Thursday, 15 Nov 2018

Beach, please! 11 incredible Indonesia beaches that are not to be missed

When you look at the statistics, it will come as no surprise to learn that Indonesia is a home to diversity. I mean 260 million individuals, of 6 recognised religions, speaking 700 languages, populate over 17,000 islands! Those are exciting numbers for us backpackers seeking a country rich in culture & adventure.

The ethereal volcanic craters, alluring rural landscapes & mystical dense jungles are sure to excite the imagination of any curious traveller. However one of the most captivating attractions of this country are the spectacular beaches that adorn the archipelago of islands.

Unrivalled among others in SE Asia, Indonesia boasts some of the most extraordinary & pristine beaches we’ve seen throughout our travels. And whether you’re looking to relax in paradise with a beer in hand, snorkel among tropical marine life or ride some of the best surf in the world, you are sure not to be disappointed. Here are 11 incredible Indonesia beaches that are not to be missed.

 

Pink Beach, Flores

What better way to kick off the list than with the most unique beach of the bunch. This extraordinary Pink Beach resides within Komodo National Park, and is 1 of only 7 of its kind that can be found on the planet!

The beach gets it’s soft pink colour due to microscopic animals called Foraminifer attaching themselves to the coral reefs. When the tiny fragments of red coral mixes with white sand, as if by magic, it creates this delicious cotton candy colour.

This beach is definitely one of the most unique you’ll ever come across, so if you choose to visit just 1 off of this list, be sure to make it this one!

TIP:  Don’t forget to pack a snorkel as the National Park is home to some world class diving and snorkelling sites.

Best Time to Visit:  Between May & September

How to get there: The Pink Beach is only accessible through a private or organised boat tour from the neighbouring fishing village of Labuan Bajo. There are daily flights to LB from Denpasar airport in Bali.

Where to stay: Why not try the quirky La Boheme hostel. Offering private or dorm style accommodation all guests are welcome to enjoy free banana pancakes 24/7! Beds from £7.03 a night

Indonesia beaches - Pink Beach, Flores

Tanjung Aan Beach, Lombok

Unknown to some, the charming island of Lombok encompasses some breath-taking beaches. And Tanjung Aan, situated on the South Coast, is for sure the most picturesque of them all. Pristine white sand, crystal clear water and flourishing palm trees adorn the 2 separate bays that make up this paradise beach.

Lombok is renowned for it’s epic surfing opportunities, and Tanjung Aan is a popular spot for beginners. Although we are only spectators of the sport, it was fun watching some of the newbies taking to the waves. There is also a spectacular view point that is well worth checking out when you visit.

TIP: Be prepared for hawkers along the beach that can be pretty relentless in trying to sell you merchandise.

Best Time to Visit: Between May & September

How to get there:  From Kuta, it is around a 20-30 minute drive to Tanjung Aan. Popular transport options are to rent a scooter or hire a driver from town.

Where to stay: A popular place to stay in Kuta is Pipes Hostel. Offering mixed dorm-style accommodation, all guests have access to a pool and skate bowl! Beds from £5.67 a night

 

Indonesia beaches - Tanjung Aan Beach, Lombok

 

Nyang Nyang Beach, Bali

Although not the most picturesque on this list, Nyang Nyang is certainly our favourite beach in Bali. The seemingly never- ending stretch of bay is clean & quiet, making it the perfect spot for a relaxing stroll or a spot of sunbathing.

The beach has become somewhat insta-famous in the past few years, due to the number of abandoned ship wrecks that can be found along the bay. As well as a hot spot for photographers, it’s also popular among local graffiti artists who adorn the shipwrecks with their creative artwork.

It’s bit of a trek to get down to the beach, however shouldn’t be a problem for anybody of a reasonable fitness level – just be sure to wear sensible shoes!

TIP: Other than a handful of stalls selling refreshments, there isn’t much else around, so be sure to take anything you might need with you!

Best Time to Visit: Between May & September

How to get there: Nyang Nyang Beach is situated in Uluwatu on the South Coast of Bali. It is easily accessible via scooter and parking is available for 2000 IDR.

Where to stay: Why not try SR Hostel Uluwatu for a fun & lively hostel which provides a free buffet dinner every night! Beds from £6.49 a night

Indonesia beaches - Nyang Nyang Beach, Bali

Padar Island, Flores

Although the beaches of Padar are a striking feature, it is the view point on the island that really steals the show. This is where the island reveals it’s truly remarkable beauty – A view that is sure to enchant any who see it.

Colossal savannah hills dominate the island, and hidden among them lie 3 individual coves, encompassing white, black & pink sand beaches. All of which form a perfect contrast with the striking turquoise shades of the surrounding ocean, so it is no surprise that the island is a hotspot for photographers.

The trek to the view point is relatively easy for those of a reasonable fitness level, however after a 45 minute round trip in the blistering heat, you will be grateful for a dip in the refreshing, crystal clear water!

TIP: Be sure to wear sensible shoes for the hike to the view point.

Best Time to Visit: Between May & September

How to get there: Padar Island is only accessible through a private or organised boat tour from the neighbouring fishing village of Labuan Bajo. There are daily flights to LB from Denpasar airport in Bali.

Where to stay: Why not try Ciao hostel. Breathtaking views and a free shuttle service to and from the airport. Beds from £8.65 a night

 

Indonesia beaches - Padar Island, Flores

Karimunjawa Islands, Central Java

The Karimunjawa Islands are an archipelago of islands located in the Java sea, and here you will find some of the whitest sand & clearest waters throughout all of Indonesia.

This recognised national marine park is a popular spot among tourists for underwater activities, with the waters encompassing world class diving and snorkelling sites. You can expect to find an abundance of tropical marine life & flourishing coral reefs just metres below the surface.

The only downside to the islands, which isn’t really a negative in my opinion, is that they are not easily accessible from mainland Java. However one of my favourite expressions is that ‘nothing good comes easy’ and these islands are a prime example of that.

Best Time to Visit: Dry Season runs from April to October.

How to get there:  Chartered flights are available from Surabaya, or regular ferries run from Jepara.

Where to stay: ‘The Hostel’ located in the centre of Surabaya city, a good pit stop if you plan to get a chartered flight to the Karimunjawa Islands from Surabaya. Beds from £6.49

Indonesia beaches - Karimunjawa Islands, Central Java

 

Koka Beach, Flores

Hosting a backdrop of palm trees, pristine white sand and crystal clear water, Koka Beach is a hidden piece of paradise on the island of Flores. Being somewhat off the beaten path, we shared the beach with only a handful of locals, allowing us to fully immerse ourselves in the beautiful surroundings.

Vast cliffs and a sand bar break up the beach into 2 separate coves; Each offering slightly different, yet equally breathtaking views. We also recommend taking a short climb to the view point, where you will be rewarded with a spectacular 360degree outlook over it all.

We are always looking to discover hidden gems, and we went in search of this beach with very little information to be found online. It turned out to be one of our favourite beaches in all of Indonesia, confirming that it does pay off to take the road less travelled.

Best Time to Visit: Between May & September

How to get there: The beach is situated around 1.5 hours drive from the neighbouring towns of Moni or Maumere. It is easily accessible via scooter and parking is available for 3000RP.

 

Indonesia beaches - Koka Beach, Flores

Mawi Beach, Lombok

Avid surfers rejoice! Lombok is renowned for having some of the best surf in Indonesia, and Mawi Beach is for sure the most popular spot on the island. The waves are known to get pretty big here, therefore you can expect to find some pro surfers showing off their impressive skills.

Even if you don’t take to the waves yourself, Mawi is a cool place to hang out, with calmer sea conditions to be found along the bay. The beach is also a great sunset spot and with a number of warungs serving up delicious food & drink, you can make a full & fun day out of it here.

Best Time to Visit: Between May & September

How to get there: From Kuta, Mawi Beach is around a 30-40 minute drive west. Popular transport options are to rent a scooter or hire a driver from town

Where to stay: A popular place to stay in Kuta is Pipes Hostel. Offering dorm-style accommodation, all guests have access to a pool and skate bowl. Beds from £5.67 a night

Indonesia beaches - Mawi Beach, Lombok

The 17 Islands, Flores

Island Hopping around the 17 Islands felt like a miniature version of The Philippines. Beautiful beaches, dazzling blue sea & alluring landscapes welcomed us at every turn.

Despite the name, this recognised national park is made up of over 20 unique islands. Each their own remote piece of paradise. According to locals, the name was given to commemorate Indonesian Independence Day, which is held on the 17th August.

If you are looking to enjoy paradise away from other tourists then this cluster of islands are not to be missed. Not only are the islands uninhabited but they are quite tricky to get to, so many visitors erroneously miss them. Do not be that guy – the journey will be more than worth it!

TIP: The crystal-clear waters and abundance of coral & tropical marine life on offer make the area a perfect spot for snorkelling.

Best Time to Visit: Between May & September

How to get there: The 17 islands are only accessible via boat from the gateway village of Riung. The easiest way to travel to Riung is to take a public bus from Bajawa.

Indonesia beaches - The 17 Islands, Flores

Gili Trawangan, Lombok

The Gili Islands are a cluster of 3 tiny islands, situated off the North West shore of Lombok. Despite each island attracting a slightly different kind of traveller, the one thing they do have in common are the mesmerising beaches.

Gili Trawangan is the most popular out of the 3 among backpackers, and the place to go if you seek a taste of island life. Days are spent relaxing on one of the many pristine beaches, while evenings are spent enjoying a few Bintangs at the local reggae bar.

You will also want to take to the waters here, where there are world class diving and snorkelling sites waiting to be discovered. As well as an abundance of marine life, there are also some impressive underwater statues that are a popular attraction among tourists.

Best Time to Visit: Between July & August or December & January

How to get there:  The quickest way to get to Gili T is via Bangsal ferry port in Lombok.

Where to stay:  Gili La Boheme Sister Hostel provides a fun & friendly atmosphere plus free banana pancakes 24/7. Beds from £7.57 a night

Indonesia beaches - Gili Trawangan, Lombok

Kanawa Island, Flores

Komodo National Park is home to some of the most extraordinary islands in the world and Kanawa is no exception.

Although the pristine white sand & dazzling clear waters are both alluring features of this island, it is the snorkelling here that really took our breath away. You can expect to find sea turtles, star fish & other tropical marine life just metres out from the bay.

TIP: There is a small entrance fee on this island of 20,000RP/pax.

Best Time to Visit: Between May & September

How to get there: Kanawa Island is only accessible through a private or organised boat tour from the neighbouring fishing village of Labuan Bajo. There are daily flights to LB from Denpasar airport in Bali.

Where to stay: Why not try the quirky La Boheme hostel. Offering private or dorm style accommodation all guests are welcome to enjoy free banana pancakes 24/7! Beds from £7.03 a night

Indonesia beaches - Kanawa Island, Flores

Kelingking Beach, Nusa Penida

The Nusa Islands, situated just 30 minutes from mainland Bali, are becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination. They are a welcome escape from the craziness of Bali itself, and well worth a visit should you find yourself in the area.

One of the most iconic spots on the 3 islands is Kelingking beach, and when you see the unique cliff formation resembling a T-Rex, it’s easy to see why it has shot to insta-fame.

The beach itself is paradise, however you must attempt the climb at your own risk. It’s a steep climb and the route down isn’t very stable, so if you do decide to attempt it be sure to wear sensible shoes.

Best Time to Visit: Dry seasons runs from May to September

How to get there: If you are exploring the island by moped, the beach is accessible that way. Or alternatively there are daily organised tours that can take you there.

Where to stay:  There aren’t many hostels to be found on the island, however Nuansa Penida Hostel is highly recommended. The beautiful boutique hostel includes a free continental brekky too! Beds from £11.89 a night

Indonesia beaches - Kelingking Beach, Nusa Penida

About the author:

Our Taste For Life documents the story of Charlotte & Natalie – A British lesbian couple chasing their dreams around the world on a shoe-string budget. They share a passion for adventure, writing & photography and spend majority of their time bickering over what their next meal will be. Their next travel destination will be the incredible India, so to follow their journey be sure check out their blog and Instagram 

 

You might also like:

⭐ The ultimate guide to backpacking Indonesia

⭐ Best Beach Hostels

⭐ 7 Secret Islands in the Philippines

⭐ Thailand Island Hopping

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