Padang Bai is a sleepy little town in the south-eastern coast of Bali, woken up from time to time by the ferries horning their arrival from Nusa Penida. If you are a party animal looking for nightclubs, you might want to change your plans ... If you want very pleasant snorkeling however, you've come to the right place. But let us be honnest, there is not much to do in this little slow pace city, besides the relaxing beach and snorkeling. Aren't we looking for this ?....
Snorkeling is not to die for, but good enough to spend a few days in the area. Moreover, Padang Bai is well located to be a "snorkeling hub". You can easily go to Amed on the east coast, which has even better snorkeling, go to Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan with good snorkeling as well or the Gili islands off Lombok (direct speed boats from here) and enjoy the very good snorkeling at Gili Trawangan, Gili Air or Gili Meno. Combining Padang Bai, Nusa Penida, Amed and the Gili Islands will make excellent snorkeling vacations.
From Padang Bai, you can also visit easily this part of Bali, especially the Tirtaganga area which has a beautiful water palace and some of the beautifullest rice padies of Bali. We have also found a very good family resort which made our stay very nice.
But first, in a nutshell :
Family Snorkeling in Padang Bai, Bali, Indonesia
Where is it and how to get there ?
Located on the south-eastern coast of Bali, Padang Bai can easily be reach by taxi from Denpasar or Ubud. It should take between one hour and a half to two hours. Local busses do run as well for those who have more time...
From Padang Bai, you can visit the Tirtagganga area within one hour and drive to Amed and Tulumben on the east cost in about one hour and a half.
This small city has a main harbour with a beach full of fishing boats and ferry pier at the end of the beach, on the way to Bias Tengui beach. This main beach is not where you want to go for snorkeling.... For this, there are two beaches : Blue Lagoon beach and Bias Tengui beach.
Fishing boats on main Padangbai beach
Main habour of Padangbai seen from our villa on the top of the hill
Where is it the best snokeling ?
Bloo lagoon beach of Padang Bai, the best one for snorkeling
The best spot is clearly the Bloo Lagoon Beach, at the end of a small road, on the way to the temple turn left at the fork. The beach in itself is small, pleasant and has a nice warung with reasonnable price and OK food.
When facing the sea, the best snorkeling is on the left side of the bay.
The other nice snorkeling is at the Bias Tegui Beach (others call it White Beach). The beach in itself is nicer than the Bloo Lagoon one, but not the snorkeling.
I give 3 stars to Bloo Lagoon, but only 2 stars to Hidden Beach. All the underwater pictures below are from Bloo Lagoon.
What about the resort ?
By the way, I am not doing any promotion and getting any money to give my review for a resort. If I find one which is good enough then I just share the tip with the other snorkelers ....
I happens that we found a very good family resort that I highly recommend : the Bloo Lagoon Bali Villas and Resort
This is an eco resort, at the top of the hill, which rents villas with great views. We rented a 3 bedroom villa which was comfortable and well adapted to our family with 3 kids. Villas are very nice and so was the staff. Breakfast was good with fast service. If lunch and dinner are also good, the service is much slower ... There is a pleasant swimming pool with a slide for fun with the kids.
The resort is at the top of the hill, so an easy way down to Bloo Lagoon beach, but much less fun when going up. The resort has a shuttle service to drive you to Padang Bai center, which is about two kilometers. They then pick you up once you are done and the service works well.
Here are few pictures :
Value for price
By the way, they have a nice spa with good price. We tried the hot stone massage with my wife and it was delightful.....
I can safely recommend Padang Bai for a pleasant family snorkeling vacation. We had a very relax time there and snorkeling was good. We managed to visit also temples, water palace and the sceneries of eastern Bali are often outstanding.
Have a great snorkeling ! (bonus video found on youtube from a happy snorkeler that will give better insight...)
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