West Bali National Park or Taman Nasional Bali Barat or Bali Barat National Park is the only national park in Bali and it’s a place many visitors never see.
That’s a real shame because this nature park is an amazing place to spend some time and our guide will tell you everything you need to know about why you should visit Bali’s national park.
Where Is Taman Nasional Bali Barat?
It’s on the North Coast on the obvious north-jutting peninsula known as Prapat Agung Peninsula.
It covers the whole of the Prapat Agung Peninsula (at the most North Westerly point of the island) and large swathes of the land along the North Coast around Cekik, Banyuwedang and Gilimanuk.
The boundaries of the park cover around 190 square kilometres but there is also an area of an additional 580 square kilometres to the East which consists of a protected highland reserve.
That means that in total, the protected area is about 10% of the land area of Bali.
How To Get There
The park covers a large area but there are only two park offices, the main ranger station is based in Cekik and the second is at Labuan Lalang (that’s on the North Coast Road near where the boat trips to Menjangan Island depart).
You must visit these offices and secure both entry permits and to arrange guides.
The easiest way to reach the park is by joining a tour group with its own tour guide. This is ideal if you want to participate in a series of planned activities.
However, an official guide from the park can arrange a more tailored itinerary and if you want to do this, you will need to hire a private car and driver for the day.
We wouldn’t recommend using a scooter to see West National Park because the roads are in poor condition and it’s hard to work with a guide when you’re on a scooter.
How To Get Around The Park
You will need to work with your guide to get around the park, not all of the park is open to visitors and you will usually be a bit limited as to where in the protected reserve you can go.
Is There An Entrance Fee For West Bali National Park?
Yes, the entrance fee for foreigners is currently set at 200,000 IDR per person on weekdays and 300,000 IDR per person on Weekends and Public Holidays.
There is a discount on these fees for locals.
In addition, you must pay 10,000 IDR for a car, 100-150,000 IDR for a boat, 5,000 IDR for a trekking permit and 15-25,000 IDR fee for a permit for scuba diving or snorkelling.
The fees can only be paid at the two offices mentioned above.
Opening Times For The Park
The park is open all year round, apart from the festival of Nyepi (the “festival of silence” during which everything in Bali is closed) and it’s open between 7.30 a.m. and 4 p.m.
A Very Brief History Of The Park
The park was recognized as an area of Bali worth protecting due to its mangrove swamps, dense rainforests, long stretches of montane forests, acacia scrubs, etc. in 1917 by the, then, council of Bali.
However, it wasn’t made a “national park” until 1941, after Bali, had become part of Indonesia.
The Landscape Of The Park
The park is incredibly varied when it comes to habitat with rainforest, dry savanna, dense mangrove forests, acacia scrub, lowland forest and more montane forests right in the heart of the park.
There are offshore coral reefs which are also a big draw to the area.
The dominant visual feature of this part of Bali are the extinct volcanoes that are in the East of the park and which can be seen from almost any part of the park.
Animals & Plants Of Taman Nasional Bali Barat
There are a lot of wild animals at this site including the Bali starling (which is an endangered species), wild boar, wild cattle, mouse deer, leopard cats (not leopards, Bali is not home to large cats, these are small, wild cats), Indian Muntjac, milky stork, red-rumped swallow, Java sparrow, hawksbill turtle, water monitor, sea urchins, many other beautiful birds (keen birdwatchers tend to be very happy in the park) and in fact, the lowland forests are home to most endemic vertebrate species.
There are also monkeys but don’t worry both the park rangers and Trip Advisor assure us that they’re quite friendly compared to monkeys elsewhere in Bali.
It is also home to a wide range of plant species including the Chinese Laurel, Lagerstroemia speciosa, Indian Sandalwood, Candlenut, Java Olive Tree, Schleichera oleosa, Mundu Tree and more.
One thing you won’t find in the park, sadly, is the Bali Tiger as the last known specimens were seen in the 1930s in the park. The last century was not particularly kind to Bali’s native species.
What To Do At West Bali National Park
Arrive at West Bali National Park and you’ll be presented with plenty of things to see and do. However, your options really boil down to the following:
A Protected Beach
Prabat Agung Beach is a protected area. Sadly, it’s not a very attractive place to be.
Even though it’s part of the marine reserve, it doesn’t get much attention from beach cleanup crews and there’s a lot of trash and dead coral (from the mushroom coral family found on the offshore reefs) and even algae on the sand.
There are several popular trails in the park:
Tegal Blunder Trail – takes about 2 hours from the village of Sumberklampok
Gunung Klatakan Trail – a tough 8-hour hike through the rainforest
Teluk Brumbun Trail – the best place for birdwatching and animal spotting
You can also organize other trail tours with the guides.
There are three temples on Menjangan Island including the charming Pura Gili Kencana.
You can rent an outrigger (around 500,000 IDR) if you want to explore the mangroves properly.
Menjangan Island (Pulau Menjangan) is a very popular diving destination. The small offshore island is home to some incredible coral reefs, dense mangrove forests and herds of deer. In fact, it is often called “deer island” by locals.
The small island reserve is best visited for its marine life and that means you want calm seas to get the best out of your time there.
We should note that while anyone can snorkel in this area, it’s quite a challenging place for scuba diving and you will need to be PADI-qualified to, at least, an intermediate level to really enjoy the waters here.
This shouldn’t be confused with the Menjangan Resort, however, which is within the confines of the park but is on the Bali mainland.
Bali Starling Breeding Centre
In the Prapat Agung Forest, you will find the captive breeding centre for the near-extinct Bali starling.
While there are several venues across the island helping with re-introduction efforts for the Bali starling, this is the largest, the only one within the park boundaries and it’s home to around 300 Bali starlings.
Food & Drink At The West Bali National Park
We should note that while there are a few expensive resorts in the park, you won’t find any shops or cafes away from these places.
Thus, you should bring your own drinks and snacks with you to the park and we’d ask that you do the responsible thing and take all your rubbish home with you too.
Does Bali Have A National Park?
Yes! West Bali National Park, it’s the only Indonesian national park in Bali.
Is West Bali National Park Worth Visiting?
Yes! The park is home to much of Bali’s diverse animal and plant life and it’s a place of outstanding natural beauty too.
How Much Does It Cost To Go To West Bali National Park?
It’s quite expensive compared to other attractions in Bali and you will need to pay 200-300,000 IDR to get in.
What Animals Are In The West Bali National Park?
There are deer, boars, cattle, monkeys, birds and a host of marine creatures too. Nearly all wildlife in Bali can be found in the park.
How Do I Get From Ubud To West Bali National Park?
We would recommend that you either join a guided tour as part of a day trip or that you rent a private car and driver for the day. Trying to access the park by scooter isn’t something that we would recommend for your safety.
How To Book A Trip To West Bali National Park
We always recommend that you book any tour or trip in Bali through the Bali Res Centre.
That’s a locally owned and operated travel service that can ensure your visit to the Bali Starlings or whatever else you want to see, goes without a hitch.
Because they’re local, you always get very competitive prices.
Final Thoughts On West Bali National Park
The National Park is a great place to get in touch with nature in Bali and a visit helps support efforts to save the Bali Starling.
Whether you take a simple mangrove tour or hike out to remote regions of the park, you’re bound to have a great time.
Most visitors to the island never see this beautiful place and we think that’s a genuine shame.