Beaches of Bali and what to do there
If it is not the amazing cocktails, infinity pools and serenity that attracts millions of tourists each year to the island of Bali, then it is definitely the beaches. One of the most popular things to do in Bali is visit the beach – and this can be done on any budget! Each beach is special and offers something different from the next. Whether you are a surfer, beach wanderer or swimmer, you can find the Bali beach that suits you.
Echo Beach – Canggu
Escape the hustle and bustle of the south and find your hippie vibes on Echo Beach in Canggu. Known to the locals as Panti Betu Mejan, it was named after a historic Balinese Hindu sea temple. Well-known for its surf, this black-sand beach is also famous for its advanced reef breaks, stunning sunset views and fresh seafood cafes. It takes around 45-minutes to drive to Echo from Ngurah Rai International Airport in Tuban and is located approximately 35km northwest of Kuta and Seminyak. Situated at the end of Jalan Pantai Batu Mejan, you will find a row of shacks where you can park, get your motorbike fixed and rent surfboards. Left of the gate is an alley which has lots of dining spots, such as Sticky Fingers Osteria Italiana, Sate Bali, Dian Cafe and Echo Beach House. At the end of the row, you can see the outline of the sea temple and both the temple and cafes sit on a small cliff that overlooks the surf. Nestled in the low-lying rocks is Sand Bar – a funky place scattered with colourful parasols and beanbags, perfect for lazy afternoon drinks. While surfers dominate the waves (they are strictly for advanced riders only), the sand is perfect for sunbathing.
Double-Six Beach – Seminyak
Also known as ‘Blue Ocean Beach’ due to the stunning colour of the water, Double-Six Beach is a half-kilometre stretch of sand that is also part of Seminyak Beach. It connects the northern-most strip of Legian and Seminyak’s southern-most beachfront of The Oberoi Bali resort. This white-sand beach is easily accessible and you can find hip and trendy cafes dotted all along it and open during the day and night. At sunset, you are in for a real treat if you visit La Plancha, where you can lounge on beach bags and enjoy the view. While there are no exclusive gay beaches in Bali, Double Six is very popular among gay visitors and locals. Relax on the sand with a sun lounger which you can rent from locals, or indulge in a cheap beach spa treatment. If exploring the beach is more your thing, you can rent a horse close to Mesari Beach Inn and enjoy a beach horse ride. If you want to catch the latest sporting event, enjoy a grill, or a drink overlooking the beach, then Bali: The Barrel is a great option. With its international and Australian menu, as well as signature cocktails and beers, it’s a perfect way to end the day.
Amed Beach ‒ Amed
For a completely authentic beach experience, head up north to Amed. Offering the most dramatic sunsets and stunning coast in Bali, Amed Beach is very special and makes for a very relaxed getaway. Situated on the north-eastern tip of Bali, it takes around 3 hours to drive there from Ngurah Rai International Airport. It is best to take a taxi, but you can also catch a shuttle bus. Public transport in Amed is rare so once there, rent a scooter or hire a car with a driver. The beach is very popular with honeymooners, as well as divers and snorkelers. There are some of the best snorkelling and diving spots on the island, such as the Japanese shipwreck just 20 metres from the beach. You can charter a fishing boat and fish for mackerel, barracuda and tuna early in the morning. For the adventurer, you can go paddle-boarding in Jemeluk bay next to Apneista Freediving School. You can see great views of the coast this way, as well as of Mount Agung. There are only a few shops in Amed selling basic necessities and most eating places are local warungs with fresh seafood.
Padang Padang Beach – Uluwatu
One of Bali’s most famous surf spots, Padang Padang Beach, is situated on the north-western coast of the Bukit Peninsula. The beach sits in between Bingin and Uluwatu, is around a 30-minute drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport and is home to many international surfing events – the Rip Curl Cup being one. The beach is a 100-metre stretch of sand that is accessible by stairs that emerge through a hollow rock entrance. Halfway down the stairs is a temple that overlooks the surf. You can hire boards on the beach if you want to try surfing but don’t have your own – though this beach is not suitable for beginners. While surfers mainly flock here, the beach is also attractive for families, offering beautiful sand and water with breathtaking views. There are scatterings of local warungs that serve fresh, local food. The legendary Single Fin is also close by and offers delicious food, cold drinks, stunning views and awesome DJs.
Kuta Beach – Kuta
Located on the western side of Bali and only minutes away from Ngurah Rai International Airport, Kuta Beach is where tourism in Bali started. Also only minutes away from Tuban, Legian and Seminyak, Kuta Beach is easily accessible by all. Originally a simple, quiet fishing village, Kuta Beach has witnessed a huge transformation over the years. Filled with hotels, restaurants and shops, the growth is due to visitors, explorers and art lovers from Australia. Kuta Beach is popular with young travellers and those on a budget. There are a number of water sports you can try and the waters are safe to swim in. Kuta Beach’s nightlife is thriving with loud music blasting from most bars and clubs with no prescribed dress code. Many famous international bands and groups have played at Kuta Beach’s venues.
Bali has many beaches all over the island and they all offer different experiences. Either way, you are bound to enjoy them all. Explore!