Most articles and information about snorkeling in Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida have the same thing to say. That it is nothing short of spectacular! These small islands are located in one of the most marine biodiverse areas on earth.
Both beautiful reefs and crystal clear waters make for some absolute world class snorkeling. Accessible by boat, there are many snorkel sites to explore in the area. With the chance to snorkel with the famous Manta Rays, there is something here for everyone!
Snorkeling sites in the area can be classified into two main categories – Bay Snorkeling and Drift Snorkeling. Snorkeling sites in the south are mostly in protected bays. This is unlike the sites in the north where you drift along with the current. At many of the sites, the reef starts quite shallow, ranging in depth from 3-10 meters. This provides snorkelers with a great up close view of the colorful coral reefs and the diverse marine life.
Just might be one of the best places in the world!
Generally you will spot countless number of reef fish while you snorkel. Additionally, the chance to snorkel with turtles is quite high at the sites situated in the north. Often you will see them from the boat on the surface. They come to the surface like this for a breath of fresh air. On rarer days, you may see the resident pod of dolphins that patrol the islands. Usually only spotted at a distance, unfortunately, they are very shy and also very fast!
Manta Ray snorkeling in Nusa Penida is something many people have on their bucket list. With two snorkel sites that reliably have Mantas, the chance to snorkel with them is high. They are usually quite close to the surface at both Manta Bay and Manta Point. This provides you with a chance for an up close encounter.
*Please Note – This area is home to strong currents. For safety reasons we highly recommend everyone to use a reputable company. It is not safe here for you to go out on your own for snorkeling activities. With the best snorkel sites in the area accessible only by boat. Besides, going with a safe and reliable company will help you get the most out of your Snorkeling Experience!
Access to the best snorkel spots in Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida is done by boat. Most of the sites are 100-300 meters offshore on the outer reefs. However, a few are situated at the bottom of steep cliffs, so traveling by foot is not possible. At Wifish, we use our fully equipped speedboat to get to and from the various snorkel sites. Travel time is generally 25-35 minutes to each site. The one exception being Manta Point, where the travel time is about 45 minutes.
Traveling around the small islands by boat is one of the best ways to enjoy the landscape and scenery. The islands provide some truly dramatic and breath taking views. This is most definitely highlighted by the towering cliffs of South Nusa Penida.
At WiFish, our boat is purpose built for both Scuba Diving and Snorkeling trips. It boasts (3) 75hp outboard engines and seats up to 10 guests comfortably. The roof covers half the boat. This offers both a shaded area and sunny area for those looking to work on their tan. The boat is outfitted with all the necessary safety equipment. Including Life Jackets, Safety Ring, First Aid Kit and Radio Communications. Furthermore, the boat is also lined with thick foam for your seating comfort.
Lembongan and Nusa Penida are home to a wide ranging array of marine life. Rich in color and densely populated, the reefs here play home to many different species.
Common marine life that you can see snorkeling around the area include the following. Nemo (Anemone Fish), Turtles, Moray Eels, Moorish Idols, Bannerfish, Angelfish and Lionfish. As well as Triggerfish, Pufferfish, Snapper, Sweetlips, Wrasse, Groupers, Butterflyfish and countless other common reef fish.
On lucky days, you may see some Giant Trevally, Napoleon Wrasse or even some Tuna cruising by.
Undoubtedly, the biggest draw is being able to snorkel with the Manta Rays at Nusa Penida. Swimming quite shallow, the harmless Mantas can come up quite close making for an unforgettable experience!
The chance to snorkel with Manta Rays in Nusa Penida draws many tourists each year. Thousands come here to marvel at their beauty. The Manta Rays here are Reef Manta Rays and generally they grow to have a wingspan between 2-4 meters. Although the Mantas can grow to be quite large, they feed on plankton and pose no threat towards snorkelers.
Nusa Penida is home to both the traditional dark blue and white Mantas. As well, we have a few resident Black Mantas roaming the area. The Mantas can be seen here all year long at a few different snorkel sites. So no matter what time of the year you come snorkeling, there is a good chance to see them. Did you know that Manta Rays give birth just every other year to either a single pup, or a pair. Not to mention that they arrive rolled up into the shape of a burrito!
Please note. Mantas are quite curious and as such, there is a good chance to snorkel with them right up close. Just remember not to touch or chase them.
One of the most commonly found types of turtles in the area are Green Sea Turtles. Fully grown, they can reach up to over a meter long and weigh over 100kg. Once hunted heavily for their meat and shells, Green Sea Turtles are now an endangered species. As a result, this created many turtle conservation programs which are making great efforts to save these amazing creatures.
Another commonly found turtle in the area is the Hawksbill Turtle. This turtle spends a portion of its life in the open ocean. However, they do prefer to spend most of their time in shallow coral reefs. Usually a little bit smaller than the Green Sea Turtles, they look very similar to each other. One way to tell them apart, is to look at their beaks. The Hawksbill Turtle has a sharper, more pointed beak!
Please note, Turtles can come right up close, remember not to touch or chase them.