Information before you go
The East Bali Beaches are different from the beaches you are used to seeing in travel brochures and books. Here they lie in the shadow of the mighty and holly Mount Agung.
This mountain erupted in 1963 killing thousands of Balinese and forced many to migrate to other Indonesian islands. Lava and rocks rolled from the slopes onto their land and into the ocean. Their crops were destroyed and the land was unsuitable for years. That's why it's sparsely populated now.
The beaches in East Bali are therefore black volcanic and rocky except for Padang Bai, Bias Tugal and Pasir Putih.
It took years for the land to become fertile again but the area around Amed, Padang Bai and Candidasa are now home to one of the most beautiful rice fields in the east of Bali.
The beaches in the east part of the island are from north to south:
There isn’t a lot to do at Tulamben beach. There is no sand just black rocks which can burn your feet easily in the hot tropical sun.
The biggest attraction at this beach is the USAT Liberty ship wreck 30 m out from the parking lot. This US cargo ship was hit off the southwest coast of Lombok by a Japanese torpedo during World War II.
Tulamben beach, popular for scuba diving
Two naval ships then towed it to Bali in order to get its cargo safe and beached it on Tulamben. The eruption of Mount Agung in 1963 made the wreck topple beneath the surface of the water again.
There is now a lot of sea life around the wreck with soft corals, polyps and different species of coral fish. The wreck stretches itself out for 100 m and runs parallel to the beach. Its top lies just 3 m below the surface of the water and its deepest point on 30 m.
For a small fee Balinese women carry the oxygen bottle for you...
Visibility is around 12-15m and it gets quiet busy with divers after lunch time so if you want to have the beach to yourself go early…
By the way if you’re thinking of staying here a couple of days there are a couple of decent guest houses on the beach and all of them have restaurants and great ocean views.
Amed beach consists of various bays with picturesque black sand beaches where you can see colorful Jukung fishermen boats, salt-miners and coral fishers. It’s a quiet, laid-back area and there’s hardly any action.
That’s also the main reason why travellers who seeking a quiet place end up in this remote spot...
One of the bays in Amed with view of the mighty Agung mountain
The guest houses at the coastal villages of Amed are set in beautiful gardens and most of the rooms have ocean view. I have to say that and the whole atmosphere is a lot better than at Tulamben.
It’s no wonder that lots of divers and snorkellers prefer to stay at this charming little village just 30 minutes down the road between the rice fields and mountains.
The beaches in Amed easy accessible and it doesn’t have the big black rocks you see on the other beaches in this area, it is still has big pebbles though. So no soft-powdered sand here but anyway it still is a good place to go for a walk and chit-chat with the local fishermen.
An other great thing to do while there is to go on a boat trip. Fishermen offer their traditional boat for tours along the coast. It's a wonderful experience to be on the crystal clear water while experiencing Amed from a different angle.
Jasri Beach is located East of Candidasa and if traffic is good you'll be there around 20 minutes. It isn't difficult to find since the signs are really easy to spot.
When coming from Candidasa just follow the main road until you eventually come at a junction. Turn right here and follow the small street surrounded by vegetation. At the end of this street you'll find yourself at the beach.
Like most beaches in this area, Jasri Beach has volcanic sand too...
The sand at Jasri is volcanic black. Black beaches are not the most popular when promoting a tropical island, but this beach is really quiet and clean.
For the Balinese this beach is also one of the sacred beaches. You might be lucky when you head to this beach and there is a ceremony going on.
When we were there we were treated with beautiful scenes of women carrying baskets on their heads walking towards the beach. At the beach there was a small crowd participating in several ceremonies.
Ceremony at the beach...
Jasri Beach is a good surfing beach, despite that there are not many surfers here. This is practically one of the most deserted beaches in this part of Bali. So if you feel like having waves all to your selves, this beach is a great option.
The waves which come from the right can be tackled by beginners and experienced surfers. Be careful though when it becomes shallow, as the surface is very rocky which can cause severe cuts and bruises.
For those who just want to wade into the water or take a swim then the best time to go is at low tide.
Pantai Pasir Putih means 'white sand beach' in Indonesian, so when we heard about this beach we definitely had to have a look at one of the whitest beaches in east Bali.
Pasir Putih beach is located about a 20 minute drive west of Candidasa. It's not far, if you are able to see the improvised sign immediately. Either any way, when you come from Candidasa and you eventually end at a junction pointing to Jasri then you, unfortunately, have passed it.
Head back because it's definitely worth the trouble.
Signs leading to one of the few white beaches in East Bali...
From the main road it is still a bumpy drive to the beach. The road will take you past bare land down hill.
Before you will realize it you will find yourself on a beautiful white stretch of beach.
When we were there the first time in 2008 it was pretty much deserted, except for the owners of a couple of small restaurants (warung) along the beach. At that time there was no electricity here so you could only order cold beers and soft drinks from the cool box.
Rumors were that the bare land along the beach was leased by a Korean development group who has been planning for years to build a villa resort but sofar never did.
What else can you ask for...? Pasir Putih 2008
When we returned years later there was still no development going on. Fortunately the beach road is still bumpy and before you finally reach the beach you will still see palm trees only. No big resorts or any other type of accommodation.
If you go to Pasir Putih, it is for the beach only....
However the beach has become more popular. Small warungs have become much bigger, there are even shops selling sarongs and other beach wear plus there are rows of sun lounges.
It was inevitable of course. A beautiful beach like this will attract beach lovers from all over.
But luckily the atmosphere is still the same and we can pretty much say that Pasir Putih is one of the nicest beaches of the island. And hopefully, despite the increasing numbers and minor developments it will remain as pristine as it is today.
When you travel to Candidasa you notice that it is a decent, quiet and clean place that stretches along the coast for 3km. Candi Dasa means Ten temples and is called after the holy temple in the east of the village.
But wait a minute, what happened to the beach? There is hardly anything left...
At some places the water is ideal for swimming
The Candidasa beach used to be a beautiful stretch of sand with swaying palm trees but due to the increase of tourism in the 1970’s the villagers started to use the reef for the construction of hotels.
They kept on building until the reef was gone and the sea took the beach away. Now you can only see small pieces of beach (if you can call it that way) when it’s low-tide.
Just like in Sanur beach , they are building concrete sea breaks now so the beach can rebuild again against these breaks. Because of this situation snorkeling, swimming and diving has been reduced to zero.
At certain moments of the day the beach suddenly reappears.
There are however fishermen and local dive agencies who love to sail you to small islands in front of Candidasa such as Pulau Tepekong or to the Blue Lagoon at Padangbai.
I’ve snorkeled once at Pulau Tepekong and it shows that the reef has lost a lot of its beautiful sea life. Even around this tiny island the amount of coral fish was disappointing.
Luckily there are enough nice places in Candidasa that are located right at the water. Ideal to relax and enjoy the amazing sunsets or when the tide is right to jump in for a refreshing swim.
The beach at Padangbai is very colorful, just like the beach in Amed. At the beach and in the water you can find dozens of traditional Jukung fishermen boats with painted eyes to show them the way at sea and to protect them from evil spirits.
Not surprising the beach is also home to some good fish restaurants.
The beach only comes alive when the fishermen return from sea and when the ferries from Lombok or the boat from Nusa Penida arrives. The rest of the day it’s a sleepy beach with kids playing in the water between the boats.
Clear water for excellent snorkeling
There are cheap guest houses along the beach and most travellers stay here one night before they take the ferry to Lombok Indonesia.
When you like to snorkel and relax on another beach in Padangbai walk to the end of the northern bay and follow the signs to the Blue Lagoon, also referred to as Pantai Kecil. At this little bay the water is shallow and you have clear visibility.
Blue Lagoon, a great place to chill and snorkel
There are three places in the bay where you can dive; Pura Jepun, Blue Lagoon and Tanjung Bungsil. The water is cold here so don’t forget to bring your wet suit. There are also a couple of dive operators near the beach who love to bring you to these sites and to the other dive sites along the east-coast.
Bias Tugal is a little beach located at walking distance from Padang Bai. From the Ferry Terminal at Padang bai head east up a small street where you will eventually see the signs pointing to this tropical beach.
This is probably one of the most hidden beaches in Bali
The first time we went to check out the beach, there was heavy construction going on. Everywhere there were bulldozers moving rocks and sand up hill. One of the constructors told us that they were building a villa resort right on the hill overlooking the beach...
A couple of years later construction was still going on but the dirt road to the beach was still there and accessible. We did see a unfinished building overlooking the beach but so far it has not affected this amazing place yet...
Let's hope that this beach can be enjoyed by everybody instead of villa guests only in the future.
Anyway for now, once you have climbed up the dirt road (you can get there with motorbike and car) you will soon be treated with a sneak preview on how beautiful this beach is.
Through the palm trees you can see the emerald blue water and the white sand already. It really looks like a picture postcard sent from a deserted tropical island far far away!
The white sand feels nice and soft between your toes. When we were at the beach, there was hardly anybody there. The whole beach was pretty much deserted and up till now we have no idea why because it is so scenic.
This is the place to be...
The beach of Bias Tugal is set in a small bay. As mentioned before there is not much activity going on except for a couple of women selling sarongs and a tiny warungs selling cold drinks.
It is possible to swim in the water but you do need to check if the current is safe though. There are no life guards here and probably nobody else who can help you out if something goes wrong. So stick to the shore and make sure you are always able to find your footing.
East Bali has wonderful trails taking you through little villages and beautiful rice field landscapes. For serious hikers arrange a guide and go up Gunung Agung or Batur.Read more
There are many parts in Bali where you can go diving. Some are nicer and more accessible then others while others are worth the extra effort.Read more
This road trip is ideal if you want to take in all the beauties of Bali and its culture in one day. It takes your through small villages, pass rice field terraces and historical sights.Read more
Now and then people send us inspiring emails and this generates even more enthusiasm to share all of the things we know about this lovely island in the hope that you can plan your tropical holiday properly and have as such a great time as we always have. Hope to see you there!
When I wrote the mail I never really expected a reply. I might have expected a computer generated but never a personally written one. The information you provided is invaluable, thank you so very much. I have been using your website as a bible through Bali. Through your recommendation, I will be heading to Ubud then follow the sightseeing route to the coast of Candidasa.
WOW...what an awesome website. I could only dream that there would be a website like this for all our travel destinations! You guys have done an fabulous job and now, I am sooo excited about our upcoming trip to Bali. To be honest, I wasn't quite sure Bali was the place for us considering some of the travel warnings (we are Americans). But I can tell from your experiences that the Bali people are so very kind and peaceful.
hi and congratulations on the blog it s brilliant and helpful....we are going to Bali in September with my family (including 2 little girls) so we need to have nice spaceous rooms garden and pool access rooms preferably in Semikyak but not too far from it all...I hope you can recommend a great place thats not full of Australian crowds as we like meeting people from other countries.
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