Serangan Island is, situated 10km south of Denpasar is frequently referred to as ‘Turtle Island’, due to it being a frequent nesting ground for green sea turtles. This has drastically tainted over the years, and consumption of turtle meat as well as the use of sea turtles in ceremonies is now a tale of the past. Serangan Island is also dwelling to Sakenan Temple, positioned on the westernmost edge of the island. Reclamations in the 90s have led to a radical change of pilgrims’ ways and the natural landscape. Once a separate land mass only accessible by traditional wooden boats, it is now easily accessed via a 110m bridge.
Although managerially part of the city of Denpasar, Serangan Island is on the way to Sanur, on the east coast of the island. Before a road bridge was constructed, the island was only reachable from Bali by boat however now there's no problem driving across from the mainland. The island is dwelling for Serangan Village, Serangan Beach and lots and lots of great cows grazing peacefully next to the street. Don't ask us why, but there are plenty of them. Tourists see a cow walking amongst the wash lines of some houses in the nearby village.
Once you enter on this tiny tropical oasis, you will find plenty of entertainment: it’s the incredible surf spot (suitable for all skill levels), a variety of water sports activities such as Stand-Up-Paddles (SUP), kayaking, and snorkelling. If you are preparing to stay on the beach for a while, it is recommended that you choose a tasty looking warung and order some food and beverages so that you will get to enjoy on the sun lounges for free.
To many people, Serangan Island is small, hot and humid, with exotic beaches to enjoy. In fact, it's perceived as among the least-visited attractions in Bali. But several exclusive features of this small island make it a stand out. The island's population is very much involved in the fishing industry which is one of the hottest occupations in this place. Below listed the top things to do near the island:
1. Visit the Bugis Muslim Community
A Bugis Muslim community lives pleasantly alongside the predominantly Hindu residents. On its northern shore, many locally made fishing boats are moored by the village. A turtle procreation pen operated by Citra Taman Penyu breeds green sea turtles and hatchlings here. Huge specimens are kept in pens and visitors may participate in feeding times. Regular releases are also a shown up in which you can join in.
2. Enjoy the Water sports
Serangan is also well-known for its water sports, especially surfing on its eastern side. This led it to be formally chosen as among the three other main venues for the first Asian Beach Games held in Bali in 2008, hosting the surfing and windsurfing segments.
3. Visit the Sanekan Temple
Sakenan Temple on its western shore is one of the reputed ones in Bali, where thousands attend three days of temple festivities every 210 days a year, coinciding with the Kuningan celebrations. Various holy dances are performed over the period. Serangan is the prominent location for the important Hindu temple, Pura Sakenan. Constructed in the 10th century, the temple is again sub-divided into two areas - Sakenan Temple in the east and Dalem Sakenan Temple in the west.
An significant ceremony is organized every six months (210 days) based on the Balinese calendar, when hundreds of worshipers from the adjacent village temples in southern Denpasar visit Pura Sakenan for its piodalan temple anniversary celebrations.
The 3-day ceremony also coincides with the holy day of Kuningan, 10 days after the Galungan celebrations, and its an outstanding opportunity to see Balinese culture at it's best.
Several traditional dances are also performed during the pinnacle of the celebrations, usually over the Kuningan weekend. These varies from Barong dances to various Tari Topeng or mask dances.
4. Tour the Shark Island
The Shark Island conservation project offers safe swimming with white-tip reef sharks. Its base is situated beside Agus Bar & Restaurant on Jalan Tukad Punggawa, while its 10x10m pontoon is utilized as a shark nursery and keeps a dozen black-tip pups and larger white-tip reef sharks.
5. Visit the neigbouring beaches
Sometimes the beaches of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak can just seem too hectic. If you're looking for a calm stretch of beach with only a pair of simple warungs and a fine surf break, then head to the tip of Serangan Island.
6. Explore the Turtle Island
You may be aware of Serangan referred to as Turtle Island and approapriately, this is home to the Turtle Conservation and Education Center.
The center assists in protecting turtles by hosting injured animals and buying eggs from locals to prevent them from being eaten. They also gather turtle nests from busy tourist beaches and bring them back to the center to put in the purpose-built hatchery.
Among the seven types of sea turtles, three species are kept and raised at the center. It's also possible to accept a turtle for Rp. 100,000. In return you will get a certificate from the Turtle Conservation and Education Center and will be able to help in the discharge of your chosen turtle, if you're still in Bali at the time.
7. Do lots of surfing
Another reason tourists trip Serangan Island is to surf, especially during the wet season. In fact, this is the only time of the year when Serangan pulls a crumb of a crowd (mostly visiting Japanese and Russian surfers).
A few basic warungs offer snacks, drinks and massages, and you can also employ sun loungers and rent boards.
8. Click some professional photographs with your lover
During the wetter Bali months, when the Serangan surf smash is in a season, a local surf photographer usually works on the beach, so you can even buy a few professional photos from him to commemorate the incredible day’s surf session.
9. Stay in a cool guest house to chill yourself
Serangan is actually a small isle, linked with Bali by a bridge and being a semi-national park area (without wild animals however). There are neither resorts nor hotels on the island, although you may find some reasonably priced local guest houses scattered over there. It really is one of the few places in Bali which has saved the conventional lifestyle, and remains at one with beautiful unspoilt nature.
10. Consume some cool food to chill off
In the Serangan Island you will find some exotic cafes and gust houses which are quite affordable. You can have coffee, some wine, burger, sea-food, lobster, fired crab and much more delicious food to chill off your day. Also don’t forget to try some bear to booze off the time as it passes away.
How to get there?
Good to Know about Serangan Island Serangan Island is easily accessible from Denpasar, and is only 15mins from the Kuta and Sanur areas. The island’s southernmost tip is only a half kilometre from the northernmost tip of Tanjung Benoa, and Serangan’s dry western coast and Benoa Harbour are only 700m apart.
A 2.8km road following the beach reclamation project carried out by the Bali Turtle Island Development Corporation, now links the island. This road is easily reachable from the Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai main road from Sanur, and across from the LotteMart department store in Pesanggaran.
Its close nearness to Bali allows water sport lovers in Tanjung Benoa, as well as boat passengers embarking from Benoa Harbour, to see or pass the island from up close. The PT. BTID (Bali Turtle Island Development) corporation was a company under the Soeharto regime that was prepared for a golf course, resort complex, artificial lagoons, water sport and recreational features as well as other supporting tourism facilities to be built on the island.
Beach reclamations were accepted and the bridge was built. The once 112ha island now measures 481ha. Further expansion is yet to be seen. Back in the old days, pilgrims from the a range of village temples of south Denpasar would trip on foot by low tide to Sakenan Temple. They would carry their very old heirlooms and sacred temple objects by traversing marshes and muddy mangrove forests from Pesanggaran, near the Benoa Harbour main gates towards the western banks of Serangan. At soaring tide, fleets of traditional outriggers called 'janggolan' transport the crowd across the waves.
Below mentioned is the shortest route-
● From Kuta, get the By Pass road to Sanur
● Roughly halfway to Sanur, you will see the big LOTTE Mart supermarket on the left
● Just before LOTTE Mart, on the conflicting side of the road, is a newly constructed limestone road
● Turn in here and go behind the road all the way down to the beach.
How much it costs to reach?
The island is easily accessible either by car or by motorbike, however, before getting inside the vehicle do ensure that the driver understands the destination point (Blue Bird taxi drivers are usually the top). Serangan is around a 20-minute drive from popular Seminyak in the south-east direction. After crossing a bridge, go straight until you find a bascule barrier. Here it will cost to you around IDR2,000 if you are travelling by motorbike or IDR5,000 if you are going by car.
The rest of the route until the beach you are journeying on a trail wide sufficient for two cars to pass. Follow the path and after an roughly a 7-minute ride you will find the stunning beach, complete with several local warungs right on the shore offering stimulating beverages and a select choice of meals.
When Is the Appropriate Time to Visit Serangan?
Depending on what kind of holiday you are looking for, Serangan offers various conditions best appropriate for surfing, snorkeling, or of course just chilling on the beach. If you a surfer, the most excellent time for the session is in the early morning with high tide when there is no wind, and the waves are completely, almost like glass. If you are travelling with children, the best time to come to the isle at the time of the low tide, when it becomes a type of huge natural swimming pool, surrounded by the defensive reef, becomes shallow and warm.