Where to find spectacular sunrises, sunsets in Bali

Capturing Bali’s rising and falling sun. Source: Shutterstock.

“RED sky at night, shepherd’s delight. Red sky in the morning shepherd’s warning” is folklore as old as time and one of the earliest meteorological weather systems that still holds true today.

Sunsets and sunrises have captivated Earth-dwellers for thousands of years and are the reason many people scale mountains and crowd beaches during these times.

Bali is no exception to this. The Indonesian island is full of sunset and sunrise tours which whisk vacationers up to mountain peaks and onto the white and black sandy beaches that encompass the island.

But you don’t have to be part of a tour to catch a glimpse of the burnt orange, blush pink and indigo hues that paint the Balinese sky.

Here’s where to find six of Bali’s best sunset spots, away from the swarms of crowds on the beaches and the Instagram-obsessed selfie-takers on the mountains.

Blue Lagoon Bay (sunrise)

The hidden beach found just over the hill at Padang Bai offers one of the most spectacular views of the sunrise.

The waters are usually calm in the Blue Lagoon Bay so you could even paddle out on a float and watch the sunrise from the water.

Tip: If you’re heading across to Lombok or the Gili islands from Padang Bai, head to Blue Lagoon for sunrise then catch an early ferry across to avoid the crowds.

Pemuteran (sunrise and sunset)

In the less crowded northwestern side of Bali is Pemuteran with its black volcanic sand beaches, excellent diving spots, and enough tranquillity to last a lifetime.

Given its relatively remote location compared to party destinations such as Kuta, the beaches here are never packed.

While the sun won’t rise or set directly in front of the beach, it will turn the sky shades of pink and orange as it appears in the Bali Sea and disappears into the Java Sea.

Tip: Whether you’re heading there from sunrise or sunset, grab a snack from one of the many hawker stalls that line the seafront. The authentic Indonesian treat will make the event even better.

Mount Batur (sunrise)

A mountaintop sunrise is a must-do for adventurers who don’t mind a dark and early start, and Mount Batur is one of the least crowded tours on the island.

The hike up the 1,171-foot mountain should begin around 4am if you want to catch the sky turning into shimmering gold.

The hike takes approximately two hours depending on how fast you walk and it’s advisable to take some sugary snacks and plenty of water with you.

Tip: It’s best to book onto a tour for this sunrise experience and trek the mountain with an experienced guide.

Menjangan Island (sunrise)

Despite being a tiny island off the northwest coast of Bali, Menjangan Island offers a stunning view of the sunrise.

The island has unobstructed views of the northern coast of Bali and is a renowned spot for diving.

Tip: Take your snorkeling or diving equipment with you to watch the sunrise then discover the underwater world just as the marine life is starting their day.

Ubud (sunset)

Ubud is located in the uplands of Bali and is known for holding onto a traditional Balinese way of life through architecture, faith, dance, and crafts.

There are no high-rise buildings in Ubud and therefore the skyline is completely unobstructed, giving visitors the perfect view of the pale blue, dusty pinks and honey orange sky as the sun goes down.

Tip: Try to find elevated ground during sunset in Bali to see the traditional buildings and temples become a beautiful silhouette in front of the dazzling sky.

Sanur Beach (sunset)

Sanur and Kuta share the same Bali peninsula but couldn’t be more different.

Sanur beach to the southeast of Bali embodies serenity with white sandy beaches lined with palm trees, colorful fishing boats bobbing in the ocean, and the most golden sunset you’re likely to see.

Tip: Grab an ice cream from nearby Massimo and let your belly be as content as your eyes are about to be.