A Guide to Bali’s Beaches
September 11, 2013 by Lydia Schrandt
The word Bali conjures up images of golden sand, blue waters, sunsets and surfing — all for good reason. This relatively small Indonesian island is home to a lion’s share of the country’s best beaches, making it a popular destination for honeymooners and beach bums alike. When on Bali, you’ll have your choice of varied stretches of coast, but if you’re having trouble choosing, here’s a guide to Bali’s beaches.
Kuta and Legian Beaches
By far the most crowded of Bali’s beaches, Kuta and Legian beaches have become two of the most popular on the island thanks to their beautiful sunsets, budget accommodation, healthy nightlife and decent surfing conditions. A majority of the island’s cheap guesthouses and backpacker hostels are centered around Kuta, which depending on what you’re looking for, could be a good or a bad thing. If you’re not into the surf scene and you’d prefer to relax on the sand, you’re better off avoiding this area.
Nusa Dua Beach
The beach of Nusa Dua is quieter, cleaner and better for swimming than Kuta. Dominated by high-end resorts, this area also enjoys some of Bali’s warmest water temperatures. The clear waters of the area make it a popular destination for snorkelers and divers, and just 20 minutes away at Uluwatu is one of Bali’s best surfing spots.
If you’re looking for a Balinese beach with a little local flavor, give Sanur a try. Sanur was the first area in Bali to be developed as a resort destination, and it remains one of the best places to catch a sunrise if you’re up early. It’s also conveniently located a short drive from the Denpasar airport.
Located on the northern coast of Bali, the town and beaches of Lovina have many of the same strengths as Kuta — nightlife, restaurants, nice sunsets — without the crowds, making it a favorite among travelers. Unlike Bali’s other beaches, the beaches in and around Lovina are predominantly black sand.
If you’re just learning to surf, you go to Kuta. If you already know how, you go to Balangan. This stretch of white sand is way off the tourist path and is where the local surfing crowd hang out. You’ll find a few bungalow-style accommodations as well as a surf school or two here.