Kelingking Beach, located on Penida Island in the province of Bali in Indonesia, is a postcard-perfect scene. The small bay is sheltered by tall, curved cliffs covered in vegetation; the sand is a soft, yellow color; and the waters are the bright turquoise of your vacation dreams. But you have to earn your spot on this paradisiacal beach — the way there is treacherous to say the least.
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Before you get to sunbathe and relax to the sound of the crashing waves on Kelingking Beach, you’ll need to tackle the one-hour hike down. While there is a set of stairs that leads down the cliff, only a small portion of it is in good condition — the rest is just an accident waiting to happen.
The start of the stairs (often seen on TikTok or Insta for the view they provide) are made of tall steps framed by makeshift bamboo handrails that are manageable for able-bodies folks, but as you continue to hike down, the stairs become nearly impracticable as the steps are more and more run-down. The steps eventually give way to a rough and rocky vertical path that sometimes has not handrails at all. You’ll be scrambling down and hanging for dear life so don’t get too distracted by the wonderful view.
And while you’ll want to take your time to get down there, hoping not to break an ankle or crack your head in the process, note that there will be a long line of tourists behind you pressuring you to move on. Kelingking Beach is hardly a secret.
Don’t go to Kelingking Beach in your beach outfit, go in your hiking gear. You’ll need solid hiking shoes, sun protection, water, and something more practical than a dress or swimming shorts. Also, Kelingking Beach is not once for insecure swimmers, the waters can be very turbulent.