Banyuwangi’s 7 Hidden Beaches that leave you Awestruck

23 Nov 2016

The district of Banyuwangi is located at the eastern-most tip of Java facing the Bali Strait, while the port of Ketapang is  where you take the ferry to Bali and beyond to East Indonesia.  Banyuwangi translated means Aromatic Water. This is a  haven of natural tourist attractions, such as the Blue Fire of Ijen Crater and the surprising beaches and waves listed below. Before you join the ferry to  enjoy magical Bali, do stay here a while to unveil the hidden treasures that together spell: Banyuwangi.

Blessed with superb beaches that are yet to be explored, Banyuwangi is filled with a high dose of vitamin sea, and here’s the list :

1. Pulau Merah Beach
(Desa Sumberagung,Pesanggaran)

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Pulau Merah  (the Red Island) or  otherwise known as the Red Beach has mesmerized tourists with its soft sandy beach and long coastline. This beach has its own island which has red soil and green vegetation on its small mountain-like shape. At low tide, visitors can walk across and explore the island up close.The origin of the name may have come from people  who see this from different points of view. From the colour of the island’s soil, the reddish sand is a mixture of the white sand and the red soil that comes from the nearby island. Others say that  the name comes  from the stunning sunsets that bathe the beach  with a reddish hue. Surfers from around the world also come here to test the waves. With the average waves being 2 meters high, this beach is perfect for training your surf skills. Although the Red Beach has become the most popular for family weekends,  yet swimming is not encouraged here because of the strong waves of the Indian Ocean.

How to get here:
This beach is easily accesssible from Banyuwangi’s city centre. The Red Island Beach lies about 60 kilometers south of the city and it will take about two and a half hours’ drive to reach this marvellous shoreline.

2. Wedi Ireng Beach
(Dusun Pancer, Desa Sumberagung, Kecamatan Pesanggaran)

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Indulge yourself with a sunbathe on the beach that has mixed volcanic black sand with  pearl white warm sands. In  the Javanese language, “wedi” means sand and “ireng” means black.

 Wedi Ireng is one of Banyuwangi’s hidden eden. With a beautiful landscape, this quiet beach is perfect to watch the  sun rise and sunsets. Swimming, snorkeling or just relaxing on this beach will bring  wonderful memories of  Banyuwangi. While enjoying the time at leisure, do  make sure of your own personal safety, so please take note of  the boundaries and caution signs about the waves. A nearby island is also visible from shore, and can be visited with a local guide to assist you. Some food stalls offering meals and refreshments are available for you to try at very reasonable prices.

How to get here:
Wedi Ireng is about 3 km from  the Red Island (Pulau Merah) or some 65 km south from Banyuwangi city. You can rent a car or motorbike and head in the direction towards The Red Beach (Pantai Merah), which will take around 2-3 hours’ drive. Before you see the entrance sign to the Red Beach, turn Right and head straight to the Mustika Beach. At the Mustika Beach, you can buy your boat ticket at the info booth for Rp.25,000/person one way to Wedi Ireng.  The boat ride takes about 15minutes.

3. Sukamade Beach
(Sarongan Village,
Meru Betiri National Park, Pesanggaran)

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Sukamade beach is part of the 8.45 km2coastal swathe that spreads inside the vast 580 km2 total area that is the Meru Betiri National Park. It is an important conservation area, since almost each night throughout the year, sea turtles land here from the sea onto the sandy beach to lay their eggs. Although there are other beaches within the Park  but it seems that the  turtles have decided to make this their turf. The park and the beach are protected around the clock by park rangers. A special turtle hatchery is also constructed to ensure the safety of the eggs. It’s indeed a unique experience to be able to see these wonderful creatures slowly land on  shore  under the silvery moonlight and lay hundreds of their precious eggs. The green turtles usually arrive around 7.30pm and return to sea around midnight. Do stay at the local lodge for the night to witness this natural event. In the morning, join the park rangers to help the tiny hatchlings take their first steps into the big blue ocean.

How to get here:
Sukamade beach is about 97 km southwest of Banyuwangi. You will have to drive over rough roads, and cross a few rivers, a journey  that requires a 4-wheel drive vehicle or large SUV built for off road terrain. It will be easier to hire a local guide  who has the suitable transportation required. The journey into Sukamade takes about 3-4 hours. But don’t worry, since you will surely  enjoy the scenic route that alternates from stretching rice fields and plantations, to cliffs and beaches.

4. Teluk Hijau Beach
(Sarongan Village, Meru Betiri National Park, Pesanggaran)

Image source: Travis Burke

Teluk Hijau or Green Bay is another captivating wonder within the  Meru Betiri National Park.  Enjoy the breath-taking views of turquoise water and a shoreline of white grains of sand backed by beautiful lush green forest. This is a quiet, clean and tranquil spot to bury yourself in the sand. A small waterfall and a fresh cool stream provide a natural  showers to cleanse yourself from  the briny water. Some monkeys may appear to greet you, but please be sure not to feed them.  Also, do read the message on the beach at the entrance which says: Do not leave anything but footprints.  Do not take anything but pictures. Let’s keep the environment clean to preserve its natural charm.

How to get here:
To arrive at the edge of the Green Bay beach, visitors can choose a a number of  options: by land  or by sea. The land trip requires an offroad transportation with a skillfull guide and driver. The second option will be to approach the beach by sea.
You can drive towards Rajegwesi beach, and then continue on a traditional fishing boat to arrive at the Green Bay beach. Make sure you rent a life vest to keep you safe on your journey. There’s also a more adventurous trekking path if you would like to explore the surroundings before hitting the clear aquamarine water.

5. Senggrong Beach
Alas Purwo National Park)

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Senggrong, as locals call it, is also known as the Blue Bay or Teluk Banyu Biru. It is full of marine life, with colourful corals as home to many fishes and other strange and colorful sea creatures: a perfect snorkeling spot to discover an underwater paradise.

Not so many visitors come to these mesmerizing clear waters, because of its remote location. It can only be reached by sea preferably you arrive here between dawn untill noon, to avoid sudden high tides that usually come in the afternoons. You can experience sunrise in the middle of the ocean when you manage to depart at around 2 o’clock in the morning. The area is also protected by a conservation community,  who have pledged  to save the underwater sustainability. Various activities of saving this natural wonder include transplanting coral reefs.

How to get here:
Located in the Muncar district of Banyuwangi behind  the Sembulungan peninsula,  the island is still within the boundary of the Alas Purwo National Park. Purwo In the Javanese language, Alas Purwo literally means “Ancient Forest”. Key access point to the park is the village of Triangulasi which is about 80 km southeast of Banyuwangi. Before visiting, you must get a permit from the national park office in Banyuwangi. The address is at Jl A Yani 108, phone number +62 333 428675, as well as to get the best advise for your journey there.

6. Parang Ireng
(Alas Purwo National Park)

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The coast of Parang Ireng has the most unique character seen from above the beach. After trekking through the lush rainforest, you will set foot on   grainy pepper-like sandy coast, where your  steps will sink in. Greeting you on the left side is a clear beach with whispering blue waves . While on your right is a stunning rock and coral formations, rich in colours of black, green and a redish tint. A large black stone believed as frozen lava has caused locals to call this place Parang Ireng or Black Reef. The combined panaroma  give you that other worldly sensation. There are no clear signs to define this location, so you should ask around for direction to locals or the National Park’s officer.

How to get here:
From Rogojampi in Banyuwangi, continues to Srono-Muncar and Tegaldimo for about 2 hours. From Tegaldimo it is another 1-hour ‘s drive before you reach the entrance to  the  Alas Purwo National Park.

7. Plengkung Beach or G-land
(Alas Purwo National Park)

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Internationally known as G-land, the Plengkung beach is nestled in the Alas Purwo National Park. It is a surfer’s paradise that has earned its fame as the “Seven Giant Waves Wonder,” being a series of  seven big rolls of waves over six meters tall, the ideal of all professionnal surfers.

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The letter G stands for Grajagan,the name of the bay where the huge waves can be challenged due south of Banyuwangi city. The beach lies on the edge of a dense rainforest, and offers the world’s most demanding surfing skills. Due to its risks, surfing at this particular beach must be ventured by professionals only. There is also a surfer camp here for visitor. But if you are not interested in surfing, just sunbathe by the sea while watching the amazing bonds between nature and its wonders with mankind through the sport sensation of riding the waves.

How to get here:
If you are a keen surfer, indeed the easiest way is from Bali, since there are ferries that cross directly to G-land. Information can be obtained at surf companies in Bali.

But, you can  also try the overland route, which is more strenuous.  Rent a car or take public transport from  Banyuwangi to Kalipahit (59km), then continue by bus to Kalipahit Pasaranyar (3km) and by ojek or rent a car, Pasaranyar-Trianggulasi (12km), Trianggulasi-Pancur-Plengkung/G-Land. Or you can take an alternative route o from  Banyuwangi-Benculuk (35km) by bus, Benculuk Grajagan (18km) by bus or public transportation,  then Grajagan-Plengkung by speedboat.



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