If you’re looking to get away from it all, Amed is the perfect place to chill out and enjoy some amazing scenery. The area known as Amed is actually a string of small villages spread out along the northeast coast of Bali. Cruise up the coast and you’ll find charming villas and guesthouses resting directly on the black sand beaches of secluded coves or nestled into the steep slopes of the hills overlooking the sea. This is also a scuba diver’s paradise, as there are incredible coral reefs, underwater walls and shipwrecks offshore.
Many people come to Amed just to check out the fabulous dive spots just off the coast. The USS Liberty shipwreck in nearby Tulamben is the most popular dive site in the area. This US cargo ship was torpedoed by the Japanese during WWII, and today it lies underwater just 50 meters from the beach, so it is easy for divers and snorkelers to swim to the wreck from shore. Dive operators will often combine trips to the Liberty wreck with excursions to coral reefs and walls close by or to the Japanese submarine wreck off the coast of Bayuning.
Amed is also a great base for trips to some of Bali’s holiest sites, including Bali’s sacred volcano of Mount Agung and Besakih, the biggest and most important temple on the island. If you’re up for a climb, make your way to Pura Lempuyang, one of Bali’s nine directional temples perched on the side of a mountain. The 1,700 steps up to the temple may be daunting, but the views of the rolling green rice paddies and the sea from the top are well worth the effort.
Things to Do
Amed is a haven for divers, so you’ll find scores of dive shops and tour agents offering trips out to sea. Beginners can take PADI courses here to learn the basics of diving, and experienced divers can upgrade their skills or head out to fascinating sites all along the east and north coasts of Bali. Some operators even offer multi-day liveaboard trips to dive sites around the neighbouring islands.
Trekkers will also find plenty to do in Amed, as the area is surrounded by rugged mountains with trails that wind through forests and past traditional Balinese villages. Sunrise treks up Gunung Seraya are quite popular and a great way to see the spectacular scenery unfold below. Most guesthouses can arrange guides to take you up the mountain.
Those who decide to explore the coastal villages in Amed on foot or by bike will be rewarded with glimpses of colorful fishing boats, quiet coves and friendly locals fishing and producing salt. Be sure to pick up a bag of pure Amed sea salt to take home with you.
Amed is all about chilling out and enjoying the beach and the nature, so you won’t find many rowdy partiers here. The area attracts plenty of divers and snorkelers, as well as travelers seeking a slower pace of life. However, if you’re looking for a bit of social interaction, there are a few lovely restaurants, cozy cafes and laid-back beach bars along the main road of Amed proper. There are even a handful of spots that offer live music on particular nights, so ask around town to find out which bars are happening and when.