This article was first published in August 2018 and updated in November 2019.
Like the Philippines, Indonesia is an archipelago made of over 17,000 islands so it’s not hard to find the best beaches in Indonesia at just about every turn. In fact some of the beaches in this list are easily considered the most beautiful beaches in Southeast Asia by many.
However, some of the best beaches in Indonesia are usually hard to get to and remote, which is both a blessing and a curse. As a result, even though I have traveled extensively across the region and the country, I have not had the chance to visit most of the Indonesian beaches on this list.
The ones that I have been to several times though are the beaches in Bali, Indonesia’s most popular destination. It may surprise visitors but the famous areas of Seminyak and Kuta are not where the best beaches in Bali are, those are in fact located in the southern tip.
In the north of the island, Bali’s beaches are volcanic and made of black sand. They are scenic and different, but not as pleasant to walk on. They are also empty as they are quite far from the tourist-heavy parts of the south or even Ubud, so they are spared from the landslide of visitors that swipes through the island in the summer months.
In this list you will find a few completely unknown beaches in Indonesia which are yet to make the headlines. For example, Belitung is the Seychelles of Asia and most people have never even heard of it. Some parts of Raja Ampat see few to no tourists.
Indonesia is indeed far more than the island of Bali which still receives over a third of the tourists coming to the country. Maybe some of the Indonesian beaches featured here will give you a reason to go visit the more hard to reach and hidden places in the country.
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Bintan is one of the most popular beach destinations for Singaporeans and residents of Singapore. Having lived here for over seven years, I can testify to that since I have been to Bintan and Batam (the nearby island) a dozen times.
I have stayed at pretty much all the beach resorts in Bintan and Batam, and even some which are offshore and accessible from the islands.
Lagoi Bay is the resort development area in Bintan where most of the luxury hotels are located. It is made of two small bays next to each other. While Sebong Lagoi has several resorts and lots of water sports and activities on offer, Lagoi Bay is much larger and emptier, with no breach facilities beyond the resorts.
Location: Bintan Island
How to get there: To get to Bintan you need to take the ferry from Singapore’s various terminals. Usually Tanah Merah or Harbourfront are the best. The ferry journey takes about an hour. From there you will drive for about 15-20min from the ferry terminal to reach your resort
Best for: Sunset
Facilities: Lagoi Bay and Sebong Lagoi are public beaches accessible to anyone but there are no facilities beyond the hotels lining the beach. On Lagoi Bay there are only two resorts, the uber luxury and private The Sanchaya which is not open to the general public and the mass-market Grand Lagoi Hotel which is open to the public and has a few restaurants, bars and even a small supermarket. If glamping is your thing, then you should definitely stay at Natra Bintan. Sebong Lagoi has several resorts and the most popular ones are the upscale Banyan Tree Bintan, the family-friendly Angsana Resort and the apartment-style younger Cassia. Most people coming to Bintan will be staying at a resort so exploring other beaches is unlikely unless your own resort is not by the sea.
Read more: Here is our list of the best resorts in Bintan and Batam.
Nusa Dua is a sanctuary lined with resorts, palms and pristine water and is the type of beach most visitors imagine when they think about Bali. It is also one of the better known beaches in Indonesia thanks to the many luxury resorts on its shore.
Nusa Dua is great for families as it has an array of watersports available but also great for romantic holidays or even honeymoons. It offers a luxurious beach haven away from the hustle of Bali’s busy streets of Kuta and Seminyak yet still close enough to take a day trip to surrounding places.
Although Nusa Dua can be very expensive, it’s extremely beautiful and has an incredibly calming atmosphere. If you are looking for a white fluffy beach in Bali, Nusa Dua is your answer.
How to get there: Nusa Dua is about 25 minutes from the airport (via the Bali Mandara toll road), depending on traffic. You can either get an official taxi from the airport or a driver from Seminyak/Kuta. Most of the 5-star resort offer airport transfers that you can arrange directly with your hotel to avoid the overload of toutes that will offer you a taxi when you exit the airport.
Best for: Sunrise
Facilities: Nusa Dua is usually visited while staying at the many high end resorts in the area all of which have all the facilities you can think of including bars, sun loungers, etc. If you go independently, you will find a large stretch of beach but there are still some huts selling snacks and drinks.
Where to stay on Nusa Dua: Nusa Dua is the destination for luxury hotels in Bali and you will find a few like the Sofitel Nusa Dua, The Conrad Bali, The Ritz Carlton Bali, the St Regis Bali, or the Grand Hyatt Bali among many others. Check out the best hotels for you on Booking.com | HotelsCombined | Agoda
Read more: Nusa Dua is only a fraction of the beaches Bali has to offer so check out more about traveling in Bali on Kelana by Kayla.
If you want to find out what it’s like to enjoy a perfect beach, with incredible white soft sand, turquoise water, and lush vegetation, but with no other people around you, then you better pack your bags and get to Gam Island, one of the least visited beaches in Indonesia.
This incredible island belongs to the Raja Ampat archipelago, one of the world’s best places for snorkeling and diving. What makes this Indonesian beach and island so unique is the fact that it is very remote and the chances for you to enjoy a beach all by yourself are pretty high.
And once you’ve had enough of its perfect sand, you just have to hop in the water and get mesmerized by the incredible biodiversity. Get ready for some turtles, reef sharks, manta rays, stingrays, tons of colorful fish, and, of course, a bunch of Nemo families.
Location: Raja Ampat
How to get there: From Sorong in West Papua you take a ferry to Waisai and from there a small boat to your dream beach
Best for: Sunset
Facilities: No facilities, there are some homestays, but these are only made of some basic bungalows
Read more: Find out more about this hidden island paradise on Raja Ampat on Our World to Wander
Atuh beach is located in Nusa Penida Island, just 45 minutes by fast boat from mainland Bali and recently discovered as one of the most popular beaches in Bali, and islands in Indonesia, especially because of the stunning views from the top which have become an Instagram success overnight.
The scenic views and the popularity with Instagrammers have no doubt given this beach the title of one of the best beaches in Indonesia. But this title is founded.
Once in Atuh beach you can rent a pool chair to spend your day or get a fresh coconut or cold beer from the local restaurants. The water is of a dreamy turquoise blue but it is rough. The views from the beach are so scenic though.
Location: Nusa Penida
How to get there: Fast boat from mainland Bali in Sanur, it takes 45 minutes to reach Nusa Penida. Once in Nusa Penida you have to rent a motorbike to get to Atuh beach. It will take one hour by motorbike to get there. The way to Atuh beach is easy, there is rarely any traffic and the road is in good condition. Park your motorbike by the cliff and go down for 10 minutes to reach Atuh beach.
Best for: Sunset
Facilities: There are bathrooms, umbrellas, pool chairs and local restaurants to eat at and having beers and fresh coconuts.
Read more: Why not spend some time in Nusa Penida? Check out the list of things to do in Nusa Penida on Gamin Traveler
Unfortunately, many people get disappointed by the beaches in Bali. They expect Bali’s beaches to be remote, clean and beautiful but find themselves at the overcrowded and dirty beaches of Kuta and Seminyak, the main tourist hubs in Bali. These are not the Indonesian beaches they had in mind.
However, Bali has some wonderful beaches, like the ones we have just looked at or the lesser-known Pasut Beach. Most tourists have probably never heard of Pasut, since it’s a little bit further away from the main tourist beaches of the island.
Pasut is a flat, wide, black sand beach perfect for a long beach stroll. In contrast to most other beaches in Bali, you also won’t find any bars or other tourist infrastructure. In fact, you may well be the only one around perhaps surrounded by some locals at sunset. If you visit, you may agree that this could well be one of the most interesting beaches in Bali.
Location: Kerambitan Regency, Central Bali
How to get there: Pasut beach is a little bit further up the coast from Canggu, the popular digital nomad and surfer hotspot of Bali. There’s no public transport, but the best (and many times only) way to get around Bali in general is by renting a scooter. From Canggu, you should get there by scooter in less than one hour (follow directions on google maps, since it’s very easy to get lost in Bali)
Best for: Sunset
Facilities: There’s not much (therefore the beach is very quiet), but you have one smaller resort where you’re welcome to get some food / drinks even if you’re not staying there.
Where to stay on Pasut Beach: The best place to stay to explore Pasut Beach is Canggu, nearby. There, you will find a few accommodation options including luxury hotel Tugu Bali, and the newly opened COMO UMA Canggu. Check out the best hotels for you on Booking.com | HotelsCombined | Agoda
Read more: You can read more about Bali on German Backpacker
While Bali has some pretty and interesting beaches, the real postcard-perfect beaches of Indonesia are located around Bali and not necessarily on the Island of Gods itself. A local favourite is “Dream Beach” on popular Nusa Lembongan.
Dream Beach is a bay surrounded by rocky mountains and hosts beautiful white sand and crystal clear waters. Come here in the afternoon and enjoy the happy hour during sunset at Dream Beach Huts on the beach.
Location: Nusa Lembongan, Bali
How to get there: You can easily access the island by taking the speedboat from Bali’s village Sanur to Nusa Lembongan. It only takes 30 minutes. Dream Beach is located a little up the hill on Nusa Lembongan.
Best for: Sunset
Facilities: Right on top of the beach, you’ll find the accommodation “Dream Beach Huts”, which also has a nice restaurant and an infinity pool overlooking the entire bay. As the public beach is directly located in front of the hotel and restaurant, you can use all the facilities such as the toilets for free.
Where to stay on Dream Beach: As mentioned, Dream Beach is right in front of Dream Beach Huts, a resort which occupies all the beachfront space and which offers rustic chic affordable accommodation right in front of the ocean. Beware, the beach is pretty popular so this is not exactly a quiet retreat but a happening beach resort.
Read more: Read more about Nusa Lembongan on the Travellers Archive
Pink beach of Komodo
Part of the chain of Islands that make Komodo National Park, Pink Beach is truly unique and made with coral mixing in with fine white sand and giving the impression of a pink beach.
While Komodo National Park is rather hard to get to, it is well known for its prehistoric Komodo dragons and its endless diving opportunities, which include manta rays in season.
Location: Komodo National Park
How to get there: By boat, usually is included in a group tour of Komodo National Park from Labuan Bajo
Best for: Late afternoon to sunset
Facilities: None, you must bring everything to this remote beach
Where to stay on Pink Beach: There is no accommodation on Pink Beach and the closest urban center (if we can call it that) is in Labuan Bajo. The only premium accommodation there is Plataran Resort which is a nice but a removed beach resort by the home grown brand. I very much enjoyed my stay there. You can also explore Komodo via a private luxury sailing boat or a liveaboard. All options (including a review of Plataran) on my post here. Check out the best hotels to stay in Labuan Bajo on Booking.com | HotelsCombined | Agoda
Read more: You can read more about Komodo National Park on Travel Photo Discovery
Nusa Lembongan is a quiet, tiny island located just in front of busy Bali. This island has some lovely beaches, including Jungutbatu and Dream Beach (mentioned before).
Jungutbatu beach is well known for its white sand, crystal clear water, and laid back atmosphere. Apart from its turquoise waters, Jungutbatu’s floating boats permanently anchored not far from the shore, give the visitor endless photo opportunities.
The beach has a nice seawall walkway which is ideal for a sunset stroll. Also, most of the hotels in the area come with a terrace with great sea views of Gunung Agung, the mountain in Eastern Bali.
Location: Nusa Lembongan
How to get there: To reach Jungutbatu beach in Nusa Lembongan, one must take a public boat at Sanur in Bali. The ride takes one hour and a half and it is operated by many local companies.
Best for: Sunset
Facilities: Jungutbatu beach has different accommodation options and other amenities like restaurants, ATM and diving and snorkeling courses.
Read more: Read more about Nusa Lembongan in World in Paris
Indonesia has some of the most stunning islands and beaches in Southeast Asia and they can vary from pink to black, from quiet to wild.
Sumba Island is one of the lesser known islands in Indonesia and receives practically no tourism. However, surfers from all over the world will recognise one of its beaches as a mecca for left side breaks.
The beach lies in front of the luxury hotel Nihi Sumba, chosen as best hotel in the world two years running. The resort organises surf lessons and lets guests book surfing slots, otherwise, the beach belongs to the local community and access to non-guests is not allowed.
Location: Sumba Island
How to get there: Getting to Sumba island requires a flight from Bali. There are a couple of flights a day with WingAir and with Garuda Indonesia
Best for: Sunset
Facilities: Nihi Sumba resort has all the facilities of one of the most expensive resorts in Asia
Read more: Find out more about what the Best Hotel in the World for two years running looks like here or check my video below
Gili Nanggu in Lombok, Indonesia is absolute paradise. The water surrounding Gili Nanggu is so clear you can see your feet even when the water is up to your shoulders. The sand is so soft, the water so warm and the fish are colourful and friendly!! We were absolutely surrounded by fish keen to come and say hi! Seriously it was like swimming in an aquarium.
Gili Nanggu is a small island off the coast of mainland Lombok and there is only one place small place to stay on the island (Gili Nanggu Cottages), so you don’t have to worry about it being overcrowded. There is a basic restaurant and toilets here. By no means are the facilities luxurious.
How to get there: To reach the island you can join a day trip or my favourite way is to make your own way to the Tawun Harbour and hire a fisherman and his boat for the day. Its then only a quick ride out to the Gili Nanggu. As you start to come into the shores of Gili Nanggu you notice the ocean starts getting clearer and clearer and you can literally see the ocean floor.
Best for: During the day
Facilities: There is a basic restaurant and toilets here. By no means are the facilities luxurious.
Where to stay in Lombok: While there is no place to stay on Gili Naggu, there are a lot of options in Lombok. The closest to the access point to this beautiful Southeast Asian beach is Cocotinos Hotel Sekotong Lombok. Check out other great hotels to stay in Lombok on Booking.com | HotelsCombined | Agoda
Read more: Read more about Lombok in Thrifty Family Travels
Tanjung Aan Beach
Definitely one of the lesser known beaches in Indonesia as people usually flock to nearby Kuta. Tanjung Aan is a totally panoramic beach with breathtaking views of gorgeous white sand, lush greenery and emerald blue waters. Not only is it fantastic to relax on, but you can also get some amazing photo opportunities.
Just like the Gili Islands, there are some swings for posing on and the surf is a bit milder than other parts, so it’s a good entry level for beginners. You can stay on the beach for sunset or head over to the famous Batu Payung which is around a 15min ride+walk from the beach.
How to get there: A quick 15min scooter ride from the main hub of Kuta. Entrance is around 10,000 IDR.
Best for: During the day
Facilities: Local restaurants or warungs, bamboo loungers, there are toilets which cost around 5,000 IDR to use, so bring cash.
Where to stay in Lombok: Some of the better options on Lombok include Tugu Lombok, Anema Resort Gili Lombok or The Lombok Lodge. Perhaps the most luxurious of all are The Oberoi Lombok, Joglo House and the 7 Secrets Wellness Retreat. Check out the best hotels for you on Booking.com | HotelsCombined | Agoda.
One of the most iconic of Bali’s beautiful beaches is Kuta Beach. It is a popular spot to watch the sunset – silky soft sand provides a perfect place to enjoy the glowing sun disappearing on the horizon.
However, what used to be a beautiful and sacred beach has now turned into a party spot for tourists. Bars, pubs, and nightclubs were established to lure party-goers to the area. Nightly parties linger into late night. But whether you love the party scene or not, Kuta Beach is a major tourist attraction in Bali.
How to get there: You won’t have any issue finding your way to Kuta Beach – it’s where everyone else is going! So just walk, hop on your scooter, or jump in a taxi.
Best for: Sunset
Facilities: Lots of cafes, restaurants and pubs. There are public toilets for use
Where to stay in Kuta: There are so many hotels in Kuta and surrounding areas that the choice is unlimited. The Sheraton Bali is perhaps the most comfortable of the hotels right in front of the beach. Check out the best hotels to stay in Kuta on Booking.com | HotelsCombined | Agoda.
Read more: Read more about adventures in Bali on The RTW Guys
Pink Beach – Tangsi Beach
A surprisingly uncrowded beach due to its remote location. Pink Beach has its pink hue due to the coral parts. The shade of the pink depends on the position of the sun. While it does suffer from parts of Southeast Asia’s garbage problems, locals are doing their best to keep it clean.
Pink Beach doesn’t have any tourist infrastructure and feels like an off the beaten place. We enjoyed not only the beach but also the journey to get there, 2,5hr drive through Indonesian countryside with the nicest and warmest locals. Pink Beach in Lombok is popular for snorkeling or kayaking but also for its quietness.
How to get there: I suggest going by scooter and experiencing the countryside. It’s a 2,5hr drive from Kuta. Another option is to take a shared ride or go with a boat tour.
Best for: During the day
Facilities: No infrastructure by western standards, bamboo warungs (local eateries), gazebos for relaxing and shade, rental of kayaks
Read more: Find out more about Pink Beach in Lombok on Travel with the Smile
Nyang Nyang is possibly the best beach in Bali for true explorers that really want to escape from the crowds. You will have to traverse a limestone cliff for about 30mins to reach this off the beaten path destination, but once you arrive it is totally worth the trip.
Located in Pecatu, just after Uluwatu Temple, this Indonesian beach is really barebones, rough and absolutely beautiful. You’ll probably only find a few people here at any time, and most of them will be locals.
The ocean is a bit rougher here than in other parts of the more touristy places in Bali, so while you can take a dip, surfing and deep sea swimming should be left to the professionals. Other than that there is 1.5km of absolutely desolate beach and a shipwreck that is split in two and constantly being graffitied.
If you feel up for it, try camping overnight. If not, come for the day and stay for sunset as the sun going down behind the misty jagged cliffs is spectacular. The beach is separated into Nunggalan to the West and Nyang Nyang to the East, but there is no real demarcation.
How to get there: A popular place to start your descent is by parking your scooter at Plenilunio Villa in the parking lot where you will have to pay a small fee. Then start your trek of about 30 mins down a fairly steep demarcated pathway, shoes are advised as it can get quite sharp in certain paths.
Best for: Day trips, overnight camping and sunsets
Facilities: There are a few warungs on the beach, but other than that absolutely nothing. So bring all the snacks, water and covers you need as the walk back up the stairs is long.
Where to stay in Nyang Nyang: There are three hotels right by the beach. The first is the unique Bubble Hotel, similar to the one I stayed at in Iceland, except minus the cold. The other options are The Sanctus Villa, a luxury hotel with a sprawling lawn and panoramic views of Nyang Nyang beach below and Villa Plenilunio of the same calibre. The uber luxe Bulgari Resort is also a stone’s throw away. There are a few other options nearby, so check out more hotels around the Uluwatu area on Booking.com | HotelsCombined | Agoda
Even the busiest of the three Gili, in Indonesia, famous for its parties and nightspots, has a quiet part to the west where it is possible to admire the sunset over the sea with Bali in the background.
Be careful of the places that Instagram made famous, if you do not want to find yourself surrounded by other tourists queuing to sit on the famous swings above the water.
Location: Gili Trawangan
How to get there: All places on the island are easily accessible on foot or by bike. There are no cars in Gili Trawangan.
Best for: Sunset
Facilities: There are some bars nearby.
Read more: Looking to visit Indonesia? Check out A World to Travel’s post on what she learned in Indonesia
Padar Island is a natural art piece found near the epic Komodo National Park. Only accessible through a private boat tour, you will most likely be one of the only people on the beach, bringing out your true Robinson Crusoe.
You’ll find three different styles of beach on Padar that contain white, black and pink varieties. So remember to bring an extra battery charger as you’ll be taking pics non-stop.
Apart from the many beaches and coves that are spread throughout the island, the island is best known for its panoramic viewpoint, so bringing a good pair of trekking shoes is essential. The hike isn’t terribly difficult and you’ll be back to the beach in about an hour. The view is epic though, and as you’ve made the effort to get here, you should definitely take the trip up.
Location: Flores, East Nusa Tenggara
How to get there: Just off Labuan Bajo in Flores, East Nusa Tenggara. It has its own airport, so you can fly in from Denpasar in Bali and don’t have to take a live aboard boat.
Best for: View points, trekking and explorers who want to visit an area of untouched beauty and off the tourist map.
Facilities: Nothing. You will need to bring everything.
The infamous double bay of Koka, separated by a sandbank, has one of the best beaches in Indonesia for those looking to have a digital detox in what seems like the middle of nowhere. The first can be a bit rocky, but is nice for snorkelling. The second bay is more idyllic, particularly for swimming.
You will need to pay a small fee of around IDR10,000 at the start of the road and another IDR20,000 when you reach the beach, but it is totally worth it. Climb the view point and be rewarded with a view of epic cliffs you will not get anywhere else.
Location: Flores, East Nusa Tenggara
How to get there: You will have to visit Moni or Maumere first and then drive for around 2hrs on scooter, taking in all the gorgeous sights. Take some cash as parking is around 3,000 IDR.
Best for: A truly off the beaten path stay beach
Facilities: There are some beach huts, and warungs, particularly on the first bay, so bring cash.
Further reading: See more of the best beaches that Southeast Asia has to offer by reading my articles on the best beaches in Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, and Singapore. There’s also articles on the best beaches in Montenegro, Albania, Malta and Macau for escapes beyond Asia.