Crystal Bay Beach Nusa Penida | My First Time Snorkelling

by Miss Nauti Tales
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Crystal Bay Beach Snorkelling

If you love adventure activities, then Crystal Bay Beach is the perfect spot to visit. It is best known for its snorkelling activity. If you are visiting Nusa Penida Bali, high chances are you will put Crystal Bay Beach on your must visit list.

But before we get there, here are some basic information about Crystal Bay Beach, Nusa Penida.

How Do You Reach Crystal Bay Beach

  • If you’re starting from mainland Bali, you’ll need to take a boat ride from Sanur to Nusa Penida island. 
  • Tickets for boat rides are easily available. You can do both pre-booking as well as book tickets on the spot. The ride to the island is about 45 mins long. 
  • Once you reach Nusa Penida, the best way to see the island is by hiring a private car ride. Do not opt for a bike, as the terrain is bad and the route is quite dusty. A private car with driver will cost you anywhere from IDR 450,000 to IDR 600,000 which is approx USD 30-40 for a day ride.
  • The route after landing on the island to east Nusa Penida is about 1 to 2 hour long given the road conditions.

Luckily cars can be parked pretty close to the beach itself. Hardly two minutes walking distance.

What is Crystal Bay Beach Famous For?

  • Crystal Bay Beach Snorkelling experience at Manta Bay, Gamat Bay & Crystal Bay
  • Sunset at the beach

Nusa Penida overall is known for its gorgeous beaches and blue ocean waters. It has spectacular views from cliff tops, to untouched spots throughout the island. Chances are if you’re in Nusa Penida, you will be beach hopping pretty much throughout your stay.

If you want to know more about Nusa Penida, and what to see, expect here, then check out my detailed blog post below:

Nusa Penida: How To Get There And What To Expect

So to break the monotony of just beach sightings, Crystal Bay Beach Snorkelling is a pretty rad experience. They have everything for beginners to advances divers at this beach.

Crystal Bay Beach Snorkelling

First things first. Let’s just talk about the main topic of this post. Crystal Bay Beach Snorkelling is an experience you shouldn’t miss. It was my first time snorkelling so I was naturally excited as hell. Don’t want to beat around the bush, the experience was amazing!

We actually reached Crystal Bay Beach one evening prior to our snorkelling day out. We had a lovely time enjoying the sunset here. It was beautiful. We in fact stayed in Crystal Bay Beach for a night. I’ve documented my stay on this blog. You can check it out in the link below. It was a budget stay and cost me less than INR 2500 approx USD 35 a night.

Puri Yalus Bungalow – The Best Location To Stay In Nusa Penida

What Time Did We Go For Crystal Bay Beach Snorkelling

  • 7 in the morning

So coming back to Crystal Bay Beach Snorkelling experience. We started off pretty early in the morning. Before the tourists came in. We started from our accommodation at 7 in the morning. I know it’s early, but I will tell you this. It was the best decision ever.

It was a 7-10 minute walk to the beach from the village. We were the first set of people on the beach. The counter was yet to open. We hadn’t done any prior bookings. So we knew we needed a head start. Here’s what we went for:

Crystal Bay Beach Snorkelling Package + Cost

  • Crystal Bay + Gamat Bay
  • Private Guide + Private Boat Included
  • We paid about IDR 800,000 ~ USD 48 including equipments for two of us – Me + Husband
  • Duration – about 1.5 to 2 hours

We did a fair bit of negotiation. Since this was my first time, I wanted as much help as I could get. So we went for a private boat + private guide for the snorkelling experience. The initial amount quoted to us was about IDR 1.5 million or so. We did try and bring down the price the best we could.

We were tourists, and first timers at that. So I’m sure we paid a premium but that’s ok.

Why Did We Choose Crystal Bay & Gamat Bay For Snorkelling?

  • Easy for beginners

Crystal Bay and Gamat Bay have comparatively more still water around. The water is not that rough and anyone from kids to adults with no experience in snorkelling or swimming can be here.

Manta Bay which BTW, is the real thing. It should be experienced only if you have prior experience is swimming (in the ocean, not pool) + if you have some prior snorkelling experience.

Manta Bay for those of you unaware is known for ginormous sized manta ray sightings. The place is highly recommended also because manta ray sighting is quite regular here. So most people who do this activity get an up close experience with Manta Rays. I was crying that I missed this.

We really really wanted to do Manta Bay but the ocean here quite rough. So we didn’t want to take any chances.

Things You Need To Know If You’re Snorkelling For The First Time

It is hard at first

The equipment takes a while to get used to. Both the flappy mermaid looking feet things as well as the face mask. It tightly grips your nose and your hair is pulled in all the wrong ways. It’s not the best feeling.

Also, your sight is sort of restrictive, even though the glasses have a good area for vision. It just takes some time to get used to. And don’t get me started with the whole breathing from the mouth thing. I kept forgetting and water just kept leaking into my mouth nose everywhere. It was bad.

Don’t Know How To Swim? And Snorkelling The First Time? Get A Guide. Period.

They put a floater vest on you to keep you afloat. But even then if you’re not a swimmer per say, it’s hard to know what one’s supposed to do. My husband for instance had done snorkelling before + he knows how to swim. Within seconds he had drifted off to a significant distance away from me. There was no way he would be able to chaperone me let alone experience corals and other ocean life below us together.

So do yourself a favour and get a professionals help. My guide not only helped me learn how to use the snorkelling equipment, he also took me to all the “good” viewing spots.

I won’t lie, my initial 20 or so minutes just went by trying to keep the water from seeping in. But once I got a hang of the activity, it was so cool!

There Is No Looking Good In Snorkelling Gear. Sorry, Not Happening

I tried posing in every angle. I still looked like a toad. Toad with my big flappy feet and face looking like I’ve just gotten back from the dentist’s chair. So just forget it. Unless of course you have a beach bod, and then life’s just overall great for you.

Is Crystal Bay Beach Snorkelling Safe?

  • Absolutely

At no point did I feel unsafe. This is after I got stung by a family of baby jelly fishes. My entire one side arm had pink coloured small bumps like mosquito bites. But baby jelly fishes are totally fine. Didn’t really itch, and by the time we were back on the beach, I was alright.

The water since it’s pretty calm makes the snorkelling experience quite safe. The area for snorkelling itself is quite small so you can’t really drift far off. That plus the snorkelling authorities don’t take you far into the sea.

Corals and other sea life is visible almost like an arms length under the water. I’m sure they are still quite a distance down below, but it feels eerily close.

What All Did We See Here?

  • Turtles
  • Lots of living corals
  • Fishes in all possible colours and sizes
  • Eels

Although we had our Go Pro on us, we were so consumed in experiencing the sea life, we forgot shooting under the water. That plus I had basic survival that had taken 90% of my headspace, so clicking photos didn’t even cross my mind.

But I’ll you this. You can easily spot corals everywhere. Corals, fish and other sea life are in plenty in this part of the island.

You Can See The Rare Mola-Mola Sunfish Here!

Whenever I researched about snorkelling at Crystal Bay, the one name that came up was the mola-mola sunfish. Long story short, I didn’t see one while on my trip here. But if you go snorkelling in Manta Bay, people do see these fish there.

You might be thinking, ok so it’s a fish. Big deal. Well, what if I tell you this fish is one of the heaviest bone fishes in the world. They also weigh almost a 1000 kilos each! How do I know this? I found this video online which had all the relevant info about mola mola sunfish, and I’m so not happy that I missed this as well. You can see the link below to learn more about mola mola.

All About Mola Mola Sunfish

If You Have Your Own Snorkelling Equipment, You Can Snorkel Here For Free

I saw a lot of families with little kids simply snorkelling on their own at Crystal Bay Beach. The beach water is quite shallow, and corals start literally from the edge of the beach. If you can swim, and have the snorkelling gear, you can totally chill here by yourself.

Things You Should Know About Crystal Bay Beach

Picture 1 & 2 Source: Journey Era

  • Not the most clean/beautiful beach in Bali.
  • Sand is grey here with coral shells lying everywhere on the beach

If you’re looking for beautiful white sands and that gorgeous blue water, then this beach is not that. It is a clean beach, don’t get me wrong. But because of it’s sheer density of corals all around, it’s surrounded by that everywhere. All throughout the beach, you’ll find coral shells, and other sea weed etc on the shore.

What Else Can You Club Along With Crystal Bay Beach Snorkelling?

  • Kelingking Beach
  • Angels Billabong
  • Broken Beach

Crystal Bay Beach is located on the West of Nusa Penida. If you’re planning to cover Nusa Penida in a day, then you can combine Crystal Bay Beach Snorkelling experience along with kelingking beach, angels billabong and broken beach.

All three of these sightseeing locations are next to each other which means you can cover all three together. Keep in mind Kelingking beach requires a significant hike (more than an hour one way). So make sure you time everything well.

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