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Best Beaches in Bali: How to Choose the Right One for Your Trip

Best Beaches in Bali: How to Choose the Right One for Your Trip

By EdwardUpdated Sep. 16, 2022

Whether you want to lounge in the sun, stay at a luxury hotel, be near major attractions, hike, eat delicious food, swim, surf, scuba, do water sports, be alone in solitude, or enjoy scenic beauty, here are our recommendations for the 8 best beaches you can go to for these activities.

How do you choose the right beaches for your trip among so many? Here are our 8 picks below. One good thing about these 8 beaches is that they are all within an hour of Denpasar Airport.

Beaches Best-Suited For….

  • Lounging: Kuta, Seminyak
  • Beaches with luxury resorts: Uluwatu (Kowowai Tiny Cottages), Nusa Dua, Jimbaran, Seminyak, Kuta
  • Honeymoons: Uluwatu, Jimbaran (Four Seasons Resort), Seminyak (budget), Nusa Dua
  • Families: Uluwatu, Jimbaran, Nusa Dua, Seminyak, Kuta
  • Backpackers: Blue Lagoon, Canggu, Amed Beach
  • Swimming: Kuta, Seminyak,
  • Snorkeling and scuba diving: Blue Lagoon, Amed Beach
  • Surfing: Nusa Dua, Canggu (bigger waves), Seminyak, Kuta (smaller waves)
  • Water sports: Seminyak
  • Solitude: Uluwatu, Blue Lagoon
  • Scenic beauty: Blue Lagoon, Amed Beach
  • The rainy season: Nusa Dua

Things You Should Consider When You Pick a Beach

Sunset View in Uluwatu, Bali Sunset View in Uluwatu, Bali

1. Your travel needs: 

Are you planning for a honeymoon-style trip, surfing, or a family trip? Beaches that are well-developed with lifeguards with all the facilities, such as showers and toilets, and that are next to hotels are suitable for a family trip such as Kuta and Nusa Dua.

2. Rainy season and dry season: 

There is an annual rainy season from November to March when heavy rains, thunderstorms, and flooding make going to the beach not as nice, due to cloudy skies and trash and debris in the water and on the beach. This is particularly true along the southern coast and western coast. Seminyak, Echo Beach, Kuta, Batu Bolong, Legian, Seminyak, and Canggu are all worse. However, some beaches on the east coast such as Nusa Dua are generally still fine to go to and surf at.

Even during the rainy season, it generally rains just a few hours a day in the afternoon and evening, so if you go in the morning, you can enjoy it when the weather is fine. Contact us for the situation at the beaches for the time of the year you arrive, and recommend the best ones and provide you with flexible transportation.

See Bali Rainy Season: When It Is and Best Places to Go.

3. Accommodations: 

The Kayana Seminyak in Bali The Kayana Seminyak in Bali

Some beaches, such as Kuta, are near the airport and fit all budgets since there is free entrance and they are close to budget hotels and restaurants. Luxury hotels are plentiful at the resort area of Nusa Dua. Jimbaran Beach is near the Four Seasons Resort, and there is a south coast beach at the Bulgari Resort Bali.

4. Crowds/solitude: 

Basically, to enjoy solitude, get away from Denpasar or check into resorts with private beaches. Low tourist season is quiet during the rainy season from October to March, and April and September are transition months both for the weather and tourism. However, the major holidays of winter and spring such as Christmas, New Years, Easter and the Chinese New Year are busy.

Bali has many small beaches where you might find solitude and scenic beauty, and there are similar beaches on small islets just offshore.

Feel free to contact us. We are here to help design an ideal trip and provide private transportation based on your preferences, budget, group size, travel time, and other requirements.

Read more about How to Plan a Trip to Bali

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The 8 Recommended Beaches

1. Kuta Beach - Easy to Reach

Kuta Beach in Bali Kuta Beach in Bali
  • Great for: lounging, surfing, luxury hotels, families, swimming

Kuta has soft golden sand, a shallow shore, proximity to facilities, dining, hotels for various budgets, and lifeguards.  It is within 4 kilometers (2½ miles) of Denpasar airport, so getting there is easy.

For lounging, there are sun loungers. But this wonderful big beach is in the main urban region of Bali, and so it is crowded. The 5-star Sheraton Hotel and other hotels are along the beach.

Kuta is polluted between December and March generally, and during these months, Nusa Dua is more suitable.

For more about accommodations near Kuta Beach, see: Where to Stay in Bali

2. Seminyak Beach - Fewer Crowds 

Wide sand beach in Seminyak, Bali Wide sand beach in Seminyak, Bali
  • Great for: lounging, surfing, families, water sports, honeymoons

Seminyak is about 3 kilometers (2 miles) northwards from Kuta.  The waves are bigger than those at Kuta, so more experienced surfers surf there. Since it is further from the city center, it is also less crowded. A few lifeguards serve on the big beach. The fewer crowds, and the hotels on the beach makes the beach suitable for honeymoons and seniors.

Sections of the beach are privately owned by luxury hotels. During the rainy season, rivers in the area bring pollution.

See our Bali delicacies recommendations to find a recommended restaurant around the beaches that you could to go to: The 10 Best Bali Foods and Dishes You Absolutely Have to Try.

Recommended Itinerary

3. Canggu - Surfing Paradise with Big Waves

Canggu Bars Hopping Evening Canggu Bars Hopping Evening
  • Great for: surfing, families, budget accommodations

Canggu is famed for its surfing, and lifeguards along the whole length also helps make the beach suitable for children. However, the waves are big there, so families should watch their little children. There is black sand and some boulders.

Experienced surfers like Canggu. Echo Beach in Canggu is one of the best spots to surf, and the best time to come is during the dry season from May to September when winds kick up the waves higher.

Backpackers like the area for budget accommodations and because it is easy to go to. Canggu is close to Denpasar and only about 5 kilometers (3 miles) from Seminyak. It is about 20 minutes from the airport by vehicle.

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4. Uluwatu - Home to Pura Luhur Uluwatu

Uluwatu - Home to Pura Luhur Uluwatu Uluwatu - Home to Pura Luhur Uluwatu
  • Great for: luxury resorts, honeymoons, families, solitude, snorkeling, swimming, surfing

Uluwatu is on a promontory lined with cliffs about 22 minutes south of the airport. It is a better place to find solitude than the busier areas nearer the main city. There is golden sand, and snorkeling is a favorite activity. It is also a good place to swim and surf, but wear shoes for the rocky bottom and the coral.

For those looking for a luxury getaway or a honeymoon suite, Bulgari Resort Bali is a hidden clifftop resort nearly 150 meters (500 feet) above sea level with a private beach. The hotel has breathtaking clifftop ocean and sunset views. All the villas and mansions have a private infinity pool and a beautiful tropical garden. Alila Villas and Kowowai Tiny Cottages are other hotel options.

Though some of the beach areas get crowded, for solitude, you can find isolated small beaches and private sections of the beach.

12-Day Romantic Bali & Java Honeymoon — Fairy-tale experience of Bali and Java: high tea, water sports experience, dreamy sunrises and sunsets, the Kecak dance…

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5. Blue Lagoon Beach - Stunning Surrounding Village

  • Great for: honeymoons, families, solitude, snorkeling, scuba diving, backpackers, scenic beauty

If you want to see one of Bali's most beautiful beaches and snorkel and scuba dive, this is where to go. The nearby village is a great place to experience the daily life of Balinese and enjoy seafood. It is more suitable for families seeking nature and peace. The beach is not as crowded as the beaches nearer Denpasar.

Some people love to see the life and coral underwater. The best months to snorkel is the dry season when you can see the blue water. At other times, the water might be murky and the sea rough. There is trash in the water during the rainy season too.

Accommodations range from middle level to luxury at the Bloo Lagoon Village Resort. It is also a place for backpackers and those who want to stay at guesthouses.

6. Jimbaran Beach - Beautiful Sunset

Jimbaran Beach sunset Jimbaran Beach sunset
  • Great for: honeymoons, families, swimming, luxury resort, water sports

Jimbaran is one of the best beaches in Bali. It is about 4 km (2.5 miles) of white/tan soft sand and is good for lounging and for families. It is well known for its popular seafood restaurants and beautiful sunsets. After the sun sets, there are live entertainments, such as a mariachi band (guitarists, violinists, and trumpeters) or traditional dances.

We recommend arriving at around 5 pm and taking a seat in one of the restaurants located on the beach, ordering food and drink, and enjoying the romantic sunset while waiting for your fresh seafood.

The waves are usually too small for surfing since a coral reef suppresses the waves, making it is a better beach for small children accompanied by an adult.

The Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay offers you unforgettable views and great water sports activities such as kayaking, windsurfing, and catamaran sailing. All the villas have private pools, so you can swim in seclusion or dip in an infinity pool overlooking the sea. The resort is a romantic spot for couples with a private beachfront and famous seafood restaurants.

The beach is about 5 km (3 miles) from the airport. It is easy to go to. It is about 10 minutes south of the airport by vehicle.

7. Nusa Dua Beach - Good Choice in Rainy Season

Nusa Dua Beach Nusa Dua Beach
  • Great for: luxury resorts, surfing, honeymoons, families, best beach in the rainy season

Nusa Dua is a gated resort area close to the airport on the peninsula’s east coast. You can escape from the city, but still be close to it. Water sports such as surfing are possible even in the rainy season.

It has soft white sand suitable for families with children. Compared to most other beaches in Bali, Nusa Dua has less small coral and rocks. It is safer for young kids.

The Ritz-Carlton, Bali is a family-friendly luxury resort in Nusa Dua. It sprawls across a dramatic cliff leading down to its private white-sand beach. All villas feature private pools, lush gardens, and breathtaking views.

The St. Regis Resort is nearby. It is an award-winning beach resort with luxury suites and villas looking out on ocean views. The hotel has four dining venues for gourmet food.

8. Amed Beach - Best Scuba Diving Beach & Amazing Surrounding Nature

Scenic beach landscape in Amed, Bali Scenic beach landscape in Amed, Bali
  • Great for: best snorkeling, scuba diving, budget, backpackers, nearby scenic beauty, families with older kids, solitude

The best scuba diving beach in Bali is on the east of Bali, 2 hours from Denpasar. We recommend it for snorkeling and scuba divers. The nearby village is also quite interesting and less touristy, transportation and accommodations are convenient, and it is not very crowded.

It is a less polluted area than other diving sites around Bali since it is on the east coast. You can see the fish and coral reef near the beach. There are also shipwrecks you can go visit near Amed.

The area has waterfalls and terraced fields you could go to. It is only about an hour away from the Sidemen terraced fields. It is not a resort area so it is suited for backpackers too.

You can lounge on the beach and swim, but Amed is not as beautiful a beach as are the recommended ones south around Denpasar since there are rocks and boulders on the beach and black volcanic sand. The surrounding region is what makes the scenery at the beach beautiful. The biggest volcano in Bali rises in view.  But the surrounding nature and farmland makes up for that if you like walking and hiking around. It is a less popular beach, so there are fewer tourist crowds. It is definitely a place for fresh seafood.

For recommended terraced fields nearby, see: Guide to the Bali Rice Fields: Which to Visit      

Suggested read: Top 15 Tourist Attractions in Bali: Beaches, Temples…

Bali Tour Suggestions

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