The 13 Best Beaches in Bali

From hidden hideaways to restaurant-dotted coastlines on the Indonesian island.

High-angle view of surfers and beachgoers on Balian Beach

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Its "Eat, Pray, Love" fame combined with a reputation for being simultaneously luxurious and bohemian has tourists heading to Bali in droves. The Indonesian island appeals to every kind of traveler, from adventurers up for trekking through the jungle to beach bums keen to lounge oceanside all day. Without a doubt, the beaches are Bali's biggest draw: White and black sands primed for rest and relaxation descend into seas that attract surfers from all over the world.

From hidden beaches that require a trek to busier stretches of coast where you can find a romanic restaurant for your sunset dinner or catch an outdoor movie right on the sand, here are 13 of the best beaches in Bali.

01 of 13

Amed Beach

Panoramic view of Amed coastal area in Bali

Calvin Chan

Lining the island’s eastern shore, this beach is a hit with divers due to its thriving underwater scene. The surrounding area is filled with undisturbed coral and multiple shipwrecks. Unlike some of Bali’s busier beaches, Amed provides a more authentic view of local life, where salt mining and fishing are still incredibly prevalent — as proven by the many outrigger boats you'll find off the black sand.

02 of 13

Balangan Beach

Long stretch of empty white sand on Balangan Beach, Bali
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The waves can get quite high at this beach wedged between two vegetated limestone cliffs on the southern part of the island, which makes it a popular surf spot. Swimmers, on the other hand, should take caution. Rough water and a sharp ocean floor mean that most beachgoers prefer to munch on snacks from a local warung and admire the view from the safety of the beautiful golden sand. Those who choose to sit back on the cliffs instead can snag some breathtaking photos.

03 of 13

Balian Beach

High-angle view of rock formations on Balian Beach

Westend61/Konstantin Trubavin

Surrounded by rice fields on a quiet (read: underrated) stretch of coast, Balian’s black sand fills the beach’s dunes and provides an escape from Bali’s more bustling areas. Those looking to surf can easily rent a board or use their bodies to ride the gentle waves to shore. After a day in the sun, head into the nearby village of Medewi to explore or stick around to watch a sunset — Balian Beach's westward orientation is perfect for it.

04 of 13

Bias Tugal

Waves rolling in on empty Bias Tugal
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Disclaimer: Getting to this beach can be a real challenge as it’s properly tucked away and accessed by following a rugged gravel path through the bushes. The access point is the Padangbai ferry port, on the eastern side of the island, and the walk is a little less than a mile. Rest assured, though, the effort is worth it. You’ll practically have the white sand, coconut trees, and turquoise water all to yourself. Take advantage of the solitude.

05 of 13

Bingin Beach

Rainbow over Bingin Beach in Bali, Indonesia
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White limestone cliffs serve as a dramatic contrast to strikingly blue water at this small surfing beach on Bali’s Bukit Peninsula, located in the south. Nearby accommodations range from surfing camps to boutique resorts and private villas, attracting people from all walks of life. The isolated location is ideal for those looking to get away from the crowds.

06 of 13

New Kuta Beach

Dreamland Beach

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Australian surfers dubbed what is now officially known as New Kuta Beach "Dreamland Beach" for its superb surf break. You might find yourself in a dreamlike state here, too, thanks to silky white sand and the constant crashing of waves. Many have been deterred by the major resorts popping up around this region of far-south Bali, but the beach itself is still worth a visit.

07 of 13

Geger Beach

Coral reefs visible through clear water off Geiger Beach
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If you’re looking for a beach that has it all, this one is for you. Even though the surrounding area is filled with five-star resorts like the St. Regis Bali and Mulia Resort, not to mention the Bali National Golf Club's 18-hole course, the beach still offers an element of seclusion. The water is typically calm, which makes the many available kayaks, dinghies, and paddleboards hot commodities.

08 of 13

Green Bowl Beach

Waves rolling in on empty beach
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This utterly secluded beach stays consistently empty, as the hundreds of steps to reach it are enough to keep crowds at bay. Those up for making the effort are rewarded with beautiful untouched gold sand and plenty of areas to swim in. The caves nearby provide welcome shade on a hot day, and the shops at the top are perfectly placed for grabbing a cold drink after you climb your way back up.

09 of 13

Jimbaran Beach

Local operating a food cart on Jimbaran Beach in Bali
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Jimbaran Beach sits on Bali’s southwestern coast, where the mainland connects to the Bukit Peninsula, and plays host to many luxury resorts like the Four Seasons and InterContinental Bali Resort. Restaurants line the shore with tables on the sand, most offering some sort of seafood feast to accompany the beautiful scenery. Grab a table at one for optimal sunset viewing.

10 of 13

Karma Kandara Beach

Pool overlooking Karma Kandara Beach at sunset
Karma Group

Unlike Green Bowl, the descent to this exclusive beach is made not on foot but in a funicular. Karma Kandara offers one of Bali's most luxurious beach experiences. Here, you can order a cocktail to come right to your shaded lounge chair, as the area belongs to a high-end beach club. Members of the public can access it by paying a fee (funicular cost included), either with a reservation or as walk-in guests.

11 of 13

Nyang Nyang

Surfer with board under their arm heading into the waves
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On the southernmost coast, Nyang Nyang is another hidden gem that requires some work to get to. There are two entrances, on the east and west ends. Those arriving by scooter can drive from the top of the cliffs right down to the beach from the west end; those arriving by car must walk the path as it isn't accessible to larger vehicles. Like Karma Kandara, there's a fee to enter the beach, which you pay at a ticketing booth at the bottom of the road. There are no showers, no restrooms, and no vendors, so you may want to pack a sandwich and some water for the day. It's this simplicity, though, that makes it such a wonderful no-frills hangout.

12 of 13

Padang Padang Beach

Person sitting on empty Padang Padang Beach
Xavier Hoenner

Surrounded by Bukit’s high cliffs, Padang Padang is easily recognizable to the "Eat, Pray, Love" fan: This is the place where Julia Roberts’ character meets her love interest in the film. The water is safe to swim in, and the surf is some of the most exciting in all of Indonesia. You’ll have to work a bit to enjoy it, though, as it’s quite hidden. Be prepared to squeeze your way down narrow pathways to get to this small patch of sand.

13 of 13

Sanur Beach

Colorful canoes along sandy walking track on Sanur Beach
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Sanur serves as the opposite of more touristy areas like Kuta, though there are still plenty of beachfront resorts to choose from. Here, you’ll find the small fishing village charm still intact, with local warungs holding their own against luxury hotels. The atmosphere is laidback, and the water is great for sailing and kitesurfing. It's a great option for getting away from the surf crowd.

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