Pemuteran is home to the largest artificial Bio rock reef project in the world. Reefs are protected with no-fishing zones, for eco-tourism use only. Bomb and cyanide reef fishing is banned in Pemuteran Bay and reef is being regenerated by a unique process using electrical current. What’s great about Pemuteran is the fact that you can have some amazing snorkeling right offshore which is rare in Bali. We found it to be a great place to snorkel with kids as there is no current or waves. There are even PVC floats to rest.
One of Bali’s premier scuba diving and snorkeling spots is Menjangan Island. It is a part of West Bali National Park so as you can imagine the coral here is pretty well conserved and the water is clean. Fishing is not allowed and traditional maritime security force patrols are present around the island to enforce those restrictions.
It takes about 30 minutes by boat to reach Menjangan. The best time to dive or snorkel here is early in the morning when the water is at its clearest. It is ideal for beginners because the reef is found 2 meters below the surface and stretches itself out for 100-150 meters. The soft walls of coral around the island are almost vertical and reach into a depth of 35-60 meters.
If you like to go on a diving trip to Menjangan you can arrange an organized tour with dive operators from all the Pemuteran hotels. Your other option is to drive yourself to harbor (just 20 minutes west from Pemuteran) and hire a boat. There are many boats leaving daily from Labuhan Lalang harbor. The first boats to the island leave at 08.00 am and the last boat leaves at 02.00 pm for a four hour diving. Expect to pay between $75-$110 US pp. incl. two dives, 2x tanks, dive equipment, guide and transport.
TIP: be aware of tiny stinging jellyfish. They are harmless and stinging doesn’t last too long but you may want to wear wetsuit or long-sleeved rush guard to stay comfortable.
Although a lot has changed and reef might not be in the same pristine condition as 15 years ago we still consider it a great spot to snorkel and dive. If it is your first time here you will find it spectacular and breathtaking but for those of us that remember how it once was it is sad to see depletion of the sea life and shrinking biodiversity.
HOW TO GET THERE
Pemuteran is a quiet, low key village with plenty of accommodation options (prices are negotiable even in the middle of August). To get there you will need to rent a car and drive yourself like we did or pay for shuttle from the airport that will cost approximately $60 per car (max 4 ppl) one way and can be arranged by your hotel. It is a long ride (as mention on many sites 3-hour from Ngurah Rai International Airport) but in our experience around 5 hours. After spending several nights in a crowded and touristy part of Bali this was a nice change and well worth a trip.