Red Beach: The World’s Best Snorkeling Location

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Most of the time it is a common assumption that you need to scuba dive to see the best parts of the coral reefs and marine life in any given place. I used to believe this too, that was until I paid a visit to a sweet little spot in the Eastern part of Indonesia called Red Beach.

As we made our way to shore in the dinghy from our larger cruising boat, I couldn’t help but notice how clear the water was and that there seemed to be a lot of coral under the surface.

With the sun shining through, it wasn’t easy to get a clear look so I just assumed that it either wouldn’t be decent or that the good stuff would be too deep or too far from shore to get a good look at. Boy was I wrong.

Red Beach Komodo Island Indonesia

About Red Beach

You may also see it referred to as Pink Beach and Pantai Merah. This beach gets its names from the red coral that breaks off and washes ashore leaving a beautiful pink hue to the sand. It really stands out against the turquoise-colored water and dramatic landscapes behind it.

When you approach the beach from the water it is easy to see the bottom but it doesn’t really tell you about the amazing things that are below you. Even from that vantage point, you can see that it is a clean, beautiful and unique place in this World.

In my opinion, one of the most pristine beaches I have ever visited in terms of raw nature.

Red Beach Indonesia Komodo Island Flores


Red Beach is located near the remote island of Rinca in Komodo National Park. It is considered a remote area as there is no public transportation that will get you to this little gem.

The only way to reach it is by taking a tour on a dive boat or boat tour that is visiting the surrounding islands, usually including a stop to see the Komodo Dragons.

I see this as a huge positive, it keeps this little paradise from being commercialized and crowded. The day we visited, we were the only boat there and we totaled a whopping 12 people including the boat crew. You can’t beat that. We had the whole beach and the whole reef to ourselves for 3 full hours.

The downside is that you will pay a pretty penny to visit Red Beach. With dive boats and multiple day tours being the only options, you will be hard-pressed to find something cheap for a visit.

Despite this fact, it is totally worth it as those tours and dive packages are worth every single cent in this corner of the globe. We visited Red Beach with Kencana Adventure Tours.

Red Beach Snorkeling Komodo Island Indonesia RTW

Best Snorkeling in the World

We have been lucky enough to get in the water in many places around the world, so we have quite a list of places to compare our experiences to. With that said, we can easily say this the best snorkeling we have ever done, hands down.

The water here is so shallow that you couldn’t dive it if you wanted to, which makes it a paradise for snorkelers.

You will float along and see things so amazing you won’t believe your eyes. I can think of no other place where you can see such vibrant, untouched coral so close to shore with such an abundance of marine life that you could spend hours in the water.

Where else can you literally find Nemo just feet from the beach? Nowhere. It is that good. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

Red Beach Komodo Island Indonesia


Red Beach Komodo Island Indonesia


Red Beach Komodo Island Indonesia Cuttlefish


Red Beach Komodo Island Indonesia


Red Beach Komodo Island Indonesia


Red Beach Komodo Island Indonesia


No joke, these photos were taken while SNORKELING right off the beach in this location. It is an experience we will rave about for many years to come.

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About Lina Stock

Lina is an award-winning photographer and writer that has been exploring the world since 2001. She has traveled to 100 countries on all 7 continents. Member: SATW, NATJA, ATTA, ITWA

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12 thoughts on “Red Beach: The World’s Best Snorkeling Location”

  1. Hi,
    We’re a family if really strong, experienced snorkellers and free divers. We’ve only dived in australia so far … but we’ve done a huge amount. We’ve had holiday plans fall through in January and have 4 weeks We were thinking of looking at the Gili islands? We’re 2 adults and 3 kids (8,12,13). Nature, adventure, wildlife and great snorkelling are our main interest.
    Any advice would be greatly appreaciated.

    • Hi Tania, personally the Gili’s are great but I would recommend you spend time on Lombok or out on the Komodo Islands to get the type of trip you are looking for. The Gili’s are small. Personally, I LOVE Lombok. It is not as well traveled as the other popular places in the area, so you get a more authentic experience there. Plus it’s a big island with lots to do – hiking, volcanoes, surfing, diving, etc. I don’t think you would be disappointed. 🙂

    • Hi Deb! The best time to visit Indonesia is May-September, but keep in mind that this is also high season. Personally, I don’t think there is really a bad time to visit as the weather is warm all year. They have a dry and rainy season, but even in rainy season, the rain only comes for a few hours. We have personally visited Indonesia in July and September. Cheers!

  2. Late comment I know, but would you say for people who have snorkelled in Rarotonga and on Great Barrier Reef (guided), it would be safe to snorkel here? Currents are my main concern, but I assume since it’s a tour, you are watched all the time?

    • Hi Christine, Red Beach is located in a cove type area, protected from the currents. It is very easy snorkeling and is done right from the beach. We have snorkeled/scuba dived in A LOT of places in the world and to be honest, the snorkeling at Red Beach is far superior to what we experienced in Fiji and on the Great Barrier Reef, sadly. Another place that blew my mind was Raja Ampat, West Papua, also in Indonesia. Compared to Red Beach, it’s even better! Some incredible reef systems in Indonesia and the Philippines. Cheers, Lina

  3. We just arrived yesterday in Bali and will catch the ferry to Gilli T tomorrow. From there we will probably head to Lombok and further to Flores. We will definitely try to snorkel on Red Beach. Any other must do dive or snorkel sites that you can recommend?. Thanks.

    • Hi Marcel, There are loads of really great dive sites around Gili Trawangan and Gili Meno. Really great diving out near Flores and Komodo too! You will love Gili T, one of our favorite places so far on our trip. We want to make a return visit to Indonesia to dive near Komodo, Sulawesi and Papua. Have fun!

    • Hi Chris, to get there from Bali you would have to fly to Flores and take a boat tour/cruise from Labuan Bajo or you could take the boat from Bali to Lombok and then take a boat tour/cruise from there to Flores. No other way, at the moment, to reach it and it isn’t a place you can fly directly to either. 🙂 It’s not easy, but is totally worth the inconvenience for the visit!


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