Blissful beaches, friendly locals, extreme shopping opportunities, and western-like development. It’s hard to say no to a place like Bali. People from around the world clammer over here each year to experience this gorgeous little island in Indonesia.
But what about the 17,000+ other islands in this magical archipelago?
Incredible Indonesian Beaches to Visit
While one would struggle to see all of those islands, I hope this eye-opening collaboration will help your mind wander and create a desire to visit the other incredible beaches in Indonesia that are sprinkled about. With the help of my fellow friends around the world who have explored more than just Bali, we’re bringing you 16 incredible Indonesian beaches to visit. We think this will spark some extra beachy Indo wanderlust!
Let’s start off with one of my favorite beaches in Indonesia …
Watu Karung Beach, Pacitan, Java
Paci-what? Most people haven’t heard of this place. Even some locals were perplexed when I was trying to get to this beach from Yogyakarta. It was nearly impossible to get any direction, and I finally just jumped on a train and figured it out myself. If you’re into surfing, this will be a haven. The beaches in this area (there are numerous) are beautiful and are perfect for snorkelers, surfers, or beach bums alike! The town is sleepy, the accommodation is a bit scarce, and the beaches are often empty. It’s a perfect place to seek refuge from the big bustling tourist towns.
Here’s more info on this incredible hidden gem including how to get there (it was a feat!), why I only got to stay two days, and how Vespas almost ruined it for me!
And now, for more incredible Indonesian beaches to visit from my fellow beach-loving explorers…
Komodo National Park, Komodo
The beaches here are composed of some of the best, brightest, and most vibrant marine life. If you love diving, a trip to Komodo National Park is a must. It has been some of the best diving that we have done all over Asia. Traveling around by boat, we went to different islands around the Park. During this boat trip, we saw some pretty awesome beaches as well as a pod of dolphins and manta rays! This is definitely one of my favorite places in Indonesia and one place I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to again.
Anna & Tom from Adventure in You
Selong Belanak, Lombok
Selong Belanak is a beautiful beach on the south coast of Lombok. It’s picture perfect with beautiful sand, water, and picturesque views. The best part is that the local stallholders make a big effort to keep it clean so it’s also one of the cleanest beaches I have been to in this part of the world.
We liked that it was well set up with lounge chairs and enough stall holders to have what you need, but it is not in a built-up area at all. It was quite busy the day we went (as you can see in the photo), but that’s because it was the last day of Indonesia school holidays – it is not usually anywhere near as busy.
Sharon from Where’s Sharon
Pink Beach, Komodo
Pink Beach is one of only seven beaches in the world where the sand is pink, not white! The pinkness is due to tiny fragments of red coral that combine with the white sand and produces a soft pink colour that is only visible from the shoreline. As we were sailing around Komodo National Park we had the opportunity to jump off our boat and swim to shore to check it out. On the way back to the boat we were lucky enough to swim with a turtle, saw heaps of beautiful coral (not bleached!) and colourful tropical fish! Pink Beach is up there as one of our favourite beaches of the world.
Elaina & Victoria from The Freedom Travellers
Sumur Tiga Beach, Aceh
While I know this is supposed to be all about our favorites, let me instead suggest a place you should stay far, far away from – Sumur Tiga beach on Weh Island. A long empty stretch of white sand and clear blue water with plenty of coconut trees to keep you cool? No thanks. Think about the shopping you’ll miss out on without the roaming vendors. No intense “tan” due to all the shaded spots being taken. All those potentially new “friends” you might meet on the crowded shore. And definitely don’t be fooled by the incredible value of places like Freddies Santai Sumurtiga, where you can get bungalow overlooking the ocean for as little as 300,000 IDR.
Yeah, best to just skip Sumur Tiga beach altogether and leave it for crazy people like me…
Julian from Globe Slice
Gili Islands, Lombok
We visited the Gili islands in September 2015 and set out to discover the best they have to offer. They are one of Indonesia’s most popular destinations, famous for their white sandy beaches, warm tropical waters and abundance of sea turtles just metres from the beach. Gili T is the most popular and attracts the crowds. A tip is to venture out to Gili Meno or Gili Air, which has fewer people and incredible beaches like the attached. You can do snorkelling and diving. It’s surrounded by healthy coral and is great for swimming with turtles.
Stefan & Sebastian from Nomadic Boys
Liang Beach, Ambon, Maluku
When I arrived at this beach it literally took my breath away. White sand and beautiful blue ocean, it’s incredible and not a tourist in site! You can rent tubes from the locals to really relax and enjoy this paradise.
Anita from Anita Hendrieka
Dream Beach, Nusa Lembongan
Dream beach is, well it’s a dream. Located on the southern tip of one of Indonesia lesser known islands, Nusa Lembongan, it’s a picture perfect scene without the hordes of tourists getting in your shot.
If you’re staying elsewhere on the island then grab a cycle or motorbike and come down for the day, the ride alone is worth it. At the beach watch clear blue waters lap against the sand and you’ll no doubt get chatting to the locals who won’t hassle you to buy anything, unlike on some nearby Bali beaches.
Grab a drink and get nicely chilled and if you get bored, which is highly unlikely, keep going on your bike: you might see dolphins frolicking in the water and you’ll definitely get to high-five a lot of local school kids.
Jon from Twisted Atlas
Saparua Beach, Maluku
Semi deserted beaches may not be for everyone but Saparua Beach, on Saparua Island in Maluku has that timeless tropical island ambiance that fuels my imagination. With only a smattering of fishing skiffs dotting the shoreline it can certainly be a quiet place to while away the day or take a swim if the seas are calm.
This long stretch of white sand beach is adjacent to the historic 17th century Fort Duurstede and hopefully under no threat of development anytime soon. The fort itself has been refurbished and is open for visitors, but it isn’t nearly as interesting as a walk through the colorful street market in the nearby village.
Vanessa from The Island Drum
Tanjung Karang Beach at the Prince John Dive Resort, Sulawesi
If you are looking for a private beach, you need to check out the Prince John Dive Resort. There are just 15 bungalows here so you know the Prince John beach is never going to be overcrowded.
The fact that it is so empty makes it so appealing to me. The beach is just in 70km from the equator which means there are minimal tides so you never have a long walk to the water’s edge.
While you sit on the chairs provided you can sip away at your Bintang from the beach bar contemplating how to tackle the art of slack lining. Want to check out the action below water? There are snorkeling spots a few hundred metres away with boats readily available to take you.
Jub from Tiki Touring Kiwi
Pantai Ngandong, Java
Every visitor to Indonesia that escapes Bali eventually passes through Yogyakarta. There Parangtritis and Indrayanti beaches are the two that get all the attention. Don’t get me wrong, those two are great if you want to be surrounded by foreigners or harassed by locals eager to take your money. But if you and a group of friends (or even that special someone) want to slip away, head west from Indrayanti past the rock cliff and take the next dirt road on the right. There is the deserted Pantai Ngandong. (Don’t be fooled by Pantai Sundak, which is in between Indrayanti and Ngandong.)
On one side of the beach is a couple of small bungalows with squat toilets and ceiling fans, nothing fancy. However on the other side of the beach lives a local family, the husband of which is a fisherman. His wife will happily cook up fresh food for you all day, prepare elaborate meals at set times if you have a big group, even get you beers from the nearest store back down the road. And all for dirt cheap. This is a place where one or two Indonesian families go on the weekend, and only for a few hours because the women don’t go swimming. No one visits during the week. The only foreigners I ever saw there were the ones I brought. But now the secret is out — ssshhhhh!
Note: it is worth mentioning that since the only foreigners who discover Pantai Ngandong come with local Indonesian friends, you should know at least a few basic words in Indonesian.
Derek from Holidaze
Tangkoko Beach, Sulawesi
Tangkoko Beach aka the black beach at Tangkoko Nature Reserve in North Sulawesi is one of those untouched secrets. Upon arrival, walk through a beautiful rainforest nature reserve. Stop to look for the black crested macaques, the Tarsiers (world’s smallest primate), hornbills and so many other unique animals. After this walk, you wander off the path and suddenly you burst through the last line of trees and you are on the black sand beach. Don’t forget to explore the many walking tracks in the rainforest and beach. This beach really is a hidden gem that could mean that you could be sharing it only with the black crested macaques!
Helena from Through an Aussie’s Eyes
Kri Floating Island, Raja Ampat
As the soft, soothing swell of the ocean brings you closer to the pristine, golden sands you’ll be forgiven for staring. The water here is stunningly crystal clear blue, framed by an island of golden sand. As you step off the back of the boat the warm water embraces you and invites you to forget all your worldly worries and enjoy a moment of frivolity playing in the sand. There is nothing but the pure unadulterated nature. There’s no pop-up bar, no children skipping school to sell you a bracelet or even a lady to offer you eyebrow threading. As far as the eye can see is the shimmer of the sirens below the seas, tempting you to come play within the gradient blue, green water.
The Pasir Timbul sandbar, or as it’s more affectionately known, the Kri Floating Island is the perfect place to stop appreciate the world around you and grab that enviable profile pic. Located only 20-25mins from the majority of the main resorts in Raja Ampat this sneaky beach is easily accessible during a day trip and can be used as a drop point for scuba diving or snorkeling.
Jeanette from Traveling Honey Bird
Bintan is an Indonesian island mostly visited by residents of Singapore. Lying only 75min by ferry from the island-state, Bintan is a popular weekend getaway destination from the city’s hustle and the container-ship dotted horizon. One of the nicest beaches on Bintan is the beach shared between the Angsana Resort Bintan and the Banyan Tree Resort Bintan. A half crescent white sand powdery beach that stretches long enough for a walk and is washed by turquoise clear waters. In the distance, Singapore’s madness is blurred and the clean transparent waters are the perfect spot to build castles or simply sunbathe.
Mar from Once in a Lifetime Journey
Mawun Beach, Lombok
We spend a month in Indonesia last year and fell in love with beaches in the south of Lombok. One of our favourites was Mawun Beach, located a bumpy 30 min scooter ride away from Kuta, Lombok. It sits in a quiet bay, making the beach perfect for swimming. Mawun is much lesser known than Selong Belanak Beach and as a result tends to attract a more local crowd. If you want to make the most of your day at Mawun, make sure you arrive early to grab a shady spot until the big tree. Because trust us, once you get there, you won’t want to leave”
Oksana & Max from Drink Tea & Travel
Friwen Beach in Raja Ampat, West Papua
If you want a remote beach destination, where the water is clearer than you can ever imagine, where the sea is full of brightly coloured fish, and children run freely around enjoying this, then head to Friwen Beach. Pulau Friwen or the island of Friwen is located in Raja Ampat, in West Papua in Indonesia. It is a popular beach and island with divers, who frequent this spot because it is close to Friwenbonda and the famed dive site of the Friwen Wall. It is a small and protected beach where children play and jump from a tree swing into the very clear waters, and they have the most amazing shell collections set up on the beach. It is also ideal for snorkelling just off the beach, or out at Friwen Wall. The beach is surrounded by jungle with coconut and sago groves. You can get from the main port of Waisai, in Waiego by speedboat and live the dream at a homestay on the island.
Paula & Gordon from Contented Traveller
Whoa! How was that for some incredible beaches in Indonesia to visit?
We are certainly not saying there is anything wrong with Bali, but hopefully, this has sparked an interest in seeing more of Indonesia’s beaches! Do you have some extra time? How about a 2 week Indonesia itinerary that hits up some more spectacular beaches and even more!
Which of these beaches are topping your list right now?
Do you have any other phenomenal beaches to share with us?
Not ready to stop drooling over Indonesia?
How about checking out some more of my posts right here.
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