Bali,  Beaches,  Road Less Traveled

3 Unique and Beautiful Black Sand Beach in Bali Exposed

I imagine that most people when they think of Bali beaches, imagine the pristine white sand beach and clear turquoise waters. 

But did you know that there are beautiful beaches in Bali made of black volcanic sand?  

If it hasn’t been on your radar or your planned itinerary, don’t write it off just yet until you read this post about a unique experience of Bali’s black beaches. 

Read on to learn about black sand beach locations, as well as travel tips, highlights and things to do at each Bali beach. 

Where is a Black Sand Beach in Bali?

A black sand beach in Bali can be found all along the east coast stretching from Padang Bai in the south to Lovina in the north. 

The black sand is believed to have originated from the lava from Bali’s most famous volcano, Mount Agung.   The mica that can be found in the black sand causes shimmer in some areas of the beach and sparkles on the horizon, which is quite stunning.

black sand beach in Bali: tide pulling out at Keramas beach
Black sand beach @ Keramas

According to some of the locals, the black sand is known to possess healing powers, helping to treat arthritis, sciatica and other join inflammation illnesses. 

While you won’t typically find locals burying themselves under black sand, you won’t find these beaches filled with tourists either.   Most of the visitors of Bali head to the west coast instead to join the surf and sunset scene, causing crowded beaches around Kuta, Seminyak, and Canggu.    

Since I love getting off the beaten path and discovering unknown or unpopular destinations, I decided to explore and share some of these secret places in Bali.   I will provide an honest and objective review of 3 black sand beaches in Bali – I hope you find it helpful in planning your next Bali vacation!

Black Sand Beach in Bali #1: Keramas Beach

black sand beach in bali: rocky beach in front of Komune Resort
The pebbly beach in front of Komune Resort

Highlights:

  • Shimmery black sand
  • An undiscovered Bali, far removed from massive tourism
  • Close proximity to popular destinations such as Nusa Dua, Kuta, Legian.

About Pantai Keramas Bali

Keramas is perhaps the most remote south Bali beaches located in a very quiet part of Gianyar Bali on the southeast coast. Unlike other Bali hot spots, you will not see anything resembling a tourist town where shops or restaurants line up along the street.   Keramas is surrounded by coastal villages where you will see the ocean on one side and farms and rice fields on the other side.

The Keramas beach itself is covered with pebbles and rocks.  But if you walk about 10-15 minutes north to Pantai Masceti, you will find a long stretch of powdery, shimmering black sand.  If you want to see the best black beach Bali has to offer, check out Masceti!

black sand beach in Bali: pantai masceti
Fine black sand beach at Pantai Masceti

I have been to Masceti a few times, and even in the high season, I have seen very few tourists here.  

The black sand beach here is practically deserted.   It is definitely one of the most quiet beaches in Bali and a perfect location if you want some peace away from crowds!   

I also found Masceti to be a great photo shoot location, with the blue ocean and black sand creating an exotic backdrop.

All the times I went to Keramas beach or Masceti beach, I went solo.  And I will say this – if you are a solo female traveler, it is unwise to bare down to your bikinis.   While there are a handful of villas and homestays around, the area is still very much “local.”   Without any other tourist around, you will stand out in your bathing suit, and I would consider the attire inappropriate for the setting.

Instead of sunbathing on Keramas beach, go and enjoy the long stroll on the soft beach (or bury yourself if you believe in its healing powers!), take beautiful photos of the shiny sand, and relish in the authentic vibe of the local life surrounding this region.

If this is your first trip to Bali, make sure to check out this post on How to Spend the Best 14-Days in Bali

black sand beach in Bali: shimmery sand falling through my fingers
Can you see the shimmer in the sand?

How to Get to Keramas Beach Bali

Pantai Keramas (Pantai = beach in Indonesian Bahasa) is located just 30 minutes north of Sanur, or about an hour from Ubud, Kuta, or Seminyak.   

As one of the secluded beaches in Bali, you will not find public transportation around Keramas – not even a metered taxi in this area.   The only way to access this beach would be to rent a scooter or hire a driver.

As I mention in my Guide to Bali Transportation, I don’t recommend scooters if you have never driven one, or you are a novice driver.   Instead, please consider hiring a driver – your health and life are worth it!

cows in front of Keramas beach
These cows @ Keramas have beach front views!

Keramas Beach Accommodation

For a luxury stay in Keramas, I highly recommend Komune Resort.  With an onsite spa, pool, restaurant, gym, and surf school, you have everything you need to experience an ultimate getaway vacation on this secluded resort.

If you prefer something more budget, check out Blue Coco.   The accommodation is basic but has everything you need and more, like a shared pool to hang out and relax in.   Blue Coco is located within walking distance to the beach, as well as a handful of warungs and restaurants along the coast.

Black Sand Beach in Bali #2: Amed Beach

black sand beach in Bali: Amed beach
Jukungs (local boat) on Amed beach

Highlights:

  • Snorkeling
  • Not as touristy as the west coast, yet offers enough options for accommodations and restaurants
  • Stunning views overlooking the bay

About Amed Beach Bali

Amed Bali, once a sleepy fishing village, has recently become a popular destination for snorkelers, free divers and scuba divers for its easy accessibility to the reef right off the shore.  But not to worry, despite having become “popular” over the last few years, it is nothing compared to the hustling and bustling tourist center of the west coast.

With the gradual growth in tourism, Amed has developed quite a bit with an expanded selection of restaurants and hotels in the area.  When I first visited Amed 7 years ago, there were just a handful of homestays along the coast, but Amed now offers a host of villas and luxury resorts, providing comfortable stays for all types of travelers.

The two popular black sand beaches in Amed are Jemeluk and Lipah.   Lipah, located a bit further south from Jemeluk, perhaps offers more of a sandy beach of the two.

As both beaches are covered with rocks and pebbles, they may not provide a soft surface for a relaxing “beach day.”   There are plenty of beach chairs/sunbeds you can rent for the day though.  You will also find a selection of restaurants to take a lunch break or grab an ice-cold Bintang along the shore.

One of the highlights of Amed is that it offers colorful corals and a variety of tropical fish that you can enjoy just 30 meters off the shore.   

If you are a fan of snorkeling, you will be in for a treat at Amed.   It is probably one of the best beaches in Bali for snorkeling!

black beach in bali: schooling fish while snorkeling in Amed
Schooling fish off of the beach in Amed

If you are a snorkeling fan, check out this post on the Best Snorkeling Destinations in Indonesia

How to Get to Amed Bali

Access to Amed has become easier over the last several years.   The easiest and most convenient method is to hire a driver to take you to Amed.

You can book a driver online or book one in person via your hotel.   Depending on where you start your trip, booking a driver in person can range from 400,000Rp to 600,0000Rp (USD 27-41 one way).

Another transportation method of getting to Amed is to book a seat on Perama Shuttle Bus for 175,000Rp (USD 12) each way from South Bali or North Bali.  This option is cost efficient if you are traveling solo.

But if you have 2 or more in your traveling group, hiring a private driver is worth splitting the cost.  With a private driver, you have the flexibility to arrange extra stops for things like lunch, a coffee break, or shopping along the way.

Since a drive to Amed can take anywhere from 2-3 hours, you may appreciate the ability to take a break en route.   Plus, you will drive through some beautiful scenery of the mountains and rice fields along the way – you will probably want to stop the car for some photos.

view of the mountain and rice fields on the way to Amed
Just one of many stunning views along the east coast!

Amed Bali Accommodation

While there is an ample selection of accommodations in all budget ranges, when I travel I tend to seek “budget” accommodations as I mostly travel solo.   I found the best value for the price at Solaluna Homestay.

For around USD 30, you get a beachfront accommodation with a very spacious room and bathroom.   The rooms are basic, but it comes with a balcony and a daybed.

The rooms are only a few steps from the beach and the best part of Solaluna is the true experience of a “homestay.”   Solaluna is run by a local family and everyone bends over backward for you!

To experience the true Balinese hospitality in Amed, head to Gede’s Solaluna.  He will take a great care of you!

Black Sand Beach in Bali #3: Tulamben

black sand beach in bali: a view of rocky Tulamben beach
The beach in Tulamben can be rocky

Highlights:

About Tulamben Bali

Tulamben is perhaps one of the most popular beaches in Bali for black sand, as well as other marine and land activities.

Tulamben hosts the world-famous shipwreck USS Liberty, which is the most accessible underwater wrecks in the world, located just 30 meters from the shore.

Due to the fact that the wreck can be seen as shallow as 5 meters, the USS Liberty can be enjoyed by all levels of marine lovers including scuba divers, free divers, and snorkelers.

But if you want to get up close and personal and explore 100 meters of the shipwreck, it is optimal to scuba dive.  If you have never dived before, not to worry – you can take Discover Scuba Diving with an instructor and dive the wreck for your first underwater experience!  How cool is that!

If you are already a certified diver, you can sign up for a shipwreck dive here or read more about planning a dive trip to Tulamben

Given the shipwreck’s popularity, Tulamben beach can get quite crowded particularly during the high season in Bali (July – October).  Since the beaches along Tulamben are generally full of divers, as well as gravel and pebbles, Tulamben’s beaches are not optimal for sunbathing.

But don’t let that deter you from visiting this enchanting village.  Tulamben is uniquely situated between Mount Agung and the coast.   So no matter which resort you choose for your stay, you are likely to have a spectacular view of the beautiful Mount Agung on one side and a horizon of sea view on the other.

Also due to the proximity to Mount Batur, Tulamben is an ideal location to base yourself if you wish to explore the sunrise trekking on an active volcano!    If you prefer a less-crowded trekking option, you may consider the sunset trekking instead.

black sand beach in bali: a view of rocky Tulamben beach
Starting a shore dive in Tulamben's Drop Off

How to Get to Tulamben Bali

Tulamben is located just north of Amed, about 20 minutes up the coast.  To get to Tulamben from South Bali, the drive can take between 2-3 hours depending on your origin and maybe even more with traffic.

The transportation options for Tulamben are the same as Amed.   You can either hire a private driver online (~USD 30) to transfer you on your preferred time with the flexibility to make stops along the way, or book a seat on Perama Public Shuttle for 175,000Rp (~12 USD).

Tulamben Bali Accommodation

If you are looking for a luxurious resort stay in Tulamben with a view of the black sand beach in Bali, look no further than Toyabali.

With only 5 spacious and clean stand-alone bungalows in the beautifully manicured gardens, you always have peace and privacy on this beachfront property.

The bathrooms in the bungalows are enormous, probably equal in size to the actual bedroom.   You can enjoy an outdoor shower or a jet-bath Jacuzzi watching the stars at night.   I don’t know about you, but I adore outdoor bathrooms!

For a more budget-friendly option, check out Ocean Sun Dive Resort.  Even though the resort is not ocean front, the rooms are very spacious, the infinity pool was amazing and I loved the (partial) outdoor shower!

The breakfast (included in the price) was plentiful and I particularly appreciated the onsite dive center (to rent any gear you need) and the dive team who was there to assist with scuba diving plans.   If you plan to scuba dive, go with Ocean Sun!

taking a stroll on a fine black sand at Pantai Masceti
A long stretch of black sand beach @ Pantai Masceti

If you are in search of the best white sand beach in Bali, be sure to check out Nyang Nyang Beach and Bias Tugel Beach!

Summary

If you despise overcrowded tourist traps as I do, why not explore some of the more unusual destinations along the east coast?  

As beautiful as all the black beach destinations were, I found Pantai Masceti to be the most attractive black sand beach in Bali.  

At Masceti, the sand was in its finest form, and the shimmer in the pure blackness was particularly remarkable.   I also found Pantai Masceti to be mostly untouched from tourism, maintaining the original “local” charm and vibe of the village life.   

The black sand beach at Masceti/Keramas is also the closest to South Bali, allowing you to stop by as a part of a day trip if you have a tight schedule.

Regardless of which black sand beach you prefer, I say visiting at least one black beach is worth a trip – I’m sure it will add to your collection of wonderful Bali memories!

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13 Comments

  • Michelle

    I will definitely be adding these black sand beaches to my bucket list (Bali is already on there). LOL! I have been to many beaches but never black sand beaches. These look great!

    • Mo

      I don’t imagine too many people go out of their way to look for black sand beaches – which is great for some of us who like to avoid the crowds 😉

  • Sandy

    I’ve spent heaps of time in Bali, but never actually been to some of these places! Getting married in Bali next year so definitely added these black beaches to the bucket list for while we’re there. Thanks for sharing!

    • Mo

      OOOOH that is such exciting news!!! Congratulations! I’ve attended a wedding in Bali and it was gorgeous – I am sure your wedding will be stunning as well (it’s hard to go wrong in Bali ;)) Enjoy your wedding, honeymoon and the black sand beach 🙂

      • Jackie

        Hi (again x 4) haha. Your Bali blogs are giving me major wanderlust. Ive been kinda hesitant about travelling alone and now I’m super excited! Would you say this area would be a suitable replacement to legian?

        I was planning on soaking up some Bali food, culture, markets and things that seminyak has to offer (not sure what yet) but your posts about this black sand beach and the other beach close by that made your prettiest white sand beaches post makes me want to stay here.

        It’s my first time in Bali, and probably won’t have the budget or time to do both so, what do you reckon? Or should I really try and cram both in? Haha

      • Mo

        Hi Jackie x4 🙂
        Thanks for checking out my Bali posts! I’m so glad you are finding them useful for your upcoming trip!
        Hmmmm, that is a tough one – the black sand beaches and white sand beaches in Bali are so different – but I will say that white sand beaches tend to attract more tourists, so it’s more crowded. If you want to experience the authentic Balinese experience, I say head to the black sand beach in Amed (which I recommended in your comment) where you can also go snorkeling from the shore 🙂 Amed is admittedly not the prettiest beach, but the views are stunning and the local town is still relatively quaint and charming!
        Feel free to reach out to me at mo@travelust101.com if have more questions – I’m happy to help!

      • Jackie

        Thanks for your reply and generosity in sharing travel advice, Mo! I didn’t get the notifications for your replies- even in my spam folder. So happy I rediscovered your blog again while doing more research lol. I’ll now go track your other replies and email you there so it’s more consolidated :).

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