This September, 23 awesome adventurers joined Fisheye for another amazing expedition in Northeast Bali. We spent 7 glorious nights at Alam Batu Beach & Bungalow Resort diving, relaxing, enjoying spa treatments and exploring the cultural sights of Bali. What a little slice of paradise!
Alam Batu rests at the base of Mt. Agung Volcano on a black sand beach in the sleepy village of Kubu. Nestled along a beautiful secluded beach, you can’t help but feel at one with nature and totally at peace. Dramatic rocks line the shoreline (batu means rock in Indonesian), while lush gardens and vegetation decorate the resort. The most “traffic” you’ll see are the beautifully decorated Jukungs (small Indonesian fishing boats with colorful sails) coming to shore with their daily catch.
The resort is very well appointed with a beautiful dining pavilion with a traditional Balinese thatched roof, a large outdoor dining area, a beautiful infinity pool, countless shaded daybeds nestled around the resort’s shoreline to relax in and of course a spa. The accommodation consists of a number of well spread out bungalows (with lovely outdoor showers) and a few villas (some with their own pool). The dive center is large in size and comfortably set up with individual stations for your gear. There are two camera rooms with large individual tables and charging stations and plenty of rinse tanks for cameras and gear.
The food is delicious, plentiful and well varied - you can choose from a wide selection of Indonesian, Balinese and Western dishes. Breakfast and dinner were typically buffet style and lunches were a la carte. But we were able to order anything off the menu throughout the day as needed. They had a wide variety of fresh juices and health drinks on offer as well as a selection of wine, spirits and local beer.
But I would remiss if I did not point out that the Balinese are some of the warmest, most wonderful and generous people that I have encountered in all my travels. They always greet you with a genuine smile and go out of their way to make you happy and feel at home. The service throughout the resort was wonderful. They made it very hard to leave on the last day.
But what we really came for was the diving…so I bet you want to hear about that! Northeast Bali has a wonderful variety of dive sites from reef to wrecks to black sand diving. Our group of 21 divers was split into 5 groups, which meant we had a great guide to diver ratio. And each guide very much catered to each groups interests and requests. While a few opted for more reef and wreck diving, the majority of us were focused on the super productive black sand muck diving. It was a literal treasure trove!
The eagle-eyed guides wasted no time in pointing out some of the hottest macro finds on even the most discerning diver’s critter hit list. We saw paddleflap rhinopias, bargibanti pgymy seahorses (pink & yellow!), tiger shrimp, harlequin shrimp, winged pipefish, frogfish (many varieties) , ornate ghostpipefish, robust ghostpipefish, halimeda ghostpipefish, boxer crabs, ambon scorpionfish, hairy shrimp, xeno crabs, solar powewred nudis, doto nudis, nudis laying eggs…basically a rainbow of nudis that dreams are made of (lol)!! The critter list goes on and on…it was like and underwater treasure hunt that never ended. The experienced guides knew how to find things fast and shuffle divers and photographers around so that everyone had time to see each critter and also take their time to work the shot. This place really is a photographer’s dream destination.
Bali is also home to a world famous WWII wreck, the USS Liberty, which was a highlight for many of our divers. You can see all things big to small on this well-encrusted wreck — from bumphead parrotfish to leaf scorpionfish to pygmies. It big enough that you really have to dive it a few times to take it all in. And sometimes really big things come in for a visit….such as mola mola! We thought this was an urban myth until some of our divers saw on on the last dive of their last day…on the house reef (which is totally awesome by the way)!! Sadly there was no photographic proof as it was quick and a bit far in the distance….but their euphoria was proof enough for me!
As if all that amazing diving is not enough of a draw, the topside sights and cultural activities in Bali are nothing short of spectacular. We had two non-divers on this trip and there was so much to do in the surrounding areas there was no change they could get bored. During our stay many of our guests took advantage of the tour services at the resort that helped them build custom itineraries to make sure they hit all the sights of interest to them. They visited temples, waterfalls, tasted the world famous Lawak Coffee, visited the cultural center of Bali, met monkeys, shopped, visited rice terraces and so much more.
Overall it was a spectacular, well rounded week at a lovely resort…so much fun was had by all, memory cards were filled and incredible memories were made. There is no doubt that Fisheye will go back to Alam Batu in Bali again and again.
But what really made the trip was the group of truly exceptional and beautiful people that joined us. I can never say enough how much the guests that join our trips are what makes them so special…and what a fabulous group had on this adventure! We had so many repeat guests…and so many lovely new ones, that I am very happy to welcome into the Fisheye family. Can’t wait to adventure with all of you again…hopefully soon!
PS: Make sure to let me know if you want to join our next trip to Alam Batu…I’m still looking at dates but will for sure be planning something again soon. But also know that Fisheye Expeditions is a proud booking agent for Alam Batu and can help you organize a trip there anytime.