The best places for snorkelling in Bali are readily accessible; you only need to hit the seaside, don a mask, a snorkel and fins, and head into the water to enjoy beautiful underwater gardens teeming with tropical marine life. Besides being blessed with world-class surf breaks, Bali also has several beaches that feature natural wave barriers, which make for calm waters apt for this activity. We’ve shortlisted some of Bali’s best beaches that allow you to snorkel with ease.
As Bali’s most exclusive resort area, Nusa Dua’s beaches are generally quiet and well-kept. The waters along this south-eastern coastline are calm, thanks to the long-stretching Nusa Dua reef breaking the otherwise big swells that constantly surge in from the open sea. Between the two focal ‘twin island’ landmark is a bay with blue waters, a favourite spot for swimming and snorkelling. Further south is Geger Beach, in front of the St. Regis Bali and the Mulia Resort, with white grainy sand gently slanting into a vast natural blue pool.
Menjangan Island and Pemuteran
In stark contrast to the large waves that are common to the island’s southern coasts, Bali’s northern beaches feature a more tranquil seascape. Menjangan Island is right at the north-western tip of the West Bali National Park, with its coasts featuring shallow waters and great visibility. Under the surface are thriving coral gardens and great tropical marine habitats. Great retreats such as The Menjangan and Shorea Beach Resort offer guests activities amongst nature. Three kilometres east from Menjangan is Pemuteran, with surrounding waters home to a bio-rock coral reef project and several pearl farms.
The nearest offshore escape off the Bali mainland is Nusa Lembongan, only a 45-minute boat transfer southeast from the Sanur Beach or Benoa Harbour. The calm waters around Lembongan and its sister island, Ceningan, are the tending fields of local fishermen and seaweed farmers. Almost all of its western beaches – particularly the so-called Mushroom Bay and Dream Beach – are great for snorkelling. On its other coasts, low tide reveals pools that are also enticing, with fish trapped between coral gardens. Some of Nusa Lembongan’s beaches get no deeper than a metre during high tide, and visibility is great year round.
Amed and Tulamben
Bali snorkelling tips
Bali’s tropical sunshine can be strong, even as you spend your time (and lose a sense of time) in the water. Long sleeve rash guards or wetsuits are recommended, as is a minimum SPF 30 waterproof sunblock. Some sites such as Padangbai have high watercraft traffic – extra caution must be taken when snorkelling far out from the shore. Be considerate about the environment and try to cause minimum impact – take only pictures and try not to touch or tread on the corals. Jukung charters can be arranged right on the beach. However snorkelling trips are best arranged through your concierge for safety concerns and to avoid extortion.
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