As part of a Bali Road Trip, we headed to Amed, a section of coastline in the north-east of Bali. The big drawcard attracting us here is the great snorkelling. While in Amed, we based ourselves in the village of Jemuluk, one of the central villages which have great snorkelling directly in front, just meters from the shore!

Amed and agung
Mount Agung at sunset from the beach in Amed

The luxury accommodation we had booked online at a bargain price fell through (Agoda fail). The family room only had a double bed, which explained why it was such a bargain! We would have to pay for another room to fit us in, which wasn’t worth it. So we had the challenge of finding another place to stay which would be big enough for our family. Clare occupied the kids with milkshakes and the beach, while Rob searched for a suitable hotel along the bay.

Clare and Olive after a snorkel

The main reason we came to this place was for the ability to snorkel off the beach, which enables one of the adults to stay and play with the boys while the other explores. Olive is a very competent and enthusiastic snorkeller now, so she goes with the other adult. Just in front of the hotel we found, there was a fantastic reef with lots of coral and colourful fish, even a sunken temple to view. Further along the coast in Banyuning we found the Japanese shipwreck which is just 20m offshore. The day was windy and the water was rough, but once we got out the water was quite clear and absolutely amazing to snorkel a ship right there off the shore.

The beaches in this part of Bali are made of black volcanic sand, ranging from coarse sand to large rocks. It is actually not dirty as you may imagine as it doesn’t stick, but the worst part is trying to walk on it, ouch! The boys had lots of entertainment collecting interesting rocks, shells and coral to fill up the treasure box.

Amed Black Sand Beach
Playing in the black sand

Along the beachfront are many casual restaurants with killer views, fortunately as the menus were rather uninteresting. We were still able to enjoy some good fresh fish and quite a few sunset beers.

View from a restaurant

Amed was a very quiet place to stay, considering it was peak season, and you could relax on the beach with little hassle from touts. We don’t know why such a great place can be quiet while Kuta in the south can be crazy at the same time.

The local kids were very friendly, and Jetson made friends with some girls. It was hard to work out how genuine they were as they were also trying to sell us bracelets.

amed friends
Jetson made a few friends

Other water activities we tried was SUP (stand up paddleboarding), which we hired for an hour. Clare used it most of the time, although Olive was impressive, I could not even stand up! A tough gig when the wind is strong?

Olive successfully standing up

Apart from beach activities, massages and eating, there are limited things to do in Amed. Many tourists come for the diving, which is apparently excellent. For kids, there was a small shell museum that they found interesting, and a mini zoo which turned out to be in ruins and a total waste of our time (don’t believe everything you find online!).

On our final night, we went on a sunset cruise on a traditional fishing boat. On our journey, we saw a traditional ceremony on the shore. Surprisingly the imposing Mt Agung came into view and it was as spectacular as the sunset.

amed sunset
A magical time cruising on a traditional boat at sunset

We had a great time in Amed, we even extended our stay an extra night, staying four nights in total. If you are after a relaxing beach stay, particularly if you love to snorkel, we could not recommend a better place on mainland Bali.

Where we stayed

Diver’s Cafe and Bungalows, Jemuluk Beach, Amed.  Room with two queen size beds plus a mattress on the floor. Swimming pool. breakfast supplied. 540,000 Rp (about $50) a night. The best thing about it is the ability to walk straight out for excellent snorkelling.

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