So we all know Bali is a dream destination. The island’s world-famous temples, spas and beach clubs are on many a bucket list. But what if we told you that Bali isn’t limited to the Seminyak-Petitenget-Canggu triangle, but there’s a whole other side to this island just waiting to be explored?
To this day, East Bali remains as pure and virginal as it was back in the day, before tourism changed Bali forever. This refers to everything from untouched rainforests to the rustic local lifestyle and, of course, the gorgeous, largely deserted beaches. Here are our picks for the best beaches in East Bali.
Beaches in Candidasa
Candidasa is a laid-back costal retreat that draws in visitors looking to get away from it all. Well, not from all of it. Candidasa is emerging as a luxury destination and boasts an impressive number of good restaurants and gorgeous beachfront villas. Though some of the villas in Candidasa have private beaches, there isn’t a great public beach in Candidasa proper. But if you venture a bit outside the hub, you’ll discover a few hidden gems.
Only four kilometres from Candidasa you’ll discover Pasir Putih, a white sandy beach deliciously hidden from the crowds. Pasir Putih means “white sand” in Indonesian, and the name is more than justified as you won’t find a whiter shoreline anywhere in Bali. This is a great off-the-beaten-path spot for enjoying easy beach life and snacks at the local warungs.
Before heading out though, it’s good to remember that there are neither villas nor hotels around Pasir Putih Beach. In fact, finding this beautiful beach may be challenging. The beach is nestled off the main road on the way to Perasi, a tiny village, where you will need to slow down and carefully follow the map or ask locals for directions. The hassle-free option is to rent a car with a driver who is familiar with the area.
Jasri is another beach located east of Candidasa, which offers tranquillity, seclusion – and great surfing. The beach features black volcanic sand and constant waves, which makes it the perfect spot for surfers. Due to the remote location, the line-up is usually empty. If you feel like having the waves all to yourself, Jasri is a perfect choice. Jasri is considered a sacred place among locals and if you’re lucky, you might just get to witness a traditional Balinese ceremony held right on the beach.
Getting to Jasri is much easier then to Pasir Putih. Once you reach Candidasa, follow the main road until you see a junction. Here, turn right and follow the picturesque street which will bring you straight to the beach. There are not that many activities available on Jasri – basically it’s just swimming and surfing – but there is something to be said for having a whole Bali beach to yourself!
Pantai Labuan Amok
Pantai Labuan Amok is a hidden beach with black volcanic sand and clear waters that are great for snorkelling. One of the downsides of the beach is that it sits close to a Pertamina Oil Terminal, which is a bit of an eyesore – but the beach itself remains clean and undiscovered by troves of tourists.
Beaches in Padang Bai
Padang Bai is a well-known Balinese seaport. This is where fast boats and ferries launch off to the nearby island: Lombok, Gilis and Nusa Lembongan. Though most travellers blow by the village on their way to the islands, Padang Bai itself is actually home to some truly beautiful beaches. Driving in from the popular South Bali, Padang Bai is closer than Candidasa, so you could stop here on your way further east. Padang Bai is home to two equally stunning beaches: Bias Tugal and Blue Lagoon.
Bias Tugal or Pantai Kecil (“Little Beach”) is a small hidden gem tucked between two hills. The beach is truly stunning and usually deserted. This is the ultimate sopt fo living out your Robinson Crusoe fantasies while playing around in crystal clear waters and pure white sands. On some days, you might need to share the beach with a few warung vendors and a couple of tourists, but the overall ambiance still remains blissfully low-key.
Blue Lagoon is tucked away in a tiny bay neighbouring Padangbai port. The beach owes its paradise-like name to its appearance. The beach only has some 60 metres stretch of white sandy shoreline, but it is great for snorkelling. There are a few quaint warungs lining the beach, so you can easily spend a day here, alternating between swimming, sun tanning and snacking.
There is a fantastic dive spot close by, which you can reach in five minutes away by catching a speed boat from Padangbai seaport. Here you can spot Napoleon wrasse, reef shark, morays, stonefish and other fascinating marine life.
The stunning Amed Beach has nothing in common with the popular popular beaches you’ll find in Kuta and Seminyak. Instead of surf schools and umbrellas for rent, Amed Beach is lined with traditional jukungs – fishermen’s boats. The ocean here is calm, and the sand is volcanic black. What makes the beach truly unique, are the amazing views the bay offers of Mount Agung. Amed is far less crowded than any other tourist destination in Bali and offers a relaxed setting for some restorative R&R.
Amed is also one of the best places for snorkelling and diving in Bali. For a unique diving adventure, head a bit further up north to Tulamben where you can explore the waters around the shipwreck of USS Liberty, the most famous diving spot in Bali.
Due to geography, Amed doesn’t get the same amazing sunset that you’ll find in Kuta and Seminyak. Instead, Amed offers mesmerising and somewhat unpredictable sunrises. Trust us – these views are worth getting out of bed for, even if you’re not usually an early bird.
Do you have a favourite beach in Bali? Share it in the comments below!