Photo: Watu Malando Beach.

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Watu Malando Beach

Our rating:

It’s a long, lonely and winding road to get to Watu Malando Beach, but we think the journey to this piece of natural beauty is worth it. The 65 kilometre trip from Waitabula is mostly paved, and there’s even a road sign. It won’t direct you all the way here, but it’s a start.

Local spelling varies, and it’s sometimes called Watu Malandong, but we’re going with what’s on the road sign. Watu Malando is a group of five limestone karst islands (or four and a big rock) near a river mouth in the Kodi region — think mini-Halong Bay or Twelve Apostles, and not quiet as impressive as either, but still spectacular. The name in the local language refers to the triangular shaped rock of the largest formation.

Keeping busy. Photo taken in or around Watu Malando Beach, Waitabula, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Keeping busy. Photo: Sally Arnold

Not so well known among locals — our ojek driver had to keep asking direction — but a newly built road continues all the way to the beach. The road ends at a small bay. From here you can only see two of the formations, but if you climb to the small beach next to the river you can see four. We didn’t find a nearby point from where you could view all five. A drone might help if you’d like a photo. As beautiful as it is, the sea has strong currents and isn’t the safest for swimming.

Watu Malando Beach is best visited at low tide, when you can walk out to the large triangular shaped island, stand beneath its arch and meditate on the awesomeness of Mother Nature. A little further west along the coast the dramatic formations continue and at nearby Bwanna Beach (signposted Radar), a tremendous arch formation dominates the coast.

Big skies. Photo taken in or around Watu Malando Beach, Waitabula, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Big skies. Photo: Sally Arnold

We think either of these would make wonderful sunset viewing, but many drivers are fearful of bandits when travelling through the Kodi region after dark. Perhaps it’s best to leave the sunsets until the area is slightly more developed. Watu Malando Beach is only accessible by private transport.

Watu Malando Beach
65km from Waitabula

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Location map for Watu Malando Beach

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What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Waitabula.
 Read up on where to eat on Waitabula.
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 Planning on riding a scooter in Waitabula? Please read this.
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