The most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen

pink beach, kanawa beach, best beaches, beautiful beach, komodo national park, coral, snorkelling

The most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen

  |   56 Comments

This is the website of travel writer, Michael Turtle. After working in broadcast journalism for a decade in Australia, Michael left Sydney to travel the world indefinitely and write about his discoveries.

Pink Beach, Indonesia

When the sun catches the sand, the beach glows. But it’s not a pure yellow radiance. Shining and shimmering in the Indonesian heat, the open beach blushes a shade of pink.

I’m here, far from civilisation on Komodo Island in the south of the country. It’s at least an hour by boat from the nearest town and the isolation means there are only one or two strangers sharing the sand.

pink beach, kanawa beach, best beaches, beautiful beach, komodo national park, coral, snorkelling

A beach like this doesn’t need a fancy name. It is simply called ‘Pink Beach’, which says almost all you need to know. It’s apparently one of only seven beaches in the world where the sand has this colour, a hue that’s caused by the red coral in the shallow waters. Small red grains mix with the normal grains of sand to produce the effect.

pink beach, kanawa beach, best beaches, beautiful beach, komodo national park, coral, snorkelling

The coral is the highlight of the beach here. Not just because of the part it plays in the colour of the sand, but for the underwater landscape it creates for snorkelling. The water, so clear, is like a window you can sink through to a world below the surface.

pink beach, kanawa beach, best beaches, beautiful beach, komodo national park, coral, snorkelling

So many types of fish, so many colours of coral. It would be possible to spend hours exploring all that’s here. It’s no great surprise to find that the waters of the Komodo National Park have some of the top diving spots in the world. It might not be the most famous place – but the real divers all know about it.

pink beach, kanawa beach, best beaches, beautiful beach, komodo national park, coral, snorkelling

Kanawa Beach, Indonesia

Pink Beach is quite isolated. It has no infrastructure and, on the other side of the island, has thousands of man-eating Komodo dragons. It’s not the kind of place that’s too welcoming for an overnight stay. A few boats that have slowly chugged over from the main island of Flores, bring travellers for an hour or two in the afternoon sun but then it’s time for them to leave again.

There is refuge nearby, though.

pink beach, kanawa beach, best beaches, beautiful beach, komodo national park, coral, snorkelling

pink beach, kanawa beach, best beaches, beautiful beach, komodo national park, coral, snorkelling

If you want to stay for more than the day, the best option is at Kanawa Beach. It’s closer to the Flores port town of Labuan Bajo and has accommodation and food. A bungalow will cost about US$30 a night for a single or US$40 for a double.

But even with the small resort built on the sand, it feels like you are cut off from everything here at Kanawa. Just look at this dining room: quite the view, right?

pink beach, kanawa beach, best beaches, beautiful beach, komodo national park, coral, snorkelling

The swimming and snorkelling here is also some of the best you will ever discover in the world. And while you’re discovering it, you’ll probably even find Nemo hiding amongst the long waving corals underwater. The clear azure water reveals all.

pink beach, kanawa beach, best beaches, beautiful beach, komodo national park, coral, snorkelling

These may not be the most beautiful beaches in the world. Who can truly judge such a subjective claim? But I can’t think of any finer I’ve ever laid eyes on. Far from the crowds, out of sight from the typical tourist trail, it’s a little bit of paradise in Indonesia.

Time Travel Turtle was a guest of the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism but the opinions, over-written descriptions and bad jokes are his own.

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56 Comments
  • Jade - OurOyster.com | Nov 5, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Gorgeous! Indonesia is on the list to visit in the next few years… but first… the Phillipines!
    Jade – OurOyster.com recently posted..Travelling With Children – Interview With Get In The Hot SpotMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 7, 2012 at 10:31 am

      Oh well… they’re close enough! :)

  • Angela | Nov 5, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Wonderful, if I go there I might not to leave! I’m aiming to go to Asia in 2013, will try to make it to Indonesia too!
    Angela recently posted..Eleonora d’Arborea, woman, daughter, mother, ruler in medieval SardiniaMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 7, 2012 at 10:44 am

      Oh, you’ve got to do Indonesia. Especially now before it gets too busy! It’s got the best of everything.

  • molly | Nov 5, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    I don´t appreciate such jaw dropping sandy photos on a grey rainy Monday morning in my office!

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 7, 2012 at 10:44 am

      Ha ha… so, sorry. I thought perhaps it might be inspiration to plan the next trip! :)

  • Laurence | Nov 5, 2012 at 10:41 pm

    This beach sounds amazing, although the “thousands of man eating dragons” could be a slight issue. Still.. you’ve got to take the rough with the smooth eh?
    Laurence recently posted..In photos: A tour of the Hobbit film setMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 7, 2012 at 10:45 am

      I don’t think the dragons are too near to this beach. None of the locals seemed too worried, and that’s always a good sign.

  • D.J. - The World of Deej | Nov 5, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Yeah…wouldn’t mind tipping back a few here…
    D.J. – The World of Deej recently posted..Hard Rock Cafe – My Travel Guilty PleasureMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 7, 2012 at 10:49 am

      The only problem is that you’ll have to bring your own to the first one. The second beach (Kanawa) at least has a small restaurant.

  • Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey | Nov 6, 2012 at 1:05 am

    Bold statement, but you may just be right. What a gorgeous find!
    Karen @ Trans-Americas Journey recently posted..Disneyland, Only Damper – Monteverde Cloud Forest Biological Reserve, Santa Elena, Costa RicaMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 7, 2012 at 10:50 am

      I’m sure it is not the most beautiful on the whole world… but there’s something about the isolation and lack of people that adds to the experience.

  • Tom - Active Backpacker | Nov 6, 2012 at 1:43 am

    Wow dude, these photos are rocking! I’m in The Netherlands and it’s getting cold…must…stop…looking…at…beach….photos!

    Those man-eating Komodo dragons sound interesting :D
    Tom – Active Backpacker recently posted..Oktoberfest: Beers, Tents, Facts & Fun – The Ultimate FAQ GuideMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 7, 2012 at 10:53 am

      Sorry to rub it in. I find it’s easier just to change hemispheres based on the seasons :)

  • Matthew Karsten | Nov 6, 2012 at 2:42 am

    Looks deserted too! My kind of place. :)
    Matthew Karsten recently posted..River Surfing in CanadaMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 7, 2012 at 10:55 am

      That’s the best thing about it! (For now, at least…)

  • Anita | Nov 6, 2012 at 3:13 am

    this place looks like heaven – I’ve seen a lot of nice Caribbean beaches but none of them were as beautiful as this one in Indonesia
    Anita recently posted..Kurvige Bergisel – #FrifotosMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 7, 2012 at 11:06 am

      From what I’ve heard about the Caribbean, most of the beaches there have been a bit too ‘touched’ by humans and tourism. The wonderful thing about this part of the world is that the beaches still feel so natural.

  • Annie | Nov 6, 2012 at 6:10 am

    Looks beautiful…thanks for sharing!

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 7, 2012 at 11:07 am

      My pleasure. I hope it brought a bit of sunshine to your day! :)

  • Stephanie - The Travel Chica | Nov 6, 2012 at 11:46 am

    I’ll take that beach right now… or any beach :-)
    Stephanie – The Travel Chica recently posted..Coolest playground ever… for adults too!My Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 7, 2012 at 11:08 am

      Yeah, any beach will do. But, you know, this might be one of the best options!

  • Raymond @ Man On The Lam | Nov 6, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    I loved Indonesia and I only made it to Sulawesi — can’t imagine how much more I would have loved it if I had made it here too!
    Raymond @ Man On The Lam recently posted..At the Top of Burj Khalifa — The Tallest Building in the WorldMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 7, 2012 at 11:09 am

      I didn’t make it to Sulawesi so Indonesia is currently on my must-return-soon list. There are so many islands (17,000 or so) so it’s difficult to see it all in one trip!

      • Hapsary | Jul 16, 2013 at 5:23 pm

        Next time you go to Indonesia, make sure to go to Raja ampat in West Papua.. it’s a great place for snorkling and have a nice view of beach.. :)

  • Ashley of Ashley Abroad | Nov 6, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    That beach looks so good to me right now… it’s raining today and I would love to get some sun!
    Ashley of Ashley Abroad recently posted..A Journey to the West – Dingle, IrelandMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 7, 2012 at 11:12 am

      There’s nothing like a bit of rain to make you long for a beach like this…

  • Justin | Nov 7, 2012 at 2:03 am

    I think you might be right! Awesome spot!

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 7, 2012 at 11:13 am

      Check it out sometime. You won’t regret it!

  • thetravelfool | Nov 7, 2012 at 3:27 am

    It is going to be below freezing tonight and you show me this? I miss white sand beaches and warm weather :(
    thetravelfool recently posted..Trouble In Travel Paradise?My Profile

  • Virgina | Nov 8, 2012 at 4:31 am

    Is that a real star fish? Amazing!
    Virgina recently posted..An Introduction to Australia’s Gold CoastMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 11, 2012 at 2:46 pm

      Yeah, it’s real. And there were hundreds of them in the water just off the shore!

  • Mary@ Green Global Travel | Nov 9, 2012 at 7:11 am

    Great photo of that starfish!
    Mary@ Green Global Travel recently posted..ECO NEWS: NY Aquarium Needs Help After Sandy’s DevastationMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 11, 2012 at 2:49 pm

      The starfish had such amazing colour! They were stunning!

  • Jennifer | Nov 12, 2012 at 9:56 am

    Wow, that beach is simply stunning! And the diving and snorkeling looks like it would just be amazing. Your photos just made this beach an addition to my travel bucket list.
    Jennifer recently posted..Lorraine American WWII Cemetery and MemorialMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 15, 2012 at 10:04 am

      I’ve never experienced snorkelling this good before in my life. People have tried to tell me there are some beaches that are as nice as this one in the Philippines, but the coral and the fish aren’t nearly as good.

  • tempo dulu | Nov 12, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    lovely pics – definitely looks worth a visit!
    tempo dulu recently posted..Indonesia image of the day (5): NobU Bank!My Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 15, 2012 at 10:08 am

      Thanks! Hope you get there someday!

  • Mary @ Green Global Travel | Nov 13, 2012 at 4:37 am

    Amazing! I’m dreaming about going to Komodo Island now. I’m working on my scuba certification and hope to one day put it to good use among the red coral reefs.
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..ENDANGERED SPECIES SPOTLIGHT: Alabama Beach MouseMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 15, 2012 at 10:14 am

      Wow, if you’re an experienced diver, you will love this place. There are so many areas to explore. I met a few divers there and they all know it’s the best place on the planet – they just don’t want to tell everyone else! :)

  • Kirsten | Nov 13, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Without a doubt, the most enjoyable place we went. For me that is! I still want to go back. Like, now.
    Kirsten recently posted..Joy in the Stillness at BorobudurMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 15, 2012 at 10:17 am

      Ha ha. How many hours (or days) could we have spent just lazing around those beaches? Sigh… one day we’ll return! :)

  • Cam | Nov 14, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Wowzas! She’s quite the looker!
    Cam recently posted..Photo of the Week: Finding Serenity in Wadi RumMy Profile

  • Elmer Cruz | Nov 20, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Fabulous Pink beach, gotta get my pink swimmers on!
    Elmer Cruz recently posted..Toilets of the World – My Adventures “Going” OverseasMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 22, 2012 at 11:54 am

      Ha ha – then you would be completely camouflaged! :)

  • BlogDaz | Nov 21, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Pink Beach, it sounds appealing and it looks even more appealing, and surprisingly unpopulated.
    BlogDaz recently posted..Thailand Land Of FaceMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 22, 2012 at 12:19 pm

      It’s certainly quite unpopulated… but it’s not the easiest place to get to so that’s not too surprising.

  • Andrew | Nov 25, 2012 at 3:21 am

    I really like the picture with the bridge. That perspective is great as well as the water color. Not a beach person in general, not enough shade for me, but I do like pictures of beaches and beach-like things. :)
    Andrew recently posted..4 Beautiful KnockersMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Nov 28, 2012 at 12:00 pm

      I know what you mean about the shade. I love going to a beautiful beach, admiring it, having a quick swim, then retreating to somewhere cool with a nice cold beer :)

  • Reena @ Wanderplex | Dec 7, 2012 at 6:21 am

    Seriously gorgeous! Love that it’s so peaceful and untouristed as well.
    Reena @ Wanderplex recently posted..Holiday gift guide for every kind of travelerMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Dec 7, 2012 at 11:48 am

      That’s what makes it so good, I think. If it was full of people it would’ve lost a lot of its charm.

  • Mumun | Feb 19, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    I’m Indonesian and I haven’t been. Not that I have to but it is on my list. I have to make this happen.
    Mumun recently posted..Isolated at Sea, ‘Kepulauan Seribu’ – Monday PhotoMy Profile

    • Michael Turtle | Feb 21, 2013 at 2:00 am

      You definitely have to make it happen! It would be a great place for a quick getaway from the other parts of the country!

  • Jenny Salter | May 28, 2014 at 3:59 am

    Shame about the problems in Kenya, Diani Beach is the best I have ever seen, white and so fine like sherbert and occasionally you see hundreds of small,white crabs, lovely.

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