A small Indonesian Island to the north of Bali attracts not only divers and snorkelers but for some reason, it even makes wild deer swim in the sea up to 2 km (1.2 miles) to reach it. This is Pulau Menjangan known for its crystal-clear water with amazing visibility and rich marine life.
Pulau Menjangan is a 39km² (15mi²) Indonesian Island neighboring with Java and situated next to the north-western part of Bali.
The only way to get to the Island is by the sea. Bali Barat National Parks Service provides boats from Terima Bay. They usually set off from Labuhan Lalang harbor and the travel takes about 30-40 minutes.
You can also arrive there with a private boat charter or by the boat with one of the dive operators.
In order to enter the West Bali National Park, you will need to pay a fee of 200.000 Indonesian Rupiah (~15USD) per person plus a fee for each diver per day in the amount of 25.000 Indonesian Rupiah (~2USD). The fees can be paid at the Park Headquarters in Labuhan Lalang. You can also check with your dive operator whether he will take care of all the necessary fees.
There are not many currents around Pulau Menjangan. In this connection, the Island offers an exceptional visibility which can reach more than 50m (164ft.).
Pulau Menjangan is surrounded by a shelf going down to 10m (32ft.) with the further drop off to 60m (196ft.) in some areas. Beginners can enjoy diving in shallow waters while advanced divers can explore unforgettable wall dives.
If you like underwater photography then you can make some fascinating pictures at the Island. There is not much pelagic comparing to other dive spots around Bali. However, occasional Whale Shark and Sperm Whale were spotted in the area few times.
Best Dive Sites Overview
Anchor Wreck/Kapal Budak
This is a wall and a wreck dive site located in the north-western part of Menjangan. The vessel is supposed to be a 19th-century trading boat which anchored near the Island and sank. There is a big anchor which can be found at the depth of 6m (19ft.). The parts of the wreck and its cargo are located between the depth of 30-50m (98-164ft.). Usually, there is no current. The area is inhabited by Bumphead Parrotfish, Boxfish, Morays, Green Turtle, Nudibranch, Batfish, Surgeonfish, Snappers, Jacks, Schooling Bannerfish, and Frogfish. There are several caves, crevices and overhangs near the wreck at the depth of 5-10m (16-32ft.).
This dive site is located in the southern part of Menjangan. You will find a beautiful wall full of Anemones, Gorgonia, hard and soft corals located between 3-40m (9-131ft.). There is an overhang at the depth of 18m (59ft.) with Gorgonia. This is a nice place for the underwater photography especially for those who adore macro life.
Eel Garden is located in the channel in the western part of the Island. The current in the channel can be medium and strong, that is why this dive site is recommended for experienced divers. However, the current keeps the coral garden full of marine life. Among small inhabitants, you can look for Longnose Hawkfish, Leaf Scorpionfish, and Pygmy Seahorse. On sandy area, you will come across a colony of Garden Eels. Besides you can expect to see Whitetip and Blacktip Reef Shark, Barracuda, Tuna, Turtle, and Napoleon.
Pos I is located to the southwest of Menjangan. This is a great place for the beginners as there is no current; the average depth of the dive is 10m (32ft.). You can find crevices along the reef and its slopes. Pufferfish, Tuna, Surgeonfish, Sweetlips, Emperor Angelfish have usually been spotted here as well as a great variety of reef fish.
Pos II is located in the south-eastern part of the Island. The dive site can be entered from the boat as well as from the beach and usually, this is a drift dive. There is a wall going down from 12m (39ft.) to 40m (131ft.). It is full of large Gorgonia, Sponge, and soft corals. Due to the current coming from the deeper areas you can spot pelagic here like Jacks, Barracuda as well as Reef Sharks, Eagle Ray, Turtle, and occasional Manta.
Best Dive Season
The best diving season at Pulau Menjangan is between April and November. If you wish to enjoy the best of visibility, then it might be good to come in July-September.
The Island is famous for its remarkable visibility which can reach more than 50m (164ft.). The water temperature usually stays between 28-31°C (82-87°F).
There are very few dive spots with currents where you can practice relaxed drift dives. Wall diving and underwater photography are the most favorite ways to explore and memorize this area.
Hard and soft corals at Menjangan are in a very good condition. Lack of strong current allows corals to grow to enormous size. That is why you can encounter huge Gorgonias in many dive spots. Corals in their turn attract a large number of reef fish.
There is a high chance of seeing Crabs, Lobsters, Nudibranch, Longnose Hawkfish, Leaf Scorpionfish, Frogfish and Pygmy Seahorse. The waters of Pulau Menjangan are not that much crammed with pelagic as other areas around Bali. Nevertheless, you still can expect Schooling Bannerfish, Jacks, Snappers, Surgeonfish, Boxfish,Bumphead Parrotfish, Turtles and Reef Sharks in this area. Manta Rays were occasionally spotted at different dive sites.
Hotels are not allowed on the Island that is why the nearest land accommodation can be found in the northern part of Bali.
The Menjangan Resort
This 4-star resort is located on the territory of West Bali National Park next to Sentigi Beach. You can choose your accommodation from 12 Deluxe Rooms and 2 Suites in the Monsoon Lodge; in Beach Villa with a wooden deck just a few steps from the sea; and in the Residence. The latter is a 1000 m² (10763ft²) private estate for 4 guests.
The facilities of the resort include BBQ, massage, restaurant and free WiFi in all areas. The Resorts provides different water services, bicycle rent, horse riding, and trekking tours.
This is the only eco-resort located on the eastern side of Prapat Agung Peninsula in Bali. The Resort features beach location on the one side and unspoiled forest on the other. It offers accommodation in Villas and Cottages. Among the facilities, there are a library, Spa, pool, restaurant, BBQ, and beach club with water sports. Blue Corner Dive Center is located on the territory of the Resort. Snorkeling is possible in front of the beach.
There are not many liveaboards visiting Pulau Menjangan. However, you can find some vessels providing private charters according to the requested itinerary.
The SY Adelaar
This is a 39m (127ft.) long liveaboard built as traditional Dutch schooner. She is ready to accommodate up to 8 divers in 4 Cabins. The interior is made with teak-wood. There are 2 Zodiacs to serve the dives. The SY Adelaar mainly serves Komodo destinations. However, there are a few routes offered via Menjangan, Tulamben, Nusa Penida and Padangbai.
If you wish to combine daily diving at different Bali’s destinations while accommodating at the nearby resorts, then it might be a good idea to go on a dive safari. You can determine your own route or follow one of the suggested routes. For more details about dive safari covering Pulau Menjangan, you can check with Bali Diving, Blue Corner Dive Center, Blue Season Bali, Crystal Divers, Underwater Tribe and some others.
Other Activities For Non-Divers
Snorkeling at Pulau Menjangan is believed to be the best in Bali’s area. A shallow reef, calm sea and amazingly clear water around the Island ensure excellent snorkeling over beautiful reefs with a great variety of reef inhabitants. The daily fee for snorkeling at the Marine Park is 15.000 Indonesian Rupiah (~1USD).
If you are taking a day trip to the Island your tour might also include a visit to one of the 4 Temples of Menjangan. These are the only buildings on the Island.