Balangan Beach, locally referred to as Pantai Balangan, is one of Bali’s most popular and most scenic, featuring a gorgeous half-kilometre stretch of golden sand bordered between vegetated limestone cliffs and a reef with one of the longest left-hander breaks on the island. This surfing paradise attracts wave riders from around the world, who enjoy most of the south-western Bukit coastline together with Balangan’s sister breaks of Dreamland, Impossibles, Padang Padang, Suluban and Uluwatu further south. Balangan Beach shares the same vicinity as Dreamland, set only a kilometre apart and separated by a small headland that serves as the famous signature Hole 15 of the New Kuta Golf Course, from where players get the best bird’s eye-view over both beaches and the ocean horizon. The coastline is accessible down the namesake Jalan Pantai Balangan, an approximate 7-kilometre (4.3-mile) ride west from the Garuda Wisnu Kencana cultural park, and 20 kilometres (12.4 miles) south from the main hub of Kuta.
Getting there is effortless thanks to clearly marked signposts bearing names and directions. At its end is the main entrance, and parking fees range between IDR 2,000 and 5,000 for motorcycles and cars. The beach is only a dozen steps down from the cliff, but it’s a good idea to head up the hills beforehand and take a peek from the vantage point for great panoramic angles. The golden stretch of sand meets the vast blue ocean, and you can see from afar the surfers having fun in the breaks. Those into photography will love to linger on for the dramatic sunsets from above. It is swimmable here, but bear in mind it’s a predominantly a surfer’s playground. There are no lifeguards on duty. Several thatch-roofed and stilt terrace warungs (traditional food stalls selling simple meals, snacks and refreshments) and cafes dot the eastern side of coastline, where surfers usually ‘refuel’ in between their thrills. Best time to come with a surfboard if you’re a pro is around the dry season (between May and September) when south-westerly winds create from 2.5ft up to 10-feet swells which can roll on for a good 500 metres.
Non-surfers can simply enjoy the view and the coast itself, with parasol-shaded beach beds available for rent, or you can simply bask under the sun, and bury yourself in the soft sand. At low tide, the reef near the limestone cliffs reveal exotic seaweed covered rock formations and pools, offering even more dramatic sunset angles.