Here’s a fact: Most people go to Bali for its fine collection of beaches. You might have done Kuta, Sanur and Nusa Dua and would be forgiven for thinking that these are all that make up Bali’s wealth of shoreline. However, with a slight penchant for adventure, a set of wheels and our maps to guide you, you can discover some of the island’s lesser-known coastal gems that don’t make it into the travel guides. Whether you are looking for isolated stretches of soft, white sand, secret coves directly under towering limestone cliffs or black sand beaches that point to the once-potent power of Bali’s volcanic past, there is surely a secret beach for you in Bali.
Suluban Beach is one of Bali’s most unique coasts, concealed by natural limestone formations and accessed via steps and log ramps through narrow gaps in the rock. Canopied by a looming cliff face, this small beach may not be ideal for sunbathers, but serves pro surfers well as a base to paddle out and ride adjacent reef breaks, including around Uluwatu, just to the south. Nicknamed ‘Blue Point’, Suluban Beach lies at the end of Jalan Mamo in the coastal area of Labuan Sait, the same locality shared by famous surf spots Padang Padang and Uluwatu. Unless you’re staying at any of the villas that have recently popped up here (the likes of Blue Point Bay Villas), getting here from popular areas such as Kuta and Jimbaran is best by hotel shuttle, taxi or motorbike.
Padangbai (or Padang Bai) is better known for its main seaport in east Bali where ferries and boats take travellers southeast bound to Lembar Harbour on the neighbouring island of Lombok. However, this coastal village has much more to offer for day trippers to Bali’s lesser visited east, offering some cultural sites as well as great diving and snorkelling from its small but great collection of white sand beaches. Furthermore, Padangbai is suitably 13km closer before the main hub of Candidasa, if you’re coming from the main southern Bali resort areas such as Kuta and Denpasar. Divers won’t find a shortage of operators here, which line its beachfront, and boats operated by locals also take you to the best spots around the waters to discover the vivid reefs teeming with marine life and with good visibility.
Dreamland Beach is among the collection of ‘hidden’ beaches of Bali: stretches of white sand secluded by limestone cliffs that line the rugged coastline of the southern Bukit Peninsula. The beach became highly accessible following the mega development of the Pecatu Graha and Pecatu Indah Resort projects that, at the turn of the millennium, transformed the 400Ha hilly terrain into the ‘New Kuta’, with Klapa beach club, resorts and the New Kuta Golf course onsite. Despite rampant development over its limestone landscape, Dreamland Beach retains much of its rugged charm on the sand, particularly for beachgoers, day-trippers and surfers who enjoy some of Bali’s best reef breaks near the shore and close paddle outs to the neighbouring world-class reef breaks, namely Balangan up north and Impossibles down south (both for advanced riders). On the sand, you can choose deck chairs and parasols for rent, or enjoy a cheap massage (IDR 50,000 – 100,000 or USD 3.50 – 7). Hard bargaining is advised.
Padang Padang Beach, locally referred to as Pantai Labuan Sait, is one of Bali’s most famous surf spots, located on the north-western coast of the island’s Bukit Peninsula, and just a kilometre southwest of the Anantara Bali Uluwatu. This beach features an exotic setting; a simply stunning one hundred meter-long stretch of sand that is accessible down a flight of stairs through a unique hollow rock entrance. The surf has a steady set of barrels during good weather, attracting wave riders from around the world. Part of the group of world-class surf spots that line the coast of the southern peninsula, Padang Padang Beach lies several kilometres in between Bingin and Uluwatu, among which surfers usually hop to interchangeably for a different set of challenges and another thrill for the day. This beach is also a regular spot for international surfing events, the Rip Curl Cup Padang Padang being the most frequent.
Karma Beach Bali (formerly Nammos Beach Club) is part of Karma Kandara’s main food and beverage outlets and entertainment venues, set out as Bali’s most exclusive beach club. The club features an alang-alang grass roof and a raised bamboo platform, where patrons enjoy the nuances of a secluded beach and lagoon. The beach club’s exclusiveness, though public guests are also welcome, is further supported by a single access via a private funicular, which transfers guests to the venue 100 metres below the limestone rock face. Karma Beach Bali is open for beach picnics, as well as beach activities and water sports.
Sundays Beach Club is a favourite venue on Bali’s Bukit peninsula. The beach club is part of The Ungasan Clifftop Resort and is located in the namesake village of Ungasan. It’s where to go if you’re seeking a beach retreat with a pristine stretch of sand and swimmable waves. Here you can also enjoy Mediterranean cuisine under breezy, thatched-roof shades with ocean views. With five-star services easily at your call, Sundays Beach Club is a great option for a laid-back day on a clean and quiet coast, with fun beach activities to keep you and your family or friends busy. These include sea kayaking, beach volleyball, snorkelling and kite flying, while sun loungers under wide beach parasols provide perfect timeout spots.
Green Bowl Beach is one of Bali’s most secluded beaches, a small 30m coastal strip with coarse white sand, located approximately 75 metres down hundreds of steps under a verdant cliff in the village of Ungasan (a 15-kilometre drive from Kuta, and under half an hour from Nusa Dua). The steep descent and climb required owes much to its appeal, attracting only adventurous weekenders and die-hard surfers favouring its uncrowded waves and exotic location. Also among the inimitable features at Green Bowl Beach are two large limestone caves that enclose small rock shrines, and which also provide shade and shelter for beach goers and surfers paddling in from their fun time out on the waves. The best time to go is during low tide, when the calm crystal clear waters allow for great snorkelling, with the fairly consistent waves a short paddle beyond a natural reef barrier.
Amed Beach in Bali is most likely already in your Bali travel itinerary if you’re a keen diver. The island’s eastern shoreline boasts an underwater playground, and Amed Beach is among the favourite between two main sites (the other being Tulamben, 25km to the north). Amed Beach in Bali was once best known for its traditional salt farming. Soon after its beautiful underwater trove was unveiled, with an historical shipwreck adding to its natural features, Amed Beach became a favourite among divers, particularly Jemeluk Bay. Ask for Amed Beach in Bali and you’d be directed to any strip along the coast that spans seven different seaside villages; Amed, Jemeluk, Bunutan, Lipah, Selang, Banyuning and Aas. All are fishing villages, hence the traditional jukung outriggers that line the coast.
Pasir Putih Beach in East Bali is one of the island’s ‘hidden’ beaches. Despite its remote location, this beach gained popularity being referred to by various nicknames, such as Perasi Beach referring to its village where it is located, including ‘White Sand Beach’, ‘Virgin Beach’ and simply, ‘Hidden Beach’. The secluded coast of Pasir Putih Beach stretches between two hills between the villages of Bugbug and Perasi, both located in the Karangasem regency and approximately 4.5km east of the main hub of Candidasa.
Info : http://www.bali-indonesia.com/magazine/bali-hidden-beaches.htm