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Kuta Beach is a fine beach; a broad expanse of golden sand where local officials have taken reasonable steps to limit the persistence of hawkers. It is because of its accessibility that it is popular with surfers, although better waves can be found elsewhere. It is an excellent spot for beginners and recreational surfers. Boards can be hired on the beach and there are usually locals who will offer insider knowledge of surf conditions. Strong and irregular currents can make swimming hazardous so look out for the warning notices and coloured flags that indicate which areas are safe for swimming on any particular day: red flags represent danger; yellow and red flags represent safe areas for swimming. The currents change daily and there are teams of lifeguards keeping an eye on proceedings who won’t hesitate to blow their whistle if they see people straying into dangerous waters. There are allegations that levels of contamination in the sea are above internationally accepted safety levels, though many people swim with no apparent ill effects.
The sand is white to the south, but grey further north. The hawkers are less of a problem now they are forbidden to cross an invisible line that divides the beach. Sit on the half of the beach closest to the sea if you want to avoid hassle. The beach faces west, so is popular at sunset, which can be truly spectacular. Religious ceremonies sometimes take place on the beach and are fascinating to watch.