The most famous of all of Bali’s beaches, primarily because tourism in Bali began with Kuta Beach. The long stretch of golden sand provides a beautiful coastline for beachgoers and a safe bottom for surfers of all levels. Although you will most commonly find beginners learning to surf at Kuta beach there are plenty of locals displaying a high level of surfing and sometimes experienced surfers washing off a Kuta hangover in between surf trips to other Indonesian islands.
Kuta Beach is a beach break with waves that break all the way along the 2km stretch of beach. Giving surfers a lot of space to spread out and find a peak of your own, if you’re searching for a solo session and willing to compromise on quality. The most consistent and crowded peak along the beach is what’s known as Halfway Kuta, located approximately 50 metres north of Poppies Lane 2. Commonly known as the best peak at Kuta Beach, Halfway Kuta is mostly a right hand wave that breaks longer than the rest of the waves along the beach due to how the sand builds up in this section of beach and the formation of a small channel, rather than the fast walls that close out along other areas of the beach.
On bigger swells and a low tide, Halfway Kuta can turn into a hollow dredging wave that provides some fun barrels for those that are skilled enough. Most commonly though the waves are soft waist to knee high runners that make Kuta Beach so good for those travelling to Bali to learn how to surf. For the rest of the peaks on along the beach, the higher tide is the optimal time to surf when the faster sections are more makeable and offer the chance to link several maneuvers on each wave before it closes out.
Left and right
Any shape or size
Best on mid-tide, but surfable on all
Mid to high
Dry Season; April – October
Frothing beginners and local rippers
Pollution, especially after heavy rain which is frequent in the wet season of October to March and particularly so from December to February. Kuta Beach can also produce heavy thick-lipped surf when the surf gets overhead, so if you are a beginner surfer just be sure to take some time to check the conditions before entering the water.
It doesn’t get any easier than Kuta Beach. Pick your peak and paddle out in between sets. If you’re super lazy, look for a rip where the water is flowing back out after a set has come in, then paddle out with the flow of water and into position on the sandbank of your choice.
Kuta Beach runs for approximately 2km of the 5km plus stretch of sandy coastline with Tuban to the south and Legian Beach to the north. The combination of sun, sand, surf, and nightlife is what makes this beach so popular. However, during the wet season, the beach can attract rubbish being washed up on the beach with the change in winds from the consistent offshore trade winds from the southeast that are most common in the dry season. Although rubbish is usually cleaned up daily some days.
For surfers planning on staying at Kuta Beach and are researching the best located and most affordable accommodation options, homestay style options such as Lusa Hotel and Beneyasa Beach Inn are great places to start. Location is extremely important in Kuta considering the traffic here is some of busiest in Bali. The next step up is well-equipped hotels such as Alam KulKul Boutique Resort.
If you are looking for the cheapest of accommodation options then Beneyasa Beach Inn starts at slightly over 100,000Rp per night or approximately $10 AUD upwards. Located on Poppies Lane 2 which is right in the heart of Kuta with the beach and surf approximately 350m away.
As far as location and affordability go for the surfer on a budget Lusa Hotel is a popular option. Built in the early 1970’s Hotel Lusa has been accommodating surfers visiting Kuta Beach well before Bali become a tourist hotspot. Starting at around 280,000Rp per night or approximately $28AUD the rooms are very plain and standard however it is located not much further than 100m from the beach and just north of Halfway Kuta surf spot.
If you are looking for a step up in accommodation and a bit of an oasis from the hustle and bustle of Kuta with the beach and surf right across the road then Alam KulKul Boutique Resort is a great beachfront option. Especially when you can get a good deal here for under 1,000,000Rp per night or less than approximately $100 AUD through the likes of the online hotel platform Agoda.
There are a lot of options for food along the beachfront of Jalan Pantai Kuta. However, for cheaper eating options search the alleys like Poppies Lane 1 and Poppies Lane 2 or try one of the many local warungs with quality Indonesian style food at local prices.
Sunbathing – The beach is lined with chairs and loungers that you can rent for around 50,000Rp per day anywhere along the beach you want to relax. Not only is the beach full of tourists making the most of relaxing and tanning in the tropical sun but the beach is also full of action in addition to surfing with all sorts of sports and activities going on such as soccer, volleyball, beach tennis, frisbee, joggers and all.
Sunsets – Kuta Beach is a renowned spot to unwind after a day surfing at Kuta Beach. Soak in the beautiful sunset, enjoy a few Bintangs before venturing onto bars such as Alleycats in Poppies Lane 2.
Nightlife – Kuta Beach is a renowned area for partying. A large number of bars and nightclubs such as the Sky Garden draw the younger crowds of surfers, backpackers and holiday goers in for long nights of partying almost every day of the week.
Learn How to Surf – Kuta Beach is a great surf spot for beginners and one of the very few surf breaks without a reef bottom in Bali, therefore, it is a very safe place to learn how to surf. There are a number of surf schools available for you to choose from at Kuta Beach so you won’t have a problem in organising surf lessons. One that comes highly recommended is The Bali Wave. For the owner-operator Samo Wau, surf instructing and guiding is his life’s passion. His patience and friendly demeanor ensure that every one of his clients young or old has an amazing experience. Search The Bali Wave online to get in touch with him.
Located on the western side of the island just north of Ngurah Rai International Airport in Kuta Beach was the first area to see large-scale tourist development in Bali. Therefore it is centrally located where development has expanded from further across the island year after year.
The best way to get around if you are experienced is by scooter. However, be warned the traffic in Kuta is hectic and far too many people are injured in accidents on a daily basis. Don’t wind up another statistic. For a safer option take a taxi, although travel times can take a while with more and more cars on Kuta’s small roads. It can be quicker to walk at certain times of the day if you’re not going too far.
Parking your scooter at Kuta Beach will cost you around 2,000Rp for the day.
When flying into Bali you will arrive at Ngurah Rai International Airport. From here you have no problem organising a taxi for the short ride into Kuta. Taxis are pre-paid at the taxi counter when exiting customs at the international area of the airport. However, if you are traveling with surfboards you will be charged more at the taxi counter than if you were traveling without boards. To get around this you can organise transport through your accommodation prior to arriving or if you are a tough negotiator try your luck bartering down a driver once you’re past the taxi stand.