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Bali is part of what’s known as the ‘coral triangle’, the most biodiverse hotspot for marine life in the world. You can bet what that means, lots of fantastic snorkelling amongst thriving coral life, various marine life, and huge schools of colourful fish. It’s one of the best snorkelling destinations in the world, with an endless number of snorkel sites to discover all over the island.
Here’s where you’ll find the best places to snorkel in Bali, from beaches for beginners and children to secluded snorkel locations for the pros
Where: Eastern Bali
Details: Amed is a long strip of coastline that encompasses 8 different villages. A quieter and more remote snorkel spot, this is the perfect place for snorkelers who want to avoid crowded beaches. Best of all, the sand in this area is mostly black due to its proximity to Mt. Agung, making everything look even more otherworldly. While you’re here, keep an eye out for the Japanese shipwreck in Lipah Bay.
El Nino has destroyed some of Amed’s harder corals, but there are still lots of beautiful soft corals to enjoy (as well as the hard corals in recovery).
Details: The world’s largest biorock artificial reef project is off the tourist trail – but attracts all the divers and snorkellers who know what’s good. Biorock is a cement-like structure that creates the perfect habitat for corals, clams, oysters, and other marine life. There’s so much to explore here, both in terms of structures and marine life, with the chance to swim amongst sea turtles, reef sharks, and even whale sharks if you’re very lucky.
If you can’t find the Biorock reefs, ask a local and they’ll easily be able to guide you to the area.
Where: West Bali National Park
Details: An uninhabited island that’s part of a nature conservation, it’s been said that this part of Bali may have more coral species than the entire Caribbean combined. How’s that for exceptional snorkeling? With clear, calm waters this spot perfect for beginner divers and home to the usual Bali sea life as well as rare turtles, reef sharks, barracudas, and more. Be sure to check out the Coral Garden, just 5m below the surface and covered with 1000s of anemones and clownfish.
To get here you’ll have to grab a boat here from the mainland, which can be a little pricey but well worth it.
To preserve the marine life of this island, only a certain number of divers are allowed each day.
Where: Southeast coast
Details: This is one of the best places to snorkel in Bali, for sure. You can grab a slow or fast boat from Sanur or Benoa to this beautiful small island where you can snorkel with barracudas, reef sharks, manta rays, and all different kinds of fish! Crystal clear waters make for great visibility, and the best spots to hit up on the island are Mangrove Point and Mushroom Bay.
We recommend a snorkel guide around the eastern part of Nusa Lembongan as the current can be a little strong,
You can also take your boat to nearby Nusa Penida, where you can spot manta rays from Manta Point.
Where: East Coast
Details: This small port town is a great family snorkel spot with three different beaches to explore, Blue Lagoon, Jepun, and Ferry Channel. The waters here are crystal-clear, shallow, and sandy. The coral reefs are beautiful and populated with sea and coral life, and advanced snorkellers can even explore a shipwreck a little bit out from shore.
The main beach at Padang Bai isn’t recommended for snorkelling as it’s usually lined with boats, stick to the ones mentioned above.
A short walk either east or west will land you at Blue Lagoon or Bias Tugel beaches, both great spots.
Details: This is easily one of the best snorkel sites in Asia. The USAT Liberty is a 125-metre long American warship that was torpedoed during World War 2, and you can find it just 25-metres offshore. It’s home to a huge variety of marine life and a blossoming coral garden where you’ll find sea fans, stingrays, garden eels, wrasse, batfish, damselfish, and more. The top of the ship is just 5m below water with the bottom extending down 30m.
There are lots of dive shops in and around the site that can guide you through the shipwreck.
Click here to find out when’s the best time to snorkel in Bali