Hidden beaches in Bali
As one of the premier beach getaway destinations in the world, the crowd is never thin along Bali’s pristine beaches. Fantastic if you’re looking for a party to mingle with inside the island’s world-class beach clubs, but less so if you’re looking for some quiet downtime in a tropical paradise away from all of your worries.
Luckily for you outdoor introverts, there are plenty of secluded coasts around Bali where you can have your own personal me time with minimal interruptions. From an ever-shifting deserted sandbank to a magical cave hidden by a secluded beach, these 8 hidden beaches in Bali are the perfect antithesis to the crowded beaches of Seminyak and Kuta.
1. Gili Putih – deserted sandbank that constantly shifts with the tide
Posing by the Gili Putih welcome sign
Image credit: @nelson_inggamer
Unbeknownst to most Bali visitors, the often-overlooked region of West Bali hides plenty of natural gems of its own, including the Maldives-like sandbank of Gili Putih. This stretch of shifting white sand has little by way of entertainment but if you’re looking for hidden beaches in Bali to simply relax amidst blue ocean waves, we can hardly think of anywhere more suitable.
At high tide, there’s about 600 sqm of traversable land, roughly the size of a football field, although the surrounding shallows are perfectly walkable as well.
Image credit: @donisukardo
Getting to the sandbank requires renting a boat from the Bangsal Harbour in the village of Sumberkima, a trip that would take about 15 minutes at most. During low tide though, you can actually walk directly to Gili Putih, but with the surrounding shallows populated by hordes of sea urchins and sea cucumbers, the trip can be a bit harrowing.
With sunset views as gorgeous as this, it’s always worth staying until late at Gili Putih.
Image credit: @holidi96
Hence, we recommend visiting the island when the tide is high, as that’s also when the surrounding water is at its bluest best and most picturesque. Make sure to visit around sunset too as the view of the sun setting over the mountains of Banyuwangi right across the sea is pretty stunning.
This lopsided swing set has become a popular spot for photo ops
Image credit: @pamungkas_denay
While the region isn’t as well developed as the southern coasts of Bali, it’s slowly getting there. Accommodation is plentiful in the Sumberkima Hill resort area and around Labuan Lalang, a harbour that serves as a gateway to Menjangan Island, a hidden scuba diving gem to the northwest of Bali.
Address: Sumberkima, Gerokgak, Kabupaten Buleleng, Bali 81155
2. Nyang Nyang Beach – untouched virgin beach with an abandoned shipwreck
Roughly 1.5 km in length, the soft sands of Nyang Nyang also make for a pleasant beach walk.
Image credit: @vivienwidya
Sacred Balinese temples might be what the cliffs of Uluwatu are more known for but there’s much more fun to be had closer to the water. Southeast of the Uluwatu Temple lies the Nyang Nyang Beach, one of Bali’s few remaining virgin beaches with long stretches of white sand interrupted only by an abandoned remnant of a shipwreck.
It’s virtually untouched for a good reason as the hike to the beach requires going down, by our rough estimate, several hundred flights of makeshift stairs. Flip-flops are obviously a no-go and you might want to save some energy for when you have to climb those very same stairs and head back to your hotel later on.
The remnant of an abandoned shipwreck has become something of a landmark of Nyang Nyang Beach
Image credit: @sutarma_dangler
The rewarding view is pretty much worth all the trouble though with white sands and crashing waves as far as the eye can see. The abandoned shipwreck in particular, now covered in graffiti, offers either an excellent vantage point of the surroundings, or fodder for a great photo op.
Uluwatu’s coastline is known for its gorgeous sunset views and Nyang Nyang is no exception
Image credit: @ferdiwijayasp
As with most beaches in Uluwatu, Nyang Nyang is also known for its great waves and there’re always at least a dozen surfers out on the open waters. Watching these daredevils doing their own thing is always a great way to kill time until sunset viewing hour, also another hallmark of the Uluwatu area.
Address: Jl. Raya Uluwatu Pecatu, Pecatu, Kuta Selatan, Kabupaten Badung, Bali
3. Tembeling Beach – hidden gem of Nusa Penida with a beachside natural pool
Tembeling Beach is quite rocky but we quite like the break from the norm
Image credit: @karinavindn
Even amidst Nusa Penida’s stunning natural landscape, the Tembeling Beach somehow manages to stand in a class of its own. Hidden inside a dense forest, this secluded bay boasts a pair of natural pools and a cave that opens up to a beach surrounded by a huge cliff wall.
The first of the two natural pools of Tembeling
Image credit: @adiityawgn_
As with most secluded areas, reaching Tembeling requires a bit of an effort. The winding forest path is reserved only for those with the utmost confidence in their scooters, while others will have to walk the narrow trail for about 30 minutes until you hit the numerous flights of stairs that lead to the shore.
The beachside second pool has a lovely view of the ocean
Image credit: @latritresnawati
From there, the steep descent begins until you reach the first, and the bigger, of the two natural pools. While you can rest inside the crystal clear water for a little bit, there’s a better view waiting down by the beach, where you can relax inside the jacuzzi-like second pool complete with a full view of the ocean.
Mark your visit to Tembeling by adding to the pile of cairns left by previous visitors
Image credit: @rayamasr
For the main attraction though, you’d have to explore the cave next to the pool. Tiptoe your way around the cairns left by previous visitors and you’ll arrive at the second beach with the billion-rupiah view of a huge cliff cave forming a natural crescent-shaped dam against the crashing waves as your ultimate reward.
Address: Batumadeg, Nusapenida, Kabupaten Klungkung Bali 80771
4. Green Bowl Beach – seaweed-covered rocks at the south end of Bali
They can be a bit slippery but the titular green ‘bowls’ make for nice places to sit.
Image credit: @iks_bali
Named after a collection of seaweed-covered rocks by the beach that forms tiny basins during low tide, the Green Bowl Beach is a secluded strip of white sand at the south end of Bali. The hundreds of steps, lacking in handrails we might add, leading to the beach are admittedly a bit of a challenge to navigate, which partly explains why the beach is almost never crowded.
Though small, the secluded Green Bowl Beach is never crowded enough to be suffocating.
Image credit: @zahirahaf4
During low tide, the water recedes just enough for you to venture out to the cool green rocks and they actually make for a nice place to sit down. That is, as long as you watch where you walk as the shallows are home to a population of starfishes, crabs, and other small fishes that wouldn’t take too kindly to having to support your weight.
As long as you don’t venture too deep inside the caves, they provide nice shade from the sun.
Image credit: @amaliantc
If you prefer to stay well behind the coastline, the Green Bowl Beach also has several beachside caves providing shade from the searing Bali sun. You might want to stay away from the bigger caves though as they also serve as a camping ground for a colony of bats and we’d avoid shining your phone’s flashlight upward while you’re inside the caves.
Address: Ungasan, Kuta Selatan, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361
5. Gunung Payung Beach – secluded beach right below a Balinese temple
Gunung Payung roughly means ‘Mount Umbrella’ in Indonesian and we feel it’s rather apt as the cliffs make for a perfect source of shade.
Image credit: @jessicavlencia
Sandwiched between the popular shores of Pandawa and Nusa Dua, Gunung Payung Beach is a haven for those wanting to escape the bustling beach clubs of its neighbors. The beach shares its name with the temple and is unique in that the temple complex actually acts as the gateway to the beach.
Reaching the beach requires going through this amphitheatre at the top of the cliff
Image credit: @firmanibrahiim
Entrance to the beach is through the Tedung Jagat Amphitheatre, which in addition to providing a great view of the ocean, is also a jump-off point for paragliders. From the temple, there’re the prerequisite hundreds of flights of stairs you have to climb down before you can enjoy the heavenly pleasures of Gunung Payung Beach.
There’s also a small beachside cave providing a great photo spot for shutterbugs
Image credit: @siyudi04
And what a pleasure it is. While the initial beach isn’t particularly big, there are additional stretches of white sand that you can walk on during low tides. Trudge through the algae-covered shallows under the cliff to the side of the beach and you’ll find another white sand, and practically private, beach with nary a soul to be seen.
Address: Jl. Gunung Payung, Kutuh, Kec. Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali
6. Balangan Beach – romantic cape with a great view of the beach
The northern Cape Balangan is a magnet for couples vying for a romantic photo op
Image credit: @ribkacarolina
After years of exposure and by virtue of being a surfer’s favorite, Balangan Beach isn’t exactly a secret beach anymore. And yet, this half-kilometer stretch of sand, flanked by two overgrown cliffs jutting out into the ocean, still has a low-key vibe with crowds only forming around sunset.
Down by the shore, Cape Balangan also makes for a pretty striking background
Image credit: @reza_hosmilawati
While the southern cape, part of the New Kuta Golf course, isn’t publicly accessible, the northern Cape Balangan is. The view from up top is downright gorgeous and around sunset, couples tend to show up in droves trying to have their own #couplegoals moment.
Around sunset, the beauty of the landscape view from Cape Balangan is unmatched
Image credit: @yokot8
There’s still plenty of fun to be had down by the shore though, with soft white sand and turquoise waters that are guaranteed to push all of your worldly worries away. As Balangan is quite a popular spot, refreshments and loungers-for-rent are also readily available from the several warungs around the coastline.
With guidance from the instructors of Malibu Surf School, you’d be up on your surfboard in no time
Image credit: @malibusurfschoolbali
If you’re keen on learning some surfing wisdom and how to ride the waves, Balangan is also home to the Malibu Surf School. With private lessons available, you’re guaranteed to leave Bali with more than just a suntan for a souvenir.
Address: Jl. Pantai Balangan, Jimbaran, Kec. Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361
7. Atuh Beach – stunning coral reefs for beachcombers
The Padasan rock island visible from the shores of Atuh Beach
Image credit: @vyaika
With narrow, rocky roads and mountains of stairs you’ll have to navigate through, reaching the Atuh Beach in Nusa Penida requires no small effort. But if you’re willing to push through, you’ll be rewarded with one of the most stunning hidden beaches in Bali, with a picturesque offshore rock formation so big it’s practically an island named Padasan.
During low tide, the exposed coral reefs form a path straight to Padasan
Image credit: @anaekaptraa_
The beach’s main attraction comes up only during low tides though, when the colorful corals rise up to the surface as the water recedes. Aside from being pretty to look at, you can actually walk and swim your way across to Padasan, and the scenic arch below the rocks, if the tide’s just right.
Do note that while you might be tempted to relax at the basins formed during low tide, always keep a lookout for the marine creatures — eels, sea slugs, and whatnot — that populate the area.
After climbing up and the down the hundreds of treacherous stairs, the warungs and loungers of Atuh Beach seem like a godsend
Image credit: @taufik_abdillahh
Unlike its sibling, the equally gorgeous Diamond Beach, Atuh is actually fairly populated with plenty of warungs offering cold Bintangs and loungers for rent. It’s thankfully never crowded enough to be suffocating and with the steep steps leading in and out of the beach, we’re very much grateful for the opportunity to recharge ourselves.
Address: Pejukutan, Nusapenida, Klungkung Regency, Bali 80771
8. Diamond Beach – picturesque diamond-shaped offshore rock formation
View of the diamond rock from the Thousand Islands Viewpoint
Image credit: @_mels711_
We debated putting Atuh and Diamond Beach together since these hidden beaches in Bali are practically joined at the hip but we feel it wouldn’t do justice to the sheer beauty of these two shores. Like its sibling, Diamond sits on the opposite of an offshore diamond-shaped rock formation, which gives the beach its unique name.
Weirdly enough, 3-minute photo sessions by the treehouse are still allowed even when there’re people staying inside the Airbnb
Image credit: @ayudamayanti_
For the best landscape-viewing experience, we recommend reaching the Thousand Islands Viewpoint (Rp. 10,000, ~USD0.69) to the south as the view there is simply unmatched. If you’d like, you can also shell out an additional Rp. 50,000 (~USD3.44) for a photo session at the Nusa Penida Treehouse, an Airbnb and photo spot practically made for Instagram.
The cliffside stairs leading into the shores of Diamond Beach will take a lot out of you
Image credit: @rachelitaas
Once you’ve done jazzing up your social media feed, you can either walk the dirt trail that leads to the northern end of Diamond Beach or drive your way there. Either way, you’ll end up at the halfway point between the beach and its neighbor, the Atuh Beach.
The unspoiled white sands and the view of the diamond rock are worth all the hassle
Image credit: @ggede_
Make sure to savor the view first before descending down the cliff as you’re going to spend the next 20 or so minutes huffing and puffing down the steep stairs. While the beach is small, the tall cliffs do provide ample shade from the searing sun and the combination of soft, white sand and pristine blue water is just what you need to give your dying legs a second life.
Address: Pejukutan, Nusapenida, Klungkung Regency, Bali 80771
Hidden beaches in Bali for a private beach getaway
When the holiday crowd that swarms the beaches of Seminyak is proving to be a bit too much, these 8 hidden beaches in Bali literally feel like a breath of fresh air.
Do note that due to the secluded nature of these hidden beaches in Bali, there’s usually no lifeguard on duty so we recommend sticking close to the coastline and being extra cautious if you’d like to swim.
For more guides to Bali, check out these stories:
- Bali set to open as early as July of this year
- 8 Bali beachfront hotels to stay in
- Andaz Resort opens in Bali with village-inspired community space