Serangan Island is, located 10km south of Denpasar is often referred to as ‘Turtle Island’, due to it being a frequent nesting ground for green sea turtles. This has drastically changed 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 home to Sakenan Temple, located on the westernmost edge of the island. Reclamations in the 90s have led to a drastic change of pilgrims’ ways and the natural landscape. Once a separate land mass only reachable by traditional wooden boats, it is now easily accessed via a 110m bridge.
To most people, Serangan Island is small, hot and humid, with average beaches to enjoy. In fact, it's considered among the least-visited attractions in Bali. But several unique features of this small island make it a stand out.
The island's population is mostly involved in the fishing industry. A Bugis Muslim community lives harmoniously alongside the predominantly Hindu residents. On its northern shore, many locally made fishing boats are moored by the village.
A turtle breeding pen operated by Citra Taman Penyu breeds green sea turtles and hatchlings here. Large specimens are kept in pens and visitors may participate in feeding times. Regular releases are also a highlight in which you can join in.
Serangan is also famous for its water sports, especially surfing on its eastern side. This led it to be officially 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.
Sakenan Temple on its western shore is one of the holiest in Bali, where thousands attend three days of temple festivities every 210 days a year, coinciding with the Kuningan celebrations. Various sacred dances are performed over the period.
The Shark Island conservation project provides safe swimming with white-tip reef sharks. Its base is located beside Agus Bar & Restaurant on Jalan Tukad Punggawa, while its 10x10m pontoon is used as a shark nursery and houses a dozen black-tip pups and larger white-tip reef sharks.
Good to Know about Serangan Island
Serangan Island is easily reachable 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 arid 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 connects the island. This road is easily accessible from the Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai main road from Sanur, and across from the LotteMart department store in Pesanggaran.
Its close proximity to Bali enables 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 planned 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 carried out, and the bridge built. The once 112ha island now measures 481ha. Further development is yet to be seen.
Back in the old days, pilgrims from the various village temples of south Denpasar would journey on foot by low tide to Sakenan Temple. They would carry their ancient 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 high tide, fleets of traditional outriggers called 'janggolan' transport the crowd across the waves.
- Location: South Denpasar, into the road from opposite LotteMart on Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai from Sanur