One of the main things to do in Bali is of course snorkeling. Here is what you need to know about the best snorkeling in Bali.
Bali is famous for water sports of many kinds and when thinking of what is ideal for both single travelers, couples, families or groups, snorkeling is in the top 3.
The spots for best snorkeling in Bali are based on the different locations, each with its own advantages and disadvantages:
Nusa Penida / Manta Point
First on the list is of course Nusa Penida and its famous Manta Point. It is by far the highlight and the most popular snorkeling spot around Bali.
This is where we can swim up close and personal with the majestic Manta Rays, coming as close as within arm reach to these gentle giants. But the Manta Rays are just one of the perks of Nusa Penida, as the island is also home to the best most colorful coral reef the region has to offer.
In simple terms and without overselling, it is fair to say that the coral reefs on Nusa Penida’s north-west coast is perhaps some of the best coral you will ever see with very few other spots around the world able to compete.
On a standard snorkeling trip in Nusa Penida you would most definitely visit Manta Point as a first spot, Crystal Bay second and one of the drift dives where the coral is best: SD Point, PED or Mangrove.
Nusa Penida is only 45 minutes away by speed boat from Bali, which adds up to the many advantages the island has to offer.
Travelers choosing to go to Nusa Penida for snorkeling should be wary of the choppy ride and frequent waves in Nusa Penida. Sea sick tablets, dramamine or ginger tablets are highly recommended even for those who believe they are born on the ocean.
Second and most famous best snorkeling in Bali is definitely Padang Bai and mainly because it is easily accessible, coral reefs are beautiful and it provides diversity in tropical marine life. Snorkelers here can enjoy swimming with Turtles, seeing Moray Eels, Sea Snakes, Octopus and a variety of other pelagic fish.
From Sanur, Padang Bai is only 1 hour car trip away. In Padang Bai, snorkelers embark on a traditional spider boat called Jukung and adventure for a very short tide of 5-10 minutes at maximum.
Padang Bai has a total of 9 dive and snorkel spots, but without a doubt the most famous one is Blue Lagoon which is typically the first stop of the day.
Although it is missing the Manta Rays, snorkeling in Padang Bai is definitely the ideal location for a comfortable and easy day of activities in Bali.
Tulamben / USAT Liberty shipwreck
Third on the list is always going to be Tulamben. Here we can swim right on top of the historical USAT Liberty shipwreck which was torpedoed in 1942. Here snorkelers adventure off the shore to swim and freedive around the shipwreck.
Coral reefs are not ideal in Tulamben but snorkelers enjoy the diversity of marine life.
The disadvantage of Tulamben as a snorkeling spot in Bali is that it’s located on the island’s east coast which put’s it approxiamtely 2.5 hours car trip away from Sanur and even further away from Kuta, Seminyak or Nusa Dua.
Typically on this day it makes more sense to combine the snorkeling trip with a stop at the famous Lempuyang temple to maximize the reasons for traveling so far.
Amed is last on the list of best snorkeling in Bali. Located on Bali’s east coat just before Tulamben, the long car trip is it’s biggest disadvantage.
However, compared to Padang Bai and Tulamben, Amed is second in being home to the best coral reefs Bali has to offer.
It is the ideal location for a full day activity for couples, families and groups looking to fill up their day.