Passengers flying in to Bali airport during daylight hours will get an enticing first glimpse of Kuta’s famed golden beaches.
The most popular stretch is Kuta beach itself which plays host to a lively mix of dedicated surfers, guitar strumming beach boys, families and bronzed beautiful people. It is undeniably crowded and, with a myriad of beach hawkers and masseurs to contend with, it can be quite difficult to simply relax and soak up the sun.
A typical day will see plenty of vibrant activity with numerous surfing classes, kite flying and impromptu games of beach volleyball and soccer. It is the best place in Bali to learn how to surf with consistent waves and no rocks or sharp coral to wipe out on.
The pounding waves that make Kuta beach so special for surfing inevitably makes it less rewarding for swimming. There are strong undertows and huge breakers to contend with so bathers should head south to tranquil Tuban beach, just a ten-minute stroll away. Tuban has a much slower pace of life and it is not uncommon to have a huge stretch of sand all to yourself. There is the added benefit here of no traffic noise as the beach is fringed by several upmarket beach resorts.
Most rent out water sports equipment and offer tuition in jet skiing and windsurfing. Inquire at the Kuta Paradiso (website:www.kutaparadisohotel.com).There is also a local fisherman’s cooperative here who are always keen to take tourists out on fishing trips.
Even as darkness falls, Kuta beach remains a popular spot for strolling romantics keen to catch the spectacular ocean sunsets. The entire length of Kuta Beach Road is filled with stylish open air restaurants and bars all boasting panoramic ocean views. Sunset dining here is very popular and later on most transform into vibrant dance clubs or lounges, remaining busy well into the early hours.
During the long hot summer, Kuta beach comes alive even more with a compelling mix of lively events and festivals. The Kuta Karnival (throughout September) sees a full program of costumed parades, live music and traditional dance, a food festival and beach games. There are beachfront catwalk shows during Bali Fashion Week (August) and numerous pro surfing competitions throughout the summer months.