Let’s Get Wet: The Adventure Lover’s Guide To Bali
Incorporating a bit of adventure into your Bali holiday is easy. With choices for the relaxed experience seeker through to the certified adrenaline junkie. Are water sports or dry land fun your Indonesia adventure of choice? We have created the perfect guide to please your more adventurous side. In the first of our Bali adventure guide series, we look at the best water-based activities Bali has to offer.
Bali has some of the best snorkelling in the world due to its diverse marine life. Think you have to go diving to see turtles and mantas? Think again! You will even be lucky enough to experience snorkelling over a WWII shipwreck. The perfect beginner Bali adventure! Let us share with you the best of Bali snorkelling!
USAT Liberty Wreck, Tulamben – North East Bali
A short drive from Amed, you will find the small coastal town of Tulamben, home to the USAT Liberty Wreck. The top of the wreck sits only 5 metres below the surface, so a lot of the huge 125m long wreck can be seen by snorkellers. Over time the wreck has become an artificial reef with fish and vibrant corals making it their home.
Photo Credit: Birdmi
Manta Point, Nusa Penida – South Bali
Every diver’s dream is to experience swimming with the magnificent manta ray. But, they are not only exclusive to divers. Snorkelers can see these majestic creatures on an island only 30 minutes by fast boat from mainland Bali. Manta Point is the only place in Bali to swim with these amazing creatures.
Mantas swim closer to the surface to be cleaned by fish on the coral cleaning stations. They are also very curious and friendly and will generally swim very close to you. But like all marine animals, as much as you might want to, please don’t touch. Nusa Penida is definitely one of our favourite Bali adventure playgrounds.
Coral Garden, Menjangan Island – North West Bali
Menjangan Island is the place to be if you want to snorkel with turtles. Found on the far north-west of Bali, it is not frequented by visitors as much as other sites around the island. This coral garden has thousands of anemones, the home of the clownfish (Nemo). If you look out into the abyss you might also be lucky enough to see some reef sharks and eagle rays. Sometimes elusive, make sure to ask the guides if they have spotted turtles recently. But it is still your best chance to see wild turtles in Bali.
Photo Credit: Villa Bossi Bali
White Water Rafting
There are 3 main rivers used for rafting in Bali – Ayung River, Telaga Waja River and Melangit River.
We have highlighted the two most popular. One for beginner adventure lovers and one for the more advanced. Whichever you choose, you will experience some very beautiful scenery along the way.
Ayung River, Ubud – South Bali
Photo Credit: Villa Bossi Bali
Ayung River is the most popular. With a rafting route of 10km, you will get 1.5 – 2 hours of rafting fun. Being located in Ubud it is easy to access regardless of where in Bali you are staying. This is the most suitable for beginners with rapid class II – III. You will pass by some incredible jungle and stone carvings on the river walls.
Telaga Waja River, Karangasem – East Bali
Telaga Waja is a further drive from South Bali, but is the choice for rafting enthusiasts. With a length of 16km, you will need 2.5 hours to complete this rafting course. More tailored to advanced rafters, the rapid class here is II – IV.
Classed as an extreme sport, kite surfing is definitely one for the adrenaline junkie. Combining elements of surfing, wakeboarding and paragliding, it will get your heart racing while enjoying a different view of Bali’s beaches. Our picks for the best places for kitesurfing? For beginners check out Mertasari Beach and down to Tanjung Benoa and Nusa Dua. For the more advanced head straight to Canggu to practice your aerials. The epitome of an extreme Bali adventure.
Photo Credit: Fabulous Ubud
Freediving has been described by many as a form of meditation and is very popular among the yoga crowd. Advanced breath control techniques will have you immersed tank-free in the underwater world up to 20 metres deep after your first course.
Becoming more popular, freediving had to make our Bali adventure lovers guide list.
Jemeluk Bay, Amed – North East Bali
Another favourite site in Amed is Jemeluk Bay. You even can freedive straight from the beach. Beginner divers will be able to explore a Japanese shipwreck and sunken mermaid statues. Many creatures call Jemeluk home. You might see lobsters, anemone, clownfish, blue-spotted rays, lionfish and black-tip reef sharks. Animal adventure awaits.
Photo Credit: Liquid Life
Nusa Penida – South Bali
Nusa Penida has many sites perfect for freediving. Choose Manta Point or Manta Bay if you want to freedive with mantas and Crystal Bay or Gammat Bay if you are looking for beautiful corals. You can access the latter two from the shore as well as boat. One of our top picks for adventure in Bali.
Located in the Coral Triangle, Indonesia claims to have some of the best dive sites in the world. You may have heard of Komodo and Raja Ampat. But you don’t have to venture far to find some amazing dive sites right here in Bali. So it was only fitting that we added it to our adventure lovers guide.
With beginner to advanced and depths of 18 metres to 30 metres, there is a perfect site for everyone. Many scuba centres offer Discovery Dives for beginners, so you don’t have to commit to a full scuba certification course to be able to experience some of Bali’s best diving.
Nusa Penida – South Bali
Photo Credit: Spot My Dive
Have you been lucky enough to dive with mantas? What about the incredible mola mola (sunfish)? Nusa Penida is the only place in Bali graced with these incredible creatures. But only during mola season which runs from August to October.
Head straight to Crystal Bay to spot these amazing animals! Travelling outside of these times? There are still a lot of underwater creatures to be found here. Silver tip and grey reef sharks, hawksbill turtles, lionfish and giant moray eels, anemones and the ever colourful nudibranchs. Be careful touching the reef as scorpionfish also live here.
Another drawcard is the drift dives over beautiful corals. We recommend only experienced divers try this due to strong and unpredictable currents. Most definitely an adventure lovers favourite place!
Amed – North East Bali
We have to include Amed in our favourite dive sites. There are many options for diving here from beginners to advanced. You will also have incredible views of Mount Agung. We recommend staying for a few days to get the most from your Amed experience.
With wall diving, wreck diving, muck diving, macro diving and reef diving, there is a dive site here for everyone! And with little to no currents, it is perfect for beginner divers to the more advanced. Head to Lipah Bay to dive the Japanese wreck surrounded by incredible reef.
Photo Credit: Bali Tours And More
Menjangan Island – North West Bali
Have you ever experienced wall diving? Menjangan is known worldwide as having one of the best wall dives. Always a favourite of advanced divers with the opportunity to dive down to 30 metres. The wall at Menjangan is now home to some amazing gorgonian sea fans and the reef houses vibrant soft and hard corals.
Beginners will also have fun here with visibility of up to 50 metres and a light current. If you are lucky, you might even spot blacktip and whitetip reef sharks and manta rays at certain times of the year. We recommend diving in April to October to avoid monsoon season but the best visibility is in October and November.
What is the best Bali adventure you have experienced? Let us know what your favourites are!! And keep an eye out for the next blog in the series, The Dry Approach: The Adventure Lover’s Guide To Bali.
Written by: Angela Rogers