Not So Hidden Beach

Virgin Sand Beach
Not so white sand beach

We found out about a little known beach from an article about the 10 best hidden beaches of Bali, and  decided to check it out. It was just over an hour drive from Ubud, on the coast a little north of Candi Dasa. The beach goes by many names: “Perasi Beach”, “White Sand Beach” or Pasir Putih, and “Virgin Beach” . The turn off from the main road is hard to find, but Rob had found the location on Google Maps so we were ready for it. There is a very narrow bumpy road leading down to the beach.

On arrival, our first thought was that this is not such a hidden beach any more, especially after seeing the long stretch of restaurants with touts in front of each of them and all the tourists filling the beach!  The majority of the beach front is dedicated to restaurants, which was perfect as it was lunch time and we were hungry. It was a hard decision though as they were all serving much the same food, with the usual Indonesian and Western fare. Fresh seafood was obviously the speciality of the area.

Eating it up
Eating by the sea

The southern part of the beach is filled with colourful fishing boats. Thankfully the traditional use of the beach has not been fully taken over by the tourists.

traditional boats
It is not all tourism, the traditional boats still take up some of the beach

The tide was pretty high at first so there was not a lot of beach to play on, but after lunch the tide was heading out, and the kids found plenty of sand to play in.  Olive thought it was the “best beach ever” as she played in the waves crashing on the shore. There were also many massage offers, which I did succumb to for a relaxing afternoon in the sun. The white sand beach didn’t really live up to its name as the sand was not white but a slightly grey tone, with visible patches of black sand mixing in. Apparently it used to be white!?

playing with buckets
Casper loves the beach

After a few hours of playing and relaxing, it was time to head off. On the drive out there were many locals coming down to the beach for a late afternoon play. With the narrow road and steep rocky edges it soon became a mission impossible with some large cars to pass. Unfortunately we got into a tight squeeze with another car coming down the hill. We backed up to a spot which we thought gave room for them to pass, but it wasn’t enough. After much direction from lots of locals, we got to a point where neither car could move with less than centimetres between us. It took a bunch of guys to lift jump our car sideways to enable it to pass. It was a pretty hairy experience!

tight squeeze
A tight squeeze getting away

It was a fun day at the beach, but not that special. If we had come from the busy beaches of Kuta we may have been more impressed with the mellow feel and less hassle.

How to get there

Located about 4.5 km east of Candi Dasa, the beach is about 1.5 hour’s drive from Denpasar. Follow the Jalan Raya Candi Dasa-Bugbug main road to the village of Perasi and look out for a dirt road that leads to the beach, just opposite the large Pura Bale Agung temple on the northern side of the street (on the left if you come from Candidasa). Signs may display various names such as Perasi Beach, “White Sand Beach”, “Virgin Beach” or “Pasir Putih”. It’s then a 1 km drive down a bumpy track to the beach, where parking is available under shady palm trees. If you have a GPS, head to -8.497544, 115.612047.

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