The excellent dive school Reef Seen Aquatics, in the Reef Seen resort (tel. 0362/93001; www.reefseenbali.com), predominately caters to certified divers. However, they can also arrange introductory dive courses when given notice. For snorkeling, hire a local villager at one of the smaller dive concessions for Rp200,000 per day to take you to reefs in and around Pemuteran.
The fantastic Biorock Project, in front of Taman Sari hotel, is a perfect place for kids to enjoy snorkeling. The waters in Permuteran are usually calm and visibility is clear. You can also start or end the day with a boat ride. Enjoy the sun rising or setting and you may even catch a glimpse of a whale or dolphin -- but no promises. Pony rides are available along the beach. Reef Seen can organize all these activities.
The Turtle hatchery project based at Reef Seen educates the local community about not killing turtles or stealing their eggs. The hatchery helps raise awareness of the need for conservation while enabling the birth and growth of different species of turtles: Olive Ridley, Green, and Hawksbill. When the turtles are mature and healthy enough, they are released back into the sea. Sponsor and release your own turtle when you visit -- the money all goes to a good cause.
Pemuteran's Biorock Project
By the late 1990s, a combination of coral bleaching and dynamite fishing had decimated the reefs at Pemuteran. This gave a very bleak outlook for the local residents, who relied on fishing both for their own consumption and as a draw for marine tourists, divers, and snorkelers.
However, in June 2000, the Taman Sari Resort donated US$12,000 to start the Karang Lestari Proyek (Coral Protection Project). This project uses low-voltage electricity to promote and accelerate coral growth on metal frames. Taman Sari Resort supplies the electricity and further funding is supplied by private donations.
The technology comes from the Global Coral Reef Alliance (GCRA; www.globalcoral.org) in the United States. The basic principle is that when electrodes are immersed in seawater, limestone is created, making a very strong base on which corals readily grow, sometimes five times faster than normal. This process generates a high pH level in the water, in which corals flourish, therefore more energy can be used to reproduce and build. These corals are also more resistant to environmental stress and it is believed that they will also withstand future seasonal temperature rises (the cause of coral bleaching).
The Karang Lestari Proyek, at 2.4 hectares (6 acres), is the world's largest coral-reclamation project. At present, over 40 metal frames of various shapes and sizes at depths of 5 to 10m (16 -- 33 ft.) have a variety of hard corals growing on each, in various stages of development. Despite the fact that this is a young project, the area makes an interesting and educational day's diving.
The project is fully supported by the people of Pemuteran village. In order to restore the fish population, everyone has agreed to observe the site as a no-fishing area. They have also agreed to stop dynamite and cyanide fishing.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.