Tulamben and Amed are two sleepy little towns on the east coast of Bali, even quieter than Padang Bai. Over here, you reach a more authentic part of Bali, with very friendly people and much drier climate. Tourist infrastructures are not as developped as in the west or south coast of Bali. Here you are far from the hipe of Seminyak, Kuta and Legian ....
Be careful, when we talk about Amed, this is actually a 30km area on the coast consisting of the villages of Amed, Jemeluk, Bunutan, Lipah, Selang, Banyuning and Aas (see map below). There is actually no good snorkeling in Amed itself !
Yet, along with Menjangan island in the North West, Amed area and Tulumben give the best snorkeling of Bali. As a bonus, it is very easy to snorkel beautiful wrecks, which is quiet rare.
But first, in a nutshell :
Family Snorkeling in Tulamben and Amed Area, Bali, Indonesia
Where is it and how to get there ?
(the wrecks ....)
Located on the southeastern coast of Bali, Amed and Tulamben are basically at a three hours drive from Denpasar by taxi, or a little less from Ubud. Should you go in the villages further south after Amed, all the way to Aas, you can count on four hours.
There are public buses to those two cities, but going further south of Amed will be complicated using public transport.
Note that renting a car in Amed is more expensive than in more touristic places of Bali.
Once you are there, you can easily rent scooters for very low price.
Once you reach the Amed area, the first things to do is to select the village where you will stay. And of course, let us choose one where there is great snorkeling from the beach ....
You can see the order of the villages in the map below, but unless you are a diver, I do not advice you to stay in Amed
Good snorkeling from the beach
USAT Liberty Wreck
Where is the Best Snorkeling ?
Banyuning and the Japanese wreck
My favourite spot is the Japanese wreck in the bay of Banyuning. It is not as big as the Liberty wreck in Tulamben, but water is clearer, and the coral nicer. The wreck is a small Japanese fishing boat that sunk in shallow waters. There is no current and this snorkeling is very safe, even with young kids.. You can snorkel past this small wreck and keep on discovering the nice coral. There is also a sandy part with beautiful garden eels (see photos below) right next to the wreck. Main issue with this spot is that this is a peebly beach and tourist infrastructure is basic.... So may not be the best place to find your bungalow if travelling with young kids. Atmosphere is very pleasant and laid back.
Peebly beach of Banyuning
Tulamben and the USAT Liberty wreck
The USAT Liberty wreck in Tulamben is very famous among the diver community. It is a nice and big wreck that sunk in shallow waters as well and is thus easy to snorkel or dive. The visibility is good but not as good as the Japanese wreck (this wreck is a bit deeper...). But this wreck is impressive, marine life is nice and there are many garden eels in the sandy part next to the wreck.
There are also patches of coral in the bay worth snorkeling at. The nicest part being called the coral garden (see map below). If you are in one of the villages of the Amed area, this makes a nice day trip. It is about one hour from the Amed area.
You will find below a video my son made. Not perfect but it gives a good idea of the beauty of this snorkeling.
The area between Bunutan and Lipah is beautiful and very convenient with nice small hotels, restaurants and bungalows. The best snorkeling from the beach is in Lipah bay, on the left when facing the sea. More or less in front of Coral View hotel. You can also swim in the directon of Bunutan. The coral between the two bays is very nice.
On the right side of the beach is where the fishermen park their ships. Nice atmosphere at night with few restaurants preparing their BBQ.
Coast between Lipah bay and Bunutan. Good snorkeling but be careful when entering the water at low tide, which can be tricky in some areas
Here a few pictures of the beautiful snorkeling in this area ....
Beautiful snorkeling can be found further south, around the tiny island of Gili Selang. Be careful of the strong current on the eastern part of this island which can be dangerous (named the Express....). You should stay south of the island or east, between the main land and the island. Going there is not easy and one good option is taking a snorkeling tour from Amed. Also note that Gili Selang is not in the Selang bay of the above map, but much further south.....
The Jemuluk bay, right after Amed, has somewhat pleasant snorkeling and quiet a lot of hotels and restaurants. The place is convenient, yet I am not crazy about it.... Other places along the coast are nicer. Here is a map if you want to go there .....
How about the resort ?
I have a very good resort to recommand, family friendly : the Onlyou Villas. Do not look for the missing Y, the spelling is correct ..... Very friendly staff, good breakfast and very nice villas at good price. We rented two villas next to each others. One with two rooms for the kids and one single room for my wife and I. Those two villas shared a common small and pleasant swimming pool.
Only drawbacks : lunch and diner services are very slow. Count on at least 45 minutes between the order and the service. The resort is on the top of the hill, right before Lipah bay on the left. It's an easy 10 minutes walk down the village and the beach. Next to the resort there is a small convenient store and scooter renting company.
The snorkeling in front of the resort is nice, but very difficult to go into the water at low tide .... Here are few pictures of our stay :
I hope those infos will help you organize great family snorkeling vacations in Amed area and in Tulamben. If you have other advice to give for fellow snorkeling families, please feel free to add in the comments below.
Have a great snorkeling !
PS : I found some nice blogs about snorkeling Amed and Tulamben ...
- the nice Loveliness blog
- and this one nice as well of Littlenomadid
_____________________________________________ Please share ________________________________________
Value for price