Best snorkeling spots in Bali from shore

Bali offers stunning sights ashore, as well as under water. There is a marvelous and whole new, colourful world to explore underwater. Let's dive into it!

Snorkelling in Bali: Explore the underwater world of Bali

All spots listed in this article are easy to reach from the coast of Bali. Simply pack your mask, get on your scooter and explore Bali’s beautiful underwater world. Greet the fish, admire shipwrecks and get enchanted by this breath-taking world.

Snorkeling spots in Bali are for everybody: From beginner to advanced, free diver and scuba divers. Even beach potatoes will enjoy theirselves while their stay at these snorkelling spots in Bali. The spots directly at a great beach accessible from shore! What are you waiting for? Find the best spot for snorkeling in Bali!

Snorkeling Spots in Bali

  1. Bali Rocks, coral planting farm in Pemuteran
  2. USS Liberty Shipwreck, Tulamben
  3. Jemeluk Bay & under water temple, Jemeluk, Karangasem
  4. Coral Garden, Karangasem
  5. Japanese Shipwreck, Lipah Bay
  6. Virgin Beach, Karangasem

First time snorkeling in Bali? The most important tipps before you get started

In case you bring your own mask, you can put tooth paste on them overnight and clean it up again the next day, before snorkeling. If you rent some, simply spit into the mask and spread. Before you put the mask on again, wash it throughly. You find that disgusting? Baby shampoo or shower gel do the same job. But pay attention: you have to wash it all out, otherwise your eyes will burn!

current, swell, rain, wind, trash

It’s best to ask the locals about the flow pattern. ‘Arus die mana?’ which means ‘Where is the current?’. Tipp: if you notice a change in temperature on the surface of the water, you most likely find yourself right into a current.

Obviously, the view is not as good as normally, depending on the force of the rain. Despite that, you are able to see underwater when diving a little bit deeper.

Better let your your credit cards and passport at your accommodation. Ask in a local Warung at your spot, if they take your bags. Also, just ask other people on the beach to keep an eye on your tings.

Masks, snorkels and fins are available for rental at every spot. Other than that, just ask at your guesthouse or simply bring your own snorkeling equipment.

There are two easy tricks: Put the mask onto your face and breathe through your nose. Does it keep tight? In case the answer is yes, it fits. Put one fin on and lift your heel. Does it stick to your foot? In case it doesn’t, the fins are too large.

 

 

 

Besides sunscreen you should also wear a rashguard. Due to sun reflection in the water you can easily get sun burnt while snorkeling, as the sun is even stronger.

The easiest way is to fix the snorkle onto your mask and then you put the mask around your neck. Keep waiting till the wave sequence is is weak. Let the waves fade and then let’s go! Take your flippers in your hands and enter the water. Better don’t do that with the flippers on, it will probably go wrong. Start to swim a little bit in order to not be catched by the breakers. Now you are ready to put on your flippers and your mask.

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1. Snorkeling Spot Bali: Bio Rocks, Coral Breeding Farm, Pemuteran

Level: Beginner and advanced

Suitable for: Snorkeling and free diving

Depth: 4- 15 metres

Current: none up to weak

Location: Park here (view map) and then just walk to the Bio Rocks office, where you get all information needed.

Entry Point: You can enter wherever you want, but it is recommended to follow the route in order to see it completely. At the beach, you will find an entry sign. Approximately here: -8.142883, 114.654254.

Distance to the beach: 0 – 50 metres to the beach cottage

History: You can admire ‘Bio Rocks’ since the year 2000 – the biggest coral breeding programme in the world with the length of 300 metres and the size of two hectars in total. There are many difficulties maintaining this project. El Niño, Global Warming and many further factors involved make its maintenance to a real challenge.

What to expect: Fish, corals, swimming houses – basically everything you could wish for. Especially the underwater sculptures are lovely: different writings such as ‘Banana’ and ‘I love you’, a mermaid, a tepee und much more are waiting for you! You definitely have to climb up the cottage on the surface of the water – the view up to the mountains is breath-taking. Sunset from this spot is priceless as well!

Accomodation tipp: Mango Tree Inn (Harvest mangos and enjoy the view over the mountaintop on the rooftop!)

2. Snorkeling Bali: USS Liberty Shipwreck, Tulamben

Level: Advanced

Suitable for: Snorkeling and free diving

Depth: 5 – 40 metres

Current: Medium – intense, mostly from east to west, Note: pay attention to your point of reference

Location: There are two ways to reach the spot. The most popular one (orange arrow, see below) is passing the street to the diving terminal resort. Follow the street and go up to there (-8.275897, 115.59254). A further and even better way is to pass ‘The Toya Villas and Resort’ Bali. Choosing this one, you can enter the water more easily and you don’t come across as many stones. You can park at the resort nextdoor and then just go along the promenade. At its end there is a small Warung, where you can leave your stuff and jump into the water (green arrow, see below).

Entry Point/Distance to the beach: It is a bit tricky to find the shipwreck from both locations. At first, keep watching the water. You will see an unevenness, that’s the most shallow spot of the wreck (approx. four metres, depending on high or low tide). Better keep in mind how to get there, you won’t see this point anymore once you’re in the ocean. If so, watch out for a grey cottage (see yellow circle in the picture above). You can find the bow of the wreck (most shallow spot) directly in front of the cottage (yellow circle). You have to swim approx. 50 metres towards open water. While snorkeling, all you can see will be the blue colour of the ocean around you. Don’t worry, you will spot the shipwreck soon!

History: USS Liberty Shipwreck is one of the most popular and most famous diving and snorkeling spots in Bali. No wonder! Its length of 125 metres is impressive. The wreck once was a supply ship and was sabotaged in 1942 by a japanese submarine. After that, they tried to take it to Singaraja in the north of Bali. However, the force of the water was too strong. That’s why they left it in Tulamben at the beach. While the eruption of vulcano agung in 1963, the shipwreck slided into the ocean.

What to expect: The wreck on its own is breath-taking. Decay separated it in several pieces, long time ago. While snorkeling, you will see the bow of the ship and a great variety of fish and corals. Free divers will be able to see some railway lines, to take a look at its cargo hold and to explore the so called ‘swim throughs’. But better explore the latter in the course of a free diving lesson, the teachers will know where these hide exactly. It can get pretty dangerous to explore the swim throughs on your own. As there are many other people underwater, you can get stuck easily. Look out for corals, small crustaceans, pymies sea horses, ghost pipefish, mola-mola Peter’s fish and parrot fish. Towards east, you will spot a small platform. You ask yourself what it is? It’s a platform for free divers (depth 100 metres and more). That’s where professionals train and break world records.

Accomodation tipp: Homestay Sea Hua Ha Ha Homestay (always open for some fun, located in nature and really cosy), Secret Garden Bungalows (relax and unwind, with a stunning view over Mount Agung)

3. Snorkeling Bali: Jemeluk Bay & Underwater Temples, Jemeluk, Karangasem

Level: Beginner

Suitable for: Snorkeling, free diving

Current: none up to weak

Location: Drive to the official parking area (coordinates: -8.338564, 115.661012). You have to pay 10.000 IDR per person for entrance here. The locals claim to keep the beach and the ocean clean with that. If that’s really true, you should pay without any worries!

Entry point: This (coordinates: -8.338564, 115.661012) is a great spot to start swimming to the underwater temple. Watch out for a black buoy, which is fixed at the temple. If you’re not sure which one is the right buoy, just ask the locals.

Distance to the beach: The temple is approx. 30 metres away from the beach

What to expect: Jemeluk bay offers so much more than just the underwater temple. By the way, if you take a closer look you will recognize that it is a letter box, actually. In the east of the temple you will find great corals, shoals of fish, sponges und much more. Let yourself be surprised! The bay is huge – being in the water for severals hours is not a big deal at this spot!

4. Snorkeling Bali: Coral Garden, Karangasem

Level: Beginner

Suitable for: Snorkeling

Depth: 1 – 10 metres

Current: none up to weak

Location: It’s best to park in front of Pondok Beach Vienna Homestay. Afterwards, you can relax duing a massage on one of the loungers of the restaurants nearby and enjoy some freshly pessed juices!

Entry point: You can find it directly in front of Pondok Vienna Beach Homestay (coordinates: -8.351192, 115.684597). Use the blue umbrellas as a point of reference when you’re in the ocean.

Distance to the beach: 0 – 50 metres, you can find a tree onto the cliff on the right. You can use this one as point of reference, too.

What to expect: You can snorkle until the end of the bay. But the most beautiful spots are in the east of it. Be amazed by colorful corals, shoals of fish, sea whips and sponges. You can find a second spot at the same place here (street you want to turn: -8.349944, 115.681171). The entry is located in front of Warung Indah. Same rules apply for this route!

5. Snorkeling Bali: Japanese Shipwreck, Lipah Bay

Level: Beginner, Advanced

Suitable for: Snorkeling, free diving

Depth: 6 – 12 metres, with entry to even deeper spots

Current: weak (depends on season)

Distance to the beach: approx. 30 metres

Location: The parking area is right in the turn of the bay (coordinates: -8.364233, 115.699732). Just descend the stairs to get to the spot.

Entry point: It’s best to start in front of the Beachside Cafe (cordinates: -8.364368, 115.700152). Swim until you reach the black buoy right before Kawi karma Beach Cottages and restaurants. You’re not sure where to go? Ask the locals!

History: There are few details about the wreck, unfortunately. You don’t even know if it’s really a japanese one. Only the fact that people found a japanese toilet on board, made everbody believe it’s from Japan.

What to expect: You can already spot the shipwreck, once you have arrived at the buoy. It starts just one metre upon the surface of the water, depending on the water line. The wreck is burried with sand with an depth of twelve metres. You can still see the propeller! However, you have to look quite close because it’s vegetated. Dive a bit deeper, look through the windows and be amazed my the orange shoals of fish! Look foward to sea feathers, sponges and an overall colorful world of fish!

Accomodation tipp: Pondok Vienna Beach (wake up and let’s go snorkeling in the ocean), Meditasi Bungalow (watch the sunset n a bamboo hut, practice yoga and listen to the stories of ‘Smiling Buddha’).

6. Snorkeling Bali: Virgin beach, Karangasem, Bali

Level: Beginner, Advanced

Suitable for: Snorkeling (Free diver: watch out for the current!)

Current: 3 – 10 metres (huge bay full of quiet areas, however currents are present)

Location: Virgin beach (coordinates: -8.472458, 115.629227). Virgin beach is a paradise. White sand, blue water and silence! The beach is perfect for snorkeling, relaxing or for going for a walk in the palm forest. Have a chit chat with the locals, enjoy a coconut and take a look at cacti growing on the cliffs.

Distance to the beach: The reeve starts after 15 metres, already. You will be able to snorkle the bay from head to toe. Stay on the eastern side – currents are stronger in the west.

Entry Point: This is the most popular spot (coordinates: -8.499990, 115.611131). From there, you can  walk straight into the ocean and start swimming.

What to expect: Colorful corals, shoals of fish, sea feathers, sponges

Accomodation tipp: Pondok Alam Bukit (somewhere in the nowhere, midst rice fields), Bukit Asah Cliff Camping (on the cliffs, with ocean view and campfire spot).

Snorkeling Bali: Tons of trash in the ocean!

Plastic and trash is not just a problem of Indonesia’s beaches. You will see loads of rubbish in the water as well – sometimes more, sometimes less! The amount depends on the season, the current and the tides. You’re welcome to collect some trash while staying at the beach. Every day a good deed! Every single deed counts!

Snorkeling Bali: Conclusion

Decisions are tough when it comes to choosing one out of these six amazingly beautiful snorkeling spots in Bali. We recommend you to explore the Japanese Shipwreck or Jemeluk Bay, if you plan to go snorkeling with friends that are unexperienced regarding water depth. The coral breeding project Bio Rocks is great for spending several hours in the ocean. Maybe a good idea for one of these relaxed days with much free time. And could it get any better than taking a break or even watching the sunset in a cottage amongst the ocean?

Priceless.

More things you need to know

You are totally hocked about Snorkelling? Simply check out more spots! 

You want to go a bit deeper? Learn Scuba Diving in Padang Bai! 

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There are several options for getting around in Bali. You can either rent a scooter yourself or you can simply hire a driver bringing you around. We recommend to rent a motorbike in quiet areas to travel around for short distances. In the busy areas as well as long distance trips I highly recommend you to take a driver. We also offer transportation services, you can simply book a HSH Ride with our reliable drivers! Here are some more details about this topic:

Taxis, Drivers, Scooters in Bali: How to get around?

Scooter Driving in Bali – Survival Tips

Where to rent a scooter in Bali

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