High cliffs overlooking clear cobalt waters and shining white sand is the characteristic setting of Bali’s Bukit peninsula beaches.
There are several well-known and rarely explored beaches to discover here, far removed from the chaos of the main tourist areas.
Balangan is still a quietly idyllic beach, great for surfing, hanging out at a local warung or cafe and soaking up the sun.
A few short steps down, you’ll find a long stretch of white sand that tapers off into a little peninsula.
Besides being famous for surfing, the beach is also ideal for sunbathing and getting a massage.
It is great to explore when the tide goes out as you can walk almost out to the break exploring tidal pools and little inlets perfect for kids to play around with.
It is also one of the best beaches to watch the stunning Bali sunset streaking the sky in a rainbow of orange.
If you want to stay, La Joya is one of the most relaxed rustic chic hotels on the peninsula.
Known as “Secret Beach” for many years, Pandwana is not so much of a secret anymore. But the beach is still breath taking to see when you come around the corner and find the vast blue turquoise ocean sprawling below you.
Now it is much busier than a few years ago, but if you go during the week you can have the whole beach to yourself.
In the higher seasons it gets very busy with lots of schools running kayaking trips here.
If you would like a little more privacy, then head to the left at the bottom of the hill and keep going left along the beach. Just beyond the sun loungers you will find a few little coves and then a long deserted beach with just a few fishermen and their huts scattered around.
You can only get around at low tide, and keep an eye out so you do not get stranded.
Perched up on the Bingin cliff, this beach is a stunning surfing spot.
Little houses and hotels are strewn down the hillside creating a slightly haphazard Mediterranean feel.
This is also a quiet and sleepy beach not yet overtaken by crowds – laidback Bali at its best.
There are a lot of steps going up and down but if you take them slowly it is definitely worth it for the turquoise waters, soft sand and really good seafood barbeque at sunset.
Tables are laid out on the sand. Come sundown and you can enjoy fresh fish straight from the boats to your table.
It is by far more relaxed and cheaper than the Jimabaran barbeques.
There are a few great places to stay here too – both Temple Lodge and Mu Bali are easygoing barefoot luxury perfect for a few days of sun, sea and surf.
This is definitely one of the best-kept secrets on the Bukit peninsula, near Ungasan.
Down a lot of very steep steps, the beach is not only one of the best surfing beaches in Bali but a paradisiacal enclave.
Large caves provide a retreat from the midday sun, but this is some of the whitest sand and bluest water you will find on the island.
There is nothing at the bottom, make sure you bring water or buy it in the car park above so you don’t need to go back up.
Probably the most famous beach in the Bukit is actually called Suluban, but is better known by its new name of Blue Point.
Winding down the cliffside you will pass by numerous warung before you meander your way down through a cave and reach a mesmerizing blue-hued beach with consistent and incredible surf breaks.
Find a spot among the caves and settle down for swim in numerous tidal pools or stay and enjoy the sunset in a local warung.
At the top is Blue Point Bay Villas where you can enjoy the pool and the view without tackling all the steps.
For around Rp 60,000 you will get a lounger, towel and an incredible view of the Indian Ocean. This was the beach that put Bali on the surfing circuit back in the 1970s and still holds the same beauty as it did all those years ago.
A small and gorgeous bay, Padang-Padang is slightly more accessible than many beaches around, due to not having too many steps and being on the main Uluwatu road.
A gorgeous sparkling little bay with good waves and a nice wide beach, Padang-Padang is great for families, picnics and people who prefer calmer seas than the surfing beaches.
It is a little busier than other beaches, but for good reason as it is really a beautiful twinkling little bay.
There is one small warung at the bottom serving basic snacks and food as well as the Bali beach must have – fresh coconuts.
Nammos Beach Club and Finns Beach Club
For those who enjoy the finer things in life and are not so eager to climb up and down steps to enjoy some of the Bukit’s best beaches then these are the two best beach clubs with absolutely stunning beaches.
The two are actually connected at low tide. Both cost Rp 250,000 to get the little funicular lifts down to the beach. Which one you choose is a matter of preference.
Nammos is very rustic chic with a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere and a great Mediterranean menu for sharing or enjoying throughout the day.
There are often DJs playing at sunset or there is a little spa outpost for some relaxation during the day. Either way this is a very laidback and cool little beach bar.
Finns Beach Club is a little more manicured and has a grassy area as well as seating in the restaurant and beach.
There is an extensive international menu and great wine list. It is a little more geared toward families with a great selection of food, toys and water sports for children.
Consistently good waves and the stunning sea definitely make this worth the trip.