You’re standing on top of a steep cliff, breathing in the fresh salty air, and you can barely contain your excitement as you look down far below. Your eyes are spoiled with a stunning vision of endless tones of deep blue, tints of jungle green, and soft white sand as far as you can see. The colors merge together harmoniously and are reminiscent of an oil colored painting come to life. There isn’t a soul in sight and you grin even wider as you start to imagine your peaceful beach day filled with solitude (almost unheard of when it comes to the well known beaches in Bali). The view simply takes your breath away, almost as much as you know the hike back up will do to you, but you don’t care because you know it’s worth it. And indeed my friends, it was most definitely worth it!
As you can probably tell by now, this post is all about the wonderful beaches we got to check out during our time in Bali (minus Nusa Lembongan which will get its very own post). As mentioned in my last post about our Airbnb in Uluwatu, we were in a great location near many beaches, but unfortunately we only got to check out 3 of them on mainland Bali during our stay (though we did scooter past many so I did get to see others from afar). Keep on reading if you’d like to hear more about the paradise described and pictured above as well as two others!
The slice of paradise that I described in my introduction should most definitely be on your list of beaches to check out in Uluwatu if you are looking for privacy. Even if you happen to go and a couple people are there, it will probably be only a very small handful, and the beach is more than big enough to find a secluded spot regardless. This beach is a bit difficult to get to in terms of active level. I’m not saying you have to be fit to make it, on the contrary before I was ever into fitness I did things well past my fitness level. Anything can be done if you set your mind to it! Just know it is a little rough. I don’t recommend for elderly with any bodily pain and issues or very young children (unless they regularly do active things with you). The hike down wasn’t bad (at least not to us). We actually got down there in about 20 minutes or less. Most time estimates based on other bloggers and TripAdvisor posts are around 30 mins-1 hour. Like I said, it really depends on your fitness level and also the heat does play a big factor. If you are not used to the heat it can seriously slow you down. For me the tough part was hiking back up the steep jungle cliff steps. The heat really got to me (Washingtonian who lives half the year in cold rain over here), but we still got to the top in about 30-35 minutes I believe. I’m used to hiking steep areas as most of the Washington hikes I do are glacier lake ones that are very high up and I also frequently do stairmaster intervals at the gym, so the heat really was the culprit that caused me to take so many breaks. Just take your time with it and please make sure to stay hydrated! Bring plenty of water with you as well.
view from above
Once you get down below, you will see the beach and if you’re like me, you’ll probably start making a run for it (I’m not ashamed). Be sure to take the time to turn back around though once you’re closer to the beach and check out the panoramic view from behind. You will see a vast amount of lush green jungle, it totally gave me Jurassic Park vibes. This is what you just hiked through! It is pretty amazing when you think about it. Also the beach combined with that jungle is the most unique and wonderful landscape. It adds to that sense of seclusion, almost like being on your own private island. The beach itself isn’t very safe to swim in unless you are a strong swimmer. The waves are pretty big and rough, a surfers paradise. Also, depending on what spot of the beach you are on the waves will pick up HUGE rocks and chuck them at your ankles and feet so please be careful…it is NOT a pleasant feeling, especially with the salt water getting in your wounds. We did manage to find a spot with no big rocks being chucked at us and occasionally would jump in to cool off, but I was afraid to stay in very long. You can never underestimate the power of Mother Nature and the currents. The sand is very soft here and there are lots of places to explore on this beach. We were alone for awhile (we start our days pretty early on vacation), but closer to noon we started seeing others. It was only maybe 6 people total and they walked by and we never saw them again!
There are remnants of a shipwreck on this beach which I haven’t really found much information on, but people that visit Nyang Nyang love to take photos with the ships. Be careful though as it is old and worn down (obviously) but I also read that there may be bees nests inside. As I mentioned earlier, you can never underestimate Mother Nature’s power, and these ship remnants are a great reminder of this!
I think we missed a few things while there as we didn’t explore Nyang Nyang in its entirety. Let me know in the comments if you’ve been here and what was your favorite part, or if I’ve helped spark your interest in going, let me know when you visit what you think! Oh also let me know if you saw any cows, like this cheeky one right here. It just stared at us for the longest time as we made our way back to the cliff steps. I was laughing so hard but I was also worried it was going to charge at us any minute! It was so cute though.
Unfortunately my description of our experience on Bingin Beach will be very short because we only went for dinner one evening. I wish we had spent a day on this beach, but other things filled our agenda. Bingin and Balangan were at the top of my list to visit down south. I heard many great things about Bingin Beach and that generally it doesn’t get too crowded. I disagree. The evening we went it was still pretty crowded so I can only imagine during peak hours how the crowd could be. Still, it wasn’t as crowded as I’ve read other beaches tend to be, such as Kuta beach. You walk down steps to get to this beach as well and there are many little restaurants, bars, and shops along the way. We started at one end of the beach and worked our way down to the restaurant we wanted to try. We got some incredible views along the way.
We met a really nice bartender and funny Australian tourist on our way to the other side. They wanted us to stop back by and we almost came back for a drink and to experience some Bali nightlife, but alas, my introversion kicked in. I’m hoping to finally experience some foreign nightlife when we hit the Philippines in March. I mean, this is why I started my blog, to break out of my comfort zone! Anyways, we’ll see if it happens!
The beach has sand, but a lot of rocky areas as well. Definitely not as sandy as Nyang Nyang. From what I saw there is a good amount of swimming area but I would be careful going in, it looks like there is some rock shelf that could be slippery. From afar I watched the surfers and I could definitely tell that this was a popular destination for them. There were many Australians here and it had a very laidback vibe. We had dinner at Lucky Fish BBQ right on the beach with our toes in the sand. It was a serene experience and we got to see a gorgeous sunset together. Very romantic. You get to pick what fish and other seafood choices that you want and they grill it right there. It’s all fresh caught as well. The meal came with rice, dipping sauces, and vegetables. We decided on some fresh Mahi Mahi. The dinner plus a big beer for Joe was around $12, which is not bad at all considering a meal like that plus a beachfront view (not just a view, but actually ON the beach) would be pretty pricey in the U.S. There were a couple other tables filled around us but definitely not as crowded as Jimbaran I’m sure.
There were also lots of stray dogs running around, which I love dogs, but it made me a little wary due to the potential of the dogs having rabies. I just want anyone who may be allergic or scared of dogs to be aware of them, especially if they have children that might run up to them. The dogs came right up to us constantly trying to grab food off our table. They were cute but it does get a little annoying after awhile with all that slobber and sand being sprayed up from them.
Overall, if you like socializing but still want a beach with a laid back and less crowded vibe with lots to check out when you get tired of swimming, I would spend a day over at Bingin! I sure wish we had!
Geger Beach was where we spent our last full day in Bali. We originally were going to check out Padang Padang and then hit Suluban or Balangan, but we started our day pretty late and I knew Padang Padang would already be pretty crowded by the time we got there. We scootered past Padang Padang almost every single day and it really does look beautiful, but it’s definitely one of the more popular ones due to Eat, Pray, Love. On top of that, it’s pretty small so you want to get there pretty early to stake your claim on the beach. After consulting our host’s map and doing some quick research, we decided on heading to Geger Beach, about a 40 minute car drive away (so a little longer on scooter). I wanted a beach that had calmer waters and that I could freely swim in and Geger looked like the perfect spot. Geger is near the more resort-y area of Nusa Dua so I was worried about crowds but surprisingly it was not bad at all! More on this later.
The ride to Geger was long but really fun and interesting to say the least! We got rerouted multiple times due to missing several turns, so it took longer than it should have but I didn’t mind. I really enjoyed seeing the different sights and going through city areas. The best part was we ended up driving down this very long and wide stretch of road. It felt like we were on a mini highway and the road was so smooth. The only other person we saw driving on this road was a local going the other way. Roads with no traffic are pretty rare in Bali! We started zipping by many local homes and it was amusing watching them perk their heads up at us. We stopped at a little stand for petrol and she looked really surprised to see us. I have no idea where we were but it was clear that foreigners hardly take this path and I was excited to literally be off the beaten path! The road did eventually end and that’s where things got interesting…The paved road stops and then it’s a bumpy, gravel, rocky road for about a mile. I’ve never bounced so high while driving in my life! It wasn’t very comfortable to say the least, and it was a little terrifying, but at the same time super fun! The locals that drove past us kept smiling at us and I knew they found much amusement in watching these two foreigners try to work their way through on a scooter. It seems like maybe it is a road that they are still constructing or stopped construction on completely. We scootered past what looked like a bridge being constructed as well.
We did end up passing a lot of the fancy resorts such as the Mulia and it was interesting to see how self contained they were. There were hardly any foreigners on scooters when we were there. Lots of taxi’s were being used and it was actually not as crowded as I had anticipated it to be! It was funny to be gawked at by some of the tourists as we zipped on by, pretending we were pros at this. There was more security in the area, so I’m happy we didn’t get pulled over. Joe got pulled over when he went out to get me some medicine for me in Uluwatu. It’s funny because they didn’t stop him when I was on the back (many of the locals thought I was local as well!) but the minute he is alone he gets pulled over, along with a few other tourists. He didn’t have an International Drivers License and was fined $30 USD. Compared to ticket prices in the U.S. that was nothing, still a bummer though! I know many people do not drive with the IDL, but if you do risk it make sure you have some cash on you. Joe said the officers were very friendly though. He also saw on the wall that there was potential to be fined up to $1,000,000 IDR so fortunately they cut him a break.
We got a little lost yet again once we were in town, but a nice security guard at one of the resorts gave us directions and we finally found Geger Beach! There is a cheap entrance fee, unfortunately I can’t remember the amount off the top of my head, but I feel like it was around 2,000 IDR. Geger Beach is actually a great spot to relax at. There is a restaurant/coffee bar called Fleet Bar and Cafe and they serve food, coffee, alcoholic drinks (and other icy non-alcoholic drinks) and hookah with plenty of umbrella covered tables to keep you cool. There are also plenty of massage tables and a huge area of day loungers to rent for a small fee. We decided to lay out in the sand as it was pretty empty since majority of the people wanted the loungers further up the beach. The sand was really soft but there were SO MANY sand fleas jumping on me which kind of freaked me out. The water was very beautiful though and so calm and clear with soft sand at the bottom. This is exactly the kind of beach I was looking for. I swam and sat in the waters for a long time and there is also snorkeling available, seaweed farm areas, and a couple boats nearby which make for a great picture.
This beach is perfect for families and I highly recommend it if you’re looking for some easy swimming. I do like some waves (makes it fun) but I was definitely fine with the stillness of this beach. We also tried out the restaurant and I have to commend the staff there because they were AWESOME. They were so incredibly kind and the smiles felt real. Our server was so attentive and really took my beach day experience to another level. The drinks and hookah were really good as well! I only hookah occasionally (maybe 2-3 times a year), but other than that I don’t smoke! Just thought I’d add that little disclaimer. Anyways, Geger Beach is a really cool spot that pretty much has it all. Lots of activities to do, I assure you there is something for everyone in you group! We also felt really safe in the area.
On our drive back we saw a bunch of monkeys on the street, including a GIANT one and we had to stop and get it on the gopro. Sadly you can’t really see the big monkey on our gopro footage but here are some little guys walking across the powerline!
I wish we had more time to explore the beaches that Bali has to offer, but overall I am satisfied with what we got to see and with our choices. Our trip to Bohol, Philippines in March is going to be filled with beaches and outdoor activities so we will make up for it then! I hope you enjoyed reading this and maybe have some new beaches to add to your Bali list! Tune in soon for my next post, all about our day trip to Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, a snorkeling paradise with the most beautiful aquamarine waters! I cannot wait to tell you guys all about it!!