The far west of Bali is one the most un-touristed sections of the Bali coast. Reasons for this include distance from Kuta, lack of tourist development and black sand beaches. For people used to the hubbub of Kuta Beach, the unspoilt nature of west Bali may be a pleasant change. Three areas that don’t attract many tourists are Gilimanuk, Candikusumah and Pantai Rening, all west of Negara.
Gilimanuk is the most westerly point in Bali, serving as the cross-channel port to Java. Its trippy place, with a ‘border-town’ type of atmosphere. To the east via Cekik is the Taman Nasional Bali Barat (West Bali National Park), to the immediate east is Gilimanuk Bay, a great place for muck-diving in the shallow murky waters and just 3km west is the Javanese port of Ketipang. Gilimanuk has a black sand beach which is not really used for tourism but one that does afford views of Java and the volcanoes on that side of the Bali Strait.
Driving east from Gilimanuk towards Kuta, one will pass through the kecamatan (municipal border) of Melaya. Along this stretch of road are many small potholes so one is advised to stay alert, as each 20 meter section of road appears to be made by a different person. On the beach side of the road is a sign indicating the beach at Candikusumah. This is accessed by a narrow lane just 100 meters long. The black sand beach here is nothing to shout about, but might be good for a rest stop or a quick dip in the ocean.
Around 15km east of Candikusumah heading into Negara, is a junction sign pointing the way to Cupel. On this corner are various local warungs offering masakan Muslim (Muslim food) and sate ayam (chicken satay). Take this road south to the first junction and head right to the end. Around 4kms away from the road is Pantai Rening, another sweeping black sand bay. There is a sizable local hotel (Hapel Beach Resort) at the end of the road, with security and what appears to be decent grounds. This place is off of the western tourist radar, and might be a change from Medewi for a place to stay on the coast in west Bali.
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Hapel Beach Resort and Hotel is located at Pantai Rening, Baluk, Negara, Bali.
There is also a smaller hotel located at the beach named Hotel Bali Warna Loka.
Things of interest on the SW coast:
•Mekepung (buffalo races) in Perancak
•Pura Rambut Siwi
•Medewi surfing beach,
•Balian surfing beach
•Christian villages of Blimbingsari and Palasari
•Bali Barat National Park (HQ at Cekik south of Gilimanuk)
The chunk of land south of the main road at Negara is flat and extends down to the ocean. Heading inland from Negara or any of the unmarked local roads to the east or west, you will find stunning scenery, rarely visited by westerners.