Menjangan Island Diving Guide (2023)

Menjangan Island Diving Guide (2023)

Nestled in the serene waters off Bali’s northwestern coast, Menjangan Island beckons with promises of underwater wonders and an escape from the usual tourist trails. As part of the revered Bali Barat National Park, Menjangan remains a sanctuary both above and below the surface. Its diving sites, renowned for vibrant marine life and crystal-clear waters, have long been one of the island’s best-kept secrets, drawing divers who seek both adventure and tranquility. Whether you’re an avid diver or a curious novice eager to take that first plunge, this guide is for those wishing to experience some of the best diving in Bali, offering plans, prices, insights, and tips.

Did You Know?
Beneath the tranquil waters of Menjangan Island lies an ancient underwater temple garden, a purposeful arrangement of Buddha statues, stupas, and temple structures. What’s intriguing is that this isn’t an ancient ruin reclaimed by the sea but was purposefully submerged by the local community as a form of artificial reef.

How to plan a dive trip to Menjangan

For a minimally effective dive trip to Menjangan island, you’ll need to allocate 3 days at the very least, and for a richer experience it’s better to take 6 days so that you can visit some of the other great attractions in the area and have a more relaxed trip.

Here’s a sample trip itinerary. Most dive operators will operate a similar itinerary, so we will start with an overview of what the trip looks like first, and then choose a diving operator next.

DayActivityEstimated Cost (IDR)
1Morning: Travel to Pemuteran or Sumberkima400k – 700k
Afternoon: Check into accommodation500k – 1500k (per night)
2Morning: Dive Briefing & Gear CheckIncluded in dive package
Morning/Afternoon: 2 Dives at Menjangan1200k – 1800k
3Morning: 2 Dives at Menjangan1200k – 1800k
Afternoon: Explore Pemuteran AreaMinimal
4Morning: Optional Snorkeling at Menjangan300k – 500k
Afternoon: Relaxation or explore nearby attractions200k – 500k
5Leisure day or other activitiesVaries, 500k+ on average
6Departure from Pemuteran400k – 700k
Example 6 day itinerary

Dive Trip Total Budget and Costs

If we take the above itinerary and just focus on the transport, accommodation, and diving, we get an estimated total trip cost of between 5.7m IDR and 12.5M IDR. The biggest factor here is the cost of your chosen accommodation, as the diving providers have a lower price range.

Expense CategoryDetailsEstimated Cost (IDR)
TransportationRoundtrip Transfer to Pemuteran800,000 – 1,400,000
Accommodation5 nights in Pemuteran2,500,000 – 7,500,000
Diving4 Dives at Menjangan2,400,000 – 3,600,000
Total CostsFor the entire Menjangan dive trip (per person)5,700,000 – 12,500,000
Estimated expenses for 6 day trip

Expert tip:
If you’re looking for a very budget place to stay, there is a hostel in Sumberkima called Mangroove Bay Hostel, which has dorms for 150k per night.

You might also be wondering… how much is food going to cost in the region for 5 nights?

Food in Sumberkima and Pemuteran is not overly expensive compared to other parts of Bali. Actually, in my experience spending 2 months living in the region, my food costs came out lower than living in Canggu or Uluwatu. Expect to spend between 80k and 110k for a main, and 35k to 55k for sides. A simple budget for 2 food and drink per day would be 250k per person.

Menjangan Island Dive Sites

Menjangan Island, nestled in the northwest corner of Bali, is a gem in the world of diving. As part of the Bali Barat National Park, it boasts pristine underwater landscapes that beckon divers of all levels.

The island’s dive sites are characterized by breathtaking wall dives, which plunge into the deep blue and are adorned with a tapestry of vibrant corals and teeming marine life.

From the enchanting Anchor Wreck, remnants of a bygone era, to the Garden Eel Point with its sandy floor dotted with eels swaying in the current, Menjangan offers a diverse diving experience.

Macro enthusiasts will delight in spotting minute critters camouflaged amidst the corals, while the vast expanse of the walls offers a dramatic backdrop for those seeking the thrill of the deep.

Tranquil waters, exceptional visibility, and a rich marine biodiversity make Menjangan Island a must-visit diving destination in Bali.

Here is a table of the main dive sites, and their characteristics:

Dive Site NameDepth RangeMain AttractionsSuitabilityNotes
Pos I10-40mCoral gardens, reef fish, sea turtlesBeginner to AdvancedGreat for wall diving
Pos II5-30mGorgonian fans, barracuda, parrotfishBeginner to AdvancedRich biodiversity; good for photography
Eel Garden10-35mGarden of eels, reef fishIntermediateSandy bottom with eel colonies
Anker Wreck5-40m19th-century wooden shipwreck, soft coralsIntermediate to AdvancedSunken ship covered in corals
Cave Point10-35mUnderwater caves, lobsters, reef sharksAdvancedCaves at deeper depths; torch needed
Dream Wall5-30mCoral walls, nudibranchs, moray eelsBeginner to AdvancedGentle currents; colorful wall dive
Sandy Slope5-25mSandy bottom, garden eels, stingraysBeginnerMellow dive; good for training and courses
Menjangan Island

Types of Diving in the Area

Menjangan Island has a decent array of different types of diving experiences available to explore. Here’s a focused list on the specialty types of diving available around Menjangan Island:

Wall Diving: One of the island’s hallmarks, Menjangan is renowned for its stunning wall dives. These walls plunge deep and are festooned with vibrant soft and hard corals, providing a home for a diverse array of marine life.

Macro Diving: The underwater landscape around Menjangan offers excellent opportunities for macro photographers and enthusiasts to spot minuscule critters. From nudibranchs and flatworms to pygmy seahorses, the macro life is abundant.

Drift Diving: Depending on the tides and seasons, certain dive sites around the island can present gentle currents, offering divers the chance to drift alongside the coral gardens.

Coral Conservation Diving: Menjangan Island has initiatives dedicated to coral preservation and restoration. Divers interested in marine conservation can learn and even participate in these efforts during their visit.

Night Diving: Venturing into Menjangan’s waters after dark reveals a completely different marine ecosystem. Nocturnal creatures emerge, and familiar sites take on a new appearance under the beam of a dive torch.

Snorkeling: The calm and clear waters around Menjangan make it an excellent location for snorkelers. The coral gardens near the surface are vibrant and teeming with fish, providing an easily accessible underwater spectacle.

Free Diving: The clarity of the waters and the serene underwater landscapes make Menjangan a great spot for free diving.

Expert Tip:
While each type of diving around Menjangan Island offers its unique allure, a seasoned recommendation is to combine macro and wall diving in a single dive trip. Begin your dive by exploring the mesmerizing walls, absorbing the vast expanse and vibrant marine life they house. As you slowly ascend and during your safety stops, shift your focus to the macro wonders, keeping an eye out for the intricate details like the pygmy seahorses or minute nudibranchs.

Is Menjangan a good place to do a PADI open water course?

Overall, yes. Menjangan is a good place to do a PADI open water course. There are many providers in the region, as diving is a major attraction in general.

The Diving Conditions

Visibility: Often exceeds 20 meters underwater visibility, providing clear views, helpful for beginners.

Currents: Typically mild, making it easier for beginners.

Water Temperature: Warm and comfortable.

The Marine Life

During your course at Menjangan, expect to be surrounded by vibrant coral reefs and diverse tropical fish.

The Dive Centers & Instructors

Numerous dive centers in Pemuteran offer PADI courses for Menjangan dives.

The Learning Environment

Menjangan’s remote location ensures a peaceful, less crowded training experience.

The Cost

While potentially pricier than other parts of Bali due to national park fees and boat trips, the unique diving experience could be worth the cost to you.

PADI Open Water Courses typically cost between 5m IDR and 7.5M IDR.

What are the other beginner-friendly diving spots in Bali?

Bali is great for diving overall, and there are many places that are beginner friendly. You might be wondering how Menjangan compares to the rest, if you are planning a dive drip. Here’s a breakdown of the other main locations on Bali Island where you can do diving. This doesn’t include other surrounding islands off Bali.

Tip: Click the location name to open up Google Maps.

Dive LocationMain AttractionsNotable FeaturesApproximate Depth Range
Menjangan IslandCoral gardens, sea turtles, wall divesCalm waters, excellent visibility, part of a national park5-30m
PemuteranBio-Rock project, artificial reefsMarine conservation focus, calm waters5-25m
TulambenUSAT Liberty shipwreck, coral gardensShore dives, renowned shipwreck at shallow depth5-30m
Padang BaiBlue Lagoon, reef fish, nudibranchsCalm conditions, variety of marine life5-20m
AmedPyramids, Japanese shipwreckGentle conditions, less commercialized, shore and boat dives5-30m
SanurCoral formations, reef fishClose to shore, relatively easy conditions5-20m
Diving locations in Bali

The biggest selling points for Menjangan are the calm and quiet waters, the less crowded sites, the clarity that you get with underwater visibility, and the richness of the marine life.

Menjangan dives are not shore dives, so you do need to take a boat to get to the locations, and because it’s inside of the West Bali National Park, divers are required to pay a bit more for the park entrance fee, which can put the cost a little higher compared with other dive sites around Bali.

Did You Know?
While Menjangan Island’s wall dives and pristine reefs are primary attractions for many divers, it’s the diverse marine life that truly sets it apart. Among its myriad of marine species, Menjangan is one of the few places in Bali where divers have a chance to spot the elusive pygmy seahorse. These minuscule creatures, no larger than a grain of rice, camouflage perfectly with their surrounding sea fans, making them a delightful find for keen-eyed divers and underwater photographers.

Recommended Diving Providers

There are many dive providers in the region. Many of the resorts also operate diving as an activity for their guests. It’s a great thing however, to use a dedicated diving provider for their specialisation and expertise.

If you’d like to explore all the options we have on our site: click here.

If you are staying at Mangroove Bay Hostel or somewhere nearby Sumberkima, we recommend Ranger Dive. His business does not yet have a website, but he is a fantastic operator, very experienced, and works closely with the coral restoration projects. You can message Mangroove Bay Hostel for his contact details. Contact Totok directly via Whatsapp here.

Otherwise we can directly recommend these diving providers:

Reef Seen:

  • Facilities: Known for its well-maintained equipment and comfortable dive boats. Offers a range of courses, including those focused on conservation and marine life identification.
  • Specialty: Reef Seen stands out for its commitment to marine conservation, especially through their Turtle Hatchery project. The operator has a reputation for intimate, eco-conscious dive experiences and knowledgeable guides.

Easy Divers:

  • Facilities: A full-service dive operation, they offer equipment rentals, diverse dive packages, and courses ranging from beginner to advanced levels.
  • Specialty: Easy Divers is lauded for its professional, friendly staff and tailored dive experiences. Their approach ensures divers, regardless of skill level, have memorable underwater experiences.

Dive Concepts:

  • Facilities: Apart from the standard diving services, Dive Concepts is known for offering technical diving and longer-term dive internships.
  • Specialty: Dive Concepts brings a strong educational component to their offerings. They cater to those looking to go beyond recreational diving or seeking to become professionals in the diving industry.

Sea Rovers:

  • Facilities: Boasting a team of PADI-certified professionals, Sea Rovers provides dive packages, courses, and equipment rentals. They emphasize safety and personalized dive experiences.
  • Specialty: Often described as the “Pirates of Pemuteran,” Sea Rovers is known for its adventurous spirit. Their experienced guides ensure divers explore the best and often lesser-known dive spots in the area.
Diving with Sea Rovers
Diving with Sea Rovers

Diving-Focused Accommodations:

If you’d prefer to add a touch of convenience to your trip and combine diving into your accommodation, there are a number of places to stay that directly offer diving as an experience for their guests.

Mangrove Bay Hostel:

  • Facilities: Primarily catering to budget travelers, the hostel offers dormitory-style rooms, a communal kitchen, and lounge areas. Kayak rentals are available for exploring the mangroves.
  • Specialty: Situated close to the mangrove forests, Mangrove Bay Hostel provides an eco-conscious and community-focused stay. Its location offers a unique blend of beach and forest experiences, making it a favorite among backpackers and solo travelers looking to explore both underwater and on land.

Taman Sari Bali Resort & Spa:

  • Facilities: On-site dive center, equipment rental, dive packages.
  • Specialty: Known for its traditional design, the resort also emphasizes eco-tourism and sustainable practices.

Pondok Sari Beach Resort & Dive Hotel:

  • Facilities: Integrated dive center, training pool, dive packages tailored for both beginners and experienced divers.
  • Specialty: Offers underwater photography workshops and has an eco-conscious approach.

Mimpi Resort Menjangan:

  • Facilities: On-site dive center, offers boat dives to Menjangan and other nearby sites.
  • Specialty: Located by the hot springs and has both luxury and diver-friendly amenities.

Bali Diving Academy Pemuteran:

  • Facilities: As an extension of the diving academy, they provide comprehensive dive courses, equipment rental, and dive trips.
  • Specialty: They focus heavily on diver training and certification.

Amertha Bali Villas Dive Resort & Spa:

  • Facilities: On-site dive center offering a range of dive packages, courses, and marine excursions.
  • Specialty: Provides a blend of luxury with diving-focused services.
Mangroove Bay Hostel
Mangroove Bay Hostel

When choosing a diving-focused accommodation, it’s crucial to consider the type of diving experience you’re looking for. Whether it’s a specific course, exploratory dives, or underwater photography, ensure the accommodation or its on-site dive center offers what you need. Additionally, reading recent reviews and directly reaching out to these accommodations can provide up-to-date information and special dive packages.

Other noteworthy places to stay:

Sumberkima Hill Retreat:

  • Facilities: This retreat offers private villas with personal pools, spa services, and yoga sessions. There’s also a communal infinity pool with breathtaking views of the bay and volcanoes.
  • Specialty: Perched on a hill, Sumberkima Hill Retreat is renowned for its panoramic vistas of the bay, volcanoes, and surrounding hills. The retreat promotes a serene and rejuvenating experience, ideal for those looking to combine relaxation with their diving excursions.

Closing Thoughts:

Bali, often referred to as the ‘Island of the Gods,’ has long been on the radar of travelers worldwide. However, beneath its cerulean waves lies a world less explored, one that is equally mesmerizing and enchanting. Menjangan Island stands as a testament to this underwater beauty. With its clear waters, vibrant marine life, and captivating coral formations, Menjangan beckons both novices and seasoned divers alike.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is Bali a good destination for beginner divers?

Absolutely! Bali offers a range of dive sites suitable for all levels, including beginners. With its calm waters, diverse marine life, and reputable dive centers, novices can find Bali an ideal place to start their diving journey.

Which dive sites in Bali are most recommended for beginners?

Menjangan Island, Tulamben, Padang Bai, Amed, Sanur, and Pemuteran are among the top beginner-friendly dive locations in Bali.

Do I need a certification to dive in Bali?

While it’s recommended to have a certification, many dive centers in Bali offer introductory dives for beginners without certification under the guidance of a professional instructor.

Are the waters in Bali always calm for beginners?

While many sites offer calm conditions, water conditions can vary based on the season, tide, and specific location. It’s always best to consult with a local dive center regarding current conditions.

Can I see the famous USAT Liberty shipwreck if I’m a beginner?

Yes, the USAT Liberty shipwreck in Tulamben starts at a shallow depth, making it accessible even for beginners. However, exploring deeper parts of the wreck might require more experience.

Is shore diving or boat diving better for beginners in Bali?

Both can be suitable for beginners. Shore diving, like in Tulamben or Amed, allows divers to enter the water directly from the beach. Boat diving, common in places like Menjangan Island, involves taking a short boat trip to the dive site. The choice depends on personal preference and the specific dive site’s logistics.

How do I choose a reputable dive center in Bali?

Look for dive centers affiliated with international diving organizations like PADI or SSI. Checking reviews, seeking recommendations from fellow divers, and ensuring the center emphasizes safety are good practices.

Is there any marine life in Bali that beginners should be cautious of?

While Bali’s marine life is generally harmless, it’s always good to maintain a safe distance from creatures like sea urchins, stonefish, or lionfish, which can pose risks if touched. Always listen to your dive guide’s instructions.

Are there conservation efforts in Bali that divers should be aware of?

Yes, areas like Pemuteran have the Bio-Rock project focusing on marine conservation. Divers are encouraged to practice sustainable diving and respect marine protected areas.

When is the best time to dive in Bali for beginners?

Bali offers diving year-round, but the dry season from May to September typically provides the best conditions with calmer seas and clearer visibility.

Explore the region on the map

Read more about Northwest Bali