It is important to take a pause from the ‘real world’ and treat yourself to some relaxation. At this time of year, it is preferable to do so on a warm beach. Bali beaches are indeed decked out with plenty of beauty. Unfortunately, most of the beaches are very crowded due to the number of visitors that seem to go up every year. This can be a bit disheartening for those who always prefer having elbow room whenever they are out on vacation. However, we can always look a bit harder and a little off-the-beaten-path to discover under-the-radar beach destinations.
In the southern part of the island, there are a number of beaches to be considered as ‘hidden’ by many. Starting in Jimbaran, Tegal Wangi Beach is very popular for pre-wedding and after wedding photo shoots. A cliff is on the beach, where from its top, one can appreciate the clear blue water as the curling waves hit the beach below. Most of those who have visited this beach have magnetically been drawn back to the beautiful waters that appear to have been painted blue as well as the coral reef undertones. And with some two ‘ocean Jacuzzis’ that directly face to the ocean mimicking gestures of the welcoming glorious waves, it is a fantastic place that you can’t escape the pull it exerts. The beach is reachable through a paved road just next to the Ayana Resort & Spa. Advisable to come before 4PM as these are the times when the beach looks most pristine.
Going 15 minutes north from Jimbaran, not far from the famous Pandawa Beach, you will discover Green Bowl Beach. The beach can easily be accessed from Ungasan as there are signboards all over this area directing people to the beach. The only reason why Green Bowl Beach doesn’t attract large crowds is because of the relatively long and arduous path that leads down to the beach. Not many people would want to have a long walk these days. But for the ardent off-the-beaten-path beach enthusiasts, walking is by no doubt a worthy option. Upon conquering the hundreds of steps that lead down to the beach, the experience there is rewarding. Expect to enjoy some of the cleanest beach experiences, albeit the rocky in some spots. Green Bowl Beach is best enjoyed when there are no tides or even at times when the tides are going down. At such times when the tides are going down, the waves recede like a curtain that leaves a smooth sandy surface. Alternatively, braving the dark to have a night view of the beach will not disappoint you either.
Up north from this point, on the way to Uluwatu Temple and before reaching Padang Padang Beach, Bingin Beach is another hidden spot worth visiting. This is one of those beaches that you will really need to make an extra effort to get to. To reach the beach, from the parking area you still have to walk 15 minutes down the stairs through a narrow alley surrounded by trees. Many visitors find it difficult tracing the exact location even on their second and third visits. Probably this is the primary reason behind the minimal number of people visiting the beach. Bingin Beach is famously known for its ever-evolving scenes. Around the beach are some unconventionally stylish lodgings offering you an antique experience you probably didn’t know you were seeking.
Travelling a bit further to the east of Bali, Close to Padang Bai harbour, Blue Lagoon Beach can also be described as a hidden paradise. Ensure you are prepared to pass a short steep hill before reaching the destination. Blue Lagoon Beach is characterised with cleanliness, with its waters being quite clear thus making it easy for one to see whatever is underneath. The water is warm with an abundance of marine life for you to appreciate. Be ready to see shoals of black fish having tails that resemble spanner heads and you might even be lucky enough to see leopard-print coat fish or some cleverly camouflaged creatures that hide in the reef crevices. The Blue Lagoon Beach’s coastline does border a coral garden, where visitors have the opportunity to snorkel among the beautiful psychedelic fish.
While you are at Padangbai harbour, you may also want to stop by at Bias Tugel Beach. Same as Blue Lagoon Beach with its crystal blue water, this off-the-grid beach remains unseen because the location is somewhat concealed, hidden by big cliffs. To reach the site, be prepared to walk about 10 minutes via a steep and rocky path from the parking lot. The stretch of white sandy beach will make it all worth the while. The natural life under the water is still very unspoiled, making it perfect for snorkelling or diving. Swimming is allowed, but make sure you are aware of the strong current. For that reason, kids must not be left out of sight. The beach is so clean ensuring you can comfortably bask in the sun without the eyesore of litter cluttering your view. The blue water and the verdant green of the trees on the cliffs separated by the warm yellow hue of the sand is a sight to behold. The wind mixed with the smell of the ocean and the scent of the trees creates an intoxicating perfume.
All the way up heading to Candidasa Temple, Virgin Beach is waiting to be discovered. Locally known as Perasi Beach, this beach is quite easy to find if you can spot the small signboard ‘White Sand Beach’ on your right. To reach the beach, you still need to drive on a bumpy road down the hilly street. The water at Virgin Beach is so clear with calm waves, a perfect spot for swimming. The fact that you need almost 3 hours to make it to this beach doesn’t attract large crowds. However, the availability of deck chairs with umbrellas, snorkel gears for rent and locals offering massage treatment marks the fact that the tourism business is growing. Still, this beach is worth discovering.
On the neighbouring island of Nusa Penida, you can escape to Crystal Bay Beach. Of course, the first thing you need to do is to cross the island via fast boat from Padang Bai harbour or Sanur Beach. From the port of Nusa Penida, it takes you about 30 minutes’ drive to the west to reach the beach. Named because of its crystal-clear waters, visitors are guaranteed to enjoy beautiful views of this rocky bay. The beach is a diver’s paradise and much visited by professional divers across the world, so expect to see many dive boats on the waters with others being anchored all over. If you don’t dive, you can still have the opportunity to snorkel some of Indonesia’s best coral reefs teaming with tropical marine life.
No matter which corner of the island you look at, there are still plenty of secluded beaches just waiting to be explored. However, you may find these lesser-known beaches mentioned above, useful for your next trip. At the end of the day, whichever beach you finally end up at, a little sand between your toes always takes away your woes.