Bali’s Best Beaches

From the soft white sands of the south to the glistening black of East Bali, there are way more options than the tourist packed beaches of Kuta and Seminyak. The resort area of Nusa Dua is where many tourists in Bali end up, but work a little harder to get to further away beaches and you’ll be rewarded for your efforts with the quiet time you’ll get to sink your toes into the warm sand, lay back and soak up the rays in peace.

Sanur, South Denpasar, Denpasar City, Bali, Indonesia
Sanur is a beautiful and quaint part of Bali with hotels along the boardwalk that lines the beach. The boardwalk really makes Sanur special, as walking in Bali can be treacherous in most of the towns with narrow streets and tiny sidewalks, but this paved path in Sanur is great for biking and long walks along the beach. Walk to the south end of the boardwalk for a great view of the sunset and find a nice little cafe to have a Bintang (beer) or a Bali kopi (coffee).
Jalan Raya Padang Bai, Antiga, Manggis, Antiga, Karangasem, Kabupaten Karangasem, Bali 80871, Indonesia
Blue Lagoon Beach is a small but beautiful beach with clear water and white sand a couple of minutes walk past the end of Padang Bai’s main strip. When the tide is in there is hardly any beach at all so you have to time your day accordingly, but there are also a few little restaurants where you can sit and hang out if you happen to arrive when the tide is high. There are a few hawkers but they are usually pretty nice if you don’t want to buy anything, although if it’s a slow day they might just hang around for a chat. Snorkling is really lovely at the Blue Lagoon, but do be aware the tides can be strong. The stairs going down to the beach are pretty steep but you can stop to admire the view and catch your breath on the way back up.
Pandawa Beach, Bali, Indonesia
Catching the sunrise at Pandawa Beach, also known as the “Secret Beach” in South Bali, was an adventure from beginning to end. After learning about it from Rob, the owner of Suara Ombak Cottages ( where we stayed during our SURF LIFE retreat, we woke up before the sun, hopped on our motorbikes and headed for the unknown paradise. Once there, we first stopped to admire the massive sculptures being carved out of the cliffs along the path to the beach. Then, down on the sand, as we waited and appreciated the natural beauty around us with only us three and some local fisherman, we witnessed the most magnificent sunrise that looked as if the sky was lit on fire. Riding our motorbikes to catch the sunrise at Pandawa Beach was spontaneous, powerful, unforgettable, and felt like our own treasured secret adventure.
More from AFAR
Sign up for our newsletter
Join more than a million of the world’s best travelers. Subscribe to the Daily Wander newsletter.
AFAR Journeys
Journeys: Food + Drink
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East