Just off the northwest coast of Bali lies the tiny island Pulau Menjangan (Deer Island), an uninhabited island 8 km wide, surrounded by hectares of excellent coral reef. The island is situated in the protected marine reserve of the Bali Barat National Park and has a very diverse eco biology. Most visitors rate this as the best snorkeling spot in Bali, and divers place it high on their list too.
Many snorkelers head to Labuan Lalang, the access port for Menjangan, and club together with other tourists to hire a boat. As the island comes under the jurisdiction of the national park, hiring a guide is essential, but both the guide and boat transport can be arranged at the jetty in Labuan Lalang without first checking in at the Cekik headquarters.
To reach Menjangan island it takes 30-40 min by boat.
Permits and Guides
Permits and obligatory guides are available at the PHPA office in Labuhan Lalang.
The Marine reserve includes the cape shores and several sanctuary islands, a haunt for seabirds, on the island of Menjangan and the excellent coral reefs surrounding it. The good drop-offs on Menjangan's south side are only surpassed by the particularly superb reefs on its northern shores. There are no dangerous currents to contend with in this area.
The sea biota inhabiting the waters around Menjangan Island and Tanjung Gelap comprise some 45 species of coral including Halimeda macroloba, Chromis spp., Balistes spp., Zebrasoma spp., and Ypsiscarus ovifrons; 32 species of fish including pinnate batfish (Platax pinnatus), rabbitfish (Siganus sp.), and barracuda (Sphyraena sp.); and nine species of sea mollusc such as the southern giant clam (Tridacna derasa), trumpet triton (Charonia tritonis), and large claw mussel (Tridacna gigas).