Set just off the Bali coast in West Bali National Park, Menjangan Island (Pulau Menjangan, or Deer Island) is a white-sand gem. The island itself has no facilities beyond a simple bathroom and some open-air bale shelters, but offshore its sheer reef walls decked in undulating sea fans and lush soft corals are a magnet for marine life, divers, and snorkelers.
Diving is Menjangan Island’s major draw. Most visitors come to the island as part of an organized tour with a local dive or snorkeling operator, virtually all of which include equipment and the West Bali National Park entrance fee. Mainland resorts also offer diving options, although budget travelers typically arrange Menjangan scuba trips from the mainland dive town of Pemuteran. Most operators offer trips for both qualified and beginner divers.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Mellow currents and less crowded dive sites make Menjangan one of Bali’s top dive destinations.
- Menjangan means “deer” in Indonesian, and there are plenty in the national park.
- It’s not possible to overnight on Menjangan Island, so most base themselves either at Menjangan resorts on the mainland or in Pemuteran.
How to Get There
Menjangan Island is in the far northwestern corner of Bali, several hours’ drive from Ubud and the south Bali tourist districts. Tours typically depart from the mainland town of Pemuteran and travel around 12 miles (18 kilometers) to the dock at Labuhan Lalang for the 30- to 40-minute crossing to the island. The cluster of resorts on the fringes of the national park can also arrange boats.
When to Get There
With good visibility, warm water, and very little current by Indonesian standards, Menjangan Island is a great year-round dive destination for both beginners and advanced divers. As with other tourist destinations in Bali, it is at its busiest in July and August. The rainy season (roughly October to March) is less noticeable in this part of Bali than elsewhere.
Diving Menjangan Island and Pemuteran
Divers who make the journey out to Menjangan Island from south Bali should spend a couple of days exploring the sites around Menjangan itself and in the mainland dive resort of Pemuteran. Popular sites around Menjangan Island include Eel Garden, home to ribbon eels, and the cavern at Cave Point, but it’s hard to go wrong with Menjangan’s stunning coral walls. Pemuteran’s artificial reef makes a fascinating dive.