Blue Bay Lagoon near Bali in Nusa Penida, Indonesia

Best Beaches in Indonesia to Add to Your Bucket List

This post was last updated on July 10th, 2020 at 09:19 am

With a coastline of 55,000 kilometers, Indonesia has the second-largest coastline in the world. In addition, the country also has 17,508 islands. So are you looking for beautiful beaches? Then Indonesia is the right place to visit. The best beaches in Indonesia range from tropical deserted beaches to the tourist beaches in Bali and from the city beaches in Jakarta to the surf beaches in Sumbawa. All beaches in Indonesia have something unique, from beautiful clear water to gorgeous white sand with waving palm trees and hammocks.


The 10 Best Beaches in Indonesia

Every year thousands of tourists visit the different beaches to enjoy the sun, the beautiful weather, and the relaxed atmosphere. It is not easy to make a complete overview of the best beaches in Indonesia. From the many beaches, most of which are surrounded by beautiful rock faces, azure blue seas, white beaches, and vast palm trees, it is difficult to choose what we should and should not mention.


If you want to spot animals like dolphins, turtles, and tropical fish, it is advisable to go diving or snorkeling in Indonesia. The country has some of the best locations in the world. Here is our overview of the best in Indonesia.


1. Kelingking Beach – Nusa Penida

Aerial View of Kelingking beach at Nusa Penida island in Indonesia

We all know that Bali has beautiful beaches, however, you will find one of the most beautiful beaches in the country on the nearby Nusa Penida; Kelingking beach. It is a stunningly beautiful beach hidden between gigantic cliffs. Few tourists come here (so far) so there is a good chance that you are the only one enjoying the view here.


They call the bay in which it lays Manta Bay and the point where you can take these impressive photos is the Karang Dawa Viewpoint. You can also go down to explore the picture-perfect beach. It is not an easy climb. In fact, it is quite steep, so be careful. Once you get down there you will forget all about it because it looks like a real fairy-tale here!


You can take a fast boat to Nusa Penida from Sanur Beach in Bali. This takes around 30 minutes and costs IDR 150,000 (US$11). A ferry costs 74,000 IDR (US$5.40).


You have to pay 5,000 IDR (US$0.35) to get there once you’re on the island. You can go there yourself, but you can also rent a tour guide.


2. Sekongkang Beach – Sumbawa

White sandy Sekongkang Beach on Sumbawa

If there is an island with beautiful beaches then it is Sumbawa. This island, world-famous among surfers, lies between Lombok and Flores and is blessed with impressive nature. The beaches here are snow-white, surrounded by palm trees and crystal clear water. There are countless beautiful beaches here, but one that you should visit is Sekongkang Beach in the west of the island.


The beach not only has beautiful white sand and clear water, but it is also surrounded by green forests. That gives the beach an extra beautiful character. And the best part; you almost have this beach to yourself. Tourists hardly come here.


3. Ujung Gelam Beach – Karimunjawa

Palm trees on Ujung Gelam Beach, Karimunjawa in Indonesia

Ujung Gelam Beach is one of the best beaches in Indonesia. It is located on the island of Karimunjawa off the coast of Java. This beach is also known as Sunset Beach and it is one of the best places to watch the sun go down. It is a beautiful beach with white sand, waving palm trees, traditional fishing boats, and beautiful clear water where you can snorkel very well.


On the beach, you will find some food stalls where you can buy something to drink and eat. The beauty of this beach is that Karmunjawa is much less touristy than Bali or Lombok, so you often share the beach with locals instead of tourists.


4. Cristo Rei Beach – Timor Islands

Cristo Rei Beach and Mountain Range on Timor

We are pretty sure that you have never heard of this beach before; Cristo Rei in East Timor. West Timor is a destination that is becoming increasingly well-known among travelers, but East Timor remains an unknown territory for most tourists to this day. Cristo Rei is actually a statue (think of Cristo Redentor in Rio de Janeiro). You reach the statue by climbing a hill of almost 600 steps. However, the view of the turquoise bay and mountains is phenomenal.


We can guarantee that you will not encounter any other tourists at this beach. It is quite out of the way to come there and it really has to be on your route. A taxi to the statue from the city costs around US$7. Cristo Rei is the most popular weekend break for the locals.


On the way to Cristo Rei you pass the popular Areia Branca. This is a restaurant where you can see the beautiful sunset. If you’re here we recommend taking a look. Not only do we feel that Cristo Rei is one of the best beaches in Indonesia, but the island itself is also well worth a day trip!


5. Tanjung Bira – Sulawesi

Aerial View of Tanjung Bira Beach in South Sulawesi, Indonesia

Almost everyone knows Sulawesi from the bizarre funeral rituals and special houses of Tana Toraja, but almost no one knows that this island houses some of the best beaches in Indonesia. Forget Bali and make the crossing to Sulawesi for impressive beaches. It is difficult to choose one beach because scattered along the coast there are countless pristine beaches that you often have completely to yourself.


Tanjung Bira, also known as Pantai Bira, is a sleepy coastal town where more goats live than people. It is known for its laid-back atmosphere and impressive white sandy beaches. It is especially popular with backpackers. You can dive and snorkel here and walk to small lakes. A nice sight here is the Pau Janggo, a viewpoint.


6. Bolilanga Island – Togian Islands

Front view of Bolilanga Island jungle and beach on the Togean Islands

We will stay in the Sulawesi region for a while and we have to cheat a bit. Number 5 is not a specific beach, but actually an island. However, this island is so small that you can easily put it under the beach category. We are talking about Bolilanga Island; one of the most beautiful places on earth. During our trip through Indonesia in 2016 we came across this impressive paradise and if you are talking about the best beaches in Indonesia, it has to be on your list.


In the area you can also find Kadidiri Island, just as beautiful a gem as Bolilanga Island. It’s not very big and, therefore, easy to explore. The great thing is that few tourists come here because the trip there is quite tough.


Do you want to know how to get here? Check out our Togian Islands page.


7. Pasir Timbul – Raja Ampat

Beautiful beach on Wajag island in Raja Ampat

Raja Ampat is one of the most beautiful places in Indonesia and everyone should go here. Most people recognize Raja Ampat as a beautiful archipelago with huge rocks. Most travelers often come to Wayag Islands, the most popular tourist spot here. However, there are even more options, including Pasir Timbul Beach!


This “beach” is close to Waisai City and it belongs to Waigeo Island. Pasir means “sand” and Timbul means “appearing”. As the name suggests, it is not even an island. It is a sandbar that only appears during low tide. With a size of approximately 100 to 150 square meters, the island only has white sand and a beautiful beach. Trees, plants or animals are not found here except for fish.


From Waisai Port you can take a speedboat to Pasir Timbul Island. It takes approximately 30 minutes.


8. Tanjung Aan – Lombok

Tanjung Aan, white sandy beach on Lombok, Indonesia

It comes as no surprise that you will find beautiful beaches in Lombok. There are several, but Tanjung Aan is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. With turquoise water and white sand, it is hard to leave this place. In addition to Tanjung, Kuta Beach is also recommended, not to be confused with Kuta in Bali, which we don’t care for that much. Another popular beach is Mawun Beach.


Rent a scooter and find this beautiful beach! You can also climb a rock here. You then have a breathtaking view of the two bays and the beaches of Aan. A must-see!


It is approximately a 25-minute drive from Kuta (Lombok). A scooter costs you between 70,000 and 90,000 rupees (US$5.10 – US$6.60) per day. You can find the beach here.


9. Pink Beach – Komodo

Pink Beach on Komodo Island

Komodo Island is one of the most special islands in Indonesia, located in the Komodo National Park. Firstly because you will find the famous Komodo Varans here, but also because you have a special beach here; Pink beach. You don’t get there just like that; most travelers visit it during their boat trip from Lombok to Flores. The pink color of the sand is caused by the coral that washes up to shore here.


Pink Beach, or Pantai Merah, is one of the seven pink beaches on earth so it’s pretty special to see. Pay attention not only to the beach, but also the panoramic view of turquoise seas, green hills, blue skies, and the fascinating surroundings.


10. Padangbai – Bali

Padangbai Beach on Bali in Indonesia

Padangbai in Bali is better known as the place where the boats leave for the Gili islands and Lombok. Padangbai also has some beautiful beaches. A few actually; it is an ideal place for day trips or if you have to wait for the boat to arrive. You can dive and snorkel here well. Blue Lagoon, a small bay northeast of the harbor, has a beautiful white sandy beach.


Another beautiful bay is Bias Tugel, a 130-meter long beach with calm and blue waters. Many beaches can be reached on foot, but it is easier and faster to rent a scooter.


If you’re looking for transportation options between the Indonesian islands and you want to book your tickets online then take a look at 12GoAsia. We used it many times too easily book our ferry tickets.


The Best Time to Visit Indonesia’s Best Beaches

In general, the best time to visit Indonesia is between May and September, when the days are dry and sunny. However, the country is so large that the weather can vary considerably per island/region. Sumatra certainly has a very different climate than the other islands in Indonesia. We have, therefore, created an overview with the best time to visit Indonesia per region. It includes the average weather for different regions in Indonesia. This way you will get to enjoy the best beaches in Indonesia under a blue and clear sky.


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