Information before you go
West Bali national park is the island's only national park and was set up in 1941 after it was given a nature park status in 1917. It is home to the endangered Bali Starling (Leucopsar rothschildi), the Ebony Langur, the Clouded Leopard, around 160 different bird species, 175 plant species, 110 species of coral and the list goes on and on.
Since there isn't rainfall all year round, you won't be able to find tropical rainforest here. Instead the park consists of mangrove forest, monsoon forest, dry savannah, lowland forest and montane forest on the slopes of the volcanoes Mount Patas ( 1,412 m) and Mount Merbuk (1,388 m).
Nature and outdoor lovers can easily spend a couple of nights in this part of Bali as it has everything to offer: stunning private beaches, great snorkeling and diving sites, mountains, forest and wildlife.
Most travelers spend the night in the nearby village of Pemuteran. But along the main road, towards the National Park, more and more luxury resorts are being built. Even within the borders of the park you can find two luxury resorts, The Menjangan resort with villas along a private beach and the Waka Shorea. Both claim to be an eco-resort, but we are still wondering why and how they are able to get the permits to build something like that in the middle of the only national park in Bali....
The headquarters of the national park is at Cekik village near Gilimanuk so if you come by ferry from Java island, the port of entry to Bali will be Gilimanuk. From here you can get somebody on a motor bike (called Ojek) to bring you to the park's headquarters at Cekik.
When you come from other parts of Bali you can either rent a motor bike yourself (but not advisable), rent a driver or take the Perama Shuttle Bus service to Gilimanuk.
Another entrance to the park is at Labuan Lalang which is the place to go to when you come from Munduk, Singaraja, Lovina beach or Pemuteran, which lies on the edge of the park. At the office you can arrange permits for the National Park. Here you will also find boats docked at the little harbour which will bring you to Menjangan island, also part of the national park and the best place on Bali for underwater lovers.
Before you start hiking in the park you need a special permit (around Rph 25.000 pp) which can be obtained at either of the ranger stations at Cekik or Labuan Lalang. Hiking is not allowed alone so you need to hire a park ranger (around Rph 200.000 for three hours) who will also act as your guide and follow in your footsteps and explain a thing or two.
To make sure you are able to leave on time for your hike it is advisable to make all necessary arrangements a day before.
If you want to go snorkeling or diving around Menjangan island then you can either arrange it at Labuan Lalang on the same day. You need to purchase an permit as well and take a boat appointed by the rangers there. If you are staying in Lovina, Pemuteran and probably also in other tourist village further away, you can also book a day trip at your accommodation or at a travel agent. These packages often include everything including diving gear, transport, permits etc, so so you don't need to arrange it all yourself.
Only a small fraction of the park is open to visitors and therefore you can either choose to do some hiking on the main trails or go snorkeling/diving around Pulau Menjangan (Deer Island).
Trekking & Bird Watching
Unfortunately, despite being a protected area the National Park has suffered from encroachment resulting in forest degradation. Nevertheless if you love hiking and wish to spot some wildlife, particularly birds then you are at the right spot here. The National Park is mostly famous for its critically endangered Bali Starling (Leucopsar rothschildi) also called the Bali Mynah.
Their are several trails you can follow, depending on your time, fitness and the species you hope to encounter.
The shortest trail is the Prapat Agung trail in the north of the park. This 1 to 2 hour trek is best done in the morning in order to spot more birds. This is also the case for the 2 hour hike of Teluk Terima, just west of Labuan Lalang jetty.
Another short hike is the Tegal Blunder trail which takes 2 hours. You can combine it with a mangrove boat trip around Gilimanuk bay.
For more serious hiking you can take the Gunung Klatakan trail which takes about 6 hours. It starts at Sumber Klampok, along the main road that runs right through the National park. During this hike you are more likely to spot some wildlife and a spectacular hornbill or two.
Snorkeling & Diving
Menjangan island is known to have one of the best diving sites in Bali. The reef is 2 meters below the surface of the water and it goes on for 150 meters with coral walls up to 35-60 meters deep.
As a diver, you can easily do several dives at various locations. To make sure you get the most out of your dives, arrange your diving trip with one of the many dive operators in Lovina and Pemuteran. They can tell you exactly where to find the amazing drop-off, the cave and best soft coral.
For experienced divers you can consider the challenging dive at the Anker Shipwreck. This dive site is not very popular despite occasional sightings of sharks and rays.
Another good diving site is at 'Secret Bay' located in the bay of Gilimanuk. This site on the edge of the mangrove forest is especially interesting for those into macro-photography and expect to see a lot of small marine life.
Snorkelers will have a blast here too. Particularly the sites Pos I and Pos II are really amazing. The sites are rich in sea fans, soft and hard coral and are visited by many tropical fish.
Unlike divers, you don't need to make prior arrangements to go on a snorkeling trip. Just head to Labuan Lalang jetty and arrange a permit, boatman and snorkeling equipment at the head quarters. Don't forget to buy some food at the many warungs as you need to arrange your own food and drinks. And if you have snorkeled before you know you are going to get a big appetite very quickly.
For both diving and snorkeling trips it is best to head out as early as possible, as the visibility is at its best. The jetty is open between 8am till 3pm.
Home > West Bali National Park
With its impressive volcanoes, beautiful lakes and stunning rice fields, Bali is an ideal place to go hiking on your holiday. Find out the best hiking trails...Read more
West Bali is probably the less explored by travelers. Surprisingly since amazing rice field terraces, the national park and black beaches dominate this area.Read more
Besides Menjangan island there are many other popular sites to go diving or snorkeling. Amed and Nusa Lembongan are places worth stoppingRead more
Now and then people send us inspiring emails and this generates even more enthusiasm to share all of the things we know about this lovely island in the hope that you can plan your tropical holiday properly and have as such a great time as we always have. Hope to see you there!
When I wrote the mail I never really expected a reply. I might have expected a computer generated but never a personally written one. The information you provided is invaluable, thank you so very much. I have been using your website as a bible through Bali. Through your recommendation, I will be heading to Ubud then follow the sightseeing route to the coast of Candidasa.
WOW...what an awesome website. I could only dream that there would be a website like this for all our travel destinations! You guys have done an fabulous job and now, I am sooo excited about our upcoming trip to Bali. To be honest, I wasn't quite sure Bali was the place for us considering some of the travel warnings (we are Americans). But I can tell from your experiences that the Bali people are so very kind and peaceful.
hi and congratulations on the blog it s brilliant and helpful....we are going to Bali in September with my family (including 2 little girls) so we need to have nice spaceous rooms garden and pool access rooms preferably in Semikyak but not too far from it all...I hope you can recommend a great place thats not full of Australian crowds as we like meeting people from other countries.
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