Bali, as a tropical island, boasts a plethora of snorkeling spots. Choosing among the many options can be challenging at times. The islands of Nusa Penida are one of the most popular snorkeling spots in Bali. The ‘T-Rex’ at Kelingking Beach, the romantic Rumah Pohon treehouse, the death-defying stairs to the magnificent Diamond Beach, and several more iconic locations are all famed for their drool-worthy, Instagram-perfect landscape images. But Nusa Penida is also popular for its abundant marine life, which includes parrotfish, angelfish, turtles, and if you’re lucky, manta rays. We’ve put together the ideal guide to snorkelling in Nusa Penida, whether you’re already on the island or want to do it as a day tour from the Bali mainland.
What to expect from snorkelling in Nusa Penida
You don’t have to limit yourself to Nusa Penida. Nusa Penida is one of the three islands that make up the Nusa Islands: the others are Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. In fact, if you had to ask, we’d tell you that it was our least favorite of the three! When people talk of snorkelling in Nusa Penida, they usually imply sites all throughout the three islands that are accessible by local boat, car, or motorcycle.
Nearly 300 different species of coral and over 500 different fish are on the seabed here. Many experienced divers travel to the Nusa Islands in search of manta rays or the moonfish ‘mola mola,’ which can be seen between July and October.
Nusa Penida snorkelling spots
Manta point & manta bay
Any island tour operator will tell you, seeing a manta ray in Nusa Penida is not always guaranteed.
The mantas have become shyer as a result of the increased tourists in the area, and they are increasingly sticking to the ocean floor. If you can scuba dive, you’ll have a better chance of seeing them.
Manta Point and Manta Bay are the two most popular places to see manta rays, however, neither is accessible by land.
The water is relatively deep and can be fairly rough in both regions, so snorkelling to see corals is not recommended. The manta rays are the major attraction, so you’ll normally come here just to see these ‘devilfish.’
Gamat, often known as Crystal Bay’s younger cousin, is a wilder, more inaccessible variant of Crystal Bay. The beach itself is normally very calm, while the snorkeling area, which is usually included in the standard Nusa Penida snorkeling tours given in the region, gets more tourists. When the weather is bad, tour boats avoid Crystal Bay and Manta Point in favor of the quieter Gamat Bay.
Gamat is best for scuba divers, but if you’re snorkeling here, you might catch a glimpse of a bamboo shark.
What to bring?
There’s no need to bother about those things if you’re on one of the tours because they all include snorkeling equipment (fins and mask). However, there are a few more essentials to bring:
- bring your swimming gear!
- Sunscreen and a hat are essential for sun protection.
- Hydration sachets – if you feel weary easily, one of these may be worth bringing.
- waterproof bag