written in collaboration with Laetitia (1 spots)
Pulau Menjangan is a small unspoilt island accessible only by boat. It is part of the Bali Barat National Park, and it is forbidden to spend the night there. The easiest option for visiting this spot is to go on a full-day excursion, on offer from many companies everywhere in Bali. Most excursions leave from Pemuteran, to the north of the island (from there, it takes an hour by boat to reach Pulau Menjangan). The price is about $80 per person for a day's excursion, including visits to several snorkeling spots and a lunch break.
You enter the water either from the beach or from the guide's boat. In the second case, follow the guide's instructions.
The spot to explore covers a wide area between the beach and the reef drop-off, about 150 to 200 yards apart. From the beach, you will cross a few dozen yards of sandy sea bed and rock (↕3-6ft/1-2 m), then sea bed covered with soft coral (↕3-10ft/1-3 m) as far as the reef drop-off.
Although there are interesting things to see in the coastal bench (batfish, giant clams and blue starfish living in the rocky crevices), the spectacle takes on another dimension when you get closer to the reef drop-off. Here, the sea bed is exceptional: thick shoals of green chromis and sergeant majors move around the coral beds, while parrotfish, butterflyfish and Java spinefoot, with spectacular colours, come and go on the reef drop-off. This spot is particularly rich in soft coral (sarcophyton, xenia, etc.). Several species of angelfish, including sixbar angelfish and royal angelfish are easy to see. Try to find a sea anemone between the rocks: most of them contain ocellaris clownfish, better known to children as "Nemo". In the deep blue of the reef drop-off, you may also have the chance to see a green sea turtle or hawksbill sea turtle, although they are shy.
Reef drop-off at Pulau Menjangan
Pulau Menjangan is something of an exception in Bali. The reef drop-off is exceptionally well preserved and has underwater life of an unmatched richness. Blast fishing and human pressure in general have led to reefs being damaged everywhere else.
This is one of the most popular spots near Bali. A large number of boats and guided tours stop here. Watch out for other people when you are in the water.
Restaurants & accommodation
Pulau Menjangan is a natural site. There are no hotels or restaurants, but most excursions include meals. Ask your tour guide for details, and at least take along a snack and something to drink.