With five large islands and thousands of small ones, Indonesia isn’t short of decent beaches. This makes it the absolute perfect country for your tropical beach retreat, whether you’re looking to build sandcastles or catch some world-class waves. The only question is, which beaches in Indonesia should you visit?
Bali comes to mind, and there are some pretty spectacular beaches there. But there are many more beaches in Indonesia scattered around other parts of this beautiful country. It’s worth pointing out that some of Indonesia’s best beaches are off the beaten track, but if you make an effort to get there, you’ll find some of the most pristine, unspoiled beaches in the world. Start with these 20 best beaches in Indonesia.
Insider Tip: Many of the more popular beaches in Indonesia charge a small entrance fee and parking fees, so bring some cash with you on your Indonesian beach adventures.
- Indonesia Beaches
- 20 Best Beaches In Indonesia
- 1- Bintan Island – Sumatra
- 2- Banyak Islands – Sumatra
- 3- Bosur Beach – Sumatra
- 4- Cimaja Beach – Java
- 5- Pangandaran Beach – Java
- 6- Pantai Tanjung Gelam – Java
- 7- Thousand Islands – Java
- 8- Kelingking Beach – Nusa Penida
- 9- Crystal Bay Beach – Nusa Penida
- 10- Nunggalan Beach – Bali
- 11- Jimbaran Beach – Bali
- 12- Seminyak Beach – Bali
- 13- Gili Meno – Lombok
- 14- Tanjung Aan Beach – Lombok
- 15- Long Beach (Padar Island) – Komodo National Park
- 16- Siladen Island – Sulawesi
- 17- Pantai Pasir Merah (Labenki Island) – Sulawesi
- 18- Gangga Island – Sulawesi
- 19- Derawan Beach – Borneo
- 20- Raja Ampat – West Papua
- 20 Best Beaches In Indonesia
20 Best Beaches In Indonesia
1- Bintan Island – Sumatra
Fantastic weather year-round and calm waters make Bintan one of the best beach resorts in Indonesia.
It’s also a paradise for those who love scuba diving or snorkelling, as the water here is teeming with sea life and crystal clear.
With some of Sumatra’s most spectacular white-sand beaches, Bintan Island is just a short ferry ride from Singapore.
Of course, being an island, it has a few different beaches to choose from, but all of them are stunning.
2- Banyak Islands – Sumatra
The Banyak Islands is another fantastic destination if you’re looking for some of the best beaches in Indonesia.
Unlike Bintan Island, which is home to numerous high-end luxury resorts, the Banyak islands are a more budget-friendly option.
Banyak means “many” in Indonesian, and there are 99 islands in total in this cluster.
Most are uninhabited, so if you’re looking for a tropical Indonesian beach paradise all to yourself, Banyak is the place to go.
3- Bosur Beach – Sumatra
A firm favourite with the locals, picture-perfect Bosur beach has golden sand and clear waters.
Just outside the town of Pandan on the north-western side of Sumatra, there are plenty of stalls selling refreshments for you to enjoy as the sun sets in a splash of orange and pinks.
Bosur Beach is also a great spot to jump on a boat for island hopping.
4- Cimaja Beach – Java
If you’re keen on surfing during your time in Java, Cimaja beach has you covered.
This epic spot in western Java is one of the best surfing beaches in Indonesia, with world-class waves that will rival those in Bali.
Cimaja is a beautiful Indonesian town with traditional Javanese huts surrounded by green rice paddies.
The beach here is rocky with some boulders but turns sandy towards the end of the point.
Once you’re all done with surfing, head to the Cipanas Hot Spring, about half an hour away, for a lovely soak.
Insider Tip: Due to its relative proximity to Jakarta (about a four-hour drive), Cimaja beach can get busy on the weekend.
5- Pangandaran Beach – Java
Pangandaran isn’t well known with international tourists, but it’s a popular destination for local tourism.
According to the locals, this little fishing town on the southern coast of Java has one of the best beaches in Indonesia.
Actually, because Pangandaran is on a peninsula, there are two beaches to enjoy here.
Watch local fishermen pull in their nets and spread their daily catch to dry in the sun on the sunrise side to the east. Or walk for miles along the golden sand on the sunset side to the west.
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6- Pantai Tanjung Gelam – Java
Since Indonesia consists of more than 17,500 islands, it probably comes as no surprise that Karimunjawa is another group of islands.
27 to be exact.
Karimunjawa is a fantastic spot for some quiet relaxation and phenomenal sunsets.
While all of the Karimunjawa islands are heavenly, one of the most breathtaking beaches in Indonesia is Pantai Tanjung Gelam.
This beach is also an incredible spot for snorkelling, as the clear turquoise water allows for perfect viewing of the untouched coral reefs in the area.
Insider Tip: Due to the relatively remote location of Karimunjawa island, electricity is only available for about 18 hours a day.
7- Thousand Islands – Java
This chain of islands on the north coast of Java is a popular weekend destination for those looking for a getaway from busy Jakarta.
While this tropical wonderland might not quite live up to its name of a thousand islands, there are still plenty of breathtaking islands to choose from.
Only 11 are inhabited, making it a fantastic spot for some island hopping.
There’s an array of watersport activities to keep you busy here, whether you’re visiting on a day trip from Jakarta or plan to spend a week or more.
8- Kelingking Beach – Nusa Penida
Many might know this iconic spot on Nusa Penida as T-Rex Bay, aptly named because of the distinctive shape of the headland.
This secluded beach might be beautiful, but it’s also dangerous in more ways than one.
The steep 400 m (1300 ft) hike down the cliffside to the beach should not be underestimated, and you should wear appropriate shoes for this.
In addition, the waves here are insane, and the undercurrents are exceptionally strong, so if you decide to go for a swim, keep your wits about you.
Still, Kelingking Beach is one of those truly magical places and ranks up there as one of the best beaches in Indonesia.
9- Crystal Bay Beach – Nusa Penida
The secluded Crystal Bay Beach might not be as breathtaking as Kelingking Beach, but it’s certainly a lot easier to reach.
This palm-fringed beach is a fantastic spot to hang out for the day, especially if you’re into snorkelling.
Crystal Bay is a stop-off for many snorkelling day trips due to the crystal clear waters for which it is named.
You can just as easily snorkel directly from the beach. Swim about 30 m (100 ft) offshore, and you’ll be right on top of a coral reef teeming with colourful fish and possibly even some sea turtles.
As the day ends, enjoy a refreshing drink from one of the local vendors and watch the sunset in a splendour of colour.
Insider Tip: Tours to snorkel with Manta Rays at Manta Point leave from Crystal Bay daily, which is a pretty epic experience to add to your trip around some of Indonesia’s best beaches.
10- Nunggalan Beach – Bali
Nunggalan beach in Uluwatu, Bali, is the best beach in Indonesia for your Instagram fix.
This beach is around a 30-minute drive from the well-known Kuta beach and can be a bit of a challenge to find.
Once you do, though, you’ll be welcomed by several kilometres of beautiful white sand that is typical of Balinese beaches.
The bonus is that you’re likely to have this stunning spot more or less to yourself.
Nunggalan beach is at the base of a cliff, which you’ll have to hike down to reach.
The hike down shouldn’t take you any more than 20 minutes, maybe a little more on the way up.
Once you reach the beach, you’ll immediately notice the Instagrammable shipwreck, perfect for some unique photo opportunities.
Insider Tip: Many refer to this beach as Nyang Nyang Beach, so don’t get confused. Nunggalan makes up the easternmost side of this long beach and is where you’ll find the shipwrecks. However, the beach stretches west to become Nyang Nyang Beach, which is equally worth visiting.
11- Jimbaran Beach – Bali
If you’re a fan of seafood and sunsets, Jimbaran beach in the southwest of Bali is, without a doubt, the best beach in Indonesia for you.
In the evenings, the smells of freshly grilled seafood will lure you in, and the breathtaking sunset will make you linger longer.
The 3 km (2 mi) long stretch of soft white sand of Jimbaran bay is also perfect for a leisurely walk, and you’ll easily find a quiet spot to soak up the sun’s rays.
The stunning turquoise waters are fairly calm, as a coral reef protects the bay, making it a fantastic spot to learn how to surf if that’s an activity that’s still on your bucket list.
12- Seminyak Beach – Bali
I really can’t write a list of the best beaches to visit in Indonesia and not mention the colourful, vibrant Seminyak beach.
The 5 km (3mi) long golden beach stretches from just outside Kuta right up to Canggu, two other popular Balinese beaches.
Seminyak beach is perfect for surfing, luxury resorts, fantastic food, and a party vibe.
So grab a bean bag at La Plancha to watch the sun go down for the optimal Balinese experience.
13- Gili Meno – Lombok
There are three Gili Islands just off the northwest coast of Lombok, with Gili Meno being the smallest and probably least visited.
Gili Meno is also the best of the three islands if you’re looking for an idyllic Indonesian beach.
Spend your days relaxing on the pristine white beaches, snorkelling with sea turtles and an incredible array of colourful fish, or simply walking around the island.
It only takes two hours to get around the island, so there’s nothing stopping you from sampling all the wonderful white beaches that the island has to offer.
14- Tanjung Aan Beach – Lombok
This picturesque beach on the southern side of Lombok has it all.
Crystal-clear water, sparkling white sand fringed by tropical palm trees and lush green hills are a sight for sore eyes at Tanjung Aan.
The waves are great for those looking to try their skills on a surfboard for the first time.
It also has a good array of warungs (small local restaurants) to quell any lunchtime hunger pangs and several swings dotted along the beach if you’re looking for an Instagram photo shoot.
Due to its relatively large size, you’ll always find a private spot on the beach to claim as your own.
Insider Tip: Some of the surrounding hillsides have observation platforms that you can climb up to for mesmerising views.
15- Long Beach (Padar Island) – Komodo National Park
The name of this beach doesn’t give much away other than the obvious. Yes, this is a lovely long stretch of beach. But it’s also one of the few uniquely pink beaches in the world.
For me, Long Beach in Komodo National Park wins hands down as the most extraordinary beach in Indonesia.
The soft pink colour is created from tiny red coral fragments mixed in with the white sand and is a magical sight.
Nearby, there is also a beach called Pink Beach (Pantai Merah), but while it is also pretty, Long Beach is a deeper pink and a much larger beach.
Head out with your snorkel gear, and you may well spot a sea turtle or two here as well.
16- Siladen Island – Sulawesi
Siladen Island is part of Bunaken National Marine Park and is the perfect hideaway for those looking for a quiet Indonesian beach escape.
It is best known for its stunning underwater beauty and incredible diving spots.
Siladen is great for both experienced and novice divers, but if you’d rather stay above water, the glass bottom catamaran is a fantastic experience too.
17- Pantai Pasir Merah (Labenki Island) – Sulawesi
Pantai Pasir Merah literally means Red Sand Beach in Bahasa Indonesian.
In truth, the sand is more orange than red, but certainly no less beautiful for it.
Pantai Pasir Merah is – hands down – one of the best beaches in Indonesia.
The bent, almost horizontal, palm trees growing along the beach are picture-perfect against a lush green backdrop of verdant cliffs.
18- Gangga Island – Sulawesi
Unwind and relax on the serene beaches of Gangga Island, where you’ll feel worlds away from any hustle and bustle of the more touristy spots in Indonesia.
Gangga Island offers a real Robison Crusoe feel while still being relatively easy to get to and has everything you need for your island getaway.
You’ll be tempted to while away your days relaxing on the gorgeous beaches on Gangga Island, but there are several fantastic diving and snorkelling spots around too.
The marine life here is truly staggering.
Insider Tip: If you’re looking for something a little different, head off on a day trip to Tangkoko Nature Reserve, where you might spot some tiny tarsiers (make sure you stay very quiet!!), the rare crested black macaque or even a wild pig.
19- Derawan Beach – Borneo
Located (not surprisingly) on Derawan Island, Derawan Beach is another of Indonesia’s paradise beaches.
Walk along the palm-fringed beach or out on the pier from where you might spot a green sea turtle feeding on the seagrasses below.
Once again, spectacular diving is on offer in the warm and clear blue waters surrounding the island.
Here, you might come across not only turtles but dolphins, manta rays and sometimes even whale sharks.
Of course, being in Indonesian Borneo, you might spot some unusual wildlife on land, too, including the rare Proboscis Monkey.
20- Raja Ampat – West Papua
Last, but by no means least, beautiful Raja Ampat might be a bit off the beaten track, but you’ll truly feel as though you’ve found paradise once you get there.
Again, not just one beach, this is an archipelago of around 1500 sparsely populated, jungle-covered islands.
The unspoiled beauty of this magnificent spot continues underwater, with abundant marine life and coral reefs making this a fantastic spot for diving and snorkelling too.
While it’s hard to pick the best island to visit in Raja Ampat, Gam Island is a winner for its serene beaches with clear waters and for being home to the brightly coloured birds of paradise.
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