Escape to Bali, Indonesia and experience pure paradise on the island’s beautiful beaches. A destination known for its volcanic peaks, deep spirituality, lush rice paddies, rich culture, delicious cuisine, and stunning coastline, Bali seems to have it all.
Relish in the sun and surf on this idyllic island’s sandy shores, the true definition of a dreamy tropical vacation. From lively seaside spots with watersports and cafés to more secluded, tranquil coves, there’s a beach to appeal to every interest, whether you’re looking for surf, snorkeling or a snooze in the shade of a palm tree.
Uncover the beauty of the 10 best beaches in Bali.
Padang Padang Beach, Uluwatu
Hailed as a surfer’s paradise, Padang Padang Beach is well known for its iconic break with a consistent set of barrel waves. Also called Pantai Labuan Sait, the famous beach has been host to popular international surfing competitions throughout the years.
Located on the Bukit Peninsula’s northern edge, between Uluwatu and Bingin, Padang Padang is one of the most famous beaches in Bali. The small but stunning stretch of rock-strewn golden sand is accessed by stairs that bring you through a limestone cave-like rock for a dramatic entrance. You’ll see a temple on your way down, monkeys scampering over the rooftop.
Wade into the aquamarine water and cool off, watch the skilled surfers navigate the waves, or, if you are a surfer yourself, board rentals are available on site too. Stop for lunch at a local “warung” (restaurant) and fill up on traditional dishes as you take in more of the picturesque scenery. Vendors selling t-shirts and other souvenirs are available as well.
Head to the almost five-mile stretch of sand on Bali’s southeastern coast for sun, sand, and a laid-back atmosphere. This beach is the departing point for passenger boats going to nearby islands, so there’s always a buzz here.
On a clear day, the vista stretches to the towering Mount Agung and out to Nusa Penida island. Take a dip in the calm, shallow waters, or rent a kayak for a leisurely paddle. Remember your snorkel gear and venture out to the reef to admire the vibrant marine life.
A paved path along the coast provides the perfect place to stretch your legs with a walk or bike ride, with the sea breeze to cool you off. Stop along the way to pick up some delicious street food items such as lumpia (Indonesian spring rolls) or jaja, a sweet dumpling often eaten for breakfast. Browse shops for souvenirs in between sunbathing on the sands and watching the wooden fishing boats bob in the sea at Sanur Beach.
Wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy looking for dolphins at Lovina Beach on Bali’s northern coast; the name Lovina means “Love for the motherland” and this black sand beach is certainly a departure from many of the others on the island.
Bottle-nosed dolphins frequently play in the water here, and viewing these curious creatures is a real delight. Snorkeling and diving are popular activities as well, with what are regarded as some of the island’s best coral reefs just offshore.
For the ultimate experience, hop on a “jukung” boat and venture out with a guide for a chance to watch the dolphins. They’re used to boats and you may even see them performing acrobatics at close hand.
A former fishing village on Bali’s southwestern coast, Kuta Beach is located just south of Canggu and Seminyak. The three-mile stretch of sand draws surfing enthusiasts, sunbathers, and everything in between to its idyllic shore. The wide variety of activities, food and beverage options, and relaxed atmosphere make this one of the island’s best-known beaches.
Although Kuta Beach is known for its incredible sunset viewing and nightlife, daytime offers a beach lover’s haven as well. Lounge on the sand, take a swim in the calm, clear waters, or stroll along the sand. If you’re looking to get a bit more active, parasailing, banana boat rides, and other water sports are available too.
Restaurants and bars provide refreshments, and small shops are a great place to purchase souvenirs including handicrafts, jewelry and beachwear. Take relaxation a step further and get a Balinese massage; you’ll have your pick of spa offerings both on and around Kuta Beach.
Green Bowl Beach
Lying at the base of a towering limestone cliff on the southern coast of the island, the secluded Green Bowl Beach has a desert island feel, which is why it’s regarded by many as one of the best beaches in Bali.
A perfect destination for adventurous beachgoers prepared to tackle the 300 stone steps to get down to the sand, Green Bowl is famous with surfers looking to tackle the waves and those interested in getting away from it all.
The name “Green Bowl” comes from the green hue of the cliffs and the dense vegetation that frames the golden sand. Once you’ve negotiated the steps, enjoy the uncrowded shores and sparkling turquoise water of this Indonesian gem.
Low tide is the optimal time to visit and the best for snorkeling around the reef in the clear seas with ideal conditions for viewing the rich marine life.
After your time at the beach, climb back up the stairway and cool off with fresh coconut water or other snacks from the local warungs perched at the top. Make sure to stop and visit Pura Batu Pageh, a unique Hindu temple within a cave that is situated close to the entrance of Green Bowl Beach.
Venture to the tranquil northern coast of Bali and discover excellent scuba diving and snorkeling at Pemuteran Beach. This stretch of sand will give you an authentic, more peaceful experience while allowing you to explore all the riches beneath the surface of the beautiful sea.
With unspoiled scenery of black, volcanic sand, sparkling water, and a backdrop of jungly mountains, and fishing boats bobbing on the water, you’ll quickly understand why Pemuteran is considered a find.
A good mix of sun and shade make for a comfortable day spent at the more rustic beach here. If you’re looking to stretch your legs, head to the nearby Pura Batu Kursi, a hilltop temple with fantastic views. A 20-minute trek uphill will provide you with an unforgettable vista of Pemuteran Bay and the surrounding area.
Bring your snorkel gear and swim among tropical fish, keeping an eye out for graceful sea turtles or enormous manta rays. Alternatively, it’s possible to hop on a dive boat to go deeper with your scuba equipment and view even more marine life; scuba concessions on the beach will provide all the gear.
Most of the scuba boats go to the nearby Menjangan Island, a diving mecca with reefs, drop-offs, and even a wreck.
Tanjung Benoa Beach
Located on Bali’s east coast, Tanjung Benoa Beach is perfect for those looking to enjoy watersports. The white sand beach is near the fishing village of the same name, just north of Nusa Dua. It lures visitors with the opportunity to water ski, wakeboard, parasail, flyboard, and scuba dive, to name a few.
The clear, calm water is ideal for swimming and snorkeling, and a shady respite can be found on the beach under the palm trees. There are just enough waves to make a banana boat ride thrilling, jet-skiing adrenaline pumping, and wakeboarding exciting.
Echo Beach, Canggu
One of Bali’s black sand beaches, Echo Beach in Canggu is situated on the southwestern shores of the island. The popular swell draws surfers from all over the world, interested in tackling the reef breaks with their boards.
If you’re interested in learning how to surf, it’s possible to sign up for a lesson here as well. Swimming isn’t recommended, but you can enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of the beach and the scenic backdrop of the Pantai Batu Mejan temple.
The wide expanse of sand makes for an uncrowded experience despite the beach’s popularity. Hotels, restaurants, and bars line the edge of the sand, with plenty of facilities available to beachgoers too. Lounge in a chair, sip a seaside drink and people-watch, or take a leisurely stroll and observe the skilled surfers.
Canggu is known for its café scene, so venture into town and sample some of the trendy and delicious eateries. Try some of the local Indonesian dishes such as mie goreng (fried noodles) or cool off with a smoothie.
Pandawa Beach lies on Bali’s southern coast, just east of Green Bowl Beach. This popular stretch of white sand has something to appeal to all types of beachgoers, with restaurants, facilities, water sports, and swimming.
Backed by limestone cliffs, the scenery provides fantastic photo opportunities as well. Before it became popular among visitors, Pandawa was known for its seaweed farms, some of which still exist today.
Lounge on the half-mile swath of sand in between dips in the clear turquoise sea. Order some Balinese food at the quaint cafés or from a local vendor and enjoy a beach picnic.
One of the most popular beaches in all of Bali is the trendy Seminyak Beach, situated just north of Kuta Beach. The three-mile stretch of sand attracts visitors with its lively atmosphere, many activities, shopping, and wide array of restaurants.
Enjoy a leisurely swim, bask in the sun, or try surfing; Seminyak Beach has a little of everything. Board rentals are available for those interested in catching a few waves.
In addition to enjoying the beach, Seminyak is known for its hipster dining and shopping scene, with world-class restaurants and designer boutiques. Before or after your visit to the beach, make a point to indulge in the culinary scene; the area draws world-class chefs who specialize in contemporary interpretations of Balinese cuisine.
Don’t want to leave the sand? Cool off with a drink at one of the bars where you can still feel the sea breeze. Seminyak Beach is undoubtedly one of the famous beaches in Bali and shouldn’t be missed.
Read: Best Places to Learn How to Surf in the World
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