Top 5 Beaches in Indonesia
Indonesia is one of the top travel destinations for Australian tourists year after year and is well renowned for its many beaches and islands that have so much to offer. Apart from Bali, which is the perennial favorite for most Australian tourists, we’re also featuring other top beaches in Indonesia, which are quickly gaining popularity as well, such as, Lombok & The Gili Islands, Komodo Islands, Mentawai and Belitung. Read on to find out more about these wonderful destinations so you can start planning your next trip to a beach in Indonesia. If you’ve already been to Bali, consider visiting one of the other beaches on this list for a different travel experience and one that you’ll not be soon forgetting.
1. Bali, Indonesia
No list of top beaches is ever complete without featuring Bali. So, this is where we’ll start off our guide. So much has already been said about Bali in earlier guides and in so many travel guidebooks and yet there’s something so special about Bali that keeps travellers coming back year after year.
For starters, it’s a convenient place to visit, with direct flights from many Australian cities to this island paradise. And with the rise of many Asian budget carriers like Scoot and AirAsia, you can save even more if you’re fine with a short stopover in either Singapore or Kuala Lumpur.
Movie lovers must have seen “Eat, Pray, Love” starring Julia Roberts and many tourists in recent years have sought to visit the locations that were featured in that movie. In Bali, most of the scene were filmed in Ubud, featuring the Ubud Rice-fields, Ubud Market and even a visit to a local Balinese medicine man. Ubud is a place that attracts tourists looking for the same peace and serenity that Julia Roberts found while filming that movie. Here you’ll get to experience the inner soul that powers the island of Bali and get in touch with the spirituality of the place.
After you’ve found your inner peace and had some time of quiet reflection, then it’s time to head to one of the many beaches on this island paradise for some adventure, surf and sand. Surf spots that are great for beginner’s include Canggu, Dreamland and Kuta, while more advanced surfers usually head out to Uluwatu and Padang Padang. For those looking for party beaches, head over to Double Six Beach or Seminyak Beach, which features a stretch of bars, pubs and clubs where you can mingle and drink with other travellers, as you watch the sun set in paradise.
2. Lombok & The Gili Islands, Indonesia
Located not far from Bali on the east of Bali, is the island of Lombok. Lombok is considered to be a far quieter and relatively untouched sister island to Bali. Due to its close proximity, we’d recommend you to visit Lombok and consider taking a longer vacation in Indonesia after you have explored Bali.
Lombok offers the best springboard to a trio of smaller islands nearby, known as The Gili Islands. These islands are just a short 20 minute boat ride away and is a great spot for diving, snorkeling, swimming and getting up close and personal with the natural habitat.
Another key attraction in Lombok is Mount Rinjani, the second tallest volcano in Indonesia, and you can hike along a trail up to the top, where you’ll be greeted with a serene crater lake, known to the locals as Segara Anak and take some magical photos of the surrounding landscape.
A popular beach, where many tourists stay in is Senggigi Beach, where most of the accommodations are located and we are sure you’ll be able to find some great budget hotels. This is also a great beach where you can surf or just laze in the sun all day. When night falls, you’ll be greeted with a party scene that brings together locals and tourists alike. If you’re looking for something more secluded and quieter, we suggest a trip to Mawun beach. Here you’ll get to put your feet in soft, white sand and marvel at the crystal clear waters.
3. Komodo Islands
If you’ve always wanted to get up close and personal with the Komodo Dragon, then you just have to visit the Komodo Islands. Since the Komodo Islands are located within a National Park, you will need to be part of a local boat tour which covers all the must-see attractions and they usually offer diving as an additional activity on your tour with an extra cost for the equipment.
The Komodo Islands features some of the most epic coral reefs, beaches and hikes in all of Indonesia and you’ll surely remember this as a trip of a lifetime. To get there, you’ll first need to take a flight from Bali or Lombok to Labuan Bajo, the nearest major airport to the islands. From Labuan Bajo, you’ll need to take a boat tour to bring you to the Komodo Islands. The boat tour usually leaves the in early morning from Labuan Bajo so always remember to book your tour the day before. Remember to bring along some extra cash (at least 313,000 Rp) for the entrance and guide fee on the island. This is an additional cost to what you paid for the boat tour.
For your convenience, we’ve shortlisted some of the great highlights of your experience when you visit Komodo Islands: The Padar Island Hike is usually the top favorite of the trip as the view from the top is simply breathtaking. From the top, you’ll see a pink sand beach, a white sand beach and a black sand beach, separated by sparkling blue water and hills. Another great activity to do is snorkeling and if you’re lucky, you’ll get to see Manta Rays and swim quite close to them too. And then of course, the visit to the Komodo National Park itself is a mind-blowing experience, where you can see Komodo Dragons roam freely. To cap off a great day, go relax for a while at the pink sandy beaches in Komodo and you can snorkel there for a while to see the red corals and fishes near the shore. After a magnificent sunset, you’ll be treated to an unparalleled view of the stars and the Milky Way in the night sky.
4. Mentawai Islands, Sumatra, Indonesia
The Mentawai Islands, located in the western parts of Sumatra, Indonesia is a relatively unknown and undiscovered location for many tourists and travellers. This is the perfect spot for your beach vacation if you’re looking for a travel experience that few of your friends have had. The most recommended thing to do at the Mentawai Islands is definitely surfing, as there are over 400 surf spots here, and out of these at least 13 of them offer world-class waves (as high as 6 metres). It’s no wonder that reports estimate that around 80% of tourists list surfing as the main intention for their visit.
This is a beach paradise that combines pristine sand and sparkling sea with the chance to get a native experience. Local tour guides offer the unique experience of traveling on a wooden boat deep into remote villages on Siberut Island (the largest island in the Mentawai Islands cluster) to visit a shaman and his family in a traditional homestay. This allows you to understand the local culture and traditions of daily living. Siberut National Park occupies about half the space on the island and here you’ll see unique flora and fauna. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see at least one of the four endangered primate species here: Kloss’ gibbon, Siberut macaque, Siberut langur and the pig-tailed langur. Other activities that are popular on the Mentawai Islands include traditional fishing, snorkeling, trekking, hiking.
To get here, you’ll first need to fly to Padang and then a ferry across to the islands. The easiest way is to take a ferry which leaves at 7am on Tuesdays, Thursday and Saturdays from Padang Harbor. For you to catch the boat in time, you’ll typically need to arrive the Padang the night before. You’ll expect to reach Siberut Island around noon. Apart from being the largest island of Mentawai and having a National Park, Siberut Island is also where most accomodation options are located for visitors as well.
Belitung is located east of Sumatra and is getting popular in recent years among local tourists and we expect that international tourists will soon follow suit. By comparison to Lombok or Bali, It’s a tiny island, where you’ll find many secluded beaches, white sands, and you’re sure to find peace and quiet there.
If you want to go swimming and snorkeling, head over to Lengkuas Island where you’ll get up close and personal with coral reefs of different colors, a variety of underwater creatures and underwater granite rocks that the island is famous for. The waters are calm making it a great spot even for beginners to snorkeling. Another attraction is the old Dutch lighthouse built in 1882.
If you’re a nature lover, then don’t miss Kepayang Island Conservation Centre. Here, you’ll get to do your part to protect the environment. You can visit the turtle sanctuary, plant corals and even spend the night there in a tent or bungalow.
If you’re looking for a surreal experience, then head over to Danau Kaolin. The water here is shiny blue while its rocks are snowy white, making it the perfect spot for photography lovers. This is also a good place for those who want to swim in mild waters, which will surely refresh you after hiking around the island.
See more, do more, feel more with BudgetAir® Australia