Many travellers head to Bali for its beaches, and so when looking at a narrow, sometimes rock strewn stretch of volcanic sand, often write-off the north coast straight away. More fool them.
Whilst spots like Pemuteran lack the golden arc of sand that blesses Jimbaran bay in the south, this mineral rich coastlines offer some of the best snorkelling and diving in Bali. And there are a handful of light sandy beaches too, which we will gladly share with you.
Southern Bali is home to the slick 'n' trendy five star hotels, whilst the north coast prefers a more laid back approach, with traditional village style properties set within tropical gardens. The hub of Pemuteran in Bali's northwest corner is home to a bio-rock coral reef regeneration project, aiding conservation of Bali's vibrant reefs, and offering some steps-from-shore snorkelling. Here, the beaches are shared with the local fishermen, returning late morning with their dawn catch.
Another gem in Northern Bali's crown is the Bali Barat National Park, a vast protected park comprised of reefs, mangroves and coastal savannah. The national park is home to macaques, wild boar, mouse deer and Menjangan Deer, and is a hotspot for birders too, with the majority of Bali's 300 odd species found here including the rare Bali Starling. The Mangrove forest that hugs the coastline is ripe for exploration by kayak, whilst on land, explore by foot, bicycle or horseback.
Just offshore sits Menjangan Island, home to seven fantastic dive sites, and colourful coral gardens shallow enough to offer the best snorkelling around Bali.