Pulau (island) Menjangan, Bali's best-known dive area, has at least 8 superb dive sites offering iconic tropical fish, soft corals, great visibility, caves and a spectacular drop-offs. These drop-offs descend to varying depths, the shallowest being 26m, the deepest 60m+ and offer the greatest diversity of gorgonian fans in Bali.
The Lonely Planet in its latest edition : "One of the few complaints we've ever heard came from a reader who said that while snorkeling she kept getting water in her mouth because she was 'smiling too much'."
Menjangan Island National Marine Park
It was in 1978 that Menjangan became Bali's first internationally-known dive location. The island is part of the Bali Barat National Park, a protected reserve area that encompasses 780 square kilometers. Spear fishing is not allowed and all marine life is protected. The name Menjangan means “deer”. The island's sheltered location protect it from high winds and currents. It is surrounded by beautiful white sandy beaches.
The following are the most popular Menjangan diving sites with their main attractions :
Pos 1 : gentle currents, dive can begin at shore and/or by boat, abundance of fan corals along the drop-off which descends to 40 meters or more, sea anemones, clown fish, surgeon fish in powder blues and blacks, emperor angel fish, juvenile and mature wrasse, huge puffer fish, giant sweetlips, occasionally schooling sacks
Pos 2 : usually very calm, endless array of fan-corals some nearly 3 meter high, walls are covered with sea-fans, blue tube sponges and soft corals, active schools of yellow tale, crevalle jack, angel fish, lion fish, stone fish, crocodile fish, juvenile chromis and trigger fish. Dolphins have been seen on occasion
Coral Garden : great for new divers and snorkelers, shallow reefs, beautiful wall corals, blind shrimp, goby, reef fish, nudibranchs and anemones
Bat Cave : small bats inhabit the caves on the waterline of Menjangan's eastern wall. Bat Cave is a continuation of Pos 2 (see above) with schools of fish including tuna, jacks, pompano and fusiliers, a resident barracuda sometimes showing his face and a lot of fish action at the reef-top
Cave Point : perfect for challenging photography with morning sunlight that can create dramatic photographic situations of the reef life, soft corals, gorgonian fans, sea-fans and large sponges poke out from the wall as well as tridacna clams and brittle stars. Crevices hide orange-strope trigger fish, black spotted puffer fish. Jelly-fish sometimes flow in currents here and you may see an occasional barracuda
Eel Garden : this reef has some of the purest sand in Indonesia dotted with large coral heads and formations, sponge life is diverse and colourful, large puffer fish, bat fish, eels, eagle ray and mantas glide through the channels and the occasional dolphin has been seen
Anker wreck : great wall diving, deep diving, colourful corals, one of the oldest wrecks in Bali built in the late 1800's and sunk during World War II, lots of fish action with reef sharks, bull jacks, schooling grey snappers, surgeon fish, moray eels and large nudibranchs at about 8-40m
Peti slopes / temple slopes : great for all levels of divers, soft corals, gorgonian fans, sponges, lobsters hide themselves under coral and overhangs. Blue spotted rays explore the sight, especially the sandy terrain, looking for food. White-tip sharks are seen resting on sandy plains at about 30m
- Level: for all levels of divers
- Visibility: although the best diving in Menjangan is said to be April to November (during the south-east monsoon), the island can be dived year-round as it offers some of the most protected diving in Bali. The clarity of the water can, at times, be amazing, and the best in Bali. October-November often has horizontal visibility of 50m+.
- Diving Conditions: a current of more than 1 knot is unusual.
- PADI dive center: Villa Bossi recommends Spice Dive for a full day diving trip to Menjangan. An all day program including 2 Dives, divemaster, equipment, transportation, lunch and soft drinks will cost approximately IDR 1,000,000.