West Bali National Park, also known as Bali Barat National Park, is located in northwestern Bali. The park itself is 190 km², with a further 580 km² of protected reserve in the highlands to the east. In total, this accounts for some ten per cent of Bali’s total land area. Along the north of the park, there is a 1000 meter long beach and reef area. This beautiful piece of untouched nature consists of rain forests, dry savannas, forests, sandy beaches, and coral reefs. From a distance, it’s possible to see various mountains and four large extinct volcanoes.
Bali Barat was declared a national park in 1941 and became a protected natural area. The nature reserve was protected to prevent the Balinese tiger from becoming extinct. Unfortunately, this was not successful. Today the purpose of the park is to protect the rest of the nature reserve. Visitors must have a permit if they want to move into the deeper rain forests with unique wildlife.
For many people diving and snorkelling in the beautiful coral reefs around the park, is a reason for a visit. Besides, hikes are organised throughout the park where special animal species can be spotted such as leopards, large flying foxes, snakes, iguanas, turtles, monkeys, geckos, large spiders, scorpions and many species of birds. One of the most special animal species in the park is the wild banteng. The banteng is a native animal from the forests of Southeast Asia, from which the majority of Balinese cattle are descended. The hikes must be done under the guidance of an official guide. The Tegal Bunder Trail is one of the most popular and easy hikes where different birds can be spotted, this trail takes about 2 hours and costs around IDR 550K for two persons. The second most popular hike is the Gunung Klatakan trial. This heavier trial goes through the rain forest and takes about 8 hours. The price of this trial is around IDR 825K for two people.
The park can be reached from Gilimanuk, this is the port where the ferries to and from Java dock. To get to Gilimanuk there goes a ferry from Java and a bus from Denpasar. The one-way price of the Ferry to Gilimanuk is IDR 6,5K for adults and IDR 4,5K for children. The price of the one-way 4-hour ride from Denpasar to Gilimanuk is between IDR 40K and IDR 80K per person. A taxi ride might also be an option, but this price needs to be negotiated with the driver so that the price will be a lot higher. Arriving in Gilimanuk, there go buses to different entrances to the park.
The best time of the year to visit the park is at the start of the rainy season, this is usually from August to December. However, the rainy seasons in Bali are only relative. Bali has a lot of rainfall during the year, so it is difficult to determine the exact best time to visit the park.