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16 Most Beautiful Beaches in Indonesia – Surfing – Snorkeling – Swimming

by steve

Indonesia is a country that consists of more than ten thousand islands, which makes it certainly have a stellar amount of beaches. The vast region of Indonesia makes the beach differs to one another in terms of characteristics and prominent features. Some of the beaches are perfect for surfing since they have fantastic waves, while some other are perfect for sunbathing and contemplating on the seaside. Other beaches are known for its underwater beauty, making it suitable for any snorkeling or scuba diving activity. While some beaches are known for its world-class resorts and entertainment. One thing that stays the same, all of them are beautiful and fantastic in their own right and are truly worth a visit. That is the reason why there are a lot of places in Indonesia that were known as the best beach holiday destination in the world.

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In this list, we have compiled for you the best beaches that you can enjoy here in Indonesia. The list is not made in exclusive order, as these beaches are equally beautiful and interesting. It would probably take months to visit every beach on this list in one go, so it’s probably better if you do it on several trips. Here is the most beautiful beaches in Indonesia you must visit:

1. Karimunjawa, Central Java

Karimunjawa is one of the newest holiday destinations in this last five years, comprised of constellations of 27 islands for a beach holiday. Each island is located near to others, which make it really suitable for island hopping. 22 of 27 islands in Karimunjawa was declared as Karimunjawa National Park, while the rests are used by Indonesian Navy or privately owned. As mentioned before, the islands of Karimunjawa are located near to one another, where every island has its own characteristic. If you’re a fan of snorkeling, please do visit Small Menjangan Island ( Pulau Menjangan Kecil) for its impressive underwater scenery, or you may also visit Pine Island (Pulau Cemara), an island which is characterized by its numerous pine tree. This island is also an astonishing snorkeling spot, with fewer species of fish compared to Small Menjangan, but healthier untouched coral reefs.

Swimming with sharks in Big Menjangan Island ( Pulau Menjangan Besar) could also be a good option for an adrenaline maniac. One thing you can be certain is that the shark here is not dangerous. Besides, you will be accompanied by an expert while swimming with the shark. Karimunjawa is also well known for its alluring beach, Tanjung Gelam Beach, which is famous for its white sandy beach with tilted coconut tree view along the beach. The other beautiful beach is located in the widest island, Geleang Island, which makes this beach suitable for family to have fun, play volleyball or football while enjoying Grilled Fish.

2. Nihiwatu Beach, Sumba

Beautiful beaches in Indonesia, the name of Nihiwatu Beach might not as familiar as Kuta or Sanur in Bali. This is mainly because of the exclusive management of Nihiwatu Beach by an international standard resort. So, this charming exclusive beach is only open for the guest of the resort, who is obliged to book for minimum two nights stay at the resort. This system, however, is applied for the sake of giving best service for the guests and also as preservation effort for the ocean ecosystem. Furthermore, the visitors of Nihiwatu will be able to relax and chill, without being bothered by a large number of visitors. Here in Nihiwatu, you will never have to queue for a long time or jostle with other visitors, which could be tiring. It will be as if you are the owner of this private paradise.

Nihiwatu is exceptionally noted for its Left God Waves, an alias given as recognition of its perfect tide for surfing. The speed of Nihiwatu’s waves is classified as one of the fastest and fiercest waves in the world, which attracts lots of surfers across the globe to come and see it by themselves. Besides surfing, you can also dive and snorkel to explore the abundance of the oceanic treasure of Nihiwatu. If you enjoy fishing, fishing equipment and sailing boats are also available. Other than that, Nihiwatu Resorts also provides you with exotic traditional-modern Sumba architecture villas facing directly to the beach and vast ocean. The beauty of Nihiwatu Beach was also recorded as the only beach in Indonesia which can make it to the top 10 Best Beaches in Asia. According to CNN, Nihiwatu beach even placed as the top 20 Most Beautiful Beach in the World.

3. Gili Islands, Lombok

The Gili Islands is a group of islands located in the northwest of Lombok. It is a renowned backpacker’s destination since a long time ago and possesses several impressive natural beaches, complete with the clear blue waters, white stretches of sand, exotic coral reefs, etc. The islands are comprised of three islands, which are the Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air. Gili Trawangan is the largest of the three, and also the most urbane and trendy. Lots of photographers from all over the world claimed that the sunset seen from Gili Trawangan is the most beautiful sunset in the whole world. It is also home to many modern resorts, restaurants, and bars, creating such a fabulous party scene that is almost as lively and rousing as Bali.

Meanwhile, the second largest island of the archipelago, Gili Meno, is the most serene and quiet. As such, Gili Meno is a very popular destination for honeymoon couples. There are a lot of beautiful resorts available in this island, and most of them offer the utmost privacy and tranquility to its guests. The last island, Gili Air, is renowned as a heaven for social backpackers to intermingle and learn about each other cultures as well as the local culture. There are a lot of homestay accommodations in this island, where visitors could stay at the local or traditional houses to enjoy a really cultural experience.

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4. Kuta Beach, Bali

As the most prominent beach in Bali since the 70’s, Kuta had undergone such a major improvement over these decades. Starting out as a coastal fishing village, it transformed into world-class beachfront resorts, rows of exotic bars and restaurants, and other entertainment as well. The beach itself still retains some of its beauty, although somewhat reduced due to the substantial amount of visiting tourists each year.

In the past, tourists fell in love with the beach because of its waves are perfect for surfing and there aren’t too many people around, creating such a serene and blissful hidden paradise on a tropical island that not many people know of. Nowadays, it has become synonymous with glamorous entertainment and luxurious resorts, and it always cramped with tourists and backpackers alike almost every time of the year. Nevertheless, Kuta remains as the face of Bali and a must-visit beach for every traveler that traveled here.

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5. Pink Beach, Flores

Renowned for its unusual pinkish sand color, Pink Beach in the Komodo National Park is definitely worthy of visiting. In fact, there are only seven beaches in the world that bears the same pinkish color, and this Pink Beach is one of them. The distinct pink color is said to have come from the Foraminifera, a micro-organism that releases a strong pigment that resembles a pinkish color when struck with seawater. These micro-organisms are found abundantly in the sands of this beach, resulting in the sands emanating a striking color when it got wet by the crashing waves.

The Pink Beach offers a unique experience from the other pink-colored beaches in the world. As it is located in the Komodo National Park, visitors might get a chance to encounter this gigantic monitor lizard if they are lucky. Komodo Dragons are known as a great swimmer and often swims from one island to another, so it is not a rare occurrence that they might swim over from another island nearby. Although they are quite dangerous, they rarely attacked humans unless provoked. In fact, most tours require a park ranger to accompany the tourists just in case they met a stray Komodo along their tour.

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6. Parangtritis Beach, Yogyakarta

Located about 25 km from Yogyakarta, Parangtritis Beach is widely known for its beautiful sunset view and also the ruins of Gembirawati Temple. There are also a lot of other facilities that are provided in Parangtritis, such as ATV and bendi (a Yogyakarta traditional horse carriage). This beach holds an important role as a water element symbol of Trimurti Power in Yogyakarta, alongside Mount Merapi as fire element and Yogyakarta Sultanate as the counterweight. If a straight line is drawn, all these three places will line up on the same line from north to south.

Not to mention, the people in Yogyakarta also believe that this beach is the gate of the Royal Palace of Kanjeng Ratu Kidul, the Queen of Southern Sea. It is foretold that the Queen loves green color so much that wearing green clothes are not suggested on Parangtritis area, or something bad will happen. This superstition, however, is one of the many things that make Parangtritis unique and eerily beautiful.

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[toggle title=”7. Nembrala Beach, Rote Island” state=”opened”]

Located in the southernmost of Indonesian Archipelago, Nembrala Beach mesmerizes its visitors through its gorgeous shore and international scale high tides that entice surfers from all around the world. The tides in Nembrala Beach can even reach the height of 7 meters during August until October.

This Rote Island’s Kuta was also appointed as the winner of Most Popular Surfing Spot 2016 by Anugerah Pesona Indonesia. One of the best thing about Nembrala beach beside its high tides is that this beach is not too crowded unless during weekends or long vacations. The accommodations in this beach are also easy to be found, although the facility itself is quite limited.

[toggle title=”8. Ora Beach, Maluku“]

Hidden among the towering cliffs of Sawai, magnificent mountain and lush tropical forest in Seram Island, Central Maluku, Ora Beach is often called as Indonesian Bora Bora. The highlights of Ora Beach are its untouched white sandy beach with crystal clear blue – turquoise seawater, and its abundant and healthy coral reefs and marine life as well. You can enjoy the beauty of Ora’s oceanic treasure even only in the 2-3 meters deep, so diving expertise is not really needed to explore the galore of Ora’ coral reefs. Ordinary swimming or snorkeling would do just fine to get the best out of Ora Beach. The visitors of Ora Beach are also introduced to experience the luxury of living in an exotic wooden cottage just right above the clear seawater.

See also: Bunaken Island Indonesia

[toggle title=”9. Maratua Island, East Borneo“]

The name of Maratua Island is getting more and more frequently heard between the local tourists in Indonesia these last couple of years. It is already known as an extremely beautiful island of Indonesia with a white sandy beach and mostly turquoise-colored seawater. Maratua Island is one of four biggest islands of Derawan Islands and said to have the 3rd highest level of marine biodiversity in the world, after Raja Ampat and Solomon Island. However, this secluded and serene island attracts the tourists not only because of its opulent biodiversity but also because of its exotic resort that mostly provides water villa built on top of the turquoise water. This, of course, will give you a rare opportunity to just follow the urge to jump straight from your room into the swimming pool-like ocean.

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[toggle title=”10. Tanjung Bira, South Celebes“]

Located in the southernmost of Celebes, Tanjung Bira offers you a 3 colored seawater surrounded by a tropical white sandy beach, coconut trees, and sturdy coral hills. The soft texture of the sand that almost feels like starch is the main features of this beach, which make the visitors of Tanjung Bira is more than delighted to spend their day sunbathing or relaxing around this beach as they wait for the sunrise or the sunset. But, what is a beautiful beach in Indonesia without splendid seawater? Tanjung Bira also provides you with a turquoise, cyan, and blue seawater which make its beholder cannot restrain his urge to jump and swim or to snorkel and dive. It is also possible to sail across to its neighboring islands such as the Goat Island (Pulau Kambing) and Selayar Island.

[toggle title=”11. Padang Padang Beach, Bali“]

Located in the Uluwatu region, this beach is famous as one of the best surfing spots in Bali. Expect a high tourist density as the place is always crowded all year long due to its popularity. However, the clear aqua waters and a golden stretch of sands still make this beach worth a visit despite the noisiness of the crowd. It is also one of the best beaches to learn how to surf as there are plenty of instructors and the waves are not so punishing as the other beaches.

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[toggle title=”12. Iboih Beach, Aceh“]

Hidden on the western coast of Weh Island in Aceh,  Iboih Beach is the busiest and tourist most favorite beach in Weh Island. Being popular among the travelers, plenty of hotels and resorts, bungalows, shops, and cafes are available here in Iboih Beach. Iboih also offers its visitors with many diving centers, for it is also well known for the spectacular diving spots with hundreds to thousands untainted and rich marine biodiversity.

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[toggle title=”13. Senggigi Beach, Lombok“]

Senggigi is the most famous beach in Lombok since the past decades and rightfully so. The waves are exemplary for surfers and the beach itself contains some exquisite coral reefs and marine biodiversity. As such, tourists are able to do many interesting activities in this place, which in turn sprawled many world-class resorts, restaurants, and bars. Obviously, surfing and snorkeling are the main attraction around Senggigi, but there are plenty of actions to be found in the area. Swimming off the beach is very recommended and visitors could also do some canoeing or sea kayaking around the place.

See also: Lombok Attractions

[toggle title=”14. Batu Karas, West Java“]

Another popular beach to surf in Indonesia, Batu Karas is prominently known for its challenging waves among the surfer’s community. Located not far from another popular beach in West Java, Pangandaran, Batu Karas is more secluded compared to its noisy neighbor. As Pangandaran is always filled with casual tourists every high-season, Batu Karas offers a more quiet and serene atmosphere to relax and escape from the hectic urban life.

See also: Things to Do in Cirebon

[toggle title=”15. Tomini Bay, Central Celebes“]

As a bay in East Indonesian archipelago, Tomini Bay is already professed for its splendor. The Togean Islands are scattered in Tomini Bay, adding more and more beauty that cannot be denied. One of the most popular islands, Togian Island is also crowned as the epicenter of Coral Triangles for its galore species of corals, mollusks, and tropical fish. And it’s only in Togian Island that you can find barrier reefs, fringing reefs, and atoll in the same area. So basically it is another paradise for divers and snorkelers. Some people also claimed that they have seen an orca in some places around Tomini Bay.  It really is a gate to underwater paradise.

[toggle title=”16. Sawarna Beach, Banten“]

The captivating Sawarna Beach is located in Banten, West Java.  It has the typically strong and big south beach waves, due to its location that faces the Indian Ocean. Actually, it is quite surprising to have such a beautiful and serene beach in Java, especially in West Java, where the population density level is the highest in Indonesia. Furthermore, the marine life in Sawarna is still in excellent condition, which is a good news for sea travelers. Yet, Sawarna still has so much to offer, including its enthralling beaches, such as Ciantir Beach, Tanjung Layar Beach, Karang Seupang, Karang Bokor, Karang Traraje, and Legon Pari Bay. As if the beaches weren’t enough, Sawarna also presents you with chances to explore its natural karst caves, such as Lalay Cave, Sikadir Cave, and Cimaul Cave.


Meanwhile, Indonesia is known as the country with many beautiful and natural scenes. From its sea, island, mountain, the people, the food, and everything in Indonesia turns to be just so amazing. Indeed, those are the lists of beautiful beaches in Indonesia that you need to visit someday.

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