I’ve written before about the good and the bad of Bali which I discovered whilst living there but today I’m finally giving away my biggest secret: the hidden beaches which I think are the best in Bali.
Driving on dirt tracks, climbing down steep stairs and dashing through trees of monkeys – I’ve done all the hard work to hunt down the prime ‘beach estate’ which usually I only shared with my dogs, a few local fishermen and perhaps one or two other regular beach addicts.
Don’t take my word for it. Mudge also loves exploring the beaches of Nusa Dua!
I’ll start by saying that if you don’t have a scooter or the incline to go climbing down tonnes of steps to get to the perfect sands then you should still stick to the Nusa Dua area for your beach escape.
With postcard style beaches and crystal clear waters, it’s the best Bali location for your beach vacation. Far superior to the stretch between Kuta and Seminyak that so many people think is the be all and end all of this Islands golden sands.
Even when I was living up in the village I would regularly head down to the BTDC complex with its luxury resort for a sundowner cocktail or two. My favourite early evening boozing spot was the Grand Hyatt Bali, with two awesome bars overlooking its perfect beach. One around the pool (no one seems to mind if you take a cheeky dip) as well as the rooftop/garden vibe of Salsa Verde. Check the website for more details or to see if they currently have one of their regular sales on room rates.
If you don’t fancy a hotel in this part of the island, it is also home to some of the best Bali private villas with swimming pools, which means more privacy when you retire from the beautiful beaches that the Bukit is known for.
The Best beach in Bali
For anyone who does have access to a scooter and the incline to find the perfect place to spend a day lounging on the sand and taking a dip here it is.
Be sure to pack a few coconuts and your own towels, there are no vendors to be found here – but look at those waters…
You want to leave the main BTDC and Nusa Dua complex and drive towards my old village of Sawangan. Once on the main road drive up the hill past The Mulia (check out the views from the top) and continue until you get past The Ritz-Carlton. My favourite beach used to be nestled down the cliff here but there have been two new hotels built here now which have taken it from empty beauty to luxury crowds.
Keep driving along Jalan Nusa Dua South until you hit Gunmung Payung, turn left here and keep going until you hit the stairs of Pantai Beach (Google Maps Location here). This is by far my favourite beach in Bali, if the tide is low you can walk around the coves either side and find your own hideaway, the perfect coral break keeps the water perfectly still but remember, there is no one around you so keep safe with your swimming!
There are a few other beaches along this road down dirt tracks and stairs which are similarly deserted and picturesque so drive along and find your favourite. Many have been taken over by hotels or beach clubs and try to charge a crazy cover for you to enjoy the crystal clear waters so do as us locals do, and find your own! If you want to find true remote paradise though, then jump on a flight or boat to discover the best of Labuan Bajo, the gateway to Komodo national park: one the most stunning places you will ever see.
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One other beach that is worth a photo-shot stop is Melasti Beach with its towering white cliff it looks mighty impressive if you swim out and look back on it.
Are you a surfer? Geger Beach also nearby Nusa Dua is a great place to catch some surf
Other Nearby Beaches & Islands to Check Out
The Gili Island Beaches, although famed for their turtles, clear sands and crystal waters, in my opinion, are only slightly superior to some of these incredible hidden beaches around The Bukit area. Lombok also has some peaceful beach spots as well as the added bonus of impressive waterfalls in the north of Lombok island.
The Island of Nusa Penida however, which is only 30/40 minutes by boat from Bali is a day trip you should certainly take for the beaches, even if you are staying in Nusa Dua.
Whatever you do – don’t head to Kuta and then leave complaining about the Bali beaches. You will be missing out…