The Best Beaches on Bali

Updated: November 9, 2017

The best beaches in Bali are found in the south: around Kuta, Jimbaran, and the Bukit Peninsula. Some of these are also very busy (particularly the coast from Kuta to Seminyak). If you get in a taxi or rent a car, it’s easy to find some great stretches of sand with few other tourists around. Bali is a year round destination so concern about weather and seasons should not be a major concern when planning a trip. That said, the best beach weather on Bali is usually found between April and October.

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The 16 Best Beaches on Bali

Kuta – 10 minutes north of the airport

Kuta – Bali's Best Beaches
Recommended Hotels: Sheraton Bali Kuta ResortHard Rock Hotel Bali (kid-friendly, amazing pool)

Tuban – 5 minutes south of Kuta

Tuban – Bali's Best Beaches
Recommended Hotels: Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel (adjacent to a large mall and opposite Waterbom water park) • Bali Dynasty (great for kids) • Febri’s Hotel & Spa (good budget hotel with large pool)

Legian – 5 minutes north of Kuta

Legian – Bali's Best Beaches
Recommended Hotels: Padma Resort (the most luxurious resort in Kuta area) • The Stones Hotel by Marriott

Seminyak – 10 minutes north of Kuta

Seminyak – Best Bali Beaches
Recommended Hotels: W Retreat & SpaThe OberoiThe Legian Bali (best hotel in Seminyak)

Canggu – 30 minutes north of Kuta

Canggu – Bali's Best Beaches

Jimbaran – 15 minutes south of Kuta

Jimbaran Beach – The Best Beaches on Bali
Recommended Hotels: Four Seasons Resort at Jimbaran BayHotel Puri Bambu (great budget hotel)

Nusa Dua – 30 minutes southeast of kuta

Nusa Dua – Bali's Best Beaches
Recommended Hotels: St Regis (super deluxe, maybe the nicest beach resort on Bali) • The LagunaThe Westin (good kids’ club)

Balangan – 30 minutes south of Kuta

Balangan – Bali's Best Beaches

Bingin – 30 minutes south of Kuta

Bingin – Bali's Best Beaches

Dreamland Beach – 30 minutes south of Kuta

Dreamland – Bali's Best Beaches

Lovina – 3 hours north of Kuta

Lovina – Bali's Best Beaches
Recommended Hotels: Rambutan Hotel (wonderful, family-friendly hotel)

Sanur – 30 minutes east of Kuta

Sanur – Bali's Best Beaches
Recommended Hotels: Tandjung Sari Hotel (charming Balinese style hotel, boutique luxury at very reasonable rates)

Dream Beach, Nusa Lembongan – 30 minute boat ride from Sanur

Dream Beach Nusa Lembongan – Bali's Best Beaches

Padangbai – 1 hour east of Kuta

Padangbai – Bali's Best Beaches
Recommended Hotels: Padang Bai Beach Resort (great place, super friendly)

Amed – 3 hours east of Kuta

Amed – Bali's Best Beaches
Recommended Hotels: Villa Aquamarine (book far in advance)

Jemeluk Beach – 3 hours east of Kuta

Jemeluk – Bali's Best Beaches

photo credits

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16 Questions and Comments

  1. Jimbaran, Ubud, and Sanur

    Hello,

    Bali will be the first stop of our honeymoon, and we are planning on spending two nights in Jimbaran, four in Ubud and four in Sanur. We are stopping first in Jimbaran to beat the jet lag and take advantage of staying at the hotel that houses Rock Bar to watch the sunset there. Do you think this is wise or should we just go directly to Ubud? Our flight arrives at midnight. We want culture, food and beach time, no shopping and no partying.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Jimbaran Beach is a short drive from the airport and a perfect stop to start your trip. But Ayana is not on the Jimbaran beach but around a headland a bit and it’s a good 30 minute drive from the airport to the resort. Ubud would be about 80 minutes as there shouldn’t be any traffic (which can be terrible up to Ubud through the day). Staying at Ayana is a great choice but if the goal is to get to Ubud then just go straight there. If you truly want something close to the airport after your flight then go with the Intercontinental Jimbaran or the Belmond.

  2. Best Places to go in Bali in April

    Hi there
    We are visiting Bali for the first time in April and was wondering what places would be best to spend our 10 nights. We were thinking of heading up to Ubud and then to the East Coast (Amed, Candidasa) then over to the Gilis for a couple of nights and finishing around Bingin/ Ulawatu. What are your thoughts? We love to swim and dive, but would like a good mix of culture and beach. Also love food and the occasional night out.
    What would you suggest?
    thanks
    Leigh Darrington

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Bali is small, but travelling around can take longer than often anticipated by visitors because of traffic (especially in the south), mountainous roads (mainly in the central highlands) and minibus transfers and waiting around harbors if going to the islands. For example, from the airport to Amed could easily take 4 hours, and Ubud to the Gili Islands 3-4 hours.

      With only 10 days, don’t be tempted to base yourself in more than three places: one place for cultural and landscapes; another for nightlife and shopping; and a third for beaches and relaxing. So, perhaps consider basing yourself in
      1) Ubud – the obvious and natural base for Bali’s unique culture, and for day-tripping to extraordinary places like the rock sculptures at Gunung Kawi; the sacred springs and temple at Tirta Empul; and the amazing crater views and lake at Gunung Batur.
      2) Seminyak – for sophisticated nightlife, shopping and eating, with legendary sunsets on the beach
      3) Gili Islands – ideal for swimming, snorkeling, diving and relaxing (with no vehicles or traffic), and a village vibe if staying on Gili Air

      Bingin and Ulu Watu are overwhelmingly surf beaches, with little or no sand. They are also remote and not easy to reach. You could day trip by taxi from Seminyak (allow an hour one-way) or stay in one of the handful of surfer homestays nearby. There is nothing else to do there but surf, surf, and, well, surf – except for the lovely temple, of course, at Ulu Watu – so you would be better off relishing the sand, surf, sunsets and sea at Seminyak and the Gilis.

  3. Honeymoon in Bali, Indonesia

    hello,

    I need your help!
    I intend to spend 5 days from my honeymoon next April in Bali and I am lost between all the different areas of Bali and don’t know what to choose.
    I prefer place close to beach, not crowded, and at the same time has a private pool (whether a villa or a room) also private and not isolated from restaurants and cafes.
    I don’t care so much about nightlife but I would like to have daylight activities.
    Sally Soliman

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      With only 5 days, you won’t have time to explore much of Bali, and you won’t want to spend too much time travelling between the airport and your hotel. So, your best base is probably Nusa Dua, which is about 25 minutes from the airport. It is a secure, gated complex of 4-5 star resorts that doesn’t have any of the hassles common in Kuta/Legian/Seminyak, eg traffic, noise, crowds, hawkers etc. (If hotels in Nusa Dua are too expensive, try Tanjung Benoa, only a few kilometres to the north.)

      Almost all resorts in Nusa Dua face glorious beaches, often empty of other tourists, and most offer private pool villas that are secluded but still only 100m or so from a variety of cafés and bars inside the hotel complex. Otherwise, the free hourly shuttle bus takes guests to the delightful outdoor Bali Collection Mall, with plenty of places to shop, eat and drink. Nusa Dua has very little nightlife, but is an ideal place to organize daytrips to experience the wonders of Bali, and every resort also offers fun activities for guests, such as snorkeling, tennis, cooking classes, jet skiing etc.

      Most resorts cater for honeymooners, with special honeymoon suites and romantic activities (eg candlelit dinners on the beach). Particularly recommended are The Grand Hyatt Bali, with secluded pool villas and an extensive beach, all within walking distance of the Bali Collection Mall; and the extraordinary St Regis, with perfect beachside pool villas, as well as unlimited luxury, traditional and charm.

  4. Best Bali Beach in May

    Hello,

    My husband and I are traveling to Bali for the first time in May 2017 for 5 days. We would like to stay on/close to the beach, but do not want to be far removed from everything else. While we are not huge party-goers, but it might be nice to have a little nightlife as an option. We are also open to both hotels and villas. Which areas would you recommend?

    Thanks!
    Sharhonda

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Every resort region in Bali is slightly and, often, significantly, different in terms of facilities, location and types of tourists it attracts. If you know what you want – and, perhaps more importantly, don’t want – it’s easy enough to narrow down your options and choose the most suitable base. In your case, this is Seminyak.

      For first-time visitors, the crowds, noise, traffic and hawkers at Kuta and, to a lesser degree, Legian, can be overwhelming. Places like Ubud are ideal for cultural experiences and day-tripping to the countryside, but are not on the beach, while other beach regions like Sanur and Nusa Dua have little or no nightlife. And with only 5 days you won’t want to spend valuable time travelling to more remote areas like Lovina or the Gili Islands.

      Seminyak is only 20-30 minutes by taxi from the airport, and only 10 mins from the malls and clubs of Kuta. It is also a good base to daytrip by chartered car with a driver to the remarkable temple at Tanah Lot and the cultural wonders of Ubud. Seminyak offers sophisticated shopping, rather than tacky souvenir stalls, and live music in quaint cafés rather than multi-storey nightclubs offering electronic music. And it boasts the legendary beaches and sunsets for which Bali is renowned, although the sand is greyish.

      Seminyak has quite a few villas, which are popular with large groups and families because of the space they provide, and with those seeking seclusion behind walls. Villas are usually more expensive than hotels, especially for short stays, and offer extras like a fully-equipped kitchen that guests rarely use. And most villas are located along remote roads, perhaps 20+ minutes’ walk from the beach and any selection of shops/cafés, and nowhere near any taxis.

      You are probably better off staying at a hotel, and Seminyak has plenty to choose from in all price ranges. Here are three different recommendations:
      1) Breezes Bali Resort – about 200m from the beach, it’s comfortable, convenient and mid-priced, along a quietish street with plenty of shops/cafés
      2) Royal Beach Seminyak – facing an expansive beach, it’s charming and traditional (not another ugly mega-resort), with plenty of shops/cafés within walking distance
      3) Anantara Seminyak Bali Resort – smaller and more affordable and convenient than other modern resorts nearby, it’s at the end of a road lined with classy bistros/boutiques and faces the beach

  5. Best Beaches for Toddler on Bali

    We will be in Bali from 18-29 of December with our 2-year old and would like a nice beach vacation. Which beaches do you recommend best for a toddler at this time of year? I was thinking maybe Sanur and Nusa Dua or Sanur and Jimbaran? Or maybe something else? Thank you!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      It is always important to choose the right base for your visit – especially if you’re a first-time visitor; even more so with a child. For this reason, some beach resort areas would not be recommended: Kuta/Legian/Seminyak would be too noisy and busy (particularly at that time of the year); Lovina or Candidasa would involve 3-4 hours of windy and traffic-clogged roads in a minibus; and other regions would also involve uncomfortable travel (eg the Gili Islands) or lack facilities (eg Pemuteran).

      So, yes, the best three regions to base yourself would be Sanur, Nusa Dua and Jimbaran. The pros and cons for your situation …
      1) Sanur – calm, shallow sea; more space than other regions to walk around; great range of accommodation; paths for walking and cycling away from the main roads; a few family-friendly hotels
      2) Jimbaran – quieter and less visited of the three options, but less range of accommodation; shallow and calm sea, except to the south where waves are high enough for basic surf lessons; minimal accommodation really caters for families
      3) Nusa Dua – expensive as all accommodation is 4-5 star resorts; plenty of space and greenery; comparatively very little traffic and other hassles; almost all resorts have a kid’s club but few cater for under 5 year-olds, but all have child-minding services; calm, shallow sea created by breakwaters and cordons, but can be noisy with jet skis

      If you’re staying for 11-12 nights and using two different bases, then Sanur and Nusa Dua (if you can afford upmarket resorts) would be the ideal combination. If Nusa Dua is out of your range, then consider spending your entire holiday based in Sanur.

      As you most probably know, this is one of the busiest weeks of the year, so you should book your accommodation immediately.

  6. Bali Beaches in January

    Hello
    Can you tell me if Seminyak or Jimbaran are good for swimming into the ocean in mid January?
    I will come to Bali in 10th of January 2017 for 6 days and don’t know which area should I choose.
    I’m looking for nice beach for day time and some action in late evening (I am not affraid to take taxis for 5-10 minutes).
    I will not stay all days at the beach because I want to book 2 or 3 day time trips for seeing as much as I can from Bali.

    Bogdan

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Bali is hot all year around – the only difference is that there is a definite wet season from about late October to March. So, swimming is good at any time of the year. However, note that Seminyak is an extension of the world-famous Kuta beach, which is very popular with surfers, so in Seminyak there are plenty of big waves close to the shore and plenty of surfers trying to catch them.

      In contrast, Jimbaran is free of surf and, therefore, surfers. Parts of the beach in Jimbaran are lined with jukung fishing boats and from about 3pm much of the sand becomes crowded with makeshift cafes (this is part of the appeal of Jimbaran) offering seafood dinners at sunset, but the water is calm for swimming and the sand more pure white than on Seminyak, where sitting on a beanbag at sunset with a cocktail is also a highlight.

      It is important to choose your base carefully, depending on your exact needs. Jimbaran has no ‘action’ at night, except the charming sunset dinners, while Seminyak is only 5-10 minutes by taxi from the multi-storey nightclubs of Kuta/Legian, and Seminyak itself also offers an interesting array of cafes and bars featuring live sophisticated acoustic, jazz, and pop music – but little hip-hop or dance/electronic. So, Seminyak would probably suit your needs, and it’s easy enough to charter a car with a driver from your hotel in Seminyak (or Jimbaran) for day-trips around the island. Otherwise, also base yourself for a couple of days in Ubud, the cultural and spiritual heartland of the island.

  7. Sanur in August with Kids

    We’re coming to Bali in August of 2016. Based on the suggestions of friends we are going to spend the majority of our time in Sanur. I just have a small nagging feeling that it will be too slow for our tastes. Are there good restaurants in Sanur and places to go for a drink that aren’t completely dead?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Sanur has plenty of places to eat, drink, and have a good time. If you’re looking for nightlife and dance clubs then yes, it will be too slow. But if you just want some fun and active places to hang out then there are plenty.

  8. Best Swimming Beach for Kids / Best Beach for Learning How to Surf

    I am planning our trip to Bali for July 2016. Everywhere looks amazing and we’re super excited. The one difficulty that we have as a family is that we have two young children (ages 3 and 4) and two older children (ages 12 and 14). We want a beach with calm water for the young ones and the older ones are very keen on learning how to surf. I’m guessing that these can not be found at the same beach. We are willing to split our beach time between 2 towns, what do you think would be the two best towns for us to stay at.

    Thank you,
    Samantha

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      You’re right, calm water (for young kids) and decent sized waves (for learning how to surf) can not be found at the same beach. The closest to that scenario would be Sanur which has calm water protected by the reef and good surf out beyond the reef – but Sanur is not a great place to learn to surf and the waves are pretty quiet in July. As you suggest, I would split your time. Half in Nusa Dua or Sanur (both have calm water, Nusa Dua has a nicer beach but not much around it, Sanur is a nicer town with a friendly atmosphere and good restaurants). And the other half in the Kuta area where there are good waves for beginners and lots of surf shops that rent boards and offer lessons.

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