never seen this before. After we went to Barefoot Coffee for some refreshment. It is a very sweet cafe/restaurant, nothing special but the food and milkshakes were tasty.
The following beaches Balangan, Jimbaran, and Pandawa are easy to access, which means you can just drive down the road without walking down many steps and climbing over rocks 😀
Balangan Beach is one of the best Bali beaches and it is 6.5 km off the main Ulu Watu road and it was the first beach we explored. It is a long beach with fine sand, covered with palm trees, and perfect for surfing. This beach is also the perfect place to learn how to surf. Further, there are also a few surfing schools. We spent many hours just sitting at the cafe and watching surfers. We had our substitute for watching TV as we had our own life TV SURFING CHANNEL 😀
However, because of the stones and corals, it is very hard to swim there when the tide is low. So be careful. You will find few cafes, we had lunch there and they served really tasty food. Just don’t expect something fancy, especially with bathroom facilities 😀
This is the beach where we had our first surfing lesson. It is a great beach to learn how to surf. The waves are great for beginners and the bottom is not rocky but covered with sand. So when you fall into the water you are safe 🙂 It is a nice and long beach with a laid-back atmosphere during the day. We had so much fun with our surfing teacher Henry. I had never thought in my life that I would be able to stand up on the board and actually surf. So, if I can do it, you can definitely too. Just don’t be afraid to fall into the water, it is part of the game 😀 I also highly recommend trying Henry Sora’s Karang Muaya Surf School.
“Pandawa Beach” or “Pantai Pandawa” is a white sandy beach with a length of approximately 1 km. It is quite a commercial beach, but we really enjoyed it.
You can get a nice beach chair for a small charge and enjoy the view on turquoise water with a coconut in your hand. Once we went there, there were many locals so it didn’t feel like a touristy place. And don’t be surprised if the locals will ask you to take a picture with you. They are such nice people and I really enjoyed taking selfies with them 😀
Have a great time exploring the best beaches in Bali 🙂
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