The Greatest Snorkeling Guide to Bali's Underwater Wonderland

11 May 2024

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You might be planning a trip straight to Bali, in Thailand, deciding where to go on your next visa run, or wondering where the best snorkeling is in Bali before you hop over to Thailand (make sure Koh Phangan is in your itinerary; it's a place you will be thrilled to have visited!). Whichever your case may be, this snorkeling guide is made to ensure you make the greatest snorkeling memories possible to keep in your thoughts forever.

Bali, nicknamed the "island of the gods," attracts tourists with its beautiful scenery, fascinating culture, and spectacular underwater world, perfect for snorkelers. The coral reefs and marine life off the coast provide a spectacular snorkeling adventure. In this detailed guide, we'll lead you to the best snorkeling places around the island, fill you in on essential details about this fun and calming water sport, and give you some pointers to making the most of your time undersea. 


Best Snorkeling Seasons

Bali offers great snorkeling conditions throughout the year, but the best time to snorkel depends on the region:

April to November: This period, known as the dry season, provides excellent visibility and calm waters, making it ideal for snorkeling in Bali's eastern and northern regions, such as Amed, Tulamben, and Nusa Penida.

December to March: During the wet season, Bali's western regions, including Menjangan Island and Pemuteran, offer fantastic snorkeling opportunities. Although visibility may vary, the water temperature remains warm, and marine life thrives.

Top Snorkeling Spots in Bali

Bali is home to numerous snorkeling sites that boast vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine ecosystems. Here are some must-visit locations:

Blue Lagoon (Padangbai)

Located on Bali's east coast, Blue Lagoon offers calm and clear waters teeming with colorful coral formations and a variety of marine life, including clownfish, parrotfish, and angelfish.

Menjangan Island

Situated in West Bali National Park, Menjangan Island is renowned for its crystal-clear waters, pristine coral gardens, and abundant marine biodiversity. Snorkelers can encounter reef sharks, sea turtles, and schools of tropical fish.

Nusa Lembongan

This neighboring island of Bali offers spectacular snorkeling opportunities. Explore the stunning mangrove forests, encounter playful manta rays, and swim alongside vibrant coral reefs.


Amed's black sand beaches are a gateway to an underwater paradise. Snorkelers can explore Japanese Shipwreck, a sunken World War II vessel, and encounter a variety of marine species, including lionfish and moray eels.

Nusa Penida

Known for its rich marine life, Nusa Penida boasts snorkeling sites like Crystal Bay, where you may spot the elusive Mola-Mola (sunfish), and Manta Point, a haven for encountering graceful manta rays.


Snorkeling Tips and Safety

To ensure a safe and enjoyable snorkeling experience in Bali, keep these tips in mind:

  • Choose a well-fitting snorkel mask and snorkel to ensure a comfortable and watertight seal.
  • Practice snorkeling techniques in shallow waters before venturing into deeper areas.
  • Apply reef-safe sunscreen to protect both your skin and the fragile coral reefs.
  • Swim with a buddy and stay within designated snorkeling areas.
  • Respect marine life and refrain from touching or harassing underwater creatures.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and watch out for boat traffic.


Snorkeling Equipment

While snorkeling gear can be rented from various dive shops and beachfront establishments in Bali, having your own equipment can enhance your snorkeling experience. Essential gear includes a snorkel mask, snorkel, and fins. Consider investing in a high-quality mask that provides a clear field of vision and a comfortable fit.


Snorkeling Tours and Excursions

For those seeking a hassle-free snorkeling experience, Bali offers a range of snorkeling tours and excursions. These guided trips provide transportation, snorkeling equipment, and the expertise of local guides who can take you to the best snorkeling spots while ensuring your safety and enjoyment. Some tour options include snorkeling trips to Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan, or day trips to the stunning Gili Islands.


Popular Snorkeling Tours Around Bali

Full-Day Snorkeling Trip to Nusa Penida & Manta Point

This excursion will show you why Nusa Penida is considered one of the world's finest places to go snorkeling and observe marine wildlife. There's a high chance you'll see mola mola (ocean sunfish) and enormous manta rays on Indonesia's best drift dives. 

After boarding the boat at Sanur Beach, Bali, Indonesia, you will first go to Manta Point on Nusa Penida, beginning your snorkeling adventure. Manta rays are magnificent creatures, reaching lengths of up to six meters.

Next, they'll give you and the group a moment to relax on the boat or enjoy the refreshing ocean waters. This rest is essential as your body needs a moment to recover between snorkeling sessions. An excellent lunch will be provided as you cruise to the next destination. You will pass the rest of the evening admiring its vibrant underwater environment before boating back to Nusa Penida Island. 

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Lempuyang Temple with Blue Lagoon Snorkeling Lunch Private Tour

If a private trip to Lempuyang Temple and the Blue Lagoon in Ubud that includes admission tickets and lunch sounds appealing, this trip could be perfect. On this comfortable, private door-to-door journey, you will visit the Lempuyang Temple, home to the Instagram-famous Gates of Heaven, and the Blue Lagoon, which has some of mainland Bali's most extraordinary snorkeling. The guide will ensure you get to the temple early in the morning for optimal photo opportunities. After that, you'll head to Blue Lagoon and Tanjung Jepun for snorkeling, accompanied by a personal guide that knows many splendid things about the marine environment you'll be exploring together. Lastly, you'll get the rare chance to observe the Balinese coffee-making process at a plantation before being dropped off at your accommodation.  

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Snorkeling, Canyoning, and Waterfall Day Trip on East Bali

Take a daytime drive in an air-conditioned automobile and embrace the beautiful scenery and beaches. Explore the Beji Guwang Hidden Canyon, swim in the clear waters of Tegenungan Waterfall, and snorkel among schools of tropical fish in Blue Lagoon. 

After being picked up, you'll travel to the snorkeling hotspots of Tanjung Jepun and Blue Lagoon with a knowledgeable guide. Stay alert for reef sharks, sea turtles, lionfish, and squid as you glide above the colorful coral reefs.

The Tegenungan Waterfall is close to Ubud and is well worth a visit. Visit the waterfall up close, swim in the pool below it, and escape the tropical heat before going to Sukawati's secret canyon.

Get to the Beji Guwang Hidden Canyon, whose towering cliffs the water has sculpted for centuries. Take a hike down to the river and then dive right in. On the way back to your hotel, you can relax after a long day of sightseeing.

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Nusa Dua: Underwater Sea Walking Experience

You can explore the ocean floor without getting wet. If you're not a strong swimmer and are hesitant to dive, Sea Walker is the perfect soft dive equipment. Putting on a transparent visor helmet and diving into Bali's spectacular marine life with an expert guide is a breeze.

You will be picked up from the beach and driven to the pontoon within three minutes, giving you plenty of time to change into your swimwear. Straight ahead, you'll encounter wild fish as you descend the stairs to the ocean floor.

The guides will stay close by at all times. Just unwind and enjoy being in such proximity to nature. Discover marine life up close and personal with a specially designed helmet that allows you to breathe normally and accommodates your glasses or contact lenses. In the ocean, you will get 15 minutes to explore and interact with fish in their natural environment. Upon completion of the event, you will have access to shower facilities where you can clean up, change out of your wet attire, and get ready to depart.

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Private 3-Day Gili Islands Tour with Snorkeling Departing from Bali

The Gili Islands (Air, Meno, and Trawangan) are lovely destinations between Bali and Lombok. These tiny coral territories exude the authentic ambience of a tropical island and are welcome refuges from the mainland's rush and congestion. This three-day, two-night trip takes you to two of them, where there are no vehicles; there is nothing but the pure ocean breeze, offering repose, rejuvenation, and an unforgettable experience.

On day one, you'll be picked up from your Bali hotel and transferred to the dock, where you'll board a speedboat for the short ride to Gili Trawangan. Enjoy the stunning views of Mount Agung and the ocean as you travel. During your stay, you can spend the day lounging by the pool, swimming in the ocean, or exploring the island's coast on a bicycle. Sunsets at one of the beach clubs are a sight to behold and shouldn't be missed.

On day two, you'll take a private snorkeling tour to Gili Air, a smaller and less crowded sister island to Gili Trawangan. The three-hour snorkeling tour will take you to several spectacular locations with stunning coral reefs and abundant, vibrant aquatic life. The highlight of your trip will be swimming alongside colossal sea turtles. You can while away the rest of the day doing anything you please at another island resort, be it drinking drinks, swimming, or sunbathing.

Day three requires an early start to witness the breathtaking dawn over Gili Air. The first few hours of your final morning on the Gili Islands are best spent sleeping in and listening to the waves. Before leaving these stunning islands, you can end your trip with one last dip in the turquoise water, eat breakfast in peace, and then head out to sea. You'll take a shuttle back to your accommodation on the mainland of Bali after disembarking from the speedboat.

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Ubud ATV and Padangbai Snorkeling Tour with Transfer

Start your day off with This tour combines two of the most popular tourist destinations in Bali's eastern sea with a thrilling land-and-sea adventure: a ride on a quad bike ATV and a snorkeling safari.

Your guide will pick you up from your accommodation in Ubud and transport you to Silakarang, a town on the outskirts of Ubud, for your ATV adventure. Explore the village of Ubud, rice paddies, rivers, forests, and muddy tracks on a 250-cc 4-wheel ATV for an exciting 1.5-hour sightseeing excursion. Get cleaned up, and then feast on an authentic Indonesian meal.

After lunch, you'll travel on a snorkeling safari to some of the best snorkeling spots in the area, including Blue Lagoon Beach and Tanjung Jepun.

Spend two hours taking in the sights at both locations. The combination of the gentle waves and the opportunity to observe such marine life as cowfish, coral reefs against a backdrop of volcanic sand, turtles in their natural home, and the world-famous Nemo hiding among the seaweed is a truly unforgettable experience. After the tour, you'll be driven back to your hotel to relax and continue enjoying your day.

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Nusa Penida by Private Boat - Snorkeling 4 spots, Swim with Mantas + Land Tour

Many so-called "private" Penida Island tours incorporate transfers by public fast boat. This excursion takes you on a comfortable, genuinely private boat for you and your companions alone.

The trip includes:

  • Swimming with giant manta rays.
  • Snorkelling brilliant coral.
  • Seeing vibrant fish.
  • Enjoying a complimentary lunch, water, towels and snorkeling equipment.

Choose between a snorkeling-only tour and a full day of island exploration, during which you'll see Kelingking Beach, Broken Beach (Pasih Uug Beach), and Angel's Billabong. If you go for the guided snorkeling trip, it includes free underwater photography and video footage.

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Snorkeling Enthusiasts will be Enchanted by Bali's Underwater Wonderland

Divers and snorkelers worldwide go to Bali to explore the island's beautiful marine environment. Bali's natural beauty will leave you in awe, whether you dive in Amed's tranquil seas, swim with majestic manta rays in Nusa Penida, or observe the colorful reefs of Menjangan Island. So get your snorkeling gear ready, consult our guide, and prepare for the adventure of a lifetime as you explore Bali's underwater paradise.

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