Known as one of the gateways to Bali, Banyuwangi is the largest regency in East Java. It is on the easternmost tip of the island of Java Island. Many tourists pass through the capital, Banyuwangi, on their way from Bromo to Bali. Yet there is more to do than just pass through the city. To keep you inspired here is a list of some of the best beaches around Banyuwangi.

Rajegewesi Beach

Rajegewesi Beach is in the Meru Betiri National Park. The beach is surrounded by cliffs and encircled by tropical forests, formerly home to the nearly extinct Javan tigers as well as turtles, black beetles, long black monkeys, deer, turtles, eagles, and others. Rajegwesi has relatively calm waves and friendly water currents, unlike other beaches on the south coast. It is also a lovely beach for snorkeling.

One of the best things to do when you visit is hire a fishing boat. That boats are rented out by the fishermen for those who want to cross the beach to Green Bay or other tourist attractions within Meru Betiri Park. As you sit on the boat, save your memory and enjoy the splash of water on your face. Maybe you’ll be fascinated by the cliffs where you might see monkeys playing on the edge of the cliffs. You might also see locals on the cliffs fishing for skipjack or other fish. It might make you wonder how they got there.

How to Get to Rajegewesi Beach:

Rajegewesi Beach is 80 km, a 2.5 hours drive, from Banyuwangi. The easiest way to reach Rajegewesi is to rent a private car as you won’t find public transportation direct to the beach. Be careful, the road is muddy and narrow and has not been asphalted. On the way to the beach you’ll pass rubber and cacao plantations and thick forest. You’re required to report to officer and pay the entrance at the gate of Meru Betiri Park.

Green Bay Beach

Never misses a chance to visit the Green Bay (Teluk Ijo) beach once you come to Banyuwangi. You should come to Rajegwesi first. Green Bay is less popular for its hidden location and it takes an effort to reach it, no wonder the place quite quiet and clean. Once reach the beach look for the nearest rock (a popular photo point). This is a favourite place to admire the scenery and enjoy the green coloured water. Big trees and forests shelter the shore, be careful with your stuff, monkeys can come anytime and steal it.

Green Bay has a typical white sandy beach, it’s very soft on the skin. Close to the beach is a waterfall where you can swim and wash off that salty water. There is a wooden swing under a tree, not too far from the beach, where you can enjoy a view of the beach and waterfall. Please note, there is no changing room or toilets at the beach.

How to Get to Green Bay Beach:

You can access Green Bay Beach by land or sea. If you are a big fan of trekking the overland route is for you. From Rejegwesi it is about 3 km far, you can pass 1 km by car and 2 km further by trekking. Keep in mind it’s not an easy trek but it’s worth the effort. You’ll pass Stone beach before arriving Green Bay. Another way to reach the beach is by boat rented from a fishermen. Simply pay Rp 35,000 per person and they will take you to Green Bay. 1 boat can be filled up to 5 people in it and equipped with a life jacket under the seat. It’s only a 15 minute boat ride.

Red Island Beach

Red Island Beach has white sand and stretches for 3 km. It is one of the most popular beaches close to Banyuwangi. It’s famous as an international surfing spot. In fact many pro surfing competitions are held here (it’s also a good spot for amateur surfers). In addition to the surfers you’ll find a lot of people snorkelling along the coral reefs out to sea. Just in front of the beach is a 200 meter high hill, with distinctive red coloured soil.

Not far from the beach, there is a Hindu temple called Pura Tawang Alun. It was founded in the 1980s and still used as a place of worship until now. Of course most people just chill out on the beach where you can rent beach chairs with umbrellas for Rp. 25,000 per hour. It’s the perfect place to wait for the sunset.

How to Get to Red Island Beach:

Red Island Beach is a one-hour drive from Rajegwesi or 60 km from Banyuwangi. While it’s easy to access it’s incredibly difficult to get public transport to the beach. I’d recommend renting a car or arranging a day trip to the beach through your hotel.

Final Thoughts

Banyuwangi is more than a transit city to Bali. The regency has many beautiful beaches as well as the famous Meru Betiri National Park with its thick tropical forests and turtle hatcheries. If you enjoy nature, and water activities, make sure to take the time and opportunity to explore this beautiful part of Java.

Have you ever visited the beaches around Banyuwangi? What is your favourite beach? Share your thoughts in the comments below with other travellers.