Best beach in bali: a clifftop view of Balangan beach
Bali,  Beaches

Best Beaches in Bali: Where to Go for Sunsets, Surf, Swim, and More!

As a self-proclaimed beach bum, I could happily spend all my days on the beach listening to the crashing waves, soaking in the sun rays and splashing around in the water.  So naturally, when I landed on my dream paradise destination, my mission was to explore all the best beaches in Bali.

Having lived in Bali now for over 5 years, I have been to beaches on all four coasts of the island, from the pristine white sand beaches in the south to the black volcanic sand beaches in the north.   There are so many beautiful beaches in Bali, and I am so excited to share with you my top favorites! 

Get ready to pack your favorite bikinis, reef-safe sunscreen, and your summer reading list and explore some of the best beaches in Bali!  You won’t want to miss this list if you’re planning an ultimate beach vacay in the tropical island of Bali.

Best Beach in Bali with White Sand

a stretch of long white sand beach and clear waters at Nyang Nyang beach in Bali Indonesia

Bias Tugel Beach Bali

Bias Tugel Beach in Padang Bai is probably one of the most underrated beaches in Bali. 

Unlike other Bali beaches that stretch along a coastline, Bias Tugel is rather an inlet that is about 120 meters (390 feet) long set between eroded volcanic rocks on both ends.  The beach is located about an hour east of Ubud, and a great escape if you need a day to unwind from your endless tour of temples and other famous Bali attractions.

The highlight of Bias Tugel beach is the fine, powdery and pristine white sand, and the turquoise water that is some of the bluest and clearest I’ve seen around the island.  You can find a few warungs that sell drinks and snacks, as well as beach chairs and umbrellas for rent – so it’s a fantastic beach destination for catching up on your Kindle library and working on your bronze tan!

Aside from the beautiful beach, another great perk of Bias Tugel Beach is that it never gets too crowded here.  I spent a few hours at this beach, and it had a good mix of local expats, families, couples, and singles to enjoy the beach day with.

Related Post: 13 Best Things to Do in Ubud

Best Beach in Bali for Surfing

Uluwatu Beaches Bali

Uluwatu has several popular beaches that are hot spots for surfing enthusiasts, but my favorites are Suluban Beach and Bingin Beach.  The beaches in Uluwatu are less crowded than those in Canggu, where I had my first (unpleasant) surfing lesson.  The Echo beach where I took my surf lesson in Canggu was so congested with surfers that I was always afraid of running over someone or getting knocked over myself. 

In comparison, the Bingin beach only has a couple of surf shops and was much more laid back.  There is a line of warungs and snack shacks right on the beach where you can stop in for drinks and food afterward.

Suluban Beach is another one of my favorites, but better suited for more advanced surfers – I did not surf here but saw plenty of people heading down with their boards.  What I loved about Suluban are the unique rock formations that you can walk through to get to the beach, which made a great photo backdrop!  There is one warung built on top of a cliff with an overlook of the ocean and the surrounding cliff walls.  Be sure to stop in for some fresh coconut – the view is amazing from there.

A thing to note about Bingin and Suluban beaches is the 15-20-minute climb down some steep steps to reach the beaches.  Since the steps are paved, they are not difficult as long as you take your time. 

Best Beach in Bali for Swimming

best beaches in bali: an aerial view of sanur beach in bali

Sanur Beach Bali

The beaches on the west coast of Bali – Canggu, Seminyak, Legian, and Uluwatu – can be prone to strong rip, surge and waves depending on the tide and the weather.

In Sanur, however, the waters are always calm and clear.  I lived in Sanur for 4 years and loved spending my beach days there because I can lay in the shallows of crystal clear waters and cool myself from the intense heat of the tropics without worrying about the current.

You can also find many water activities along the beach in Sanur, such as stand-up paddle boarding, surfing, kite surfing, and jet skiing.  If you want the best swimming beach in Bali (particularly for kids), I recommend that you head to south Sanur Beach around Mercure Hotel or the Hyatt Regency, which is far removed from the boat traffic around the piers.

Even though there are many shops, restaurants, and bars along the stretch of the Sanur beach, unlike the populated beaches in Seminyak or Canggu, you will rarely find hawkers on the beach harassing you to buy stuff when you are trying to enjoy a quiet beach day.

I love the relaxing, peaceful vibe around Sanur.  If you are heading to Bali as a family, couple, or a solo traveler for a stress-free beach vacation, make Sanur your destination.

Related Post: The Ultimate Guide to Sanur – Where to Play, Eat, and Stay

Best Beach in Bali with Black Sand

taking a stroll on a fine black sand at Pantai Masceti

Masceti Beach Bali

Many people who head to Bali dream of perfect white sand beaches, but did you know that there are black sand beaches in Bali?

Some locals believe there the black volcanic sand has healing powers and sometimes bury themselves to rid ailments such as arthritis and join pains.

I have been to several black sand beaches, but Masceti is my favorite. Unlike the other black beaches that are full of rocks and pebbles, Masceti has fine, shimmery black sand that that is soft and smooth to enjoy a stroll on.

An even better part of Masceti beach is that it’s completely off the tourist radar so you will rarely run into a tourist along the beach at Masceti.

Located just north of Keramas Beach and surrounded by local villages and farmland, Pantai Masceti is a unique beach worth exploring if you ever want to escape the crowd and discover one of the best hidden gems of the island!

Related Post:  Discover the Black Sand Beaches of Bali

Best Beach in Bali without the Crowd

Mo taking a stroll on a deserted beach at Nyang Nyang beach in Bali
A private beach all to myself!

Nyang Nyang Beach Bali

Nyang Nyang Beach, located at the south tip of Bukit Peninsula, is hands down one of the best beaches in Bali.  It is a spectacular stretch of pristine white sand with turquoise blue seas surrounded by cliff walls and lush greenery. 

Despite the stunning landscape, very few tourists find their way to Nyang Nyang Beach.  It’s a great location to escape the mass tourism of nearby Kuta/Legian/Nusa Dua and enjoy a beautiful beach day.  Even though I visited Nyang Nyang a couple of times in the middle of high season, I still found the beach void of big crowds. 

It’s also worth checking out the sister beach called Nunggalan beach just a few minutes down the road – it’s just as secluded and beautiful, and you can also find an abandoned shipwreck which is famous for Instagrammers!

Related Post: Discover 6 Off-the-Beaten-Path Bali Attractions

Best Beaches in Bali Sunsets

best beaches in bali: cannggu beach at sunset with orange skies

Tegal Wangi Beach

You can catch some beautiful sunsets all along the west coast of Bali, but there is one special beach called Tegal Wangi that offers shallow pools where you can dip in at low tide.

The rock formations at Tegal Wangi is uniquely shaped about the size of a Jacuzzi – so when the tide is pulling out, the water collects in the rock “pockets,” forming a natural pool.   Soaking in this rock Jacuzzi while the horizon lights up in dramatic shades of orange at sunset is a unique experience for sure!  

Even though Pantai Tegal Wangi is relatively unnoticed by the tourists, it does get crowded with locals around sunset time.  So arrive early at the golden hour for the best photo opportunities.  Otherwise, Tegal Wangi is also a great spot to make a beach day!

If you plan to spend the day at Tegal Wangi, note that there are no shops on the beach.  Take everything you need for a beach day such as drinks, snacks, towels, etc.

Check out this post for more details and travel tips on Tegal Wangi Beach.

dipping in the natural jacuzzi at Tegal Wangi beach in Uluwatu Bali
Wouldn't you want to soak in this natural jacuzzi at sunset? 🙂

Canggu Beach

Canggu Beach, also known as Batu Bolong Beach, is unquestionably the hottest place to be in Bali right now for beach lovers, surfers, digital nomads, and foodies alike. 

While not the prettiest beach on the island, I love Canggu beach for the overall laid-back surf-town vibes.  Even though some consider Canggu the “next Seminyak” and you will undoubtedly see never-ending constructions for the next boutique shop, vegan restaurant, fancy cafe or villa, there is a fun atmosphere to Canggu that keeps drawing me there.

Canggu offers a good mix of social life with a healthy lifestyle, without being overly congested or stressful like the neighbors in the south (e.g., Seminyak/Legian).

And the sunsets around Canggu are incredible!  Head to Old Man’s or Ji’s Restaurant for Happy Hour, grab a Bintang and be ready to snap photos of the stunning colors of the sky as the sun sets over the horizon.

Canggu has a great nightlife too, and you can almost always find a live band or music in town – so get ready to play hard by day and harder at night!  

Related Post: The Ultimate 14-Day Bali Itinerary

The Lawn beach club in Canggu
The Lawn in Canggu at sunset

Nusa Lembongan Beaches

The sister islands of Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida are located east of Bali’s mainland and can be accessed by a short fast boat ferry ride. Although most of Ceningan and Penida are surrounded by limestone cliffs along the coastline, Lembongan island has some beautiful white sand beaches that are traveling for!

As most of the beaches on Nusa Lembongan are situated along the west coast, any one of the Dream Beach, Jungutbatu Beach, Sandy Bay Beach is a perfect spot to watch the sunset while sipping on a cocktail!

Admittedly, mass tourism has exploded on Nusa Lembongan over the last few years, but I love the enchanting island vibes there.  Not only is Lembongan island a fantastic destination for stunning sunsets but also world-class surfing, snorkeling, and scuba diving!  So be sure not to miss Nusa Lembongan on your next trip to Bali!

Related Posts:  7 Tips to Know Before Heading to Nusa Lembongan

the best nusa lembongan beaches
Dream Beach on Nusa Lembongan is, dreamy indeed.

Tips to Know Before Heading to a Beach in Bali

Tip #1: Avoid Kuta

As a beach lover, it’s hard for me ever to find a “bad beach,” but if I can offer you one suggestion when you travel to Bali, it’s this one tip: please do not head to Kuta.  Unless of course, you are looking to relive your spring break, get hammered throughout your vacation and deprive yourself of any beauty that Bali has to offer. 

Kuta Beach is full of tourist traps, hawkers, scammers, and drunk tourists – believe me when I tell you that there is nothing worth seeing in Kuta.

I recently published a comprehensive travel guide on an Ultimate Bali Itinerary, and a woman commented that she hated her trip to Bali.  She claimed that her experience was so terrible in fact, that she cut her vacation short as she couldn’t stand being in Bali.  

Naturally curious, I asked her where she stayed in Bali, and she responded: Kuta. 

Ah.  Then it makes sense.  

She is certainly not alone – many visitors to Bali complain about their unpleasant experiences in Kuta.  So please do yourself a favor and save yourself the disappointment.

Legian beach and Seminyak beach to the north of Kuta are very similar – the beaches are crowded, and they are not even great beaches.   I will say, however, that Seminyak offers some adorable boutique shops and fantastic restaurant options – so if you are looking for a bustling shopping or food scene in Bali, Seminyak can be worth dodging the crowd for.

Tip #2: Avoid the Rainy Season

The rainy season in Bali, which generally falls between December and March, is not a bad time to visit the island as a whole.  As a matter of fact, it can be an excellent time to visit Bali as the “wet season” is also the low season when tour agencies and major resorts drop prices and promote discount packages.

The beaches, however, see a significant change during the rainy season as all the rubbish and plastic in the sea wash up ashore.  It is an unfortunate sight, but the reality of human footprint on Mother Nature.

If you visit any of the beaches during the rainy season, be prepared to witness trash floating in the waters and piled up on the beaches.

Tip #3: Enter at Your Own Risk

There are no lifeguards at any of the beaches in Bali.  And as I mentioned previously, the west coast can be prone to rip and current.  You should know your limits when entering the water, particularly when the conditions are rough!  

Summary

I hope you enjoyed this guide to the best beaches in Bali and found it helpful for planning your Bali itinerary! 

If you discovered any of the beaches listed in this post, or have suggestions of your own, I would love to hear your comments below! 

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Looking for the best beaches in Bali, Indonesia for your next beach vacay? Check out this Bali guide for the best of the Bali beaches for surfs, sunsets, swims and more! You don't want to miss these beautiful destinations - be sure to add them to your bucket list on your Bali itinerary! Bali Guide | Bali vacation | Things to Do in Bali | #bali # baliindonesia #balibeaches #beachvacay #paradise #beaches
If you are searching for best beaches in Bali, look no further! From Uluwatu, Canggu to Sanur, you can find a full list of the hottest beach destinations for your next Bali Travel! Be sure to put these stunning beaches on your Bali itinerary - you won't be dissappointed! Bali Guide | Bali vacation | Beach vacay | #bali # baliindonesia #balibeaches #beachvacay #paradise #beaches

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