A serene tropical beach with clear blue waters, lined with lush green palm trees, under a partly cloudy sky.

Best Beaches in Kiribati

Kiribati, officially known as the Republic of Kiribati, is a captivating island nation located in the central Pacific Ocean. Comprising of 33 atolls and one solitary island, Kiribati spans across the eastern and western hemispheres as well as the northern and southern hemispheres, making it the only country situated within all four hemispheres. This tropical paradise is a haven for those seeking a peaceful and idyllic getaway, far away from the bustling cities and tourist crowds.

Top Beautiful Beaches in Kiribati

One of the highlights of Kiribati is its exquisite beaches. These beaches offer a snapshot of natural beauty with their crystal-clear blue waters, white sandy shores, and picturesque surroundings. Whether you are looking for a peaceful getaway or an adventure-filled vacation, the beaches of Kiribati have something to offer for everyone.

With its year-round summer climate and untouched natural beauty, Kiribati is an ideal destination for those seeking a tranquil and serene beach experience. Whether you’re into water sports, exploring shipwrecks, or simply relaxing under the shade of coconut palms, Kiribati has it all. Here are some of the top beaches in Kiribati that are bound to leave you in awe.

Let’s start from South Tarawa. South Tarawa, the capital of the Republic of Kiribati, is home to a collection of interconnected islets that form a boomerang shape. While the beaches near Betio are known to be dirty and polluted, there are still some hidden gems in South Tarawa where visitors can enjoy the beauty of Kiribati’s coastline.

Bathing Lagoon

Kiribati Lagoon

Located on the largest coral island, Kiritimati, this beach is easily accessible from the airport by taxi or hired car. Bathing Lagoon is a picture-perfect paradise, with white sandy shores and crystal clear waters. The lagoon is surrounded by coconut palms, creating a tranquil and idyllic setting. The calm waters of the lagoon make it an ideal spot for swimming and relaxation. However, it is advisable to wear protective footwear when entering the water due to the presence of coral pieces.

Christmas Island Beach

Christmas Island Beach

Also known as the Kiritimati islands, this coral islands in the Pacific Ocean offers visitors a stunning coastal experience. The Christmas Island Beach is characterized by its pristine white sands and turquoise waters, providing a picturesque backdrop for beachgoers. With its remote location and deserted nature, visitors can often have the whole beach to themselves, allowing for a peaceful and serene beach experience. Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and even exploring the diverse marine life through snorkeling and diving activities.

Located on the western tip of South Tarawa, Betio is a must-visit destination for beach lovers in Kiribati. This small island offers pristine sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and a tranquil atmosphere that will leave visitors in awe. Here are some of the top beaches in Betio that you should explore during your visit to Kiribati.

Betio Beach

Betio Beach is the main beach in the area and is known for its stunning beauty. The beach is covered in soft, white sand and is perfect for sunbathing, picnicking, or simply taking a leisurely walk along the shore. The calm and clear waters make it ideal for swimming and snorkeling, allowing visitors to explore the vibrant underwater world of Kiribati.

Bairiki Beach

Located just a short distance from Betio, Bairiki Beach is another hidden gem of Kiribati. This secluded beach offers a peaceful and serene setting, away from the crowds. Visitors can enjoy the tranquility of the beach, soak up the sun, and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding turquoise waters.

Bonriki Beach

Bonriki Beach is a popular spot among both locals and tourists. This beach is known for its picturesque scenery and is often chosen as a venue for events and celebrations. Visitors can relax on the soft sand, swim in the calm waters, or enjoy water sports such as kayaking and paddleboarding.

Bikenibeu Beach

Bikenibeu Beach is located on the eastern side of Betio and is a favorite among surfers. The strong and consistent waves make it an ideal spot for experienced surfers to catch some waves. Even if you’re not into surfing, Bikenibeu Beach is still worth a visit to admire the stunning coastal landscape and enjoy a peaceful day by the ocean.

Ambo Beach

Ambo Beach is a hidden treasure in Betio that offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. The beach is surrounded by lush greenery and coconut palms, creating a serene and tropical atmosphere. Visitors can relax on the golden sand, take a refreshing swim in the calm waters, or simply enjoy the peaceful ambiance of this secluded beach.

Outer Islands

The Outer Islands of Kiribati are a collection of untouched and unexplored beaches that showcase the natural beauty of the Republic. These beaches offer visitors a wide range of recreational activities, from fishing to scuba diving, and even cultural experiences. With their pristine white sands stretching out as far as the eye can see, and the crystal-clear waters that are perfect for water sports, the Outer Islands Beach is truly a hidden paradise. It is no wonder that it consistently ranks among the top beaches in Kiribati.

Among the Outer Islands, Tabiteuea stands out as one of the must-visit destinations. This traditional hotspot offers visitors the chance to immerse themselves in the local culture while enjoying the beauty of its long stretch of coastline. The Outer Islands Beach is also known for its stunning sunrises and sunsets, where the sky comes alive with vibrant hues, creating a spectacle that shouldn’t be missed.

Whether you’re looking for a serene beach to relax and soak up the sun or an adventurous destination for water sports and exploration, the Outer Islands of Kiribati have it all. With their untouched beauty and abundance of recreational activities, these beaches are a true paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.

five birds flying on the sea

Why do people travel to Kiribati?

People travel to Kiribati for a variety of reasons, despite its remote location in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Here are some of the main reasons why this unique country attracts tourists from all over the world.

  1. Unspoiled natural beauty: Kiribati is home to stunning, untouched landscapes, including pristine white sandy beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and lush tropical vegetation. The country is made up of 33 atolls and islands, offering a paradise-like environment for those seeking tranquility and natural beauty.
  2. Fishing: Kiribati is renowned as one of the best fishing destinations in the world. Its abundant marine life and rich fishing grounds make it a haven for fishing enthusiasts. Whether it’s game fishing or fly fishing, the waters of Kiribati offer exciting opportunities to catch a wide range of fish species, including marlin, sailfish, tuna, and bonefish.
  1. Cultural immersion: Kiribati is home to a unique and vibrant culture. Visitors have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local way of life, experiencing traditional dance performances, music, and crafts. Staying in local accommodations allows tourists to interact with the friendly and welcoming Kiribati people, gaining a deeper understanding of their customs and traditions.
  2. Relaxation and rejuvenation: Kiribati’s laid-back atmosphere and serene surroundings make it an ideal destination for those seeking relaxation and a break from the fast-paced modern world. The absence of mass tourism means that visitors can enjoy the peace and tranquility of the islands, undisturbed by crowds and commercialization.
  3. Snorkeling and diving: While Kiribati may not be as well-known for snorkeling and diving as some other destinations, it still offers opportunities to explore its underwater wonders. The coral reefs surrounding the atolls are teeming with marine life, providing a fascinating and colorful underwater world to discover.
  4. Adventure and exploration: For the adventurous traveler, Kiribati offers unique opportunities for exploration. From exploring remote and uninhabited islands to embarking on boat trips to discover hidden lagoons and secret beaches, there is always something new and exciting to discover in this off-the-beaten-path destination.

Kiribati is also known for its warm and welcoming local community. Despite its remote location, the people of Kiribati are friendly, hospitable, and proud of their culture and traditions. Visitors to the country have the opportunity to experience the vibrant music, dance, and cuisine of Kiribati, immersing themselves in the local way of life.

Furthermore, Kiribati holds significance in the global dialogue on climate change. As one of the world’s most vulnerable nations to the effects of global warming, Kiribati has been actively participating in international diplomatic efforts relating to climate change. The country’s presence in conferences and organizations like the Alliance of Small Island States highlights the importance of addressing climate change and its impact on low-lying coastal and small island countries.

While Kiribati may not have the same level of fame as other tropical paradises like French Polynesia or Fiji Islands, its unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and cultural authenticity make it a truly remarkable destination. Whether it’s relaxing on pristine beaches, exploring underwater wonders, or connecting with the local community, Kiribati offers an unforgettable experience that sets it apart from other tourist destinations.

Impact of Climate Change

The low-lying island nation of Kiribati is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, including rising sea levels, increased storm surge, and coastal erosion. These effects pose significant challenges to the country’s natural resources, infrastructure, and, most importantly, the livelihoods and well-being of its population.

One of the most noticeable impacts of climate change in Kiribati is the rising sea levels. As the global temperature continues to rise, the polar ice caps are melting, causing seawater to expand and encroach upon the land. This phenomenon is particularly concerning for Kiribati, as the highest point in the country is only a few meters above sea level. The encroachment of seawater not only leads to the loss of habitable land but also contaminates freshwater sources, making them unfit for consumption.

Another consequence of climate change is the increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, such as storms and cyclones. These events can cause significant damage to infrastructure, including homes, schools, hospitals, and roads. Furthermore, they can disrupt essential services, such as electricity and water supply, and hinder access to healthcare, education, and other basic necessities.

Coastal erosion is another visible impact of climate change in Kiribati. As the sea levels rise, the waves and currents become more aggressive, eroding coastal areas and threatening the stability of the islands. This erosion not only diminishes available land for agriculture, housing, and other activities but also undermines the cultural heritage and identity tied to these islands.

The consequences of climate change in Kiribati extend beyond environmental and physical aspects. They also have significant social, economic, and psychological impacts on the population. The loss of land and infrastructure forces many Kiribati citizens to relocate, either within the country or abroad, in search of safer and more stable living conditions. This displacement disrupts communities and social networks, leading to the disintegration of traditional ways of life.

Economically, climate change poses challenges for Kiribati’s key industries, such as fishing and tourism. Changes in ocean temperatures and acidity levels can disrupt marine ecosystems, affecting fish stocks and coral reefs. Additionally, the loss of habitable land and the increasing frequency of extreme weather events can deter tourists from visiting the country, leading to a decline in revenue and job opportunities.

The psychological impact of climate change cannot be overlooked. The uncertainty and anxiety caused by the imminent threat of rising sea levels and the need to adapt or relocate can take a toll on the mental well-being of individuals and communities. The loss of ancestral land and cultural heritage further exacerbate these psychological effects, leading to a sense of grief and loss.

In response to these impacts, Kiribati, with the support of international organizations and donor countries, has implemented various adaptation measures. These include raising awareness of climate change and its effects, assessing and protecting available water resources, and managing inundation. However, given the magnitude of the challenges, it is crucial for the global community to continue supporting Kiribati in its efforts to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change.