In West Bali the port town of Gilimanuk is primarily a transport hub for visitors to cross from East Java to Bali. It’s a shame more people don’t stop in this town on their way through - they miss the lovely beaches, rich native wildlife and delicious local food! Find a perfect Gilimanuk hotel and enjoy a local town that tourists rarely visit, giving you plenty of space to enjoy your vacation without the crowds.
Gilimanuk’s coastline is beautiful, and with a wide range of coral beaches, white and black sandy bays and lush mangrove forest - the local ecosystem supports of a huge range of native wildlife. Dive into the estuary bay and search for crustaceans, ghost pipefish, frogfish and other unique marine life that thrives in the nutrient rich water.
The West Bali National Park is just 15 minutes from town, so take a drive and enjoy the fantastic views from the park across the Bali Strait and the mountains of East Java. Bird lovers can spend hours identifying the 160 species observed in the park, including the near extinct Bali Starling - this one bird is the reason the entire National Park was created. Book an official guide to take you deeper into the forest, where you can choose from the Tegal Blunder Trail which is excellent for bird watchers, or the longer Gunung Klatakan Trail to wind through lush tropical rainforest.
Take a boat to Menjangan Island and enjoy the best snorkelling on Bali. The island’s clear waters and magnificent sea fans mean that you may even spot a whale shark! On the island the Puri Gili Kencana Temple is worth a visit, and keep your eyes open for the barking deer - they are often seen playing in the water to cool down during the day.
For history buffs the Museum Situs Purbakala in Gilimanuk gives a great insight to the earliest humans on Bali, with artefacts and skeletons between three to four thousand years old. Have a stroll around the exhibits before heading out to the local market. Get through to the shoreline and you can see Java in the distance, watch out for the local kids playing in the streets and splashing around in the water! No stay is complete without trying Ayam Betutu, a unique hot and spicy smoked chicken dish. With steamed rice and a side of fried spinach, it’s simply delicious.
124km from Denpasar, Gilimanuk is a lovely town for you to enjoy peace and quiet away from the tourists crowds. The beauty of the natural area makes it a great spot to base your trip to Bali, especially if you want to see unique wildlife. So why wait to book your Gilimanuk accommodation? Grab a flight to Bali and start planning your next holiday!
Image credit Agus Santoso under Creative Commons
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