The district of Banyuwangi is situated 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 interpreted means Aromatic Water. This is a haven of natural tourist attractions, like the Blue Fire of Ijen Crater and the stunning beaches and waves given below. Before you take 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:
- Pulau Merah Beach (the Red Island)
Pulau Merah (the Red Island) or otherwise known as the Red Beach has mesmerized tourists with its soft sandy beach and a long coastline. This beach has its island that has red soil and green vegetation on its small mountain-like form. At low wave, visitors can walk across and explore the island up close. The origin of the name might 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 neighbouring island.
Others say that the title comes from the stunning sunsets that bathe the shore with a red hue. Surfers from all over the world also come here to test the waves. With the average waves being 2 meters high, this beach is excellent for training your surf skills. Even though Red Beach has become the most popular for family weekends, swimming is not favoured here due to the strong waves of the Indian Ocean.
How to get here:
This beach is easily accessible from Banyuwangi’s town centre. The Red Island Beach is located about 60 km south of the city, and it’ll take about two and a half hours’ drive to reach this marvellous shore.
- Wedi Ireng Beach
Treat yourself with a sunbathe on the beach that has mixed black volcanic 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 gorgeous landscape, this quiet beach is ideal to see the sunrise and sunsets. Swimming, snorkelling, or simply relaxing on this shore will bring beautiful memories of Banyuwangi.
While appreciating the leisure time, do make sure of your safety, so please take note of the bounds and caution signs about the tides. Around the island is also visible from shore and can be visited with a local guide to help you. Some food stalls that offer meals and refreshments are available for you to try at very reasonable prices.
How to get here:
Wedi Ireng is around 3 kilometres 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 Red Beach, turn Right and head straight to 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 15 minutes.
- Sukamade Beach
Sukamade beach is part of the 8.45 square kilometres coastal swathe that spreads within the vast 580 km2 total area which is the Meru Betiri National Park. It’s an important conservation area, since almost every night throughout the year, sea turtles land here in the sea on the sandy beach to lay their eggs. Although there are other beaches within the park, it would appear that the turtles have decided to make this their turf. The park and the beach are protected around the clock by park rangers.
A particular turtle hatchery is also built to ensure the security of the eggs. It’s indeed a unique experience to be able to see these beautiful creatures slowly land onshore beneath the silvery moonlight and lay hundreds of the precious eggs. The green turtles usually arrive around 7.30 pm and return to the sea. Please do remain in the local lodge for the night to see this natural event. In the morning, join the park rangers to assist the tiny hatchlings in taking their first steps into the large blue ocean.
How to get here:
Sukamade shore is about 97 km southwest of Banyuwangi. You will need to drive over rough roads, and cross a few rivers, a journey that takes a 4-wheel drive vehicle or large SUV built for off-road terrain. It will be easier to hire a local guide who has suitable transportation required. The journey into Sukamade takes approximately 3-4 hours. But don’t worry, since you’ll undoubtedly enjoy the scenic route that alternates from extending rice fields and plantations, to cliffs and beaches.
Ready to start your getaway to Banyuwangi? Visit Wonderful Indonesia, and don’t miss out on the magic!