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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.