The west coast of Bali is not good for snorkeling. Generally, the water is too murky or there are waves.
Snorkeling is best on the far south, east and north coast of Bali.
Bukit – though there are waves and strong currents there is also good visibility and coral. Best when there are no waves.
Nusa Dua and Sanur reefs – haven’t snorkeled here but there are boats to take you out to the reefs.
Nusa Lembongan – is an island of the east coast of Bali – entry into the water is from the beach. The seaweed farms cover a lot of the coral close to shore. Best on the outer fringe of the reef.
Nusa Penida – I haven’t snorkeled here but it is supposed to be very good.
Padangbai - Blue Lagoon north of Padangbai is a small bay ten minutes walk - entry is from shore - coral, fish
Candidasa - inside break wall and just outside break wall - there is great snorkeling at the three offshore islands but you will need to organize a boat to reach them.
Amed area - close to shore - can drive to venues or get a boat.
Lovina - boat to reef or a bit of a swim.
Pemuteran - close to shore or boat to Menjangan Island
In all areas beware of currents, change of tides, waves, entry in and out of the water, foot protection, sea urchins, jellyfish and sea lice. Ask the locals about conditions. All these factors can affect visibility and the pleasantness of the water
Snorkeling with young kids
When my kids were younger we took body boards. I would attach the body board leg rope to my leg and the girls floated on board while I pulled them around.
My youngest had difficulty with a snorkel so she used swimming goggles only.
The limitation is that I couldn't dive under unless I detached the body board from my leg but we all got to happily snorkel.
Most snorkeling venues you can hire gear. We preferred to take our own gear for hygiene reasons.
There are a number of ways of getting to snorkeling venues:
1. an organized tour
2. Hire local boats – usually areas where you need to get to the reefs by boat the locals have formed a cartel and so the price is reasonably fixed – make sure to discuss and agree to how long and where you will be snorkeling.
3. Some spots have snorkeling straight from the shore.
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