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Thursday, June 8, 2023

Discovering the Hidden Gems of Bali’s Beaches

Bali is famous for its gorgeous beaches, picturesque rice paddies, and cultural landmarks, making it one of Southeast Asia’s most sought-after destinations. However, exploring beyond the popular Bali tourist spots will unveil numerous hidden gems waiting to be uncovered, including the secret beaches. In this article, we have compiled a list of Bali’s top hidden gems that you must visit, with a particular focus on discovering the hidden gems of Bali’s beaches. 

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Despite the common belief that all of Bali’s beaches have been discovered, there are still many lesser-known coastal treasures waiting to be explored, far from the bustling crowds of Kuta, Sanur, and Nusa Dua. With a sense of adventure, a rented vehicle, and some insider information, you can uncover some of the island’s lesser-known beach destinations, from secluded stretches of powdery white sand to hidden coves nestled under towering limestone cliffs or black sand beaches that showcase Bali’s volcanic past. Whatever your preference, Bali undoubtedly has a secret beach that will captivate your imagination.

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Here are the hidden gems of Bali’s beaches:

1. Balangan – Pecatu, Jimbaran

Balangan – Pecatu, Jimbaran

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When it comes to discovering the hidden gems of Bali’s beaches, Balangan is definitely a favorite surf spot worth checking out. Positioned on the northern side of the cliff that forms the iconic hole 15 of the New Kuta Golf course, Balangan was originally believed to refer to the entire coastline, including Dreamland, before surfers started calling the particular shore area south of the cliff by that name. 

Accessing Balangan is relatively easy in comparison to other beaches lining the Bukit peninsula’s shoreline, as there are only about a dozen steps to descend from the limestone hill. Moreover, there are several beach shacks serving simple local ‘surfer meals,’ cold refreshments, and beer.

2. Gunung Payung Beach – Kutuh, South Bali

Gunung Payung Beach – Kutuh, South Bali

Discovering the hidden gems of Bali’s beaches, one can come across Gunung Payung Beach or locally known as Pantai Gunung Payung, situated on Bali’s southern coast. This serene beach provides a remote and peaceful environment that offers picturesque views of the sea. Its name is derived from the Balinese Hindu temple, Pura Dhang Kahyangan Gunung Payung, situated high up on the cliff above the beach, overlooking the ocean.

Traversing the main Jalan Gunung Payung road, you’ll be greeted with the verdant landscapes of Bukit Pandawa Golf Club’s 18-hole course and rugged limestone formations. As you exit the temple, catch a glimpse of the elusive grey long-tailed macaques, which are more reserved compared to their notoriously mischievous counterparts in Uluwatu.

3. Perasi Beach (Pasir Putih) – Karangasem, East Bali

Perasi Beach (Pasir Putih) – Karangasem, East Bali

Exploring Bali’s beaches and discovering their hidden gems is an adventure worth taking, and Perasi Beach is one such gem. Situated between two hills and the villages of Bugbug and Perasi in the Karangasem regency, this secluded stretch of coast is located approximately 4.5 km east of Candidasa. 

Parasols, sun loungers, and a variety of local seafood restaurants adorn this idyllic beach, which is known by several names, including Pasir Putih, White Sand Beach, Virgin Beach, and Hidden Beach. To reach Perasi, take the Jalan Raya Candidasa-Bugbug main road from Candidasa and follow the dirt road opposite the village’s Pura Bale Agung temple until you arrive at the beach.

4. Amed – Karangasem, East Bali

Amed – Karangasem, East Bali

When exploring the coast of Bali, Amed is a must-visit destination, consisting of seven charming seaside villages: Amed, Jemeluk, Bunutan, Lipah, Selang, Banyuning, and Aas, all of which are fishing villages. The classic scene of jukung, traditional outriggers, lining the coast adds to the picturesque ambiance. 

Amed is well-known as a popular diving spot, but the tranquil shores and their dramatic sunrises are not to be missed, regardless of your activities. To get to this stretch of sand, you’ll need to take a long, but straightforward drive passing the Klungkung and Karangasem entry points. Road signs are abundant, ensuring a smooth journey. Along the way to Amed, you’ll encounter several overland attractions, including traditional salt farming in the Purwakerti area.

5. Green Bowl Beach – Ungasan, South Bali

Green Bowl Beach – Ungasan, South Bali

Located on the southern coast of Bali, Green Bowl Beach is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. To reach this tranquil beach, one must descend hundreds of concrete steps that gradually drop down the cliff face, located at the end of Jalan Bali Cliff. While getting down to the base is relatively easy, ascending back up is a challenging feat. However, the breathtaking bird’s eye view along the way keeps visitors motivated. 

Several bat caves can be found at the base of the beach, adding to the sense of adventure. The name’s origin has a few variations, with one explanation inspired by the view of green seaweed and corals exposed at low tide and another linked to the company intending to develop a resort on the site. Green Bowl Beach is a paradise for those seeking a peaceful and exotic seaside experience.

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6. Sundays Beach – Ungasan, South Bali

Sundays Beach – Ungasan, South Bali

One can unearth the undiscovered jewels of Bali’s shorelines by visiting Sundays Beach, a secluded location that may easily be overlooked. This 165-meter expanse of sand is situated beneath The Ungasan Clifftop Resort (previously known as Semara Uluwatu) in Ungasan, although the signs for the beach along Jalan Pantai Selatan Gau in Ungasan are more noticeable than the signs for the resort.

If you are not a guest at the hotel, you will need to deposit at least Rp 250,000, which can be spent on food and beverages. To access the beach, you can take a 2-minute funicular ride down a narrow path between two rocky cliffs. The sea here is ideal for swimming, and it is exceptionally clear.

You can savor Mediterranean cuisine from the semi-open kitchen while basking in the cool ocean breeze and taking in the breathtaking sea vistas. The club’s beach is an excellent choice for a relaxed day out with various beach activities to keep you entertained.

7. Karma Beach – Ungasan, South Bali

Karma Beach – Ungasan, South Bali

Explore Bali’s beautiful coastal treasures by discovering the hidden gems of Bali’s beaches. One of them is Karma Beach, which can be reached via an exciting funicular ride down a steep cliff. This secluded beach boasts a pristine expanse of white sand and crystal-clear blue waters. Previously known as Nammos Beach, it was later renamed after the beach club at Karma Kandara Resort.

Karma Beach offers a tranquil tropical atmosphere and top-notch 5-star amenities. Here, you can enjoy sipping on signature cocktails and indulging in a delectable Mediterranean-inspired menu. To access this private beach, there is an entrance fee that includes a cash voucher for food and drinks at Karma Kandara Beach Club. 

8. Padang Padang – Uluwatu, Jimbaran

Padang Padang – Uluwatu, Jimbaran

If you’re planning to explore the best of Bali’s beaches, make sure to visit Padang Padang Beach, which is easily accessible through a limestone crevice beside a large, yellow-railed bridge down a few flights of stairs. Before the bridge, you’ll find a spacious parking lot for your convenience. This beach is renowned for its spectacular surf breaks, making it a favourite among surf enthusiasts. 

However, it also offers a picturesque view and a small sandy area for sunbathing. While at Padang Padang Beach, you can relish freshly grilled seafood catches-of-the-day from the local warung (food stalls). If you’re planning to visit the nearby Uluwatu Temple, this is an excellent spot to unwind and relax. Don’t miss the chance to experience the scenic beauty and vibrant culture of Bali at Padang Padang Beach.

9. Dreamland Beach – Pecatu, Jimbaran

Dreamland Beach – Pecatu, Jimbaran

Discovering the hidden gems of Bali’s beaches, Dreamland still remains relatively secluded, nestled by limestone cliffs despite its increasing popularity. Its pristine white sand and serene Indian Ocean backdrop make it a breathtaking sight. To find Dreamland, one needs to head west down the main road of the Pecatu Indah Resort complex, past the New Kuta Golf course.

Despite the development surrounding its cliff sides, the beach still maintains its rugged charm on the sand. This makes it a perfect spot for beachgoers, day-trippers, and surfers alike. The beach’s reef breaks offer some of Bali’s best surfing opportunities.

10.  Padangbai and Blue Lagoon – Karangasem, East Bali

Padangbai and Blue Lagoon – Karangasem, East Bali

Padangbai, a town in East Bali, is well-known for its main seaport. However, it also houses a small collection of hidden beaches that are ideal for day-trippers and water sports enthusiasts, such as divers and snorkelers. One of these beaches is Blue Lagoon, a charming small bay located northeast of the seaport. It boasts a beautiful but modest 60-metre stretch of white sand.

Another beach in Padangbai is Bias Tugel, a 130-metre-long strip situated southwest of the port. The beach has calm and blue waters for most of the year, making it perfect for swimming and relaxation. Visitors can lounge on the even sand or seek shade under the parasols with beach loungers. The beach that shares the bay with the seaport is not very crowded, especially on its eastern end, and offers decent swimming opportunities.

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Final Thoughts

Discovering the hidden gems of Bali’s beaches can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience for those willing to venture off the beaten path. While Bali is known for its popular tourist spots, exploring the island’s lesser-known coastal treasures will reveal breathtaking natural beauty and secluded paradises that are waiting to be uncovered. 

With a little research and a spirit of adventure, you can discover Bali’s secret beaches, from serene stretches of sand to picturesque coves nestled under towering cliffs. So, the next time you plan a trip to Bali, make sure to add a few of these hidden gems to your itinerary to experience the true beauty of this paradise.


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