The dive sites around Menjangan Island and Permuteran in northwest Bali
Menjangan is part of West Bali National Park situated in Bali’s northwest and one of its most arid regions. This area does not generally receive much rainfall. Therefore, in the driest months from May until October, it almost mirrors that of a desert. The national park is very popular for nature enthusiasts as it is home to monkeys, deer and countless different species of bird. Additionally, divers will find some of the most spectacular dive spots here. While Menjangan is not inhabited, Permuteran, a small village nearby on the mainland, features large resorts, countless small guesthouses and fine restaurants. Permuteran is home to the project “Biorock” as well as several beautiful reefs that attract divers and snorkelers alike.
However, the true highlights of this area are the stunning and mesmerizing reefs of Menjangan that endow us with outstanding visibility and astonishing biodiversity. Two of those are Puri Jati and Secret Bay, two of the most extraordinary and captivating macro dive sites. The journey takes approximately 3 hours, thus we offer these fantastic dive sites as part of a multiple day excursion with accommodation in Permuteran. Diving excursions to Menjangan can be perfectly combined with adventurous volcano tracking tours at Mount Ijem in East Java.
Menjangan is a small island in the northwest of Bali. It belongs to the same named national park. We reach the island in 30 minutes by boat. The boats have space for six divers. At good weather conditions we can see the volcanoes of East Java on the way to the island. There are numerous dive sites around Menjangan like the Bat Cave, Sandy Slope, Turtle Wall, Eel Garden, Mangrove, Cave Point and Cave Wall.The fascinating underwater world here features walls covered with healthy corals all the way to 40 meters depth. Occasionally we will come across caves and overhangs.
All kinds of hard and soft coral grow on the walls but especially the large colorful Gorgonian sea fans catch the eye. From time to time, mild currents can occur. With good buoyancy we can then float motionlessly along the wall. Other places offer majestic sloping reefs and large sand areas with coral blocks. Batfish often accompany us on our dives. Besides vast numbers of typical tropical fish species, divers can spot reef sharks and turtles in these reefs. With this excellent visibility and dive conditions, these dive sites are suitable for divers of all levels of experience and offer excellent conditions for snorkeling.
After our excursions to Menjangan, we often spend the night in a small village called Permuteran. There we have the opportunity to explore the beautiful local reefs as well. Permuteran is situated in a small bay with a stunning black sand beach. From here we have access to the project “Biorock”. It consists of artificial reefs consisting of metal constructions that form different structures in three to eight meters depth. A small solar station produces a low voltage current causing dissolved minerals in the ocean to crystallize. This creates a limestone like layer on top of the metal structures necessary for coral growth. By now, a lot of these figures are covered with various hard and soft corals therefore offering a lush new habitat for all different kinds of tropical reef inhabitants.
Further dive sites are accessible by small wooden boats. For example, there are sand areas in front of the bay that offer an astonishing coral diversity. Dives here begin in the shallow water and takes us down to 25 meters depth. These dive sites are especially suitable for macro enthusiasts with many different types of nudibranches, leaf fish, cleaner shrimp and other small marine wildlife. Exciting night dives are possible in this bay as well, starting directly from the beach. And at the right places, at the right time, you have the opportunity to admire the shy mandarin fish in these waters.
Secret Bay & Puri Jati
Secret Bay & Puri Jati are two absolutely stunning insider dive spots for macro enthusiasts in Bali. Secret Bay is nearby the Menjangan National Park, close to the pier that connects Bali and Java by ferries. Puri Jati is situated in between Tulamben and Menjangan, close to Lovina. Both dive destinations require a long journey. Therefore we usually visit these dive sites as part of a fantastic multi day excursion to Menjangan or Permuteran. At first sight, both dive sites appear a little bit unspectacular. As we enter the water from the black sand beach, all we see is large sand areas and almost no corals. However, macro lovers and photographers know that these places are home to little critters. While diving at both dive sites we will stay at shallow depths and do not follow a planned route.
Here we simply explore. This area holds many surprises such as frogfish in various colors and sizes, ghost pipefish, Mimic and Blue-Ringed Octopus, seahorses, Devilfish and many more. Thanks to the sandy sea beds, macro photographers can easily find the perfect positions for their fantastic pictures. Furthermore, the light conditions are immaculate at these shallow depths. After a long exciting dive the camera’s memory cards will be filled with amazing pictures.With almost no currents, both dive sites offer great conditions for divers of all levels of experience. They are, however, not very suitable for snorkelers.