Ultimate Guide to the Best Beaches in Bali [Hidden locales, Secret Spots and Insider Tips]

Looking for the perfect beach vacation which is a good mix of party and serenity? Well, then – Bali, Indonesia is a great beach destination for solo travelers, couples, families, friends end even seniors.

Beaches of Bali come in all forms and shapes – White sand beaches, surfer beaches, secret spots, black sand beaches, hidden coves, beaches with waterfalls, natural pool beaches, beaches with rock formations and a whole lot more.

During my 3 months in Bali this year, I made it my mission to explore as many offbeat beaches of Bali as I could, possibly. Sadly, the rains dampened my plans to a great degree, yet, I managed to find some amazing hidden gems as well as popular hangouts.

Under the Radar Beaches of Bali Indonesia

In this handpicked list, I will skip the popular beaches everyone flocks to, such as – Nusa Dua, Seminyak, Kuta, Batu Bolong, Jimbaran, Double six, Uluwatu, Sanur and Lovina and focus more on hidden and secret spots. I can promise that you will find some beaches of Bali on this list, which you have never even heard of (let alone visit).

Nelayan Beach

bali art

Artsy huts at Nelayan beach

Nelayan beach in the popular Canggu area of Bali, was such a pleasant find for me. In my quest for finding the best hidden beaches, I saw this tiny dot on the map, just a kilometer from where I was staying in Canggu. Surprised, I jet setted on my scootie to check out Nelayan and how this little gem was hiding in plain sight.

Nelayan black sand beach looked very basic with a small shop selling drinks and instant noodles outside and a lone surfer setting off in search of waves. That’s it, I mused?

Since I was already at the beach, I decided to take a little stroll to see if I missed anything interesting. Lo behold, I sure had. The beach is full of interestingly decorated, artsy fishermen huts. These huts were abandoned but somehow turned into this amazing art lovers paradise. Perfect for your Instagram shots too!

 

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Highlight of Nelayan BeachArtsy fishermen huts with funky murals and graffiti. 

Click here for more pictures, location and information about Nelayan Beach.

Melasti Beach

Melasti beach is surely one of the most unique beaches of Bali. With tiny natural pools all around consisting of sparkling tinted fish and colorful crabs, the serenity surrounding Melasti is simply amazing.

melasti beach bali

Tiny natural pools

It is popular for those seeking fresh sea breeze for their morning yoga sessions and also for photographers, due to its unique cliff formations and stunning landscape.

 

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Highlight of Melasti BeachExcellent photo backdrops with tiny natural pools, roads carved amidst rock formations and quiet, relaxed coastline. 

Check out my detailed post about Melasti Beach.

Nyang Nyang Beach

Another one of my favorite beaches in Bali is the pristine white sand stretch of Nyang Nyang. You can see the crowd free coast line from the top and its a short, interesting jungle trek down to the beach.

nyang nyang view

Nyang Nyang beach view from the top

This dissuades several beach lovers to go there, making it a lovely quaint spot for those who do make it. You will have to pass a bunch of wild monkeys en-route and the path is uneven, so proper footwear could be a plus. There is just one small shop at the beach serving water and beer so if you want to eat something, check out the warung with the view on top of the hill, before you trek back down.

Highlight of Nyang Nyang BeachAmazing jungle trek leading to a pristine stretch of coral filled white sand beach. 

Here’s my detailed post with route and photo gallery on Nyang Nyang.

Thomas Beach

Thomas beach in Uluwatu is an underrated gem, waiting to be discovered. For those who seek serenity and want to watch the waves quietly, this is the place to be. With lovely white sands and clear waters, head over for a peaceful beach time.

Highlight of Thomas BeachUnderrated and peaceful.

Suluban Beach

Suluban or Blue Point beach, is a small stretch of white sand under rock formations. There is a challenging trek to get to the beach and if you prefer you can simply chill at Single Fin cafe/ bar at the top.

Highlight of Suluban BeachHome to the popular hangout Single Fin and the lovely Blue Point Villas.

Kedungu Beach

I am not a big fan of black sand beaches and Kedungu was also pretty crowded for my liking. However, it has lovely waterfalls and can make for some interesting pictures. Close proximity to Tanah lot, makes it an easy beach to head to if you are staying in Canggu. Sunsets can be very pretty but they pull in a lot of local crowd plus the beach isn’t exactly clean either.

kedungu beach

Black lava rocks totally make the scenery stand out

Highlight of Kedungu BeachBlack sand beach with a waterfall and lava rocks, popular for sunset among locals. 

Click for more pictures of Kedungu black sand beach with waterfall.

Pandawa Beach

Pandawa once used to be a hidden beach of Bali due to accessibility issues but has now gained popularity with the new road leading to it. Paragliders and festival lovers flock the beach while it’s also nice for sun bathing and swimming.

pandawa beach

Stunning scenery at Pandawa beach

Highlight of Pandawa BeachClean white sand beach of Bali, stage to several music festivals and popular amidst paragliders. 

Click here for all about Pandawa Beach Bali.

Yeh Gangga Beach

Yeh Gangga is another lovely beach to check out if you are close to Tanah Lot temple. This hidden beach is so quiet and literally has one good restaurant – Warung Tulus Lobster and few nice beach shacks scattered on the other end. It is hard to find a beach so quiet and peaceful on this stretch so I was pleasantly surprised to spot only a handful of tourists. My only companion while I brunched at the restaurant was a cute cat, with whom I happily split my omelette.

pantai yeh gangga

Lovely bean bags and sun beads to chill at Warung Tulus Lobster

Highlight of Yeh Gangga BeachClose proximity to Tanah Lot temple and a quiet stretch of beach with lovely food. 

Read about my newest find – Yeh Gangga in details here.

Mengiat Beach

One of the best beaches in Bali for swimming is the clean Mengiat beach in Nusa Dua. Surely, one of the clearest waters with sparkling white sand, make it perfect for soaking the sun or taking a dip. Showers all around the beach and lovely beach shacks with excellent music make it an excellent getaway.

Mengiat Beach

Lovely Mengiat Beach

Highlight of Mengiat beachExcellent for swimming with a clean shoreline and clear blue green waters. 

Padang Padang Beach

This busy beach in Uluwatu is excellent for year round surfing and chilling. Several warungs serve fresh grilled seafood and its close proximity to popular spots in Uluwatu, makes it an excellent beach to take a break at.

Highlight of Padang Padang BeachCrystal clear waters, great for surfing and pop over to visit the Uluwatu Temple. 

Serangan Beach

Another hidden paradise, Serangan beach is excellent for surfing. Lovely local warungs offer ample Bintangs and food to keep sunbathers and surfers happy. One of the hardest beaches to find as you drive along down trodden roads where your internet signal doesn’t work. So be prepared for a mini adventure trying to get to Serangan for the first time.

Serangan beach bali

The quaint surfer beach of Serangan

Highlight of Serangan beachPerfect beach for advanced surfers and quite hard to reach, which adds to the charm. 

Note– Recent reports say the beach is currently closed for all and no updated on re-opening or further clarifications.

Tegal Wangi Beach

Jimbaran hosts an array of pretty beaches but Tegal wangi beach takes the cake. Named after the temple that sits pretty on top of the hill, the beach is easily accessible through a flight of stairs. Makes for excellent Instagram photos especially at sunset with its natural Jacuzzi in lovely caves.

Highlight of Tegal WangiThis beach boasts of hidden caves and a stunning natural Jacuzzi. 

Green Bowl Beach

A short 50 meter stretch of beach, Green bowl is hidden from plain sight and around 300 tricky flight of stairs away from civilization. This makes it hard to reach but the clear waters draw ample curious visitors to its shores.

Highlight of Green Bowl BeachHard to reach at the base of cliffs, pristine waters and lovely rock pools.

Note – Beware of monkeys!

Pangkung Tibah Beach

This is perhaps the most offbeat beach on this list. You won’t even find it on the map or on Google. My friend and I discovered it while lazily driving around the Tanah Lot shore. We came to this awesome road full of paddy fields and decided to ride along to see what we find. Lo Behold – it ends at a beach with a small warung selling soft drinks, Indomie and Bintang.

Pangkung Tibah Beach

Lovely road leading to Pangkung Tibah Beach

The beach is so underrated that there’s no name mentioned anywhere so I had to ask the lady at the warung and wrote it down to share with all of you. For ease of directions, it is in between Tanah Lot and Yeh Gangga beach (on the same coast line).

Highlight of Pangkung Tibah BeachSurely the lovely road leading to it as there is not much to the beach in itself. 

Gunung Payung Beach

Pantai Gunung Payung is a beautiful white sand beach in South Kuta district. The best part is the lovely temple nestled on top of a hill. For 360 degree views of the spectacular shore line, you need to climb around 400-500 steps which can be quite tricky but surely well worth the effort.

Highlight of Gunung Payung BeachStunning panoramic views of the beach from the Gunung Payung temple on top of the hill.

Best Beaches Near Bali

There are so many islands around Denpasar which make for less commercialized beach vacation spots. It’s easy to hop on a boat, take a short flight to Lombok or simply jump on a ferry to Gili or Nusa islands. All of these offer the perfect mix of palm fringed white sand beaches, minus the crazy crowds.

Here are few of my top picks for beaches around Bali –

Atuh Beach, Nusa Penida

Located in East end of Nusa Penida Island, Atuh beach is a lovely hidden cove, easily accessible by a short flight of shoddy stairs. Depending on which side you choose to get down from, it can be a 7-10 mins tricky hike down to the beach. Views of the stunning white sand beach below are tempting enough to brave the rickety stone steps.

 

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Highlight of  Atuh Beach – Spectacular hidden cove of white sand stretch, perfect for swimming and sun bathing. 

Find out all about Atuh beach , directions and photo gallery in my detailed post here. 

Kelingking Beach, Nusa Penida

Hands down Kelingking beach is the most Instagrammable spot in Nusa Penida. Flocked by tourists for that famous T- Rex shaped hill and stunning white sand stretch. You can chose to go all the way down, which is a hard hike in the sweltering sun, or opt to take pictures from the top – which is the top spot in any case.

 

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Highlight of  Kelingking Beach – The popular T-Rex shape attracts photographers and Instagrammers in hoards to this delightful spot.

Read more about the Kelingking T-Rex beach here.

Broken Beach, Nusa Penida

The stunning arch shape offers a unique perspective to the lovely Broken breach aka Pasih Uug in Nusa Penida’s west coast. Again the best views are from the top of the beach or around the arch.

gopro beach photography

Arch shaped Broken Beach, Nusa Penida

Whilst at the Broken beach, don’t forget to check out the spectacular natural pool at Angel’s Billabong which is right next door.

Highlight of  Broken Beach – Awe inspiring arch shape is both unique and impressive. 

Note – Road to Broken beach is pathetic so don’t attempt to ride a bike unless you have fair bit of experience in doing so. Many accidents and deaths have been reported  in the area.

Check out all details of Broken Beach in Nusa Penida here.

Gili Trawangan

 

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Gili islands consists of three spectacular islands – Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. Of these three, as a party lover, sadly I have only been to Trawangan. However, other two are excellent spots for diving, sunbathing and just relaxing in a peaceful environment.

At Gili Trawangan, I would highly recommend diving in search of Nemo’s or cycling around the island, when you have had enough of the crazy party scene. The flip side of the island (other side of the ferry docks) is far quieter with stunning scenery and amazing sunset view points.

beaches of Gili Trawangan

Quieter flip side of Gili Trawangan

Highlight of  Gili Trawangan – Party island with plenty of serene and picturesque spots for photos, sunset and diving. 

Tanjung Aan beach, Lombok

Tanjung Aan was surely one of my favorite beaches in Lombok. Stunning white sands as far as the eyes can see and lovely huts and swings for picture perfect shots. Lombok beaches are one of the best in and around Bali so I would highly recommend visiting a few.

Tanjung ann lombok

Lovely white sand stretch and swings at Tanjung ann

Highlight of  Tanjung Aan Beach – Pristine white sand beach minus the crazy crowds of Bali and much better for your perfect beach shots. 

Mawi beach, Lombok

Mawi beach is excellent for surfers but has a lot of undercurrent and rocks. My friends and I tried both surfing and swimming and got caught in the under current, barely making it back to the shore and badly wounded. This wasn’t how we expected this lovely serene beach to be, so we were quite surprised and warned others of it later. The road to the beach is also very choppy so unless you are an experienced biker, I would not recommend taking a bike.

mawi beach lombok

Mawi looks pretty harmless until you get into the water

Highlight of  Mawi Beach – Beautiful surfers beach in Kuta Lombok. 

Note – Be careful of the undercurrent and rocks in the water, it is easy to get hurt if you are not careful.

Mawun Beach

One of the cleanest beaches of Lombok, Mawun has lovely views, great chill spots and a handful of beach shacks.

 

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Highlight of Mawun Beach – Rent sunbeds to relax and enjoy a great summer swim here. 

Seger beach, Lombok

Seger beach is just behind the popular Novotel Lombok Resort and is a great place for surfing, drinking coconut water from one of the many tiny warungs or catching hilltop sunsets. There are two main Seger hills which you can easily climb in couple of minutes for breathtaking views.

 

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One of the smaller hills is wider and attracts more visitors. This is a great chill out zone with people brings their own drinks, books and music or just chatting and taking pictures of the setting sun.

 

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Highlight of  Seger Beach – The amazing view points atop two hills and stunning sunset point. 

Selong Belanak Beach, Lombok

Selong Belanak is perhaps one of the most popular beaches in Lombok. Mawi, Mawum, Seger and Tanjung Ann didn’t attract half as many crowds as this one. Flocked with surf schools, surf rental shops and restaurants, this one looks like one of the beaches of Bali, rather than the quieter stretched of Lombok.

selong belanak

Wide stretch of Selong Belanak beach Lombok

Highlight of  Selong Belanak Beach – Well paved roads leading to this popular surf beach. 

Click here for more pictures and info on Selong Belanak 

So this was my carefully curated list of best beaches of Bali. Did I miss any gorgeous hidden spots? Tell me in comments below and I will be sure to visit them next time and add them to this list.

2 Comments

  1. Beautiful beaches! You look great in all the pictures, Jyotsna!

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