Bali’s black sand beaches are just one of the reasons why the island is so unique. You can hop from a white sand beach to a golden sand beach, then onto a black sand beach in the space of just one day. We fell in love with the black sand beaches in Bali and wrote this article to help you locate the best of them. We’ll also include an explanation as to why there are black sand beaches in Bali, and what you can expect from each one of them!
When you think of Bali’s beaches, it’s easy to imagine the pristine white sand and azure waters that adorn the pages of every Bali guidebook. Of course, these beaches are part and parcel of the Bali experience. But what makes Bali so extraordinary, are all the other quirks in between. Tremendous volcanoes, steaming jungles, lush rice terraces, majestic waterfalls, and of course, black sand beaches.
If you’ve never visited a black sand beach before, Bali is the place to do it. Easily accessible from the major tourist hubs, and generally far quieter than the white sand beaches, we consider them to be an essential addition to your Bali itinerary.
So let’s get to it, here is a list of the best black sand beaches in Bali.
The 6 Best Black Sand Beaches in Bali
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Why are there Black Sand Beaches?
You might be wondering what makes black sand beaches so rare and why we can find so many of them in Bali. Generally, black sand beaches are composed of volcanic minerals and lava fragments especially common to coastlines on volcanic islands. Which makes sense considering there are three volcanoes in Bali.
You see, it is no accident that Bali’s black sand beaches are located along the North and East coasts of the island. It’s in these regions that you’ll find Bali’s volcanoes, often looming in the distance of every black sand beach. It’s a very different experience to the white sand beaches of the South, but one you can’t miss nevertheless.
Interestingly, there is belief amidst the Balinese culture that hot black sand can help heal several ailments, including arthritis, nerve damage and vitamin deficiencies. It is assumingly stemming from a similar belief that all of Bali’s volcanoes are incredibly sacred.
Bali’s Black Sand Beaches at a Glance
I go into quite a lot of detail in this article regarding each of our favourite volcanic sand beaches in Bali. As well as what there is to do in the region around them. So if you’re short for time, here they are at a glance:
- Jemeluk Bay, Amed
- Amed Beach, Amed
- Lipah Bay, Amed
- Lovina Beach, North Bali
- Mayo Resort, North Bali
- Keramas Beach, South East Bali
The 6 Best Black Sand Beaches in Bali
Another reason we rate Bali’s volcanic sand beaches so much is that they are often far quieter than the beaches in the South. While everybody rushes to the beaches in Uluwatu and Seminyak, the beaches in the North and East of Bali are left deserted and untouched. With a desire to discover the unknown, we went in search of the mysterious black sand beaches in Bali.
Black Sand Beaches in Amed, Bali
Amed has got to be the most underrated region in Bali. It’s unpretentious and stripped back way of life is how I imagine Bali to be 20 or 30 years ago before mass tourism well and truly caught on. There are no large scale resorts, fancy restaurants, or exploitative tourist attractions. Just locally owned businesses and simple beachside living.
Those who do venture further East to Amed are usually there to enjoy the world-class diving opportunities. A flourishing underwater world awaits just off the black-sand shorelines, with potential sightings of reef sharks, turtles, octopus, and barracudas.
Having said that, you don’t have to be a keen diver to enjoy all that Amed has to offer. We found the snorkelling opportunities to be equally vibrant, and there are several exciting things to do in and around the area. At the same time, Amed boasts some of the best black sand beaches in Bali. On a clear day, you’ll often notice the notorious Mount Agung looming over you, adding an air of mystery and drama to the otherwise sleepy town. Here are some of our favourite volcanic sand beaches in Amed, Bali.
1. Amed Beach
Amed Beach is the beach that runs adjacent to the main strip in town. Here you will find a selection of beach bars and restaurants, along with a great view of Agung; however, there aren’t any snorkelling opportunities. It’s also quite a polluted beach as it’s where the fishermen park their boats. Nevertheless, it’s a sweet spot for a sunset stroll.
2. Jemeluk Bay
Jemeluk Beach is the next bay along from Amed beach, and while there still tends to be many boats around, it’s far more pleasant and pretty. Equipped with beach bars, warungs, sun loungers, and snorkelling, we could comfortably spend the entire day here.
Read more about snorkelling at Jemeluk Bay here.
3. Lipah Beach
Similar to Jemeluk Bay, Lipah Beach is perfect for a touch of gentle snorkelling. Healthy coral reefs sit just metres out from the bay, and turtles are often spotted here along with an abundance of other marine life. The beach isn’t very developed in terms of tourist infrastructure. But as a result, it’s a clean and gorgeous stretch of sand.
Other Things to do in Amed
If you’re wondering what else there is to do around Amed, here is a brief overview of the highlights. For a more comprehensive list, check out our article for 14 adventurous things to do in Amed & East Bali.
- Check out Bukit Cinta – The Mount Agung Viewpoint for sunrise
- Enjoy sunset beers at Sunset Point
- Visit the sacred Pura Lempuyan Temple & Bali Gateway to Heaven
- Go to Tirta Gangga – The Water Palace
- Relax on Bias Tugel Beach
Where to Stay in Amed
Accommodation options are continually on the rise in the Amed, ranging from budget through to mid-range luxury. Here are some recommendations that you may wish to consider.
Hostel – Black Sand Hostel – Boasting epic views of Mount Agung, Black Sand Hostel is the best pick of a small bunch in Amed. The dorms are simple but comfortable, and you get a free breakfast included with your stay.
Budget – Ocean Resort Amed – A stunning beachfront property in the heart of Amed, Ocean Resort is an incredible value for money. Boasting an outdoor swimming pool and ocean views, what more could you ask for on a budget.
Mid-Range – Oasis – For a touch of luxury in Amed, Oasis is great value for money. The property itself is beautiful, boasting a garden, outdoor pool, and restaurant. Furthermore, you’re not far from all the top things to do in Amed.
For more places to stay in Amed, you can check the latest prices here.
Black Sand Beaches in North Bali
The North of Bali is another region in Bali that isn’t given enough credit. Although slightly more popular than Amed, it’s still only a small fraction of tourists who venture this far from the typical tourist hubs. Which is great for us, because we get to explore freely without any traffic or queues. But it’s a shame for those who miss out on the unparalleled natural beauty that North Bali has to offer.
North Bali turned out to be one of our favourite spots on the island. Boasting majestic waterfalls, beautiful religious sites, and diverse landscapes, it’s a paradise for those seeking a real adventure. Of course, the North is also home to many of Bali’s volcanic sand beaches, and with that, here’s a list of our favourites:
4. Lovina Beach
Lovina is the most popular and consequently busiest black sand beach in North Bali. Here you’ll find various beachside bars and restaurants alongside water sports and other activities. It’s also pretty relentless for beach hawkers and activity salesman so I’d bear that in mind if you’re looking for a relaxing day on the beach. Otherwise, it’s a pleasant and mostly clean stretch of bay, ideal if you want in the heart of all the action.
5. Mayo Resort
On the opposite end of the scale, if you’re seeking a remote black sand beach in Bali, you may consider staying at the beautiful Mayo resort. Located in the quiet beachside town of Seririt, Mayo Resort is a beautiful 3* beach establishment with a pool, restaurant, and astounding views which overlook the Bali sea. Not to mention being perched upon a deserted black sand beach with one of the best sunset views in all of Bali.
Other things to do in North Bali
Here’s a list of some other activities you can enjoy around the North of Bali. Or for a more comprehensive list, check out our article for 18 unmissable things to do in the North of Bali.
- Cliff jumping at Leke Leke Waterfall
- Visit a Balinese coffee plantation
- Check out the Brahma Vihara Arama Monastery
- See the floating Ulun Danu Water Temple
- Take a dip at Gitgit Waterfall
Where to stay in North Bali
The North of Bali is vast; therefore, there are a couple of areas that you may want to consider. Here’s a brief description to help give you an idea of where you might want to be:
Lovina: Lovina is the main tourist town in the North of Bali, famous for black sand beaches and dolphin spotting. You’ll find many types of hotels in Lovina, ranging from budget hostels to high-end resorts.
Check rates and availability for accommodation in Lovina here.
Munduk: If you consider yourself more of a jungle lover than the beach, Munduk is an ideal choice in Northern Bali. Set around 45-minutes South of Lovina, the area is lush, green, and quiet, boasting some of Bali’s most beautiful hotels.
Check rates and availability for accommodation in Munduk here.
Seririt: Further West of Lovina is Seriret – A beachside town that rarely sees any tourists. There are just a few beautiful resorts in these parts, so it’s perfect for those seeking to escape the crowds. While at the same time, being close to all the top things to do in North Bali.
Check rates and availability for accommodation in Seriret here.
6. Keramas Beach, South East Bali
Finally on our list of the best black sand beaches in Bali, we have Keramas Beach. Located in the South East region of Bali, Keramas is probably the most remote beach South of Ubud. So if you’re only in Bali for a short time and don’t fancy the long drive up North, this is the ideal black sand beach for you.
Remember, I mentioned the healing powers of the hot volcanic sand earlier on in the article? It’s especially prevalent on this beach, with several medicine men and women offering their services. On that note, it’s worth mentioning that Keramas is very ‘local’, so it’s not the best beach for swimming or sunbathing. It is, however, ideal to appreciate Bali’s natural beauty and culture with little to no other tourists around.
In terms of tourist hubs, Keramas Beach is most accessible from Ubud. It’s an easy 30-minute drive from the cultural heart of Bali, and you can tick off some other Ubud attractions on the way.
Other things to do in Ubud
Here’s a list of some other activities you can enjoy around Ubud. Or for a more comprehensive list, check out our perfect 3 Day Ubud Itinerary.
- Visit the Famous Tegalalang Rice Terraces
- Chase all of the best waterfalls near Ubud
- Have a floating breakfast
- Climb Mount Batur for Sunrise
- Shop til’ you drop at Ubud Market
Where to Stay in Ubud
There are so many fantastic options in Ubud. From luxury wilderness hotels to traditional Balinese homestays, and quirky treehouses in the heart of the jungle, you won’t be stuck for choice regardless of your budget
Hostel – Puji Hostel and Bungalow – Set just a short 10-minute walk away from Ubud market, Puji Hostel and Bungalow offer comfortable dorm-style rooms in a picturesque location. The swimming pool overlooks sweeping rice fields, while guests can also enjoy the on-site restaurant and common area.
Budget Private – Gatra Ubud Inn – Located in the heart of Ubud, Gatra Ubud Inn is a traditional Balinese style property boasting a beautiful garden and comfortable rooms. All rooms come equipped with a private bathroom and wifi is available throughout the property.
Luxury – Element by Westin Bali – After spending 4-nights at Element Westin Bali, we can highly recommend this stunning hotel in Ubud if you seek a touch of luxury.
For more places to stay in Ubud, you can check the latest prices here.
Best Time to Visit Bali’s Beaches
The best time to visit the black sand beaches in Bali will be in the dry season, which runs from April to late September. While there is always a chance of the odd rainy day, generally you can expect ideal conditions for sunbathing and water sport activities.
July and August are considered the high season in Bali, as well as Christmas, New Year, and Easter. Bali is at its busiest during this time, and prices rise at an alarming rate. With this in mind, April, May, June and September are the best months to visit.
Getting Around in Bali
Getting around in Bali is best done on two wheels. Being able to ride a scooter in Bali is a valuable skill. Not only will you save some serious cash, but you’ll get to experience a sense of freedom that’s hard to achieve without one.
If you’ve never driven a scooter before, I don’t suggest trying it out for the first time in Bali. The roads are in good condition, but the Bali traffic can be intimidating to even the most experienced of drivers.
On the other hand, if you are a safe and confident driver, cruising the scenic roads of Bali is an adventure all on its own. To rent a scooter in Bali will set you back around 60,000 IDR per day. And it is usually possible to negotiate a discount if you rent for more extended periods.
Of course, we advise exercising caution when driving in Bali. Always wear your helmet, and carry an international license should you be pulled over by the local police.
If renting a scooter isn’t an option, you can opt to use GoJek or Grab which work in the same way as Uber. You can even get motorbike taxis in Bali, which is a great way to avoid the inevitable traffic.
Alternatively, if you need a driver for the whole day, this offer for a Private Car or Minibus Charter is highly competitive relative to local transport companies. Click the link to read thousands of positive reviews, check the latest prices, and to make a booking.
More on Bali
Planning a trip to Bali? Check out our other articles to help plan your trip.
- Gay in Bali: LGBT+ Travel Guide
- Double Six Beach
- Sekumpul & Fiji Waterfalls
- Tibumana Waterfall
- Bali to Nusa Penida by Ferry
Well, that concludes The 6 Best Black Sand Beaches in Bali. If you have any questions or feel we have missed anything, please reach out to us in the comment section below. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram here!
Stay adventurous and Happy travels.
Charlotte & Natalie x
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