If azure waters crashing onto a white, sandy beach are your idea of paradise, look no further than Kuta Beach in south-west Bali. Start your trip off right with some R&R at this happening hotspot where you can participate in a plethora of beach activities, including surfing, swimming or simply soaking up the sun.

Kuta Beach became a destination for backpackers and surfers alike back in the 1970s, and it has continued to attract visitors long since, thanks to its gorgeous setting, vibrant nightlife and convenient location in Southeast Asia. Located directly north of Ngurah Rai International Airport, the soft white sands stretch a whole five kilometres north-south along this island city’s west coast.

There’s a balance of vacation atmosphere and vagabond freedom here. Surf schools are abound for the more adventurous types, while families and couples can park themselves under beach umbrellas. Looking for shopping? Peddlers come to you, hawking their wares with everything from braids and massages to sarongs and beer.

Those needing a break from the sun can throw on a pair of thongs and walk along the boardwalk to beachside stalls or even the Discovery Shopping Mall for some ‘proper’ shopping.

Two water parks are located in the neighbourhood for those wanting to be in the water but off the beach. The area has earned the name of ‘Sunset Beach’ for the glorious colours enveloping the sky as the sun goes down.

Travellers can get around by local taxi, or even by taking a jaunt on a rented motorbike. Just make sure to wear a helmet (required by law) as traffic can be heavy. For a truly unique experience, visit the Kuta Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center.

Located next to the Balawista Kuta lifeguard tower, it works to protect the sea turtles by relocating recently laid eggs to a less-populated area of the beach at their hatchery. Visitors can also experience the wonder of releasing a baby turtle into the ocean during hatching season from June to August.