Perasi’s Pasir Putih: Bali’s best secret (for now)

In the heavy heat of the mid-afternoon, East Bali was beginning to blur.  As our driver Ketut zoomed past temple after temple, warung after warung, the only indication that there was anything more to this small village than some nondescript buildings and wandering dogs was a small handwritten sign nailed to a post.  “WHITE SAND BEACH,” it read.

Ketut made a quick right at the sign.  Driving a few miles on a narrow road, we arrived at a toll booth, where we forked over a Rp 5.000 entrance/parking fee, and then continued on to a heavily rutted dirt path.  After a serious off-roading experience coupled with some minor whiplash, our driver parked his trusty SUV right at the edge of the forest and sand.

“OK, Perasi beach here,”  he said.

A warm humid breeze whipped across our faces as we left the comforts of our air conditioned car.  The beach was every bit as idyllic as the travel websites had described.  A string of beachside warungs, each equipped with its own lounge chairs and umbrellas, stretched across the sand.  Where the warungs ended, a set of boats lay docked in the sand.  Tall rocky cliffs anchored each end of the short beach, guarding the clandestine cove from its neighboring coasts.

Perasi’s beach, known as Pasir Putih or Virgin Beach, is an angel among demons, its pristine white sand a stark contrast from the coarse black sand found everywhere else in Eastern Bali (a byproduct of the gurgling and very-much active volcanoes nearby).  For a moment, Robby and I had wanted to forgo this beach, since we had already booked two days at a beach resort in the tourist hotspot of Seminyak.  Fortunately, a recommendation from Ketut and a warning from our Kubu Carik host, Claudia — “The Koreans have discovered it!” — changed our minds.

We parked our sweaty butts at a quiet warung at the very end of the beach.  A simple lunch of fried noodles and a few drinks gave us free use of the lounge chairs, but it wasn’t long before the bullying Bali sun forced us into the ocean.  The water was warm, with lolling waves and a gentle surf.  We were the only ones around at that particular moment, but our solitude was soon broken by the laughter of a few local families and children enjoying an after-work and after-school swim.   The ocean was so comfortable that even as the late afternoon rainclouds began to sprinkle, we decided to stay and swim in the rain.

We had not yet seen Seminyak, but after our stay there we were ever so appreciative of Perasi.  No peddlers hawking souvenirs, sarongs and tattoos.  No drunken Aussies on school break.  Just a few like-minded tourists who also reveled in the seclusion.

It was only several years ago that this beach had just one warung and a diligent lady who took it upon herself to keep the sand immaculately clean.  Since its recent discovery by tourists, the number of warungs has increased.  It won’t be long before the hawks zone in — Claudia mentioned that some Koreans had snatched up prime real estate in the area for condo/resort development.  I hope that her prediction is wrong, but we did spot a sprawling house on the south end of the beach.  A sign outside read “Private property – do not enter.”

I would have been happy to keep Perasi as “our little secret” were it not for that last bit of knowledge.  So for those who can, visit now.  Sadly, it may not be as postcard perfect by decade’s end.


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Add this to your wishlist: Swimming in Seclusion at Pasir Putih in Perasi, Bali

9 Responses to Perasi’s Pasir Putih: Bali’s best secret (for now)
  1. mart christine
    July 3, 2010 | 7:34 pm

    hi there! thanks for the info! d you have ketut’s number?

    • Nancy
      July 5, 2010 | 4:43 pm

      Sure, it’s 085 935 328 844 for cell, 0363.41657 for office. I believe cell is the better choice.

  2. Wassily
    August 14, 2010 | 12:55 am

    Pasir Putih ist realy the best beach to stay in Eastern Bali. But … the koreans even discovered this tiny paradise … an are planing to build a 120 hectar Deluxe Hotel including golf place.
    That will be the end of virgin beach …

    Greetinxs vom Stuttgart/Germany

    • Nancy
      August 14, 2010 | 12:10 pm

      Hi Wassily,

      Our host Claudia told us the same thing about the Koreans. Very sad indeed. It’s too beautiful of a place to be overrun by tourists.

  3. Mike Johnsey
    November 5, 2010 | 9:08 pm

    Thanks Nancy for the info.
    I live in Ubud but although quite close I have never been to Pasir Putih before. I usually go for the easy option at Legian on my occasional beach days. But tomorrow I am going to check this beach out and will get back on the current picture. Lets hope it can still live up to the great picture you painted. Mike

    • Nancy
      November 5, 2010 | 10:11 pm

      Mike, your pictures are beautiful! I hope you capture some of the great beauty of Pasir Putih. I would love to know if it is still as I left it.

      • Lex
        November 21, 2010 | 2:18 pm

        I was there in 2003; the only tout was a very old man selling seashells. There were no warungs yet. I hired a fisherman and his canoe in Candi Dasa and the twenty minute ride to the beach was gorgeous with stunning views of the shore along the way.

  4. My Best Memories of 2010 | DrtyLndry
    December 27, 2010 | 6:00 am

    […] was a lovely year. Some of my best memories: * Surfing in Sagres, Portugal * Enjoying the sun at Virgin Beach, Bali * Chillin’ in Barcelona * Roadtrippin’ in the Netherlands * Dancing in Paradiso and […]

  5. Wayan
    January 8, 2014 | 11:10 am

    You would not believe what is happening in Bali. The idiots will soon cement the whole island leaving no nature to admire. Unfortunately, the development of Perasi has been confirmed :-(

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