The Bukit Peninsula, in our opinion, is home to the best beaches, secret coves, sandy nooks and most picturesque coastlines in all of Bali. From Bingin, Padang Padang and Uluwatu to Balangan, Melasti, Nusa Dua and more. There’s even private beach clubs for those looking for a bit of luxury for their sandy feet. There’s something for all tastes and needs. Read on for our favourite spots along with some handy little tips.
*Please note that when visiting beaches in Bali, an entry fee or parking fee of around Rp 5,000-20,000 usually applies. So be sure to bring some small notes with you.
Bingin Beach is unique as it remains one of the last places in Bali yet to be overrun by big development. It is dotted with quirky beach huts and local warungs offering food, drinks and shelter from the hot Indonesian sun. Grab a smoothie, or a frozen margarita if that’s more your poison and take in the cruisey vibe that is, Bingin Beach. Whether you’re sitting on the shore with your feet in the sand or perched nicely above in one of the many warungs (Kelly’s, Didi’s or Ombak Bingin), just relax and watch the waves roll in. To support the hard working locals, purchase a sarong, handmade bracelet, ice cream or cooked corn from one of the local sellers.
When the day comes to a close, there are a handful of dining options for you to choose from. One not to be missed is the nightly seafood BBQ offered by a few local warungs. Their fresh, daily caught seafood is cooked on beach grills, all you have to do is choose your seafood, order a beer and sit back and feel the sand between your toes. Facing west, Bingin Beach is the perfect spot to watch the sun go down. TIP : to sneak away from crowds, wander through the rocks towards Impossibles. You’ll find hidden sandy nooks and refreshing rock pools.
Pantai Suluban (Uluwatu Beach)
A magnet for surfers from around the world, Uluwatu has carved itself out a reputation as one of the best surf spots on the planet. Spend the day lounging on the beach, swimming in the rock pools on low tide or exploring the caves. Once you’ve had enough of the beach, take a seat at one of the many local warungs and bars built into the cliff and just marvel at the scenery. A sunset here is not to be missed. The very popular Single Fin is open every day until late and is a perfect spot to watch the sun go down. TIP – If you’re heading to Uluwatu, why not include a trip to the famous Uluwatu Temple (Pura Luhur Uluwatu) or stop for some healthy and delicious food at Lands End Cafe or a killer almond milk latte at BGS.
Padang Padang Beach (Pantai Labuhan Sait)
Padang Padang Beach was made famous by the movie “Eat Pray Love”, but is a gem in its own right and one of the Bukit’s most popular beach spots. Its protected beach and cove is a perfect spot for swimming and also has a wonderful beginner surf break to get you out amongst the waves. We especially love it in the morning, before the daily crowds descend. To get down, pass by the small but very important temple (often visited by monkeys), and then wander down the stairs through the natural cave to the beach. There are stalls selling colourful sarongs and plaited friendship bracelets, guys hiring out a range of different surfboards including paddle boards, and a bunch of warungs selling fresh coconuts, cold drinks. TIP – Don’t leave your belongings too close to the tree line. If you do, expect to donate your things to the local monkey tribe!
Thomas Beach was one of our best kept beach secrets for a surprisingly long time. Locals and expats had her all to themselves and were reluctant to share its magical location. However with the rise in fame of the travel blogger and Instagram influencer, it’s now on every must see ‘beaches in bali’ list. Located between Padang Padang and Uluwatu (and 150 steps down to the sand) Thomas Beach stretches out a delightful 200m, dotted with warungs serving food and drink and offering beach umbrellas and deck chairs for rent. It’s the perfect beach for all day beach hangs. TIP – pack everything you need for the day as you won’t want to be scaling those stairs more than once per day. La Baracca for dinner.
Up until 2020 and before the building of a new road down to the beach this was a difficult stretch of coastline to access, which made it even more beautiful. Lacking the crowds, it has a deserted island feel. The secret however is starting to get out and more and more people are flocking to this amazing stretch of sand. If you like your beach with cocktails and sunbeds, this is NOT the spot for you. Little tip – there’s very little shade here, so pack a hat and sunscreen. Be sure to buy some souvenirs or a drink from the locals selling on the beach. It’s a tough job in the sun all day for them. Rp 50k rupiah is a small amount to you, but means a lot to them.
Oh Balangan Beach – the often forgotten cousin of the Bukit beaches. One reason we love this stretch of sand is because of its direct beach access (at the western end), meaning no steps or steep cliffs to negotiate. The beach is fringed with a grassy knoll that’s dotted with palm trees, an idyllic setting. It is the perfect place to relax, swim or catch a few waves. When the swell is small, it’s another great spot to learn to surf. Into something more chill? Rent a sun lounger and have food and drinks delivered to you. Take the time to wander to the hill tops for some epic views of Jimbaran, the airport, Seminyak and Canggu. TIP – If you’re heading to Balangan, we highly recommend heading inland a little and stopping at “The Smoothie Shop” for some delicious food. You’ll find their location on maps.
If a long white sandy beach with mellow lapping waves, perfect for swimming and floating in is your vibe, then Melasti Beach is a must visit. It’s a 20 minute (or so) trip from Melali and as you near the beach, you’ll follow the twists and turns of Jalan Melasti, a road cut into the rugged limestone cliffs. Stop on the way down to take in an aerial view overlooking one of Bali’s most beautiful beaches. At the bottom, park your car or bike and walk directly onto the beach (no stairs here!). If you like your beach days with full service, there are a couple of beach clubs with swimming pools, cocktail menus and DJs. If you prefer a more low key vibe, you’ll also find little nooks with quiet bits of sand to lay your towel.
Another, “once was a secret beach”, is Green Bowl, a mini slice of beach heaven located just a hop skip and jump from Melasti beach. It may be small in size, but it still delivers the goods with its beautiful turquoise waters and fine white sand, it is a little Bali oasis. Suitable for sunbathing and swimming on lower tides. Higher tides bring a strong current, so be careful. Also be warned, access to the beach is via a LOT of stairs populated by some local monkey families, so hold on to your things. Tip – there are a couple of warungs selling simple snacks, but if you like the idea of a little picnic, stop by Bali Buda (the Bukits favourite health food store) and grab some dips, chips and a bottle of kombucha or jamu.
Nusa Dua beaches
Nusa Dua, located on the eastern side of the Bukit Peninsula is home to many of the big branded hotels and five star resorts. You’ll find heavily manicured gardens, organised roads and not a piece of rubbish in sight. You’ll almost forget you’re in Bali. What it lacks in soul, it makes up for in their stunning (clean) beaches. Beaches here are generally protected by an outer reef so the water is calm and quiet and serves as the perfect spot to swim. Check out Pantai Nusa Dua, Sumuh Beach, Geger Beach or Nikko Beach. TIP – If you’re heading to Nusa Dua, you may like to stop in for a massage at the famous “Jari Menari” or have a cocktail at Nikki Beach Club next to the Sofitel Hotel.
Private Beach clubs
Swanky private beaches, day beds, classy dining and massage facilities more your thing? We are lucky to have two of Bali’s best private beach clubs within 20 minutes of Melali. Sundays Beach Club and Karma Kandara sit below rocky cliffs with the turquoise, tropical Indian Ocean waters lapping onto their soft white sand. No public access here, both are accessible by an inclinator (small attached cable car) down the steep, limestone cliffs. From here there is up to 150 steps down to the beach. TIP – In order to get a great spot and not miss out, it is best to arrive early (by 10am) – especially in high season (May – August) and weekends. Note that the beaches here loose the sun at around 4pm as it disappears behind the cliffs.
And when you’ve had enough of the beaches, Melali is here waiting for you. The perfect, little, Bingin oasis for those relaxing pool side days. Contact us for rates and reservations.
Have more tips? Leave a comment below!