Amed the Little Paradise in Bali
Amed is a group of peaceful villages bordered by black sand beaches, ideal for lazing around but especially for snorkeling and scuba diving in the east part of Bali. Renowned for its vertiginous drop-offs and coral gardens, this region of northeast Bali is home to some of the best dive sites on the Island of the Gods.
Amed is one of the increasingly popular destinations in Indonesia. Located at the eastern end of Bali, this village is relatively isolated. You will not regret making the trip, especially since the road that will take you there will take you through some beautiful places. Before arriving in this charming fishing village, you will come across beaches, rice fields and sumptuous palaces.
Location of Amed
Amed is located just at the foot of the Agung volcano, one of the volcanoes of Bali. If this place attracts more and more people, it is for several reasons. In the surroundings, you can enjoy superb beaches, such as Lipah Beach, Jemeluk and Virgin Beach.
A fishing village
Amed is a fishing village on the east coast of Bali with beautiful volcanic black sand beaches, where there are several spots for snorkeling and scuba diving to see fish, corals, and blue starfish.
Late afternoon you could take a nice ride in a traditional fisherman’s boat for fishing and watch the sun set behind Mount Agung…
For those who do scuba diving, it is also possible to see the Liberty wreck in the village of Tulemben which is not far from Amed.
Speaking of volcanoes, we advise you to climb the Batur volcano rather than Agung if you only have to do one 🙂 It is simpler and the view is magnificent in the early morning!
Jemeluk Beach is a beach of pebbles and black volcanic sand which is probably not the most attractive beach in Bali, but which turns out to be a true paradise for diving enthusiasts. Its clear water and very rich seabed make it one of the best diving spots in Indonesia.
Spending a few days in Amed is the perfect opportunity to discover some of the most beautiful buildings in Bali, such as the Taman Soekasada Ujung water palace, the Tirta Gangga water palace and the Pura Penataran Agung Lempuyang temple.
How to get around?
Amed is just under 3 hours drive from Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu or Ubud. To get there, you will have to rent a scooter or opt for a private driver.
What to do in Amed, on the east coast of Bali?
After these few practical information, let’s see together what are the places to visit in Amed. As I said before, the road that leads to Amed is lined with superb places and I therefore really advise you to stop there during your road trip. If you are on a scooter, you will be free to stop wherever you want, but if you book a private driver, remember to tell him to stop here and there according to your preferences.
- Virgin Beach
- Taman Soekasada Ujung Water Palace
- Tirta Gangga Water Palace
- Ababi rice fields
- Pura Penataran Agung Lempuyang Temple
- Jemeluk Beach
- Sunset Point
- Lipah Beach
- Tulamben and the wreck of the USS Liberty
Traditional Salt Maker in Amed. Many coastal communities in the south and east of Bali fulfill their economic needs through the informal sector, namely the business of making traditional salt. Surya Edy Gautama, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons
A little story:
The most famous spot is undoubtedly the wreck of the USS Liberty, a former US army ship torpedoed by the Japanese during World War II in Lombok Bay. Towed onto Tulamben beach, the cargo ship was eventually pushed to the sandy bottom by lava following the 1963 volcanic eruption.
To make the most of Amed, I think you have to stay there at least 2 nights. The first day can for example be devoted to visiting the places of interest on the road to Amed. On your second day, you can visit the places in Amed itself and go diving or snorkeling.
See you soon our traveling friends. We wish you a wonderful stay on the island of the gods!
1. Go to Pantai Jemeluk (Jemeluk Beach) at Amed Beach
Jemeluk Bay is a beautiful playground for snorkeling in Amed. To get there, just head to the foot of the rightmost cliff on Amed Beach.
To the delight of our friends in gills, some structures have been submerged. There is therefore a temple (2 to 5 meters deep) or statues on which have proliferated very colorful corals. The rest of the reef features canyons and pretty reliefs conducive to schools of fish. Depending on the tide, it is a shallow snorkel, ideal for beginners.
Most of the restaurants that overlook the beach offer the possibility of renting snorkeling equipment. Be careful not to hit the corals with your flippers. If you are not comfortable with it, it is better not to wear it.
2. Snorkel or dive at Japanese Wreck
The Japanese Wreck snorkeling / diving site is a fabulous place. It is quite rare to be able to visit a wreck only a few fathoms from the shore with only a mask and a snorkel, so you might as well take advantage of it! Together with the USS Liberty, these are the two most famous and shallow water wrecks in Bali.
This former Japanese patrol boat ended its run on the Balinese side during the Second World War. The different pieces of the carcass lie between 2 and 6 meters deep depending on the tide. The bow points perpendicular to the beach. Soft and hard corals have colonized the rusty metal giving it vibrant hues of color. Gorgeous.
This environment has naturally attracted many fish such as trumpetfish, bannerish, surgeonfish, barberfish and damselfish or even butterflyfish. The wreck is in front of the Kawi Kawa Beach Cottages and is indicated by large black buoys. You can park your scooter along the road for a few Rupiah (local currency).
3. Snorkel or dive at the wreck of the USAT Liberty
From Amed to wreck of the USAT Liberty takes about 20 minutes by car, a little less by scooter.
If you can’t dive there, a snorkeling stop was essential on the road to Munduk and the black beach of Gretek. Because if everyone is not able to go freediving at 30 meters (98.5 ft) deep, part of the wreck is accessible by snorkeling from the beach.
The place in question is located in front of a concrete shed from which the divers equip themselves and leave. Fins are welcome but you can also do without. On the other hand, you will have to do some snorkeling to get a closer look at the corals and the details of the old ship.
4. Relax, snorkel or dive at Lipah Beach
It came up several times during our research. Some claim that it is Amed’s best known “SPOT” for snorkeling but also scuba diving.
The best reefs are located to the east of the beach. They start a few tens of meters from the edge and extend to a drop off located about a hundred meters offshore. A magical garden of thousands of colors where submerged structures and coral cohabit serenely. In particular, you can see small reef sharks, octopuses, triggerfish or tiny mantis shrimps. Snorkeling recommended between mid and low tide.
5. Selang Beach
A small protected bay in the shape of a half moon. This snorkeling spot is not the best known in Amed. However it would be a shame to leave it aside, because little known says preserved and quiet.
The snorkel is apparently of good quality in shallow water. Immerse yourself in front of Good Karma Bungalow and follow the path traced by the coral reef. We often see harmless blacktip sharks there. If you come across one and want to prolong the meeting, avoid big gestures, cries and bubbles that could scare him away.
What to do around Amed?
Because Amed is a fairly small city, the ideal is to take advantage of your stay here to make excursions in the surroundings! As we said before, you just need to find a driver on Amed or rent a scooter. In any case, the surroundings of Amed are magnificent – even mystical, between sacred volcano and temples above the clouds… Here are the best activities to do from Amed, Bali:
1. Visit Tirta Gangga (Water Palace)
The Tirta Gangga (water of the Ganga) temple is a sacred site on the island of Bali. It is home to beautiful gardens and ponds and basins filled with sacred fish. It takes only 15 minutes drive or less by scooter from Amed to Tirta Gangga.
It’s a cultural gem well worth exploring, but it’s also one of Bali’s most Instagrammable temples. And therefore one of the most frequented.
1. The Agung volcano, the “sacred mountain”
From Amed to Mount Agung takes 50 minutes by car, it can be less by scooter.
This excursion is a favorite for many people to do from Amed. If you’re crazy about nature and quite sporty, it will likely become your favorite as well. Mount Agung is a sublime active volcano visible from Amed, and its ascent stands as one of their most cherished travel memories. If this experience tempts you, booking a guide will be necessary, as the hike is challenging and the path is poorly marked. It’s worth noting that despite their good physical condition and walking habits, it took them a significant amount of mental effort to convince themselves to reach the summit.
Beyond the hiking aspect, the Agung volcano also has a huge cultural interest. Agung has always been considered by the Balinese as a sacred mountain. He would be a descendant of Mount Meru, home of the gods and axis of the world. The Pura Besakih temple (“mother temple”), the main spiritual center of the locals, is at its feet. It is a super impressive complex and THE place to visit if you want to learn more about Balinese spirituality, which is unique in the world!
- To go to the Besakih temple, 1h30 by car, a little less by scooter.
- To go to the starting point of the ascent of Agung Pura Pasar Agung, 1h15 by car, a little less by scooter.
- To go to the starting point of the ascent of Batur, 1h30 by car, a little less by scooter.
3. Walk through the rice fields of Ababi
It takes only 20 minutes drive (less by scooter), a walk through the Ababi rice fields in Bali is an experience you won’t soon forget. These picturesque rice fields, which are not far from the spectacular Tirta Gangga temple, offer a breathtaking sight. You will be amazed by their beauty and serenity, making them a popular destination for tourists who want to make the most of your visit.
Visiting the Ababi rice fields provides a unique opportunity to witness the traditional agricultural practices that have shaped the region’s culture for centuries. The lush green fields spread out like steps carved into the land, showcasing the intricate irrigation system that sustains the crops and gives the landscape its distinctive appearance.
Wandering through the Ababi rice fields, you’ll be able to connect with the rhythms of rural life in Bali. The picturesque scenery is not only a feast for the eyes but also offers a chance for introspection and relaxation. As you explore the terraced fields, you might even have the opportunity to interact with local farmers, gaining insights into their way of life and the challenges they face in maintaining these vital rice paddies.
If you’re a nature enthusiast or simply someone who appreciates stunning landscapes, the Ababi rice fields should definitely be on your list of places to visit in Bali. The short distance from Amed makes it a convenient day trip, allowing you to experience the tranquility of the countryside while still being able to enjoy the comforts of the nearby coastal town.
4. Explore Taman Soekasada Ujung Water Palace
The Indonesian island of Bali is home to some amazing sights and experiences to do during your trip, but the real star, at least in terms of historical splendour, is the Taman Soekasada Ujung Water Palace. This vast aquatic palace located in the surroundings of Amed, is a site of considerable beauty and fame.
Built in 1909 by King Gusti Gede Jelantik as a place of recreation and rest, the gardens have been kept alive over the years despite extensive damage from Dutch colonialism and the devastating earthquake of 1963. Trees, ponds and elegant balustrades line a series of winding walkways, leading visitors to pavilions with unparalleled views of distant islands like Nusa Penida (check out our blog post here). It really is an amazing experience. You can visit the palace with or without a guide.
Whether you join a guided tour or explore the area on your own, Taman Soekasada Ujung is one of the most beautiful tours in the area!
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