Let’s go snorkeling in Bali!
You don’t need to be very experienced if you want to explore the underwater world of Bali.
On day trips out into the ocean, or right off the shore, anyone can snorkel in Bali. All you need is curiosity, courage and a little research!
With spots for first timers, advanced snorkelers and those who just want an adventure, here’s everything you need to know about snorkeling in the island of gods.
First Timers Snorkeling in Bali
In every corner of Bali you can find magnificent beaches and open seas, though not all of them are suitable for snorkeling.
The beaches in South Bali – Kuta, Jimbaran, Seminyak, Sanur and Nusa Dua – offer beautiful sandy beaches perfect for sun seekers, but has little in the way of snorkeling.
Beaches in Uluwatu, such as Padang Padang and Dreamland, are a surfers’ paradise with huge waves and currents. Again, these aren’t go-to spots for snorkeling in Bali.
When you want to throw on a mask and snorkel, go to the beaches on the East, Northeast and West sides of the island.
The sea is calm, and there are coral reefs near the shore in shallow waters with perfect conditions for exploring the underwater world!
Is this your first time snorkeling in Bali? Here are some additional tips:
- Search for boat rental companies that thinks of safety first – safety equipment, first-aid knowledge, and maintained boats. Check out previous user reviews before picking a company
- Take a sea sickness tablet before boarding if you have a weaker stomach – you don’t want to ruin your trip by feeling dizzy, or even throwing up
- Comfort is key – make sure your mask fit well so it won’t cause water to leak. It doesn’t have to be too tight. Try it on without the strap, then inhale through your nose – if it sticks, it fits
- Choose a snorkel with a purge valve – the water will automatically come out
- Spit on the mask or use baby shampoo – this will help avoid fogging up and missing the beauty!
- Pay attention to the guide when they explain about the snorkeling technique – kinda goes without saying, right?
- Wear your SPF – you are gonna be in the rays, don’t get burned! Choose an eco-friendly one too, as you are gonna be in and out of the water
- Protect your camera with a waterproof case – take home some amazing memories from your day of snorkeling in Bali
- Don’t touch or harm the animals or the reef – you are in their habitat, protect and respect it
- Please be good to the environment – don’t leave anything but good memories.
Best Snorkeling Spots in Bali
Not everyone is looking to challenge themselves and free-dive, some of us just want to paddle along and enjoy the pretty sights.
Here are some of the best spots in Bali for beginners to snorkel.
Blue Lagoon Padangbai
Padang Bai is a popular transit harbour for those visiting Lombok or the Gili Islands.
The area is also known for having a stunning Blue Lagoon!
It is a favorite spot for families and beginner snorkelers who want an easy underwater experience.
The water is very calm, you can head in with your gear right off the sand.
Underwater you may find cowfish, moorish idol, murray, turtles and even reef sharks!
This is a great spot for those also wanting to try out diving in Bali.
Virgin Beach was a hidden gem that not many tourists knew about.
With beautiful white sand, which is not common on the East and North coast of Bali, despite its rise in popularity, it is still relatively quiet.
Located just 20km from Padangbai, and 10 km from Candidasa, it is off the beaten track of regular ol’ tourists.
Coral reefs start about 5-10 meters from the beach with tropical fish, and even turtles if you’re lucky!
You can rent snorkeling equipment from the beachside shops, but we recommend bringing your own mask and snorkel for practical, and hygienic reasons.
The East of Bali offers an easy and fun experience for beginner snorkelers. The spots are calm, but still have some of the best underwater sights!
Tulamben is where the USAT Liberty sank in 1942. A famous spot for divers, it is also a must-go for snorkelers as you can still see the peak of the wreck from just 5m down.
When you’re snorkeling around Tulamben, don’t miss out on the Coral Garden!
Close by to the beach and Liberty wreck, it is filled with beautiful marine life. Expect to see live coral and lots of fish!
There are some incredibly unique creatures around, too. Keep your eyes peeled for ribbon eels, mimic octopus’, boxer crabs, ghost pipefish, seahorses, leaffish, garden eels, lion fish and harlequin shrimp.
Amed it probably the most recommended place if you are looking for a place to snorkel in Bali, as it has multiple spots that promise amazing underwater sights!
Looking to snorkel just steps from your room? Amed Beach has some beautiful beachfront bungalows where you can wake up and head straight into the water for some off-shore snorkeling.
This black sand beach is one of the most beautiful in Bali. The water is calm, clear and flourishing, perfect for snorkeling. Just meters from the shore, you can immerse in a diverse and colorful marine life.
At Lipah Beach there is a sunken WWII Japanese patrol boat to snorkel around. You can even see it from the surface on a clear day!
As part of the West Bali National Park, Menjangan Island is famous for its incredible underwater sights and beautiful coral reefs.
On the surface, it is home to rare animals like Menjangan deer. Underwater, it is a diver’s paradise for wall diving, and the best spot for beginner snorkelers.
Menjangan Island has a colorful underwater garden full of various types of fish, as well as rich marine life.
It is surrounded by coral reefs with drop offs as deep as 60 meters!
Rock formations form large and small caves that are home to coral reefs, soft corals, large groupers, and moray eels. In the small caves, the depths of the sea and calm currents are perfect for tuna, schools of jackfish, sea turtles, and even sharks.
Pemuteran Biorock used to be a fishing village. Now it is the location of the largest artificial reef project in the world!
Pemuteran Biorock project was started in 2000 by locals who wanted to rehabilitate the coral reefs.
It features iron trails that can be used as a tread for snorkelers and divers. The corals grow to follow the shape of the iron structure, supporting and encouraging the health and growth of the eco system.
The coral reefs look beautiful with vibrant colors and magnificent fish. The sea water around the biorock is so clear that sunlight can penetrate to the depths of the water.
Kelingking Cliff and Broken Beach are 2 of the most popular sights to see when touring Nusa Penida, at least above the water.
In the waters, the ocean currents are quite calm with great visibility for seeing all the underwater sights. You can see as far as 10 meters to 20 meters during the day, especially during the dry season.
There are 296 species of coral reefs, and 576 species of fish, including green turtles, Manta rays, rainbow eels, Mola-Mola and Coral Frogfish!
These are the best spots for beginners snorkeling in Nusa Penida;
Crystal Bay is one of the best places to see sunset on Nusa Penida.
The sea waters are super calm, as they are sandwiched between the islands of Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida, making it perfect for novice snorkelers.
You will be able to see some amazing sights under the shore, not far from the beach.
If you are lucky, you might be able to spot the elusive Mola-Mola fish, but the possibility is pretty small.
Swimming with Manta Rays is one of the main reasons tourists like to snorkel at Manta Point – obviously.
Although large in size, Manta Rays are tame fish, and will not move away when they see humans.
It is a boat ride away from the island, and you will need to be a strong swimmer.
Manta Point is much more popular with divers as it is pretty deep, however its definitely worth a short for snorkelers too!
Just across from Crystal Bay, Gamat Bay is for more advanced snorkelers.
With a walk down the cliffside to get to the beach, its great for an adventure day where you plan to spend the whole day on the sand, and exploring the water.
You will need to keep an eye out for the safe snorkeling areas, as the current can sometimes be too dangerous.
If you have any questions, just ask the lifeguard!
When is the Best Time to go Snorkeling in Bali?
Like any region with a tropical climate, Bali has hot and humid weather all year round. But there is also a rainy season.
Coming to Bali in the rainy season is not really recommended, especially if you want to sunbathe on the beach, surf or snorkel.
Not only will it rain a lot, but sea conditions get pretty unpredictable, and may be dangerous.
High waves and tides will make it difficult for you to snorkel. Many boats may not even operate.
The rainy season usually comes around October to March. We recommend visiting Bali around May, June and September.
For those wanting to try out snorkeling in Bali, you will have plenty of spots to give it a go and see some truly beautiful underwater sights.
Whether right off the shore or on an organized tour, Bali has SO MUCH to offer. On and off the shore!